This morning, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal hosted the National Review’s Rich Lowry, a conservative media figure who openly supported and advocated the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent “surge.” During the segment, a woman from Tampa called in to criticize the host and C-SPAN for continuing to host neoconservatives despite the fact that their ideas have “failed.” She likened Lowry to an inadequate car mechanic a customer keeps returning to:
CALLER: I would like to know why, if you had a car, ma’am, and it broke down and you took it to your dealer and it kept breaking down, and breaking down. Wouldn’t you change dealers? Why do you keep bringing these neocons on? [...] This failed! …And you keep on bringing on failed policy. [...] I would like you to tell me why we are still using this car dealer who has failed America.
While the host did not answer to the caller’s question, moments later, Lowry offered his support for giving an “or else” ultimatum to the Iranians on talks regarding its nuclear program. Watch it:
The caller’s criticism has a ring of truth. A 2007 Center for Economic and Policy Research study found that C-SPAN “overwhelmingly favor[ed] conservative think tanks in its coverage by a three-to-one margin over all left-of-center think tanks.” Indeed, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow recently asked of the neocons, “Why is it that people who are catastrophically wrong about big important things like foreign policy and war never, like, flunk out of that as a subject?”
HOST: Next call for Rich Lowry who is the editor of the National Review and the author of their cover story in the latest edition, “The War That Hasn’t Been Tried” on Afghanistan, is Tampa, Florida, Independent line and our caller is Mary. Good morning Mary.
CALLER: Good morning. I have to sort of amend my question because somebody asked part of it so bear with me for a second. I have a queestion for you ma’am and then I have one for him.
I would like to know why, if you had a car, ma’am, and it broke down and you took it to your dealer and it kept breaking down, and breaking down. Wouldn’t you change dealers? Why do you keep bringing these neocons on? You have got him on for 45 minutes this morning. Yesterday I listened to a lady from the so-called American Enterprise Institute. All she talked about is that we have to keep the war and armaments and all this stuff up.
This failed! We have death in our country, these young people. We have declined – steep decline. I am near 70! We have deep debt! And you keep on bringing on failed policy. There are over 300 million people in this country, ma’am and I can assure you the people I know are all for America. They are all for bringing this country up, not to tear it down through war, debt, destruction. This young man – very young – sits here and keeps saying “we have to go over there and do this.” Why isn’t he in uniform? That is my one question.
[…] I believe in the constitution. I also believe in Christianity were you don’t go out and drop bombs on your enemy. You work it out with them. I would like you to tell me why we are still using this car dealer who has failed America and I would like to know why –
HOST: Mary you made your point. Thank you very much for your call from Tampa, Florida. Mr. Lowry, what would you like to say to our caller?
LOWRY: Well, since I wasn’t called a traitor, I think it was a pretty calm and cool call. Given what some of what we’ve heard this morning. […]
HOST: I’m wondering what your thoughts are about the administration’s overtures toward Iran?
LOWRY: I doubt they are going to work, but it is not as though the Bush policy particularly worked either. So if this is an element of a broader strategy where we will reach out to them, and we will attempt to talk to them, and if nothing happens there is some a significant “or else” at the end of the process, it might be worth doing. I have not seen any sign of that “or else” on our side, but Bibi Netanyahu last week provided one in effect for Barack Obama saying that if these negotiations don’t produce some positive results fairly soon, the Israelis will take action and if there is any chance that these negotiations actually produce something it will only be because the Iranians take that threat very seriously.