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September 26, 2004

An Unidentified Female Producer for Dan Rather: "Who's to Say that Palestinian Terror-Bombings Are Wrong?"

MSL points me to this very relevant article from 2002, in which a female producer for Dan Rather expresses her, ahem, latitudinarian views on Palestinian mass-murder.

Is this Mary Mapes? The article doesn't say, and it seems likely that Dan Rather has more than one female producer working for him/with him, even on Middle Eastern stories. If it's not Mary Mapes, well then fine-- Dan Rather has two, rather than one, hardcore leftist producer working on his stories for him.

How's that for diversity in the newsroom?

Either way, it's an interesting window into the sort of thinking going on over at CBS News:

After Dan Rather left, I spent some time with his producer, discussing her viewpoints of what was currently happening in Israel. After seeing the tone of her news segment, I was concerned. I began to question her about accuracy in reporting.

Her answer was even more shocking than what I had already observed. "The thing is," she told me, "it is impossible to be objective in this situation. The fact is that there is no objective truth -- neither side is right or wrong."

"Wait a minute," I asked her. "When a Palestinian straps on a belt of dynamite lined with nails and walks into a pizza shop, blowing up innocent people, that wouldn't be objectively wrong?"

"Of course I would think that is wrong," she answered me. "But the Palestinians believe this is a legitimate form of warfare. And they would say the Israelis are doing the same to them by killing innocent civilians when they retaliate militarily. Who am I to say what is right or wrong? Who am I to say that the Palestinians are wrong in their beliefs?"

"But don't you think there's a difference between a person blowing himself up in a restaurant, and a military that responds by searching for and killing terrorists. Granted that innocent civilians are killed in both circumstances -- but in one situation the innocents are targeted, and in the other situation they are regrettably caught in the line of fire?"

"Well, that's a very Western way of looking at things. You see I'm Christian and American. I see things the way you do as an Israeli -- we have the same moral framework. But the Arabs view things differently, and who's to say that we're right and they're wrong?"

At this point we both realized we weren't going to get any further in the conversation, and we politely thanked each other and parted ways.

I've said this before and I'll say this again: Leftists resort to the superficially-neutral-sounding "Who are we to judge?" posture when they actually support something, but dare not admit that.

For it is simply not true that Mapes, Rather, et al. cannot "judge." They would not argue, for example, that we cannot condemn a Ku Klux Klan race-murderer due to the fact that, from the KKK killer's point of view, what he's doing is defensible or righteous. In situations in which the leftist philosophy agrees with common-sesne morality, they do not resort to "Who are we to judge?" chin-stroking. The call a racist killer a racist killer.

But when the racist killers are a group for whom the left has political sympathy, suddenly their moral machinery is entirely disengaged and they can't quite make the difficult determination that blowing up Jewish schoolgirls on a bus is quote-unquote "wrong."

This is a rhetorical dodge of the most transparent sort. If someone really was committed -- in all situations -- to never calling politically-inspired killings wrong, then we might say that person was consistent and principled, if nonjudgemental to the point of monstrous immorality.

But the left isn't so committed. They're willing to say that certain sorts of political murder are wrong; they're just not willing to say that Muslim terrorist murders are wrong. They should be asked, point-blank, what it is precisely that differentiates a KKK killing from a Palestinian terror-bombing such that the former is unambiguously wrong but the latter is defensible.

Update: Allah thinks it's important to note that the article is from 2002. I actually didn't check, and I don't know how relevant that is; I don't think the baseline assumptions of CBS News producers have suddenly tacked sharply to the right since 2002. Nevertheless, I have edited to note the year in which the article was published.

I hope Allah does not plan to continue these partisan political operative assaults on me.

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posted by Ace at 07:08 PM

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