Man, you give those mirror-lickers at Power Line one lousy "Blog of the Year" award and all of a sudden they're strutting around like they run the world or something. First they declare this year's Pulitzer Prize winner for editorial cartooning too mean and nasty for their delicate little pro-Bush sensibilities, and then they declare the prize winners for news photography don't meet their rigorous standards either -- not only that, but compare the photographers themselves to "felony murder[ers]."
As Attytood points out (link via Atrios), beef with the Pulitzer-winning photos/photographers has certainly become the right wing's whine of the day. And yes, it's every bit as stupid and petty as you'd think. Like Power Line, Michelle "Immigration for Me But Not for Thee" Malkin advances the execrable slander that AP photographers somehow colluded with Iraqi insurgents to murder two election workers so the photogs could get a suitably shocking photo. "Riding Sun" ratchets up the whining from "Shrill" to "Even Shriller," grousing that none of the photos made American soldiers look heroic but rather made them look "overwhelmed and uncertain." Goodness, no! As opposed to underwhelmed and overly certain? Whatever will we tell the children?
I'll leave out the whole rant about heroic, overwhelmed, and uncertain all being in the eye of the beholder and instead just invite you to judge for yourself. But really, when I read right-wingers complaining about a picture of an American soldier taking someone prisoner, I have to ask, just what exactly the fuck do people like Riding Sun think is going on over there, anyway? Why is the thought that we might actually be taking prisoners over there so shocking and shameful? I mean, these bloggers spend practically every waking moment calling for as many Iraqis to be thrown in jail as humanly possible, but when a picture pops up of someone doing that, they get their panties in a bunch over it?
And who made Riding Sun (or Malkin, or Power Line) the sole arbiter of what constitutes "heroic," anyway? When I look at either of these pictures, f'rinstance . . .
. . . I see a group of incredibly heroic, fearless sons of a gun (or perhaps many guns). They're dirty, they're tired, and they're most likely scared, but you know what? War is dirty, tiring, and scary. These guys knew that, and they said "Send me anyway" -- something I have yet to hear from Riding Sun, the Power Line guys, or any of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders, for that matter. Perhaps the reason the 101st doesn't see any of this as heroic is because they've been conditioned to only see heroism when the Bush administration commissions some staged-ass picture of a Saddam statue being toppled by a mob of handpicked Iraqis. It's so much easier when someone concocts the image out of whole cloth with all the apropriate symbols so that you know exactly how to react without even thinking, isn't it? Maybe that's why these knobs see "heroism" when George W. Bush borrows a flight suit and makes an aircraft carrier pull a Louie in the middle of the ocean just so he can land on it, but not when a sweaty, dirty, and courageous American soldier braves explosions and gunfire to do his freakin' job.
And now that I think about it, how do Riding Sun or any of his neocon pals know this isn't the real Iraq? Have they ever set foot in the place? I'm gonna guess a big fat no on that one. Their only "arguments" (if they can be called that) that these photos are inaccurate and therefore un-American are based entirely on two things -- their near-pathological mistrust of all things "media," and their blind faith in the Bush administration's promises that our soldiers would be met in Iraq by nothing more dangerous than rose petals and Hershey bars, and that apple-cheeked Iraqi children with gumdrop smiles would welcome them into Baghdad with a rousing chorus of "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing." So of course nothing even remotely unpleasant-looking can be permitted to pierce their bubbles of obliviousness -- and if anything does, well, they're makin' me saaaad, and anybody who'd want to make me that unhappy must be fighting on the side of al-Qaeda!
So my advice for the 101st Fighting Keyboarders, as it so often does, boils down to two choices: Enlist, or cram it. Either go to Iraq yourself and find out conclusively whether life is as the AP photographers have portrayed it, or stay here in your comfortable homes and comfortable blogs and enjoy a tall refreshing glass of Shut The Fuck Up. Otherwise you sound like one of those whiny five-year-olds who has never tried pasta primavera before but somehow just knows he hates it. And heaven knows we can't have our right-wing pundits sounding that immature -- it would just be unheard of.
Added: You want more, oh yes you do. And you want it from The Dead Parrot Society and Greg Mitchell.