Fox News finally got around to discussing Rep. Joe Walsh’s callous attacks on his Democratic challenger, war veteran and double amputee Tammy Duckworth – now that there was an opportunity to “clarify” them, as FoxNews.com described the segment. Walsh appeared on The O’Reilly Factor tonight where guest host Laura Ingraham offered a sympathetic platform and didn’t ask any tough questions. Rather than apologize for having said Duckworth talks too much about her military service and suggesting she is not a “true hero” because of that, Walsh played the victim: “All she does is film me talking to people and the left-wing blogs just went crazy with it.”
Ingraham got right to the Republican Rehab with her first question. “I’ll just ask you point blank, do you think Tammy Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in a Blackhawk helicopter accident in Iraq, in combat, do you think she’s a hero?”
“Absolutely,” Walsh said. He never explained, nor did Ingraham ask why he had said in a now-infamous townhall, "I’m running against a woman who, my God, that’s all she talks about. Our true heroes, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about."
Walsh told The Factor viewers he had called Duckworth a hero “hundreds of times.” Then he immediately went on to play the victim and attack her for other reasons. “I’m running against a woman who’s got David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel running her campaign. They tape every word I say… All she does is film me talking to people and the left-wing blogs just went crazy with it.”
Ingraham said, “Of course that’s going to happen… That’s just the world we live in today." But she added solicitously, “I guess you’re in a position where if you criticize her back or you have to watch every word you say lest you be branded as insensitive to her plight as a disabled American and as war hero. So, I guess, what do you do?”
Walsh said, “You give her enough respect, you treat her like any other candidate. That’s the respect I want to give her.”
So in other words, he wasn’t a bit sorry for his remarks. Ingraham didn't seem to notice. She didn’t even bring up the possibility of an apology.
Walsh whined, “Because I’ve been so outspoken about this president, I’ve become the White House’s Number One target, so they’re throwing everything at me including this stuff and I’ve got to tell you again. She is a hero and I’ve said that hundreds of times.”
“She’s a hero with whom you disagree,” Ingraham said helpfully. “…Most disabled people that I know just want to be treated like everybody else and they don’t want to be babied.”
Of course, it’s not “babying” someone to remain respectful of their service and their record. But who knows if The Factor viewers caught that sleight-of-hand that took the onus off Walsh and suggested Duckworth was being oversensitive?
Friday, November 12, 2004
BLACK HAWK DOWN
A U.S. Army helicopter was shot down Friday north of Baghdad, and its three crew members were wounded, the U.S military said.
The UH-60 Black Hawk was hit by anti-aircraft fire in Taji, 12 miles north of the capital, the military said. Three of the four crew members were injured in the attack, but are expected to recover, the U.S. military said. The crew was rescued and the helicopter was recovered.
This was the third time a U.S. helicopter was shot downÂ in aÂ week.
On Thursday, two U.S. Marine helicopters were downed by rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire in separate incidents near Fallujah.
The crews of the two-man Super Cobra helicopters were forced to make hard landings, the military said. One of the four pilots was slightly injured and other helicopters rescued the crew members from the area, the military said.
In Duckworth’s own words, an account of the incident that resulted in her serious injuries:
Duckworth is one of many military women who have served overseas. Deployed to Iraq where she flew combat missions in a UH-60 Blackhawk, she said that it really came down to one thingâsupporting the mission.
âIn that cockpit, it didnât matter if I was male or female, it only mattered that I supported the mission,â said Duckworth. âIn that cockpit it didnât matter if I was from Illinois and the pilot in command was from Missouri. Or if he was a first Gulf War veteran and had been in 20 years and I had only been in 15. It was about the mission.â
And on Nov. 12, 2004, while supporting the mission, Duckworth and her Blackhawk crew were brought down by enemy fire.
âThat day in my aircraft, bleeding, knowing that I was dying, when people came to rescue me at no time did I check (whether) they were male or female before allowing them to carry me out,â she said.
But that day, which resulted in her losing the bottom portion of both legs, also brought other points to light.
âThe day that I was shot down, I started out as the highest ranking person of my crew. The lowest ranking person in that aircraft was Spc. Kurt Hanneman,â she said, adding that many may say that as the lowest ranking he was the least important on the aircraft.
âHe wasnât the crew chief, he wasnât in charge of that aircraft (and) he wasnât the pilot in command. At the end of that day, Kurt Hanneman was the most important person in our crew, she said. âAt the end of that day after we had been shot down and Kurt had taken AK-47 rounds into his back, it was Kurt who grabbed his weapon and maintained rear security to make sure the rescue could happen. Bleeding, going into shock (and) scared out of his mind he was not going to quit his post,â she said.
And there were others in her unit that were equally as dedicated, to include another female pilot, who stayed by Duckworthâs side.
The day I was shot down she volunteered to accompany me to Landstuhl (Regional Medical Center),â said Duckworth. âAnd you have to understand what itâs like to one minute be flying missions and to know that a buddy has been hit and may be dying, and then to volunteer to accompany that person. And, she went to Landstuhl solely to sit next to my bed in case I woke up so that I would see a friendly face.â
Ingraham, if you loose both legs in a vehicle crash, will you ever talk about your “accident”?
Perverted, upside-down is right. I remember seeing Walsh on FOX (Lou Dobbs FBN show?) as some kind of GOP expert on paying down the national debt. Ha! What a joke! A deadbeat dad who won’t even pay his own personal obligations to his children gets to talk to the rest of us about paying debts. Unbelievable.
He and his tea party brown-nosing cohort are political lightweights who feel that members of the news media should act as though they are working for their public relations departments, only asking them the questions that they want to be asked.
What a disgusting piece of hair gel this creep is!
Then as a boneheaded follow up, Fox is trying to rehab a deadbeat dad/veteran hater. The irony of it all.