After each statement he challenged us to guess "Who said that?"
Well, let's play Simon's game with Simon's [and a different President's] own words. We'll go back to October of 2001.
For the first speaker, imagine a well meaning, gentle, oh-so sincere, sensitive man-voice reading:
"Today we focus on Afghanistan, but the battle is broader. Every nation has a choice to make. In this conflict, there is no neutral ground....We're a peaceful nation. Yet, as we have learned, so suddenly and so tragically, there can be no peace in a world of sudden terror....We defend not only our precious freedoms, but also the freedom of people everywhere to live and raise their children free from fear....Today, those sacrifices are being made by members of our armed forces who now defend us so far from home."For the second, imagine a clipped, faux-Texas, folksy, tough guy macho voice saying,
"In confronting the forces that attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, American pacifists have no sane alternative now but to support war....People who try to hold certain American policies or culture responsible are trying to decorate the crimes of psychotics with synthetic political significance....But those...who have been pacifists must admit that it has been [their] blessing to live in a nation in which other citizens have been willing to risk their lives to defend [their] dissent....Only American (and British) power can stop more killing..."So, who do you think was the speaker of the first? Your choices are either Scott Simon or George W. Bush. And what about the second speech - Bush or Simon? It's hard to tell, isn't it? The first is Bush announcing the US assault on Afghanistan in October of 2001 and the second is Scott Simon justifying that same war in the Wall Street Journal.
Simon ends this morning's piece with the usual smug, self-congratulatory bit of moralizing:
"It makes it a bit harder, but more important, to do real journalism and sometimes tell an audience, 'We know what you think you know. But listen to this.'" Real journalism...yeah, listen to this...