"If we've lost O'Reilly, we've lost the country"
A remarkable thing happened last night on America's state-controlled TV network:
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly promised his audience "the truth about Iraq" on Thursday, saying that most Americans now feel the war has not been worth the costs, while "the president's argument for sustaining the war is largely theoretical."
O'Reilly turned on his special guest during the segment, White House press secretary Tony Snow, saying, "You can't win … unless the Iraqi people turn on all the terrorists. And they're not."…
As Snow continued to insist that the Iraqis will support the American troops if they seem them standing up to protect them, O'Reilly countered him with the analogy of Vietnam. "We don't have the hearts and minds there," said O'Reilly. "It's like South Vietnam. … We had a lot of South Vietnamese helping us … but there wasn't enough of them."
After the Tet offensive in Vietnam in early 1968, Walter Cronkite told viewers of the CBS Evening News that Vietnam was a lost cause. President Johnson was said to have remarked, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost the country," and within a matter of weeks he announced he would not run for reelection.
The fracturing of the modern media landscape is such that no one commands the attention Cronkite did in those days. But still I wonder if Tony Snow was telling George W. Bush something along the same lines this morning.