Like the first tax cut, the proposed Bush tax plan guarantees a personal bonanza for the more successful talking heads on television. Under the circumstances, I don’t blame the media for supporting the Administration to the hilt. It would be the sheerest vanity on their part to rate their self-respect as worth more than that kind of money. "I hadn’t planned to sell my soul; but the offer was so good; and I had to think about my family."
Environmentalists sometimes complain about the nature shows on cable. People get used to seeing magnificent animals frisking through the jungle and conclude that all is well without realizing that it may be the same elephant every time. By an analogous mechanism, the public has been convinced that the recent live fire exercise in Iraq was a real war and our victory over a helpless enemy was some how glorious or remarkable. But the grief of real wars is sons and husbands and brothers lost.
Contrast our electronically enhanced glory with this picture from an old family story: I was a couple of months old and my mother was rocking me to sleep when the news of the end of World War II came over the radio. The young woman wept and wept in joy and relief as she kept on rocking her baby.
In Roman times, a fool accompanied the victorious general in his golden chariot and whispered in his ear, "Remember, you are mortal." The recent photo opportunity on the aircraft carrier honored this tradition in an elegantly economical way.