Like a lot of people, I was glued to the tube Friday for the latest news on the atrocity in Aurora. In a depraved sort of way, I was somewhat relieved to see the corporate media covering actual news and debating substantive issues for a change, rather than the latest gaffes and attacks in the presidential horserace. I was somewhat impressed when the campaigns announced they'd be pulling their ads out of respect for the victims.
Only, that was a lie.
After almost every CNN scene of tears, anguish and anger came the usual:
"I'm Barack Obama, and I approved this message. 'God bless Ame-e--e-rica'......"
This ad is already being lauded as the most effective attack ad ever in the history of presidential politics. Better than the iconic "Daisy" commercial. More hard-hitting than Michael Dukakis in a tank.
And it's being run over, and over, and over again. On CNN, I counted seven times in one hour. On the day of the worst shooting attack in American history, when all the attack ads were supposedly being pulled.
I guess I heard wrong. The ad blackout would only be effective in the one square mile radius surrounding Aurora, Col. And since Colorado is a battleground state, look for the same old politics as usual to return soon to a TV screen near you. Hurry up and bury your dead so the horserace can continue, so the fundraisers can rake in the cash, so the NRA can skip the phony condolences and forge ahead with its quest to arm every man, woman and child with an assault rifle while it writes more laws to making it easier to buy a gun than it is to register to vote.
President Obama needn't have bothered to order flags lowered to half-staff. All he needed to do was replace the American flag with a white flag, signalling total surrender to right wing nutjobs and the shadow government known as the National Rifle Association.
There's been some fantastic writing in the aftermath of this most recent act of domestic terrorism:
Brady Campaign Director President Dan Gross tells Obama that we don't need his phony sympathy.
Roger Ebert says our gun laws are just as insane as the craziest shooter and that nothing will likely change just because a dozen more innocents lost their lives yesterday.
Gail Collins writes about the long hard slog of the loyal opposition -- the tiny groups of activists who quixotically never quit striving for justice in the face of the all-powerful gun lobby. Accompanied by some fine readers' comments as well as those from the usual suspects equating gun ownership with freedom.
The New York Daily News showcases its editorial in a front-page banner headline: "Colombine, Virginia Tech and now Aurora: How Many More Must Die, Mr. President?"
And E.J. Dionne Jr. calls bullshit on the political canard that talking about gun control so soon after the latest atrocity is somehow disrespecting the victims.