On Friday night I saw Democratic presidential candidate Christopher Dodd interviewed on ABC News. In the course of the interview empty suit/fake journalist Charles Gibson asked Dodd about the birth of his daughter on September 13th, 2001. Dodd hit us with the revelation that one of the doctors attending the birth was Pakistani and the other from Afghanistan. He pointed out that this meant that there is good in everyone, even people from a region that had "just attacked us". Dodd is running on the back of his "extensive foreign policy experience".
Setting aside the stunningly casual racism implied by this remark, do we really consider someone who lumps terrorists from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Lebanon, and Egypt with doctors from Pakistan and Afghanistan qualified for the office of president? If this bonehead said that he'd met nice Greeks despite the fact that they elected Hitler and invaded Poland he'd be rightly pelted with mud in the village square. But because he's talking about brown people he's still taken seriously as an outside shot for the White House. Breathtaking.
At least he has the excuse of being a mere politician. National Public Radio maven Linda Wertheimer on the other hand is described as an experienced and knowledgeable journalist with 3 decades of reporting around the world under her belt. With that in mind, I wonder then why she asked veteran political commentator Daniel Schorr on Saturday if President Bush would be making time during his upcoming swing through the middle east to "visit Pakistan".
To his credit, Schorr barely disguised his amazed snort that this question provoked. He concentrated on the security implications of taking the president of the United States to a country where one of the leading politicians had just been assassinated, potentially by Al Qadea, but you could sense that he was itching to get out a map and sit Wertheimer down to show her that a body of water called the Indian Ocean seperates the Arabian penninsula from Pakistan. If she didn't understand that, perhaps he could have used a parallel, something like:
"Linda, the American equivalent of what you just suggested would be Air Force One landing in Chicago and George Bush deplaning and deciding that he'd just pop down the road to see how reconstruction was going in New Orleans."
And yet she is regarded as a wise voice of experience and rare sagacity. Jesus.