"Broadcasting legend" "Icon" whatever, Paul Harvey, died this weekend at 90 years old. The tributes have been pouring in this weekend, on the radio, in newspapers and on TV. He was a very Right Wing guy who probably had the same beliefs as a Rush Limbaugh, but wrapped his little radio segments in a manner that was "aw shucks, by gosh," which made him more palatable than a Limbaugh/Hannity type, but it was sometimes infuriating hearing him because he'd state his opinion as fact, and even through the economic disaster that was the Bush years, he'd always frame the news in a way that pointed out that some people were still making money and working and those who were out of work were just too lazy to look for work or enjoying their welfare handouts.
I've been withholding any thoughts on the occasion of his passing because I thought it would be inappropriate and in bad form to say just how right wing and wrong he was on the air and what a shameless shill he was for his advertisers and how he sold a Republican agenda to millions with his folksy, downhome tone, which certainly was not ever in Middle America's best interests. I thought, "so what?" he's dead now, and while I am not happy upon anyone's passing, it's best to hold your tongue and let his family and friends mourn and hold back any criticism of the man because it just doesn't look good so soon after his passing.
But I can't hold back, not after yet another 'tribute' to him, this time on CNN. Following a somber "In memory" shot of Mr. Harvey, CNN then broadcast a replay of an interview Larry King did with him in 2003. Like the many times I happened to hear his show because it is broadcast on WGN radio, which I listen to most of the time, I could not listen to more than about three minutes of this man talk without screaming, "Oh, F-- you, you idiot!" at the screen. Larry King asked Paul Harvey about 9-11 and what he did that day and then how it affected him. Mr. Harvey (see, I'm showing some deference by calling him "Mister") seemed more pained and more drawn to prayer a couple minutes before, when he looked back at a 45-minute vocal chord procedure, since without it his broadcast career could have ended. He then said that 9-11 didn't affect him as much as it would have had he been based in New York City, since he worked out of Chicago and he just didn't have the same sort of emotional response that a New Yorker would have had, such as worrying about the safety of loved ones, either on that day or any following day. What a simplistic, narrow-minded way of thinking. The terrorists who killed thousands on 9-11 did it by hijacking AIRPLANES. Those airplanes could just as easily have been flown into the Sears Tower or the John Hancock Building as the World Trade Center. And if you don't feel anything because you are in Chicago and somehow believe the invisible shield over the city will stop any planes from crashing into our downtown, can you not even feel the least bit of empathy for your FELLOW AMERICANS in New York? Or are they different because oh, they have different values than you? Or because there are so many New Yorkers who have darker skin than you? How can anybody, any American, not have felt pain when New York was attacked? Paul Harvey, though, just turned the page. Larry King even asked him if he felt as though Chicago was at danger because you know, it is a pretty recognizable MAJOR AMERICAN CITY, and he just said "no," as if to say, "why would anyone want to fly a plane into a building in Chicago? We're Midwesterners, we haven't done anything bad enough to make foreigners hate us, not like those New Yorkers."
Then, then, Mr. I'm so tuned into what real Americans think and feel was asked how 9-11 changed him. And you know what he said? He didn't say that he now cherishes the little things, he didn't say that he now draws his friends and family closer than before, he didn't say that there are no hyphenated-Americans anymore; we are all one country, etc., no, no, he said that the one thing that he realized, his big realization, after 9-11, was, "THERE ARE NO CIVILIANS ANYMORE."
He then muttered some crap about "our planners" who "show deference" to "civilians" throughout the world don't realize that in the wars we fight now, "there are no civilians." Think about that. This old man, who everyone this weekend is jumping over to show respect to and praise to the high heavens, pretty much advocated just fucking bombing the shit out of any country we go to war with, just fucking flattening these godless, horrible, war-loving peoples, because they're all out to get us, anyway. What this guy said, was, if we think that one guy has weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, just bomb the whole country, since the Iraqis are probably hiding nuclear bombs in their houses or huts or whatever the fuck they live in. If we don't like the way that North Koreans say things, then knock the whole country out before they get a chance to use whatever weapons they have on us. Same thing for Iran. And Afghanistan. And you better watch out, too, India. Pakistan? Don't get any ideas, or else we'll scorch the whole lot of you. You know what, we don't need a reason -- you're all out to get us anyway, what with your fatwas and ayatollahs and 'Death to America,' so we're just gonna kill you all, because "there are no civilians anymore."
What an a-hole. And they claim he had an audience, at one point, of some 20 or 25 million people? GOOD DAY.