Skip to comments.'Close Observers of History' Hate Ollie North
Posted on 04/18/2014 3:50:50 AM PDT by Kaslin
Editor's note: This column was co-authored by Tim Graham.
For its second season, the creators of the FX series "The Americans" have chosen a new source for insight into the Cold War during the Reagan years -- one Lt. Col. Oliver North.
It's a dramatic reversal from the first season, and it has infuriated some hard leftists. The show began with the shocking promise from creator Joel Weisberg that the series' heroes would be KGB agents: "We're making them the sympathetic characters. I'd go so far as to say they're the heroes." It quickly became apparent that these characters could be unsentimental killers of innocent Americans, so perhaps that triggered a change of heart.
What's resulted in the second season has been a more conventional dramatist's take: The KGB agents are morally conflicted, and so is the FBI agent who lives across the street. The reaction from the hard left is equally conventional. After shocking conservatives before the first season began, Weisberg's decision to hire North to consult on the second season has thrown these liberals for a loop.
The New York Times ran a nasty article headlined "Oliver North, Now in the Service of TV's K.G.B." Get a load of how TV reporter Dave Itzkoff described liberals who are annoyed with North's support for anti-communist freedom fighters in Nicaragua during the '80s: "Close observers of contemporary American history say they are irritated by what they see as Mr. North's continued attempts to aggrandize and whitewash his role in it."
But what does Iran-Contra have to do with this FX storyline? And who are those nameless "close observers" anyway?
The "close observers," who must not be called "liberals," include Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, who said North's involvement in "The Americans" was "basically a bad joke." He complained, "Everything that happens in history in this country eventually winds up as entertainment ... you become notorious, and your notoriety makes you famous, and fame is the American version of glory."
Wieseltier concluded: "Given his insistence upon his purity of heart and soul, there's something a little tacky about his exploiting it."
The Times and Wieseltier do not hold this opinion on other modern historical figures if they're standing on the other side of the fence. Valerie Plame Wilson, a former CIA operations officer, certainly cashed in with lucrative book and movie deals after her identity was revealed, but she was trashing George W. Bush, so she wasn't exploiting, aggrandizing or whitewashing. Her sudden wealth was a cash reward akin to an alternate Nobel Peace Prize.
Or take Anita Hill, a favorite of New York Times editor Jill Abramson. Hill insisted on the "purity" of her heart and soul after her unsubstantiated charges of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas. Even when Hill exploited it for a book deal worth more than a million dollars, after insisting she'd never do such a thing, it still didn't chill left-wing enthusiasm. In fact, they're still at it.
The Times recently lauded a new liberal documentary called "Anita," which hails Hill. The Times described it as "an important historical document about an event that prompted a larger cultural conversation about sexual harassment."
The paper wasn't impolite enough to nudge out of its own editorial-page archives a Hill article defending Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal in 1998. Hill bizarrely claimed, "The substance of sex-related accusations against President Clinton differs dramatically from those raised against Justice Thomas or (Sen. Bob) Packwood." That's ridiculous on its face.
For all their alleged appreciation of nuance and complexity, liberal journalists play a simplistic game in identifying saints and sinners, geniuses and goons. The degree to which you embrace and advance liberalism is the degree to which you can do no wrong, and commit no ethical, egotistical or mercenary offense.
I really enjoy this show. The episode last season where Reagan was shot and the KGB went into a tizzy thinking it might be WW III, you can imagine that probably happened that day.
This season had a very good last episode where they stole some Navy plans and those plans end up sinking a Russian sub after putting the designs into use. Then they find out that they were bogus plans. Who are they mad at? Reagan and America. Those monsters letting Russian sailors die like that!!
“the KGB went into a tizzy thinking it might be WW III, you can imagine that probably happened that day.”
That was the day Gen Al Haig, Sec of State, said he was “in control (not charge) here”. He later explained he did so because he was concerned the Ruskies would misread what had happened and be afraid this was the beginning of a coup leading to an attack on the USSR.
Haig, a true war hero was lambasted over that and never truly recovered politically. He knew that Bush was in charge while Reagan was down. As you said that was his concern, as I recall last years episode, the KGB agents were also thinking this was a coup attempt. It makes sense they would think that from their perspective. They weren’t used to our stable democracy. Coups were rife throughout their history so naturally they assumed that we had coups also.
That is one of the reasons I find this show so interesting. I think they truly give us the enemies perspective on the cold war. I find it fascinating to get a glimpse into Russian thinking at that time.
You might recall this; the Ruskies tried to blow up Haig when he was the SPAPE commander (NATO), they managed to blow up the wrong vehicle in the motorcade. IMO, anyone the commies tried to kill is a hero.
Of course it differs. Justice Thomas and Senator Packwood didn't rape anyone like Bubba did.
That was Baader-Meinhof, not the KGB. I doubt the KGB had anything to do with it.
Liberals have no values to be held accountable to.
That’s why they criticize conservatives, when they fall short of their own standards.
It’s like laughing at them for having dared to have standards in the first place.
I believe Oleg was pretty convincing in saying the Soviets didn't test the propeller properly and placed it on the wrong size vessel. His stance was the Soviet Politburo used the "fake plans" story to lay the blame for the lost sub onto the KGB.
Thanks Kaslin. The KGB-aggrandizing show, no doubt a big favorite of Putin’s buttboys around the world, has hired Lt. Col. Oliver North as their consultant, chapping the asses of the leftist media shills as well as their Nazi/KKK/skinhead allies.
Saw the show where the reds stole something and it was really a trap by the Americans. It causes the death of 200 commies. I was too busy laughing my ass off to feel sympathy.
And Ollie is a hero.
The Godless Left hates Ollie, that is why I so like him.
You Did not watch carefully. The KGB attached to the embassy said that they put the device on the wrong size submarine and it sunk because of their own error. Then they swept it under the rugs and blamed America for their own mistakes.
Bubba was accused of lying under oath regarding a voluntary Lewinski
He did rape but was never taken to task for it except in conservative media so most of the country never heard about it. So anything Anita Hill says was not related to anything bubba did other than the Lewinski or lying. The republicans are too cowardly to indict a Dhimmicrat president for anything like that. It might make them not losers. And the GOPe are proud losers.
Well, it hadn’t been that many years since the JFK assassination, which is looking more like a coup by LBJ as new evidence emerges. If they knew about that, their concern would be justified.
No I got that, I was just too busy laughing before they said it.
Then I was disappointed.