Jewish World Review May 21, 2003 / 19 Iyar, 5763

Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann
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‘Barney’ as torture | Newsweek magazine is reporting that, as part of the continuing interrogation of Iraqi prisoners by coalition forces, their captors are forcing them to listen to the theme song from “Barney.” Is the purple dinosaur really a weapon of mass irritation?

THE SONGS being repeated over and over again as a kind of bloodless torture in Iraq— is the same song repeated over and over again in every city, town and hamlet in this country. Are kids at risk?

Well, never mind kids. Are adults at risk? The “Barney” song, when played, say, 17 times in a row by a child can lead a father to consider a vasectomy. Heck, in 1962, we didn’t have “Barney.” We just had the soundtrack to “Puss in Boots.” I played that so often that my parents thought about moving away and not telling me.

Of course, that’s part of the way kids learn. Repetition literally builds neuro-pathways in the brain.

But what about the heavy metal music being used against the Iraqis? The “Newsweek” piece on psy-ops mentioned only one such song by title: “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. And here’s the rub. “Enter Sandman” is played, among other contexts, over the public address system at Yankee Stadium in New York every time a pitcher named Mariano Rivera enters a baseball game-every time.

And, suddenly, it all becomes clear. Iraqis prisoners finally screaming, “I have had enough,” and surrendering the secrets of mass destruction : New York baseball fans finally screaming, “I have had enough” and rushing to the concession stand and willingly paying $7 for a beer.

Oh, the humanity.

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The writer hosts MSNBC's “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” The news program, dedicated to all of the day’s top stories, telecasts weeknights, 8-9 p.m. ET. Comment by clicking here.

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