Taking Things Literally


And Joe Wilson has no right to complain.� And I think people like Tim Russert and the others, who gave this guy such a free ride and all the media, they’re the ones to be shot, not Karl Rove.

Really? They should be shot? No, surely he was just kidding. Surely he was speaking metaphorically. Surely he didn’t mean anything like this:

MOSCOW, July 9 — Paul Klebnikov, an American journalist for Forbes magazine who investigated the murky dealings of tycoons and gangland figures in the new Russia, was shot and killed Friday night by unknown assailants, according to Russian news agencies.

Klebnikov, 41, was shot four times near his office about 10 p.m. and died in an ambulance summoned to the scene, the Interfax news agency reported. Echo Moskvy radio said police found shell casings from two handguns, indicating that there were at least two attackers.

I wish this was the only story I could find in recent days that referenced the murder of journalists. I wish it was, but it wasn’t. This shit isn’t funny and it isn’t a game and it gets a whole lot less hypothetical the day you get a phone call telling you somebody you know was pumped full of holes. It gets a whole lot less amusing the day you open the paper and realize a sweet funny kid you went out drinking with is in Iraq right now going through God knows what kind of hell trying to do what she’s wanted to do since she was able to walk: tell stories to people who need to hear them. It gets a whole lot less cute when one of your college heroes, a guy you looked up to and idolized, who they told you stories about in class and who you wanted to be just like when you got out, had a bullet go through one side of him and out the other.

King thinks threatening violence against those who practice a service (and make no mistake, it is a service, and to the best it’s a calling) in a free society is some kind of funny clever thing to say on televison. King thinks this because he and his fellow ten-a-penny fascisti hate journalism and they hate journalists the same way they hate universities and professors, the same way they hate scientists. They hate anybody who can stand up to them and say no, no you’re wrong and I can prove it. They fight to discredit journalists the same way they fight to discredit anyone who does honest research in the reality-based community.

As Charlie Madigan said a few days ago:

In a democracy based on the thought that an informed electorate will make wise decisions, someone has to point out all of these unpleasant things, just so you know what your government is up to. I know, it’s not happy to hear it. It’s not patriotic either. It is just truth building up over time and playing out in context. If you really long for flag-waving news, go to a parade.

If Rep. King is planning a vacation anytime soon, I’ve got a spot I think he should visit. It might give him some idea of the consequences of his words. It might give him some idea of the faces behind the deaths he so blithely wishes would occur so that his beautiful mind might not be troubled with allegations of treason. It might convince him to shut the ever loving hell up, because he has exquisitely no clue what he’s talking about. At all.