Jewish World Review April 16, 2003 / 14 Nisan, 5763
Debra J. Saunders
Bay Area's silent majority
Talk about pathetic.
Last week, anti-war protesters were reduced to
picketing KQED -- that's right, San Francisco's
left-leaning PBS television and radio station.
Protesters accused the station of "deliberately
limiting voices of reason, dissent and resistance."
"We're being picketed," a stunned KQED employee
and former Vietnam war protester gasped over the
phone last week, unsure of whether to laugh or cry.
Poor baby. He was a victim of the latest bit of
agitprop from the anti-war left. The public supports
the war in overwhelming numbers, the anti-war left's
argument goes, only because the news media aren't
telling Americans the whole story.
If the public isn't anti-war, the anti-war left figures it
can blame the messenger, not the anti-war message.
Or as anti-Iraq war activist/actress Susan Sarandon
told television host Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's
"The Daily Show," "Well, I mean, if, you know,
journalists started covering issues and they would
take some of these experts on shows without movie
stars, I'd be glad to stay home . . . Sometimes the
American public is not getting all the information."
Which tells you more about Sarandon than the
media. If Sarandon thinks news shows won't air a
foreign-policy story without celebrities, she certainly
isn't glued to PBS. Apparently she only watches
And Sarandon didn't do herself any favors in
suggesting that she is privy to information that is
hidden from the American public. It's a handy
conceit, the conviction that you as a Beautiful Person
have access to special transformational information,
which unlocks an understanding beyond the reach of
the rest of us chickens.
But Sarandon doesn't show much understanding of
politics if she thinks that there is some bit of expert
testimony that demands a specific position on the
war. Smart, informed individuals disagree on
President Bush's use of force in Iraq because they
have different world views and conflicting ideas about
how to tame a foreign tyrant.
After all the blather about how the Bay Area is a
haven for anti-war sentiment, it was especially
delicious to read in The Chronicle that the Field Poll
found that even the liberal Bay Area supports
"military action in Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein
from power" -- to the glorious tune of 63 percent.
Funny. You can't drive on the freeway without seeing
anti-war bumper stickers. Local government boards
have voted unanimously against the war. Sponsors of
school teach-ins complain that they would like to
have speakers to represent the pro-war side, if only
they could find someone who is pro-war.
Now it turns out that the majority of people who live
here do support the war; it's the teach-in sponsors
who were so out-of-touch they didn't know they were
What's more, since so much anti-war information
proliferates here in the left-leaning end of the west,
and most people are pro-war, you could deduce that
the anti-war arguments aren't particularly compelling.
True, those who support the war aren't as loud as the
protesters. Then again, being pro-war isn't something
to whoop about. War is a solemn responsibility, and
those who support it should have the good grace to
do so reluctantly.
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© 2000, Creators Syndicate