NBC's ER Docs Rail Against Iraq War: 'Right-Wing Cronyism' Killing Kids
Earlier this season, “Dr. Neela Rasgotra” railed against the war in a March 16 episode, as Brent Baker noted in an earlier post on NewsBusters. Her character had married “Dr. Michael Gallant” after Gallant had returned from his first tour of duty in Iraq.
Last night, the truck carrying Gallant and several other soldiers was blown up by a roadside bomb during the first few moments of the show, right after he tried in vain to save a soldier shot in an insurgent ambush. That left the rest of the show for the other characters to complain about the war as they learned of their friend’s death.
Captain Evans seemed perplexed: “Sir?”
Clemente then began his diatribe: “I mean, how do we know what really happened over there, huh? I mean, doesn’t this whole war smell to you a little bit of right-wing cronyism, what with the oil and the multi-billion dollar re-building contracts, huh?”
He began yelling at the bewildered officer: “I mean, do you know what the real psychological warfare is, my friend — you coming in here, feeding us a bunch of lies to placate the masses, okay. Tell me about the deficit! Tell me why we had to go over there and kill everybody for democracy! Is that what we’re doing? Is that what we’re doing?”
At that point, another doctor and a nurse led Clemente away. As the show progressed, it became obvious that Clemente was having psychological problems or a problem with drug addiction, with the character at one point jumping onto the hood of a taxi cab, ripping off his lab coat and shirt, kicking in the taxi’s windshield and urinating onto the vehicle.
But the addled Clemente wasn’t the only anti-war spokesman. Later in the show, “Dr. Gregory Pratt,” who was a friendly competitor to Gallant when they worked together, erupted after dealing with two abused children. The attending physician, “Dr. Luka Kovac,” heard Pratt yelling at a medical student. Kovac interrupted: “Hey, what’s going on?”
An upset Pratt replied: “I’ve got a kid with a busted collarbone. He’s got signs of old rib and humerus fractures, and he’s the lucky one. His little brother is in the room next to him in a coma.
Kovac tried to calm him down, asking: “Did you call social services?
Pratt said nothing, but the med student replied, “Yeah, they’re coming.”
Dr. Pratt then launched into his blame America speech: “You know, we’ve got CTs, MRIs, PET scans, Doppler 4D, ultrasounds, and we still can’t save one kid from getting his brains beaten out. That’s right — he had to kill his old man because there was nobody else there to help him. I guess that would be too much to ask.”
“I mean, because it’s much better that we spend — what is it now? — $6 billion a month in a war all the way across the world to kill a few more of the other kids who actually get to make it to their teens!”
Kovac inquired: “Did you tell the police?”
Pratt was disgusted: “What, so they could arrest him? Yeah, because that’s the one thing we do well in this country, isn’t it? We’ve got prison down to a science. Prison and war.” He then stalked off.
After Pratt left, Kovac explained to the med student: “He and Dr. Gallant were friends.”
It is, of course, an election year. Any guesses as to how much a pair of 60-second anti-war spots on NBC (in primetime) would cost a liberal activist group trying to cultivate public anxiety about the war? That's one way to calculate the value of ER's gift to anti-war activists.