The Clerisy Did Its Job Yesterday
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg
In particular, a bipartisan, yet also non-partisan, group of experts would be a useful thing to have on hand if, for example, both the President of the United States and a leading Republican candidate for President were to endorse a lunatic revisionist view of the Vietnam War. Members of this clerisy, Democrat and Republican alike, could set the country straight on the facts. Then I was going to observe that the clerisy we have has done no such thing and has, in fact, stayed utterly silent on this small question that happens to rest at the center of the Bush administration's justification of its policies.
In fact, that's exactly what they did. Ten minutes after the President's speech ended yesterday 40 reporters from many of the key mainstream media outlets got on a press call sponsored by the National Security Network with with General John Johns, General Robert Gard, Rand Beers, Larry Korb and Steven Simon (Of the hated Council on Foreign Relations). For over an hour these experts took the time to explain to the press why the President's comparison to Vietnam was bull.
Afterward a press release with a summary of their comments went out to reporters and editorial boards across the country. The comments were all over the MSM yesterday as the main response to the President's speech. See AP, WSJ, NY Times, to name just a few. Try google news on any one these five guys and you will find that just about every major media outlet had a quote from them in the Bush's speech story saying how the President's Vietnam analogy was wrong.
These stories don't write themselves. There is a reason the speech got trashed yesterday by the media and the clerisy had a great deal to do with that.
I'm not saying the clerisy is always right. There are many problems. But in this case they did exactly what they were supposed to do and exactly what Matt asked of them.
Update: A nice response from Matt.