“NPR’s Mara Liasson Is a Racist Prostitute”

My friend Todd Fichter is quite peeved at NPR political correspondent and Fox News contributor Mara Liasson. He believes she is using the term “isolationist” in an inaccurate and unfair way. I haven’t been following the issue, but I believe the proper use of terminology is important for any discussion or debate, so I agreed to let Todd express his concerns in the guest-post below:

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NPR’s Mara Liasson Is a Racist Prostitute

Mara Liasson

Mara Liasson

Let me say it once more. Mara Liasson is a racist prostitute. Do I have evidence to back up my characterization of her? Well, no…not really. Obviously though, that should not matter, especially to Mara Liasson, after hearing her commentary this morning on NPR regarding Republican opposition to Libya, and the debate within the Republican party about change in foreign policy. Ms. Liasson referred to it as a “new isolationism” in the Republican Party. Isolationism? Well, I would agree that isolationists believe in non-interventionist foreign policy, but they also would restrict trade, travel and diplomatic relations. Should Democratic Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz be labeled an isolationist because she is a “Buy American” proponent? Why are NAFTA opponents not labeled as isolationists by Ms. Liasson?

The term isolationist is being hurled with abandon as a pejorative to color anyone who would oppose the Bush-Obama foreign policy of Presidential military intervention at the drop of a hat. Liasson went after statements made by Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney during the GOP presidential debate about U.S. involvement in Libya, and assessment of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Liasson summed up her mischaracterization with the statement, “Isolationism in the Republican field is no longer confined to Ron Paul.” Timothy Carney, Senior Political Columnist for the Washington Examiner, summed it up best in his article today when he said, “Today, I think, we can mark the term’s descent into permanent and utter meaninglessness.”

ron-paul - casual with smile

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul

When commentators like Mara Liasson can just change the definition of words in an attempt to mold public perspective of a person or people they wish to malign, it renders further use of that term as an accurate description useless. Ms. Liasson is not alone in her misuse of the term isolationist, especially in relation to Ron Paul’s noninterventionist foreign policy. Dr. Paul has been labeled an isolationist by many who oppose his views, including members of his own party, even though there is no one in Congress more in favor of free trade, travel and diplomatic relations with other nations. However, now there is a grassroots effort within the Republican Party to return to Robert Taft-Barry Goldwater type humble foreign policy. The debate is real. Mara Liasson would have done well to report on the facts, rather than inject biased propaganda style commentary.

Why would she go after the Republican candidates in this manner? She did not call Barack Obama back in 2008 an isolationist for wanting to close Gitmo and setting a timetable for troop withdrawal in Iraq. Then again, Barack Obama was not calling for the defunding of her employer, National Public Radio. In fact, I dare someone to produce any story by Liasson where she calls any Democrat, including the anti-war, anti-NAFTA, protectionist uber-libs an isolationist. Considering the fact that she and her husband gave over $30,000 in campaign donations to Democrats in 2008-2009, I doubt you will find one.

So, will I take back what I said about Mara Liasson in my opening statement? Nope. See, I just happened to change the definition of those words. Like Liasson, I don’t have to tell you what I mean when I say it. Unlike Liasson, I do not hope if it gets said enough, people will actually believe it.

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It seems to me some care needs to be made to distinguish what is meant: “full isolationism” vs. “partial isolationism”? “total isolationism” vs. “limited isolationism”? “hard isolationism” vs. “soft isolationism”? Should we just stick with “noninterventionism” or go with something altogether new?  Hmmm…

Is Liasson — and AEI’s Danielle Pletka, for that matter — being rhetorically mischievous by intentionally mischaracterizing the sentiments of some conservatives? Or, is she merely going with the flow, following the current, trendy use of the word “isolationism”? Does she reveal a double-standard — or, at least, an inconsistency — in her treatment of politicians from different parties? What do you think?

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