2007/09/15

Katie Couric & the "big boys"

Y'know, I don't think there's a single progressive blogger who would hold it against a Hollywood figure or a network newsperson who decided, based on the poll numbers, to change their positions on matters like war and peace. That would be fine with us because it would show a respect for the people and the whole concept of democracy.

Katie Couric and CBS News are doing very poorly in the ratings right now. Couric's latest happy, happy, joy, joy experience of riding around in a Humvee with General Petraeus sent the network's ratings sinking even lower than before. Unlike in the push for war in late 2002 - early 2003, there is a bit of a noticeable pushback to the Petraeus-Crocker Report (Really the Bush Administration Report as, even if those two had written their own speeches, the public believes by a slight majority that they simply aren't allowed to voice their true feelings) with bloggers eliciting answers (Not good answers, mind you, but answers) as to why the General's figures didn't add up.

Which makes it very disappointing to see the CBS report "Bush Stays The Course On Iraq." The story talks about Bush's proposal to lower the US force in Iraq from 168,000 to 138,000, but nowhere mentions that these 30,000 troops are going to come back home in any event as troop rotations demand it. The "surge" always had to be a temporary tactic as the Army and Marines are stretched to the breaking point, with troops spending far too much time on the battlefield and not nearly enough time back home recuperating. This is not a obscure point. From the very beginning in November 2006, the "surge" was described as a temporary, short-term measure. Only later did it become a long-term increase (The latest word is that there will be an increase in troops over and above pre-surge levels).

Now, we can all understand why Fred Hiatt supports the war through thick & thin. He supported the war from the beginning and to see it lost would be a crushing blow to his ego. The weight of a million Iraqi deaths would be on his head as well as those of almost 4000 US soldiers and Marines and nearly 30,000 wounded, may of them crippled for life. All of that will have gone for nothing if the war is lost. Hiatt supports the war no matter what.

Why does Katie Couric support it? After all, she moved over from Today long after the Iraq War started. She apparently has nothing to lose by saying it was a lousy idea to begin with. It's hard to say why she supports it. Perhaps she's been a hard-line, right-wing conservative all along, even when she was on Today. Perhaps she's trying to fit in with the "in crowd" or the "big boys." "Hey, if I smoke cigarettes too, the big boys might like me! They'd see that I was cool, too!"

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