It’s the flip side of legends and myths: In our last post, we noted that much of what we accept as fact and news is really legend and myth.
Last night, on Moyers and Company, we watched Nick Turse describe the flip side of this type of pseudo-news. This is the way the Moyers site blurbs the segment with Turse:
MOYERS AND COMPANY: Journalist Nick Turse describes his personal mission to compile a complete and compelling account of the Vietnam War’s horror as experienced by all sides, including innocent civilians who were sucked into its violent vortex.We were struck by Turse’s use of that term—forbidden histories. Forbidden histories are the flip side of those journalistic legends and facts.
Turse, who devoted 12 years to tracking down the true story of Vietnam, unlocked secret troves of documents, interviewed officials and veterans—including many accused of war atrocities—and traveled throughout the Vietnamese countryside talking with eyewitnesses to create his book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.
“American culture has never fully come to grips with Vietnam,” Turse tells Bill, referring to “hidden and forbidden histories that just haven’t been fully engaged.”
We strongly recommend watching this interview. We offer a few meta-points:
Early in the segment, John Kerry is shown in his famous congressional testimony from the 1970s—testimony in which he told the “forbidden history” of Vietnam, the history Turse is telling. “All these years later,” Moyers notes, Turse’s book confirms the things Kerry described when he was still a young man.
Note: The history Kerry told that day was plainly forbidden. You weren’t encouraged to hear it or know it. According to Moyers, Turse has done twelve years of background work on this forbidden matter.
It’s interesting that Kerry is involved in this forbidden history, because he also played a starring role in the string of legends and myths which began in 1987, a year when our political journalism changed.
In 1987, the mainstream press corps initiated its long, inane, disgraceful war against a string of Democratic White House candidates. They took down Biden and Hart in that cycle, tried hard to take down Gore. (During that cycle, we got many phone calls from the journalists who were chasing Gore.)
In 1992, they invented the Whitewater pseudo-scandals concerning Clinton and Clinton. In 1999 and 2000, they invented all sorts of myths and legends about Candidate Gore.
(We know of no Republican candidate who got this kind of treatment during this period. They invented many myths and legends about Candidate McCain, but those myths and legends were flattering.)
In 2004, we got the swift-boating of Candidate Kerry, though that was not fundamentally a press corps event. In 2007, the press corps went hard after Candidate Hillary Clinton. This twenty-year string of myths and legends only ended with Obama’s nomination, which sent thrills up their legs.
During those years, you were told many things which were untrue or inane about major Democrats. Other stories were, and still are, forbidden. For ourselves, we spent years researching and presenting the forbidden history of Campaign 2000—but even after all the documentation we have offered, the career liberal world still refuses to go there, and they never will.
Before that time, Gene Lyons’ Fools for Scandal had been disappeared. The people we fawn to as liberal leaders refuse to tell these histories.
These historie are plainly forbidden. This brings us up to the present:
Paul Krugman keeps telling a forbidden story, although he doesn’t seem to see that his story is forbidden—that no matter how many times he tells it, it will be completely ignored. (And mocked.) According to Moyers, Turse has done the legwork on a forbidden history from forty-five years ago.
As we watched the program, Turse seemed very sharp to us. We strongly recommend the segment, look forward to reading the book.
That said, Turse’s story will still be forbidden. Career liberals will agree not to care. They won’t discuss the larger sea within which Turse’s book swims.
Dearest darlings, it just isn't done! Careers hang in the balance!
Additional note: For distraction and amusement, you’re encouraged to watch as they churn pleasing legends about Mrs. Parks. This is the way our “press corps” works.
We liberals are very much part of it.