No More Nil Nisi Bonum: Countdown's Cheap Shot at Cap Weinberger
Keith Olbermann might be on vacation, but that doesn't mean MSNBC's mean-spiritedness took a day off. If guest host Alison Stewart was auditioning for the Olbermann seat, she might well have ingratiated herself with her MSNBC bosses with the disdain she dispensed on the day of Caspar Weinberger's death.
Weinberger passed away today at age 88. He had served as President Reagan's Secretary of Defense. As Bloomberg News put it:
"Weinberger . . . oversaw the U.S. military buildup under President Ronald Reagan that helped hasten the Soviet Union's collapse."
Stewart managed to turn that historic accomplishment, one that led to freedom for hundreds of millions while eliminating the possiblity of mutual assured destruction for the forseeable future, into a negative. Here's how she spun it:
"Ironically, the man who slashed budgets could spend with the best of them. As President Reagan's Defense Secretary, he presided over the biggest military budget increase in U.S. peacetime history."
In one short sentence Stewart simultaneously swiped at Weinberger as a slasher and a big spender. Biggest military budget increase in "peacetime" history, Alison? Ever hear of the Cold . . . War, and how Reagan, with help from Caspar, won it?
De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum, Ms. Stewart. Or at the very least, don't go out of your way to take snide and misleading shots at someone on the day of his death. RIP, Caspar Weinberger.
Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public-access TV show 'Right Angle'. Contact him at: email@example.com