So last Friday I got a call from CNN.com to come and do a quick segment on Pelosi and the CIA, with a short pivot to Obama’s announcement about military tribunals. Kind of random (since I don’t work on any of the above issues), but couldn’t be too difficult, right?
Despite my quick prepping on CAP’s stance on the two issues, and all of my learned experience doing 30 second sound-bite punditry, I still somehow managed to bring down my entire organization, excuse George Bush for war crimes, and overall destroy liberal politics as we know them. Well, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but it was still pretty bad.
When the conversation veered slightly off topic and turned into a yelling match about torture between two other bloggers, making it difficult for me to jump in, my talking point about “moving forward and taking the American people’s attention off Obama’s ambitious legislative agenda” (which I intended to say only in reference to the Pelosi/CIA who-dunnit) somehow came out as the following –
The American people right now are actually not interested in this sideshow and this discussion. The American people are interested in looking forward -- nobody is concerned anymore with what the Bush administration was doing and did. We decided it was torture. Conservatives may or may not disagree. None of that matters at this point and time.
What the heck did I just say? Dear God – A TORTURE APOLOGIST TOOK OVER MY BODY.
Looking back at the quote, I’m honestly not sure how I could have said something so wholly inaccurate and misrepresenting of my own personal opinion and the work of my organization and “the American people”. Me? A black woman who proudly wears her “Where are my reparations T-shirt” every Black History Month? Would I really suggest that America look away from and excuse its very recent and inhumane past? I think not. And yet, it appears as if I did.
In fact, the argument that she used (and yes, I’m now referring to the person using my mouth to speak as “she”) was straight out of the conservative playbook. Misspeaking has never hurt so much and 10 minute segments split between 4 people and 2 anchors don't leave much opportunity for on-air self-correction. All I could do was log off and hope that nobody was watching.....
Ummm...nope. Not that lucky.
Since then, progressive bloggers and several viewers have pointedly taken me to task on the quote – and rightly so….if it had been me. But it wasn’t. It was the renegade spirit of a wingnut.
As I spend the next 3 days restraining from all political commentary and confessing my liberal sin I ask for forgiveness from my fellow progressive bloggers and the millions (well, 8 to be exact) of Americans that have emailed me upset about my mischaracterization of American public opinion and my own. I am sincerely sorry.
And rest assured that if the torture apologist ever rears her ugly head around these parts again, aiming to trip up my words, I'll make sure to get rid of her swiftly and surely - especially before appearing on national tv.