Gaze on your broken world: We once saw Tom Brokaw live and in person. We’re fairly sure it was Inaugural Day 2001. (It may have been Inaugural Day 2005.)
We saw him walk into a makeshift studio in DC surrounded by a small entourage. We noticed that he seemed to be wearing extremely nice clothes.
Money and fame will do that for a person. But what can those attributes do to a person?
We got our answer Monday morning, when Brokaw made a gruesome appearance on Morning Joe. To watch the whole segment, click here.
Four days earlier, ABC News had released twelve versions of the talking points which guided Susan Rice on the Sunday programs of September 16, 2012.
Thanks to ABC’s release, it was now perfectly clear why Rice said some of the things she said on those now-famous programs.
No one had to speculate about where her statements came from. But on Morning Joe, it was abundantly clear that Brokaw didn’t have the slightest idea what those various talking-points said. He also didn’t seem to know what Rice had said on those Sunday programs.
We discussed Brokaw’s gruesome performance in today’s first post. We have transcribed his fuller statement to show you the shape of your deeply fallen “journalistic” world.
At the start of this pitiful tape, Joe Scarborough goes on an uninformed rant about Rice’s statements on those Sunday programs.
This is what Brokaw said in reply. Gaze on the shape of your culture:
BROKAW (5/13/13): That’s the part that is still inexplicable to me...We wanted to create a record of what Brokaw said. Again, a few basic points:
You cannot explain away Susan Rice's performance on those Sunday talk shows in which she said it was not a terrorist attack, it grew out of a domestic demonstration of some kind. She completely underplayed it and rewrote the script with the help of someone—I think we deserve to know who that is. Because that’s what the American public really finally tuned into, it was the first public response, and we have not had any kind of an adequate explanation from the White House or anybody in the administration about why she was allowed to say what she did. Did flags go off in her own mind? I mean, she’s a sophisticated diplomat. Did she go down and say, “Wait a minute?” But nonetheless, she went on all those shows and, in a very emphatic way, said it was not a terrorist attack, this grew out of a demonstration, it was spontaneous. That turned out not to be true whatsoever.
First point: Susan Rice never said that Benghazi was not a terrorist attack. That simply never happened. She said the attack had been carried out by “extremists with heavy weapons” who arrived at the scene of a demonstration and proceeded to “hijack events.” Again, we’ll show you what she said when Bob Schieffer posed a further question:
SCHIEFFER (9/16/12): Do you agree or disagree with [the Libyan president] that al Qaeda had some part in this?In that exchange, Rice said the extremists who staged the attack might have been “al Qaeda itself!” And yet, Brokaw somehow believes that she said that this was not a terrorist attack. He even believes she made this claim “in a very emphatic way!”
RICE: Well, we’ll have to find out that out. I mean, I think it’s clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself, I think is one of the things we’ll have to determine.
Has Brokaw ever read the transcripts of what Rice said that day? The evidence suggests he has not. Such malfeasance would be nothing knew for the great men of our “press corps,” of course.
Second point: Last Friday, one fact became clear beyond any doubt. Why did Rice say the attack on Benghazi “grew out of a spontaneous demonstration” in some sense? (That isn’t what she actually said, but it’s close enough for now.) Duh. She said that because that’s what the CIA said it believed, right from its first set of talking-points, compiled on September 14.
As of last Friday, there was no longer any mystery about this particular matter. But three days later, Brokaw seemed to have no idea that this point had been settled. He still seemed to think that Rice’s statement was inexplicable—that she had “rewritten the script with the help of someone” on this particular point.
That was an ugly claim for a great man like Brokaw to make. Question: Has Brokaw ever looked at the talking points which were released last Friday? From what he said on Morning Joe, it seems that he has not.
Brokaw doesn’t seem to know what Rice said on those Sunday programs. Beyond that, he doesn’t seem to know what the release of the talking-points revealed.
From Brokaw’s pitiful effort, we gain a basic understanding of the tiny role played by facts in our ridiculous world.
Why was Brokaw still so clueless as of Monday morning? Easy! People like Brokaw rarely work from facts! He was still reciting a press corps novel, a novel he hears at cocktail parties and when he asks one of his aides to turn on his TV.
According to this familiar novel, Rice said it wasn’t a terrorist attack—and the CIA’s accurate claims were changed by politicized agencies.
Broken knew the novel by heart; he just didn’t seem to know any facts. He didn’t know what Rice had said in her basic presentation. He didn’t know what Rice had said when Schieffer asked about al Qaeda.
He didn’t know that her reference to the spontaneous demonstration had come from the CIA itself. He seemed to assume that Rice invented that claim with the help of somebody else.
In a moral world, people would want Brokaw’s scalp. Decent people would spit in the street when a person like Brokaw walked by.
But Brokaw has been like this for a very long time, as we have meticulously documented. (In our work, this dates back to his astonishing comments immediately after Candidate Gore’s acceptance speech at the Democratic convention.) Unfortunately, the children who go on TV to pose as our leaders will never tell you about this.
They’re stuffing big sacks of cash in their pants, just as Brokaw did.
Facts play almost no role in our journalistic world! That world is driven by novels. We’ve told you this again and again. This famous stuffed shirt is quite well-dressed, and he helps prove this point.
Rachel and Lawrence will never tell you! Tomorrow, we'll review what the children said Monday night when they discussed Benghazi.