What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Rumsfeld's Magical Mystery Tour

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Iraq yesterday, arriving in Mosul to lift his spirits. Er, I mean, lift the troops spirits. It would be very cynical to suggest that Rumsfeld's visit to Iraq is more about Rumsfeld than it is about the troops, and it would be really cynical to suggest that Rumsfeld was trying hard to boost his public image.

I was watching Hannity and Colmes Thursday night, and at one point in the broadcast they cut away to a "Fox News Alert" to announce that Rumsfeld was visiting the troops. You would have thought they were reporting the most important news item in history. Every 30 seconds or so would come the announcement that Rumsfeld was in Mosul. The information never changed, either, but sure enough, every couple of minutes, you'd hear that Fox News Alert "sting" and the announcement that Rumsfeld was in Mosul. After guest-host Mike Gallagher and Alan Colmes had announced the visit 300 times, it ran as a news ticker for the remainder of the show. Seriously, for like 10 minutes, if you looked at the ticker, it wasn't even moving on to other news items, it was just stuck on RUMSFELD VISITS TROOPS IN IRAQ or something along those lines.

I'm surprised Gallagher and Colmes didn't offer up a play-by-play announcement of Rumsfeld's visit, with Geraldo Rivera on location in Iraq to report on events:

Colmes: We're live with Geraldo Rivera outside of Mosul. Geraldo, any word yet on the Secretary's arrival?

Rivera: Hi Alan. Yes, I'm told that he is in a vehicle -- some sort of SUV, or maybe a Humvee, I'm not sure at this point, Alan. I do know the vehicle is not a tank, and that it has at least four wheels.

Gallagher: Geraldo, Mike Gallagher here. What's the feeling on the ground right now? Excitement? I know I'd be thrilled to death had I ever served in the military, which I have not, and got word that the Secretary of Defense was coming to visit. Frankly, I don't know how I'd contain my excitement. Surely a cheer has rung out?

Rivera: Mike, I cannot hear any cheering from where I'm at, but a source with the troops tells me the excitement is "palatable."

Colmes: Any sign of the Secretary, Geraldo?

Rivera: Nothing yet, Alan. He could conceivably be in any type of vehicle or aircraft. Possibly a hot air balloon. That's how they travel in these parts.

Colmes: Thanks, Geraldo. We'll get back to you just as soon as anything happens.

Rivera: Thanks, Alan.

Rumsfeld's troop visit included a Q&A session, but of course no one asked any tough questions. Why? I'm guessing the NCOs and officers told the troops not to ask hard questions. It happens, believe me. You can bet the soldier that had asked Rumsfeld about armor when Rumsfeld made a visit to Kuwait was chewed out by someone in the chain of command.

Back to Hannity and Colmes:

Colmes: We're back with Geraldo Rivera, outside of Mosul. Any sign of Secretary Rumsfeld, Geraldo?

Rivera: I've been looking in the skies, Alan, and I think I see a hot air balloon. It's hard to tell what it is, but I'm certain Rumsfeld is in it.

Colmes: Could this be the best Christmas present ever, Geraldo?

Rivera: Alan, my sources tell me that the troops have stated that Rumsfeld's visit will be the best present they can get.

Colmes: Rumsfeld is one classy man, Geraldo.

Rivera: Alan, I'm just now getting word that Secretary Rumsfeld has arrived. No word on what sort of vehicle brought him to the base. Possibly one of those scooters...what do they call them?

Gallagher: Geraldo, Mike Gallagher here. Do you mean a Segway Human Transport?

Rivera: Yes, that's it, Mike. I'm also hearing that Secretary Rumsfeld rode the Segway from the Pentagon to Iraq and it only took him 6 hours to do it.

Gallagher: Sounds like a Christmas miracle, Geraldo.

Rivera: It is indeed, Mike.

Anyway, Rummy is in Iraq, no one is asking tough questions, and 52% of Americans want him to resign, according to a recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

Merry Christmas to all, especially Secretary Rumsfeld.


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