Thursday, June 22, 2006

Satire Is Dead - I Blame The Bush Administration

The Bush administration is making life difficult for journalists and political commentators yet again - this time, by trampling on the ability to snark about politics. Just the other day, I tried my best to touch up my post on the now infamous memo from the US Embassy in Baghdad with a touch (heavy-handed perhaps) of satire at the end by concluding:

While a demand for [Khalilzad's] resignation might normally be in order, I'm willing to grant Zal a temporary reprieve because the memo was dated June 6, and the events described therein preceded the death of terror mastermind, and premier puppetmaster of the insurgency, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. As we all know, with the death of Zarqawi, to paraphrase Marc Steyn, the insurgency will only continue for a few weeks more, as it peters out like Zarqawi's last breaths. So Zal's memo is already moot, and the problems it details are all but resolved. In fact, you could say that it's the type of history that "is like so far back it doesn't count." Or something.

But the Bush administration, in a clever, yet diabolical, rear flanking maneuver, has gone ahead and preemptively deprived my sarcasm of any bite by replacing the satirical with the real. Here's White House Press Secretary Tony Snow describing the relevance - or lack thereof - of Khalilzad's rather untimely memo in an appearance on Wolf Blitzer's CNN Show (via Jim Henley):

Blitzer said, "I know that many have complained that the news media is only focusing in on the negative, but here the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad paints a pretty stark picture of what's going on right now." In response, Snow argued that the embassy's account was outdated. "Well, that's taken in mid-May," he said. "Here we are, a month later, and I just told you, you've got 50,000 Iraqi troops that are now focusing on those problem areas in Baghdad." [emphasis added]

Pretty sneaky Tony Snow. You may have beaten me this time, but I'll be back.

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