The latest op-ed piece by liberal Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks is called, "When crass is called for" (Friday, February 10, 2006). It begins with the eye-opening line, "It's time to take a stand against civility, decency and appropriateness."
The rest of the column is essentially a defense of the tasteless remarks by Rev. Joseph Lowery and former President Jimmy Carter at the funeral of Coretta Scott King on Tuesday. At one point of her piece, Brooks unbelievably declares, "I saw nothing uncivil about the remarks made by Lowery and Carter."
And in her concluding paragraph, Brooks shrugs (emphasis mine), "And if Bush was offended by Lowery's and Carter's remarks? Tough luck."
"Tough luck"? Brooks' article comes on the heels of a similar February 9, 2006, op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That piece begins (emphasis mine),
"The funeral of Coretta Scott King was a wonderful thing, and not least among its wonders was the controversy stirred by comments from the Rev. Joseph Lowery, former President Jimmy Carter and others."
A "wonderful thing"? In his Talking Points Memo on last night's episode of The O'Reilly Factor (Thursday, February 9, 2006), Bill O'Reilly hit a bull's eye with respect to this whole issue (audiotape on file) (emphasis mine):
"Let's turn it around. What if President Bush had used the funeral to make political points himself? What if the President had said this: 'It was a terrible thing that Mrs. King and her husband Martin were wiretapped by the Democrat Kennedy administration in the 60's. That was awful. But that illegal operation has nothing to do with allowing the NSA to listen to conversations that may involve terrorists who want to kill all Americans. I'm sure Mrs. King would have understood the need for security, because she saw first-hand what hate-filled violence can do.'
"Ladies and gentlemen. Can you imagine how the Atlanta newspaper, the rest of the left-wing media, Al Sharpton, and Jimmy Carter would have reacted to those words. Can you imagine? Do you think the AJC [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] would call them 'wonderful'? ...
"Once again, the hypocrisy on the far left is staggering. It's fine for them to throw bombs, even at a funeral. But does anyone believe they would hold the same point of view if conservatives used the same tactics? C'mon."
O'Reilly is right-on. And I'm sure Rosa Brooks would not have written, "I saw nothing uncivil about the remarks by President Bush," and then said "tough luck" to any offended parties.