August 19, 2003

ED ASNER LINKS SADDAM AND AL QAEDA? That’s what reader Franco Aleman emails:

Was channel surfing this morning during breakfast and landed at Fox News (I’m writing from Spain, but you get it here on satellite). Hannity & Colmes were interviewing Ed Asner, and he said “George Bush always needs an enemy. He gets hit by Osama. He can’t find Osama, so he goes after the guy behind him.” (emphasis added)

Two things:

– It’s as if Osama had hit GWB only, and as if he then started some kind of personal revenge. As if there were no victims in the WTC and the Pentagon attacks, or as if the job of the President of the USA didn’t include to defend the population from terrorism and to strike back against the terrorists and the ones who harbor them.

– He didn’t explicitely use the word “Saddam”, but he couldn’t be referring to anyone else when talking about the guy behind Osama.

I’m quoting by memory but it was such a short and clear sentence that I think that if I’m not 100% accurate, I’m not far from it; neither of the two hosts, in the middle of the lively discussion they were having, apparently got the detail so they didn’t dig further.

Aleman says he emailed to ask for the transcript. I’ll see if I can find it online later.

UPDATE: Reader Karl Stewart emails with a different interpretation:

I think by “behind”, Asner simply meant “next in line behind” Osama, or “next biggest fish” after Osama.

As for Asner’s “He gets hit by Osama” statement, this is just another illustration of an ugliness on the left that should be unspeakable but is not. If not for their extreme hatred of Bush, I think many on the left would support, at least lukewarmly, the war against terrorism, and perhaps even the toppling of Saddam. But Bush angers them more than mass-murder and the threat of same. Ugh. Makes me want to take a long, hot shower.

Hmm. I’d have to see it in context to know which was right. Of course, Franco Aleman did see it in context, and we know how he interpreted it. Anyone else catch this?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Wendy Cook emails:

I tuned in just long enough to catch Asner’s “man behind him” comment. It caught my attention too, but I think Asner did mean something like “the next guy in line.” He couldn’t have meant to link Osama and Saddam since his point was that the war in Iraq was Bush’s attempt to divert attention away from our inability to capture Osama. (See why I lost interest?)

But however one interprets it, both your readers had far more compelling responses to Asner’s clumsy comment than either host, neither of whom challenged the comment at all.

Me, too. But then, I never liked Asner. I did like Lou Grant, though. I guess that’s proof that Asner can act, anyway.

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