Bringing The Right Wing Crazy

Think Progress has the round-up, but Podhoretz takes the prize:

[N]ow that they are out of jeopardy, Ling and Lee deserve to be held accountable, at least in the realm of public opinion, for the unthinkably bad judgment they displayed in their preposterous, vainglorious, and astoundingly naive venture. Possessing some fantasy about presenting an inside look at North Korea on an justifiably unwatched (because unwatchable) cable channel called Current TV, they thought they could sneak undetected into a Gulag state, film some footage with a DV camera, and then sneak back out to the hosannas of the Peabody Award committee. This is something they chose to do and were given license to attempt by their employers, and for which they paid a horrific, far too horrific, a price. That must be the case as well for Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, the co-owners of Current TV, who have doubtless existed in a state of terrible “what have I done” anxiety about this since the arrests.


Speaking for me only

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    My goodness (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:35:50 PM EST
    Remember what the nutters had to say about the British sailors who were captured by Iran a while back?  It's a wonder they see John McCain as a war hero when getting captured by the enemy is apparently a mortal sin in their book.

    Still, Podhoretz cannot trump what Ralph Peters said the other day about our soldier who was captured by the Taliban.

    Perhaps we could speculate on what the right-wingers might say if the journalists had been employees not of Al Gore, but of Fox News.

    their response would be (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jen M on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:58:18 PM EST
    fox news wouldn't send anyone into north korea like that

    Not that I believe that.


    MoDo takes her Clinton hate to (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:39:22 PM EST
    new levels today, indulging in speculation and fantasy and calling it "opinion."


    Have a barf bag at the ready.

    The minute I read Dowd today I knew (2.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:31:07 PM EST
    that Bob Somerby's head would explode.

    And so it did.


    You did warn me (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:48:21 PM EST
    She is unhinged.

    Maureen Dowd (none / 0) (#53)
    by lc on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 08:11:55 PM EST
    Thanks for the warning about the barf bag.

    Maureen Dowd -- I feel like I have to take a shower after I read her drivel.  


    I take my MoDo hate to new levels today (none / 0) (#57)
    by FreakyBeaky on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 11:39:30 PM EST
    That woman has got problems.  

    Huh. I guess we shouldn't have sent the Navy (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by TokenLiberal on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:16:35 PM EST
    to negotiate with those Somali pirates a few months ago, either. And forget having the Seals rescue the captured Captain - after all, he and the crew knew what they might be getting into with the full approval of their employer.

    Not even close (none / 0) (#32)
    by Slado on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:41:12 PM EST
    choose a better analogy.

    They were in international waters.   The pirates where breaking the law.

    These women entered a foreign country illegally.

    The only reason you could equate it is if the NK's kidnapped them.

    If that's the case why didn't we send our SEAL's in there to get them?


    What is your evidence (none / 0) (#35)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:52:19 PM EST
    that they entered a foreign country illegally?

    Surely you do not simply take North Korea's word for it.


    If the journalists worked for Philip Anschutz and (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by steviez314 on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:28:03 PM EST
    tried to sneak into Iran to videotape a nuclear facility, the right wing would be building monuments to them.

    Am I the only one seeing the advertisement (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:00:44 PM EST
    banner at the Pohoretz sight trying to sell me a book that will tell me all the truths about Iran that I've been too afraid to ask?  I'm rollng on the floor.  Anyhow this is right up there with cheering on the assassination of war correspondents when you voted enthusiastically for Dubya twice and the Surge wasn't going so well.

    Podhoretz - used to see him on NY1 in the evening (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by vicndabx on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 06:35:22 PM EST
    years ago.  For some odd reason every time I see his name I can't help thinking of the word "putz."

    interesting (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:24:54 PM EST
    first on the list
    dick morris

    You MUST watch this clip. (none / 0) (#2)
    by kevsters on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:29:33 PM EST
    Talk about right wing crazy?

    This woman is nuts. Is she actually blaming Bill Clinton for the death of Daniel Pearl because Clinton did not do the same for him?

    See for yourself.


    3 Hikers arrested in Iran (none / 0) (#5)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:45:41 PM EST
    were getting much the same treatment on one of the XM POTUS radio shows. To paraphrase - 'Ha! who goes hiking in Iraq? what do they expect?'

    Wasn't Kurdistan advertising for tourists last year?

    Yes (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:55:12 PM EST
    But they weren't advertising for people to go hiking into Iran.

    I guess, if you're going to be that close to Iran's border, you darn well better know where the border is!

    I definitely see a difference between the two journalists and these hikers.  These hikers are more akin to those who go to do religious missionary work and are explicity told not to prostelsyze because it's against the law and they flagrantly do it anyway, and then someone has to risk their lives to go in and get them.


    I think unjust imprisonment (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:04:19 PM EST
    is the issue, and it is just as unjust if you are engaging in risky behavior as it is if you are not.

    Yes, they made a mistake - lock them up!


    Oh (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:36:17 PM EST
    I don't mean lock them up - I mean make them pay if someone has to come rescue them.  Just like the ice fisherman back home in Michigan who go out on the ice, even after a week of 60 degree weather.  They get stranded - they have to pay for their rescue!

    That might be interesting.... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:42:45 PM EST
    does Hillary have a fee per diplomatic incident? Maybe a good way to fund the state department!

    You might be on to something (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:06:12 PM EST
    Maybe you could get a job at State?  You "think outside the box"!

    Eagle Scout billed $25,000 for rescue: (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:08:51 PM EST
    Now there's stupid tax on boy scouts? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:22:38 PM EST
    If we have to pay "stupid tax"  I want an "a$$h*le tax" too!

    In a recession like this (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:24:45 PM EST
    what about all the job security stupid people provide?  If everybody gets smart what is the fire department going to do, start mooching off of all of us?

    Pay for your own rescue (none / 0) (#55)
    by caseyOR on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 10:03:45 PM EST
    A few years ago here in Oregon we voted on a statewide ballot measure that would have required people who needed rescuing in the great outdoors to pay for that privilege. Oregon is a big outdoor state. Lots of hiking and camping and mountain climbing and skiing. And then there's the ocean. A number of rescues are mounted every year. And the taxpayers foot the bill.

    Anyway, it was on the ballot and Oregon voters decided we wanted people to be rescued. And we wanted them to call for help as soon as they realized they might be in trouble. There was concern that, worried about the cost of rescue, people would not call for help, resulting in preventable death and injury.

    So, if you come to Oregon to climb Mt. Hood, and you get stuck on the glacier, give a call. We'll send somebody right on over.


    And then there was the runaway bride! (none / 0) (#28)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:23:29 PM EST
    Fines for being scared. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:28:17 PM EST
    after noticing that your fiance looks like Scott Peterson.

    Can't we just be nice for free? (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:19:37 PM EST
    I'm nice for free (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:32:18 PM EST
    every day.  Every day of the week.



    I usually charge (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:49:50 PM EST
    but if you're headed to a hard labor camp death I don't know.....something comes over me akin to empathy.

    So, (none / 0) (#6)
    by bocajeff on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:46:36 PM EST
    It wasn't a bad decision on the journalists part? Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful they are home and unhurt. But it reminds me of hikers or skiers that go off of the paths, get lost, and then it takes 3 days to rescue them - sometimes to the peril of the rescuers themselves.

    It was Daniel Pearl's fault (5.00 / 8) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:49:37 PM EST
    he was killed.

    It was Michael Kelly's fault he was killed.

    you prepared to say that too?

    Shockingly, being a journalist can be a very hazardous job in certain areas.

    Generally speaking, we APPLAUD people with the courage to do dangerous jobs.


    Let's face it (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:15:44 PM EST
    Podhoretz is just making stuff up here.  Or, to put it more accurately, he's adopting the North Korean version of the facts because it happens to suit his agenda.

    If the journalists were, in fact, sent on a risky mission into North Korean territory for journalistic purposes, then I agree it was courageous.  I have my doubts that it happened like that, but we simply have no evidence unless we're prepared to trust the North Koreans.


    Bill Clinton doesn't work for me anymore (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:46:52 PM EST
    If he wants to go get them why would it matter to me?  Now his wife works for me.  I own her time on such matters.

    I assure you (none / 0) (#36)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:53:56 PM EST
    that Bill's wife and her subordinates surely spent a heck of a lot of time negotiating their way through this situation and working out the logistics, before Bill was engaged to close the deal.  So you may want to submit an invoice for all that time.

    You don't have the time sheets (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:56:09 PM EST
    though counselor :)

    FOIA!! (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:00:23 PM EST
    The people demand to know!!!

    I suppose you want (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:02:26 PM EST
    transcriptions of pillow talk too

    Here's some interesting tidbits (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:05:58 PM EST
    re who pd. the bills:  AP

    I don't think this is the link you wanted to give (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:09:32 PM EST

    I don't either. See AP sidebar at bottom of (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:10:37 PM EST

    here ya go (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by nycstray on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:14:53 PM EST
    So Stephen Bing paid for all of this (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:17:23 PM EST
    but how many people are having a fit about paying for it like they did?  Someone please tell them that they didn't :)  And if Hillary took something like this fiasco and helped fashioned it into a way to open up some communication with North Korea well then just Bring It On!

    Bing and Dow (none / 0) (#54)
    by nycstray on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 08:15:46 PM EST
    I'm not big on giving props to corps, but gotta give it up for the Dow dude also.

    I haven't heard anything on people complaining about who paid, just those that don't seem to acknowledge who paid for it . . .

    I think the communication door may have been cracked open, if handled correctly. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Clinton connection in there in the future if it has/is.


    That's funny (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:16:41 PM EST
    He's "objectively pro North Korea!"

    in a sense, yes. (none / 0) (#56)
    by cpinva on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 10:18:39 PM EST
    Shockingly, being a journalist can be a very hazardous job in certain areas.

    Generally speaking, we APPLAUD people with the courage to do dangerous jobs.

    presumptively, they know this going in, unless they're really stupid journalists. by the same token, people joining the military know, going in, they risk being injured or killed doing their job.

    we applaud their courage, but also accept the risk associated with it, as they do. unless you're forced to do something inherently dangerous, against your will, you bear the responsibility for the potential known consequences of your actions.

    i'm glad they're back safe & sound, and i'm yet unconvinced they actually violated NK territory (sorry, just because NK authorities say they did means nothing, they don't exactly have a great track record for the truth.), so i'll hold off opining until actual proven facts come out.


    It was a risky thing to do (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:58:10 PM EST
    That does not make it a bad decision for a journalist. The payoff of telling a firsthand story of what it is like in N Korea seemed worth it to them. I certainly would like to read that story.

    Maybe they would make a different decision now, or maybe not, but it does not mean the original decision was bad.

    People are imprisoned unjustly all over the world, including this country of course, as we read here every day. Thank god there are people willing to help get them out, no matter who they may be.


    I would even say (none / 0) (#18)
    by brodie on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:17:11 PM EST
    that generally a journalist isn't doing the job in the long run unless some risks -- to life or liberty or holding one's job -- are now and then taken.

    All within reason of course.


    I respect people ... (none / 0) (#58)
    by FreakyBeaky on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 11:46:07 PM EST
    ... that take risks to get information we otherwise would not have.

    That said, I think our idealistic young journalists and hikers ought to take more notice of the fact that their usefulness, real or perceived, to certain regimes puts them in danger.  North Korean and Iranian prisons don't sound like fun.


    I thought it's not (none / 0) (#13)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:08:25 PM EST
    clear that they were in No. Korean space.

    Kept it coming, you right-leaning pundits....becoming more irrelevant daily.

    Rachel Maddow had an item last night based on current polling that indicates that there are very few red states left, i.e., states soldly Republican or leaning Republican; even Texas is 50% Dem and 48% Republican.

    The stats are from Gallup (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:16:12 PM EST
    and IMO not persuasive of anything in particular. Party ID doesn't tell us who people will vote for. Nationally, Republicans have scarcely ever had an ID advantage since the New Deal. But they have still won multiple elections.

    I'm sure the Wingers... (none / 0) (#20)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:31:49 PM EST
    ...felt the exact same way when this was going down.

    While snarky and indignent he does have a point (none / 0) (#31)
    by Slado on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:38:50 PM EST
    what the hell where they doing.

    I would ask the other questions.   Did North Korea actually kidnap these women whoe where close but not over the boarder?  And if that's the case why aren't we mad as hell about it?

    If they did indeed cross the boarder then they acted stupidly.

    Nobody snuck into the Soviet Union during the Cold War.   You got permission to enter and then tried to evade your "handlers" to get the real story.

    Also playing this up as wingnuts gone wild is partisan nonsense.

    It's a valid questions.  What where they doing there?   His use of partisan talking points to take shots at Al Gore is stupid though, I must admit.

    Funny how when progressives use these tactics it's biting commentary.

    If (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:30:04 PM EST
    a citizen of any country we perceived as a threat were to sneak across our border, even stating that they were a "journalist" they'd be detained, and might even be sent to Gitmo indefinitely.  And Democrats would be defending Obama's right to do it -- under the Geneva Conventions, of course.

    When indefinite detention of perceived threateners is okay in this country, the position the Democrats are taking in this situation is pure nationalism.  The reality is that the United States doesn't carry the high road in these matters anymore, thanks to Bush and Obama.

    But I'm glad the women were released.


    They were clear about what they were doing (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:43:31 PM EST
    I'm fine with Bill Clinton going to get them

    I am too (none / 0) (#37)
    by Slado on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:54:39 PM EST
    but why would anyone be offended by someone saying they shouldn't have gone and this should be a lesson to anyone that you shouldn't sneak in to 50's style communist countries?

    Unless of course it's Cuba because they love Americans.


    Pffft (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:00:49 PM EST
    The risk of being arrested never stopped me from doing anything that my higher angels ever wanted to do....I can usually negotiate with my lower angels though because all of their ideas usually get us scratched off of all the rescue lists of any living past Presidents.

    Interesting (none / 0) (#38)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:55:54 PM EST
    I wonder what his take was on this little incident from the early days of the Bush Administration.  I'm guessing the tone was more subtle.

    N.Koran/PRC Border (none / 0) (#59)
    by rea on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:11:59 PM EST
    A little googling will show you that it is far from certain that they were actually over the N. Korea-China border when captured. Little weight ought to be given to their "confessions" while in N. Korean hands.  Part of their trouble may have been that the Chinese were not happy with them for reporting on Chinese treatment of N. Korean refugees.