MINNEAPOLIS – During this whirlwind book tour, I’ve had trouble keeping up with the minute-to-minute trajectory of television’s political debate. However, I didn’t know that it is now considered out of bounds to talk about John McCain’s support for staying in Iraq for 100 years. Watch this clip of me debating GOP hack Terry Holt on Fox News late last week to see what I’m talking about:
You’ll notice that Fox News anchor Megan Kelly interrupts me when I mention that McCain has said he is OK with having America stay in Iraq for 100 years. She says that’s taken "out of context" and that I’m spinning, while Holt chuckles. Have I missed something here? Are we now no long allowed to talk about McCain’s statements on Iraq?
Here’s the video of McCain saying he doesn’t mind if American troops are in Iraq for 100 years. Here’s CNN’s report of McCain defending that statement. Here’s the video of McCain doubling down, saying that in fact he’s OK with America being in Iraq for 10,000 years.
Yet, somehow, mentioning this is billed as unfair by the media, and laughed at by Republican strategists.
Admittedly, this is an interchange on Fox News, which leans Right in its coverage. But still – it seems absurd for any media to bat down a relevant discussion about McCain’s incredibly extreme position on the most important national security issue we face.
Let me be clear: I appreciate Fox asking me on to discuss politics and my book – I really do. For all of us trying to get out a progressive message, we need to take the media opportunities as they come – especially when much of the traditional "liberal" media blatantly ignores progressive voices in favor of promoting the same old Serious Voices from Washington.And I think an interchange like this is a good one to have – even if I’m being berated as "spinning" by mentioning the undebatable facts of what John McCain has repeatedly said.
As THE UPRISING shows, there is a very powerful uprising on in this country – it is about a backlash to things like the war, and about a backlash to an media/political Establishment that tries to crush debate on major issues. The more that backlash gets a hearing through media interchanges like this, the more that backlash will intensify – and the closer our uprising will be to achieving real change.