Wednesday, April 13, 2005

World-Herald's False "Modesty"

by Kyle Michaelis
What will they think up next, folks? One's really gotta' hand it to the Omaha World-Herald for the ingenious ways they think to twist every editorial, no matter its subject matter, to fit their self-serving political viewpoint. Today, in a rant against celebrity book deals (it's not as if there's been mass killing in Iraq, the Congo and Sudan after all), the OWH wrote:
These days, anyone can cash in on a role, no matter how insignificant, in the latest scandal or criminal trial and tell his or her whole life story, no matter how boring.

The ridiculousness of book deals range from "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch to Amber Frey, mistress of Scott Peterson, to Monica Lewinsky....

Mary Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, is set to release a memoir next year on being a political target for the other side....Cheney's book, of which her sexual identity will be a major part, is supposed to reach out to conservatives, liberals and gays alike. Perhaps she'll be able to rise above the circus that many book deals have become and offer something thought-provoking and real.

Though that may not matter much, because it's drearily clear that the days of restraint, humility and shame are long gone.
The days of shame are indeed gone when spin like this passes for respectable commentary. How dare the World-Herald assert that Mary Cheney was a political target of the Democrats? Who are they kidding? This in an election year when the Republican Party used anti-gay rhetoric and legislation to prop their candidates up across the country.

John Kerry and John Edwards, in referring to Mary Cheney's being a lesbian in their respective debates, were - if anything - standing up for her and her rights in the face of so much Republican hypocrisy.

It may have seemed awkward in the moment, and some might even say her mention in the debates was exploitative, but the target painted on Mary Cheney and every homosexual in this country was put on them not by Democrats but by Papa Cheney, Bush, Karl Rove, and their radical pseudo-Christian partners from the farthest reaches of the Republican Right. How sick and twisted to claim to be pro-family while dismissing the obvious fact that homosexuals are as much our brothers, sisters, children, and parents as anyone.

Kerry and Edwards humanized Mary Cheney - they said she shouldn't be a target of discrimination. In doing so, yes, they reminded the world that she exists. For this supposed crime, they were called "not nice men" by Cheney's own mother. "Not nice men" for treating her daughter like a human being - I ask where the real exploitation of a situation is in a statement like that?

If anything could be hoped from this memoir, it would be an honest account of just what it feels like to be betrayed and abandoned each day on the campaign trail by ones own mother and father when he is one of the most powerful men in the world. Alas, that's more honesty that we could ever expect from this shrewd political operative who knows the stakes as well as anyone.

No, Mary Cheney's canned memoir probably will reflect the Omaha World-Herald's deceitful expectation of misdirection and Democratic demonizing almost perfectly. The difference is that she's the daughter of a life-long political hack and is just remaining loyal to family. What's the World-Herald's excuse?


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