Our buddy, Cenk Ugyur of The Young Turks appeared on CNN's Headline News yesterday to defend Wes Clark's statement about John McCain's experience with the brave Ben Ferguson, who never saw a conflict he was afraid to send other people's sons to. The purposeful and obtuse willingness on the part of CNN/HLN's Mike Galanos to further the narrative started by his colleague Rick Sanchez that Clark was "swiftboating" McCain by questioning his experience, his patriotism and his sacrifice as a veteran and POW is stunning. There's not even an attempt to see it from the other side. Note even the chyron headline is that Clark is questioning McCain's "service," a shorthand that spins it in a far more malevolent way.
Cenk does what I think all of us have to do when confronted with this kind of illogical and intractable meme, especially when you're outmanned by both the pearl-clutching media host and the indignant conservative "balance": he laughs at it.
FERGUSON: You have a man that was shot down, stayed in captivity as a POW for five years and your guy-if you want to talk about experience-had 147 days in the Senate before he decided he wanted to be President of the United States of America. So it's pretty dumb for Wesley Clark to go out there and yes, it ticked off everyone in the military because this man-I mean, I'm sorry, being shot down, to say that doesn't qualify you to be President-this man has been around war, been in actual war zones while Wesley Clark was sitting in an air-conditioned room, telling people what to do with NATO, so I don't know if he's exactly the right guy to go out there.
It ticked off everyone in the military? Really? Care to back that up, big man? And what's with the disrespect of Clark's service? A retired general who spent his career in command doesn't merit the respect you demand for a pilot? Was he in an air-conditioned room during Vietnam? Bosnia? Not so much. Maybe little radio talk show hosts sitting in the comfort of their air-conditioned studios might want to think twice before castigating any military man for his service.
UPDATE: Cenk reminds me that there was a second part to the segment after the commercial break and you can see both parts here. Cenk got in some good digs too.