Yesterday I posted one of three ads featuring Retired Major General John Batiste who “left the Army in protest in order to speak out” against the President’s “failed strategy that is breaking our great Army and Marine Corps” in Iraq. Well, General Batiste has now been fired because of the ad by CBS, for whom he was working as a consultant. He appeared last night on Keith Olbermann (transcript will be here when it becomes available):
I half overheard a surprisingly decent NPR report the other day which dealt with the issue of what’s appropriate for “former generals” to do. While the piece was a bit slanted on the side of “clap louder for tinkerbell” it at least did manage to mention the point that lots of former generals and similar are on the cable networks cheering on the war, so anyone who criticizes former generals speaking up is essentially saying they can only express their opinions in one direction. In addition, while this point wasn’t (IIRC) made explicitly, it essentially makes the whole “former general as cable news commentator” position a farcical one at odds with any claimed journalistic pretension, as they’re only on if they support current policy.
And that point has just been proven.
I’d also just like to point out that CBS did not fire Imus for referring to a women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” until there was a national furor that could not be ignored and advertisers started bailing. Just saying.