Of course, I was being intentionally provocative when I commented on Saddam Hussein’s hanging by posting a picture of Saddam shaking hands with Donald Rumsfeld, followed by the simple caption: “Hmm. One war criminal down.” That so many readers chose to infer “one to go…” is out of my control, though surely understandable given the historic context.
What I found a tad surprising though is the earnestness in which some on the right are determined to use Saddam’s execution as an opportunity portray their political opponents as allies of the brutal dictator. And the vehemence in which they have attempted to go personal. For example, over on the local right-wing Drudge-clone Orbusmax, my post was featured under the following headline: ‘PROGRESSIVE’ 710 KIRO TALKSHOW HOST ON RUMSFELD: “Hmm. One war criminal down…”
Of course, that’s intentionally misleading. Saddam Hussein was the only war criminal executed yesterday, so of course my caption was referring to him, not Rumsfeld. As far as I know, Rumsfeld is still breathing, so could not possible be “down,” and besides, I never once described him as a war criminal. Still, it’s a catchy headline, so thanks for driving some traffic my way Orb.
But notice, that though I have made my mark as a liberal blogger, and the post in question appeared here on HA, that Orb chose to describe me as “710 KIRO TALKSHOW HOST.” I assume it’s not because he wants to promote my radio career. And it wouldn’t be the first time that some on the right have attempted to generate outrage over something or other that I have written or said in the hope that it might convince KIRO to take me off the air.
I find it flattering. And revealing. And in any case, futile.
KIRO knew full well what they were getting when they gave me a shot back in June, and as far as I know they have no plans to dump me. I’m still a relative novice and have tons to learn about the medium — and I don’t yet feel that I have completely found my on-air voice — but KIRO seems to be giving me every chance to succeed. And if in fact my blog creates the occasional controversy, then all the better. Advertisers don’t really care if the audience likes me or not, as long as they’re tuning in and hanging on through the commercials.
So for those of you angry righties who just discovered HA through Orb’s courteous link, I invite you to tune in to 710-KIRO tonight from 7 to 10PM, when I will surely have more to say on Saddam’s execution. And if you don’t like what I have to say, then give me a call at 877-710-KIRO and tell me to my face.