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Bill Clinton - Let Him Be

He is taking them on. He has been a one man feeding trough for years. He now fights back.

The media is a tricky opponent to tackle. Once you confront one, like a pack, the reporters and pundits defend their own by attacking the person who had the temerity to question the motivation and syntax of a question or statement from a purported neutral journalist.

To challenge a questioner is fair. The unspoken contract however is - we ask the questions and set the dialogue and you just deal with it. Squirm, parse and blush - "that's the moment we're looking for" - that's the franchise and when you mess with the franchise by observing something different than the ostensible paradigm, the pack closes in.

Bill Clinton stepped over a line by saying "Shame on you" to a reporter he felt was not being a journalist but was behaving like a Howard Stern kamikaze. Bill gave the same lashing to Chris Wallace on Fox - he called him on his agenda. It's a moment and a movement the rest of us should rally behind.

We don't need to care how it happens or in whose name he's doing it - he has earned the right and has been educated in the ways of the questioners and he should and must respond. If the "brotherhood and sisterhood" of the media want to corner and contain him, we should resist on his behalf. Let him loose on them. He knows. He's on to them. He has moved from people-pleasing and being chastened to standing up against the agenda being set by careerists posing as journalists.

Let him be radical - let him speak - let's not demand he be cautious. Let the calluses and cauterizing education he endured take the stage on behalf of his wife candidate. I think it's a most unusual and thrilling development and let it go. Don't let them tell us he's inappropriate or divisive - he's on it.

Unleash him. Immunize him from the taming the press is hoping they'll be able to achieve with him. Let him be impolite. Let him say what he sees. He's earned it - he's been on death's doorstep both politically and physically. Let his smart wife organize and create a genius coalition of government if that's what she's fixing to do - and let him speak.

I want finally to hear what he has to say because now he's dangerous and dangerous is what is required. How he got there is unique - but he's there. He's doing something right - whatever wrong he might have done in the past does not cancel out this moment, and nor should we - and nor should we allow the out-of-control and controlling franchise to make it stylish to be critical of what he's doing. Let him be. He's prime time - and his real time is now.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

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Bill C. Davis

Bill C. Davis

Bill C. Davis is a playwright.  Archive of his Common Dreams' articles here. His personal website here.

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