Washington Post TV Critic Compares Bush Speech To "Very Bad" Wizard of Oz

Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales surfaces this morning to offer his critical take on the president's speech and beaches himself on another failed attempt to provide TV criticism instead of political criticism. For example, he tries to put his Bush-bashing jokes in the mouths of others. On the Sunday night at 9 PM air time, Shales quipped: "Watch for one wag or another to say that 'Desperate Housewives' followed 'Desperate President.'" After a whole review trying not to completely lose his skimpy veil of objectivity, he lets it all hang out at the end:

Over on the smaller networks that have no news departments, regular programming continued without interruption, since the president's speech was not aired. The WB happened to be showing "The Wizard of Oz," which once aired opposite a speech by Ronald Reagan. Mrs. Reagan later said she enjoyed published comments comparing the president to the wizard. Bush seems less likely to be likened to Oz except to the extent that the wizard is at one point denounced as "a humbug." Moments later, told he is "a very bad man," the great and powerful Oz says, "Oh no, my dear, I'm a very good man. I'm just a very bad wizard."

But Shales doesn't think blowhard Dan Rather accusing George Bush of the grave offense of missing a flight physical isn't an example of a very bad wizard, full of humbug. Shales also strained to imagine, hmm, how Bush "critics" (not "liberals") might respond to Bush's claims:

Bush's critics will find plenty to pick on, as when Bush warned of the consequences should terrorists gain control of the Iraqi government. In such cases, he warned, "all dissent is crushed," but skeptics could be expected to predict the same thing could happen in this country if Bush's draconian Patriot Act is extended according to his wishes. Bush also made sure to mention Sept. 11, 2001, date of the worst attack in history upon the United States, within the first six or seven minutes of the speech.

But the Patriot Act "crushed" dissent like we were living under al-Qaeda rule, how is it that the liberals have so much room to "dissent" on a second-by-second basis in all of the "mainstream" media? And isn't it just plain weird how liberals get upset at the mere mention of 9/11? Can you imagine them standing around in 1944 and saying "I can't believe that manipulative FDR mentioned Pearl Harbor again within the first few minutes of his speech"?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis