Update: Allah links to Johnny Dollar’s audio of Arkin on John Gibson’s radio show. You really have to listen the whole thing as Arkin gets shriekier and shriekier, but here’s my rough transcript of the exchange half-way through the segment…
GIBSON: The general tone of this piece is that the troops owe us, that we continue to support them through the war that they are losing.
ARKIN: Oh, come on, John, that’s your characterization! (Voice rising) I don’t say they owe us anything! I just say that when the troops start to express their dissatisfaction with the American public, they should look in the mirror and ask themselves whether or not the American public is their servant or they’re the servant of the American public. (Voice louder) I nowhere suggested that the troops shouldn’t have the right to speak up. I merely said we shouldn’t put them on such a pedestal that they are above criticism IF THEY SAY STUPID THINGS!
GIBSON: Well, what is so stupid about…[plays NBC segment...Staff Sergeant: "If they're going to support us, support us all the way."]
GIBSON: What is so wrong…
ARKIN: (Going bananas, sputtering at top of his lungs) HE’S JUST TOTALLY WRONG, JOHN. PEOPLE CAN SUPPORT THE TROOPS AND NOT SUPPORT THE WAR. AND THE FACT THAT THESE GUYS IN UNIFORM DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT TELLS ME THAT THEY ARE BADLY SCHOOLED IN THE REALITIES OF [unintelligible]…
Such anger. And hate. “Badly schooled.” Taking a page right out of the John Kerry botched joke book.
If I were a Washington Post editor, I would seriously consider giving Arkin a few days off.
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