A letter to Warren Olney of KCRW Santa Monica's "To the Point" radio program on the PRI network:
Dear to the point--
Wednesday's program was entitled "Using 9-11 Fears to Set National Security Policy." I thought, initially, the discussion would be centered on William Greider's Nation article, which was:
"When President Bush called Americans to enlist in his "war on terror," very few citizens could have grasped the all-encompassing consequences of the proposition. The terrifying events of 9/11 were like a blinding flash, benumbing the country with a sudden knowledge of unimagined dangers.
Strong action was recommended, skeptics were silenced and a shallow sense of unity emerged from the shared vulnerabilities. Nearly three years later, the enormity of Bush's summons to open-ended "war" is more obvious.
It overwhelmed the country, in fact deranged society's normal processes and purposes with a brilliantly seductive political message: Terror pre-empts everything else."
What actually occurred, however, couldn't have been further from the provocative lead in. William Greider got several minutes at the beginning of the show to state his position and then, in his own words, was made the "the liberal foil" for a rambling tirade by an American Enterprise Institute flak and some nobody from the Kerry campaign, who wasn't even really speaking for the campaign.
They were allowed the opportunity to make their political points, ad infinitum, without being made to answer the very valid issues that were raised by Mr.Greider.
Almost 50 minutes into the show; the host gave Mr. Greider a chance to confront his critics; who had spent the entire program talking about the same old warmed over issues that you, Warren, me and everybody else has heard a million times before. (And studiously avoiding the very uncomfortable conclusions Greider was coming to.)
To top it all off, despite his protestations to the contrary, (That he didn't use Greider as a foil), Warren Onley gave the AIE shill and Mr. Nobody a rebuttal, to boot!
I am truly disgusted with this pathetic excuse for a supposed radio program claiming to get to the point on the important issues of the day. The moral cowardice displayed by the producers and host of the show is truly distressing.
Please review the description of the topic of the show and compare it to the actual broadcast and tell me what relation it had to the very real and thoughtful issues William Greider has brought to the table.
What a wasted opportunity to debate very serious issues that no one will touch in the "liberal media."
And what a waste of my valuable time.
We tried to relate Greider's brilliant analysis to the political campaign--and particularly the question of whether Kerry offers an alternative to Bush--since the election will provide an opportunity for voters to act on the issues Greider raises. Not all our listeners already know everything there is to know about other points of view.
As Greider pointed out, many conservatives agree with his basic point about the political use of the war on terror--including William Arkin, one of our other guests. Unfortunately, Arkin chose to ignore their agreement and referred to Greider as a "leftist," which offended Greider. Apparently, that's all you were able to hear.
[Well, you listen to the program and you tell me:]