Paul From Minneapolis

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

One Further Note Regarding Tim O'Brien

I am going to resist turning this blog into all Strib, all the time.

And yet our local dominant paper's editorial board offers such an entertaining window into the minds and hearts of a certain variety of self-identified smart set.

So, just a quick further note about that piece penned a couple days ago by letters editor Tim O'Brien, the topic of the previous post.

To review, his piece was of the satire category, and suggested some ways the Pope selection process could parallel modern day Karl Rove-dominated American politics. I didn't like it much and so I wrote a letter to Tim, complaining about Tim. Hm. Anyway, this is the particular paragraph I selected to criticize:

Day Four: Another candidate for the papacy, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Austria, is damaged when the Italian TV news magazine "Sessanta Rapporto" claims to have documents proving that from 1970 to 1973, he never showed up for 6 a.m. mass. But he is saved at the last minute by bloggers who prove that the documents were absolutely, positively, without a doubt, possible fakes.

Funny. My letter concerned the 1970-73 dates; if you're curious it's down below. But I'd like also to call attention to that last bit, how the documents were proven to be "absolutely, positively, without a doubt, possible fakes."

That's the topic of this post, that phrasing.

Because: This makes very clear that the letters editor of the Strib is one of those clowns who dog-paddled frantically over to the life preserver offered by the Thornburgh Commission, the internal body that investigated "Memo-gate" for CBS.

As you may recall, after laying out in minutest detail the evidence and testimony weighing against the memos being genuine, the Thornburghers reversed course and delivered a nice, ripe "still, you never know" in the conclusion. All honest people aware of the details were amazed and yet there it was. No one on the Commission had observed the memos being forged, and no one had come forward to confess; so: "Still, you never know. We can't say for sure they were fake, now, can we? Come on. Really. In all sincerity, how could we possibly conclude that and face our spouses and children?"

So I've been frustrated by left-leaning folks who've glommed onto the slippery Thornbugh conclusion and who to this day, with all traces of shame drained from their souls (at least temporarily) manage to proclaim that "we simply don't know if they were real or fake."

But now it bothers me a little less. Remember the Japanese soldiers who would pop out of some cave on Guadalcanal, convinced the war was still raging, only the rest of us had moved on? To, say, the disco craze? That's the role a guy like Tim is playing here. It doesn't make sense to be too irritated.