I was a bit taken a back, just moments before I went on the show, to hear that John DePetro wasn't really talking about whether or not John Kerry should apologize. The merits of that discussion are sound either way - it's an honest discussion. No, that wasn't what DePetro was talking about. Instead, the fact that Kerry should apologize is assumed. The discussion is if Kerry should resign! I admit, I couldn't contain myself: I laughed at just how crazy DePetro was and then knew exactly what I was getting myself into. Then I went on air.
I'm not even going to go into the "discussion" on the show. First off, I was contacted by John's producer to give DePetro a Mass lefty blogger's perspective. I figured we'd talk somewhat rationally for a short segment and have ourselves a little debate - from the context of the lefty blogosphere. I prepared a few notes on what John Kerry actually meant to say, why Republicans were jumping on it (they're desperate for a distraction) and how the Herald's headline article was, to put it mildly, crazy.
Well, John's producer (Bill Cooksee) didn't say I'd be introduced as "Ryan from Dartmouth" (instead of Ryan, a liberal blogger, or something like that) and be hung up on in ... oh, I don't know, a minute or so into the phone call. I wasn't being rude or defensive (though John was) - I was just pointing out that John Kerry meant to make fun of the President, but gaffed the joke. You all know, the truth.
However, I found it ironic that the show's promo kept using Jack Nicholson's lines from "A Few Good Men." You know the ones:
Great quotes, all of them. However, the quotes were coming from a character who ordered the murder of a trooper. They came from a character who, it is implied, ends up in prison or at least disgraced and removed from the military. There was quote after quote after quote - and I just kept laughing. John DePetro has a taste for irony, doesn't he?
"We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline."
"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth."
"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it."
The crux of it all - the ultimate irony - is the fact that he quickly hung up on the only one who disagreed with him. His show, catering to the yes-men of the country, couldn't dig up anyone to challenge their point of view, so he had to go out and find someone. Then, when he actually found someone to come on, he misrepresented the role that guest would play. Then, when that guest came on - specifically brought on to turn the chorus into a debate - he was quickly hung up on after providing reasonable facts and arguments.
So, where's the irony? It's exactly the same thing John Kerry meant to talk about. There's a serious lack of intellectual curiosity going on in the Bush administration and right-wing circles. When people say things in President Bush's administration and he doesn't like it, they're fired and publicly tarred and feathered. Later, they become the butt of President Bush's jokes and are disgraced by his administration (see Powell, etc.). If that's not the exact reason that we invaded Iraq prematurely and could never right the course, I don't know what is. In fact, I don't think I can put it any better than John Kerry himself:
If you're intellectually lazy... you end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq
Memo to DePetro: Kerry did apologize. You said on air he didn't - I hope you'll make that correction tomorrow.