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Not Quite Marching Through Georgia

Monday, Apr. 02, 2007 3:42 PM

Senator John McCain went for a stroll about a marketplace in Baghdad to prove his claim that It's Perfectly Safe Over There, and it's the damned liberal media that keeps harping about bombs and insurgents and how the surge is failing.

Except McCain was escorted by 100 soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters and two Apache gunships flying overhead. And McCain was wearing body armour. Not exactly how the average Iraqi goes to the grocery store, I'd say.

Nonetheless, Mr. Straight Talk Express declared to reporters that his little field trip was proof that you could, indeed, 'walk freely' in some areas of Baghdad.

Speaking of soldiers, the surge has been surged again, slating another 9,000 troops who had been rotated home and returning them to combat ahead of schedule. (As much as three months ahead of the year at home they'd been promised.)

Remember, President Bush laughed when asked about soldiers facing multiple and extended tours of duty.

And for whatever reasons, neither President Bush nor Vice President Dick Cheney are available to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals home opener this year.

Mr. Bush has passed on the honor two years running. Last year, when the Vice President stood in, Cheney was booed as he took the mound.

Lurking in the vast media wasteland that is the internet is a clip of FOX News' Bill O'Reilly, responding to a viewer's letter in a mailbag segment on his show.

The problem is that the letter was signed Jack Mehoffer, a slight variation on a common double-entendre psuedonym used by internet pranksters. (In this case, the letter, which appeared during a 2004 broadcast, originated somewhere at the Howard Stern Show.)

But no one over at the O'Reilly Factor got it. Not the show's producers, not the poor schlub preparing on screen graphics, not the invincible Culture Warrior himself. (Okay, so this predates his book by a couple of years. Maybe he was still a Culture Warrior in training?)

The quote also appears on O'Reilly's 'Talking Points' column for September 3, 2004.

The clip is likely to enjoy a brief resurgence, as it was nominated for and took the prize in Keith Olbermann's first annual 'Keithies,' a series of awards for the funniest items on the internet.

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