One of the all-time classic Twilight Zone episodes starred William Shatner, as a salesman who had suffered a nervous breakdown on a commercial airline flight…
After six months’ confinement in a sanatorium, his wife arranges to have him released and books a flight home for the two of them, though she is understandably concerned that his anxiety about being on another flight might trigger a relapse.
Sure enough, when he gets on the plane to go home, the Shatner character (”Bob Wilson”) looks out and thinks he sees a “gremlin” on the plane’s wing. This creature, a mythical little monster conjured up by WWII aviators as a scapegoat for otherwise inexplicable mechanical failures, is seen deliberately reaching into one of the airliner’s engine cowlings and pulling out pieces.
When Shatner points this out to his wife and stewardess, the gremlin ducks out of sight. He knows the others think he’s crazy and might have him recommitted to a mental hospital. He’s even more fearful that if nothing is done, the damage to the plane’s engine by the gremlin will cause it to crash.
There follows a particularly scary scene where Shatner/Wilson is beginning to doubt his own sanity after the gremlin disappears for the fifth or sixth time when he tries to point out what he’s seeing to the others. The stewardess finally shuts the curtain on his window but Shatner/Wilson can’t help but look out again, only to see the grotesque face of the little monster pressed against the window!
This is altogether too much for him and, in his terror and panic; he grabs a revolver from a slumbering police officer across the aisle. Opening the emergency exit, he is almost sucked out when the plane depressurizes but not before shooting and killing the gremlin.
All the other people on the airplane naturally think Shatner/Wilson has gone totally crazy and the pilot radios ahead for medics to meet the plane at the airport. Put under sedation, in a straight-jacket strapped to a gurney, Shatner is being loaded into an ambulance when he looks up and sees that the engine cowling has indeed been ripped open, with wiring hanging out. He knows he wasn’t crazy, his mind playing tricks on him—the gremlin was real.
I’ve felt like the William Shatner character in that episode from the Twilight Zone. Numerous times I’ve raised questions and made arguments that my liberal friends say make me “insane,” “delusional,” “paranoid,” all because I dared to question the veracity of some Democratic politician.
I remember vividly meeting former FBI agent Gary Aldrich when he came to Kansas City in 1997 to speak on his book, “Unlimited Access”. Aldrich had been with the FBI office in the White House and had some scathing things to say about the Clinton Administration. One of the tamer charges-particularly in view of later revelations—was his account of how president Clinton would leave the White House for romantic trysts with young women, by himself or with a single aide. Aldrich said the Secret Service was worried that the president was putting himself at risk from a security stand point by this practice.
Author Aldrich was careful to qualify this statement in his book by saying he had no definite proof of such allegations but that he believed the Secret Service agents who’d told him these reports.
As I recall, the outcry from the Establishment media was immediate and deafening. As soon as the book was published, Aldrich was invited onto the Sunday morning talk shows but only to grill him to poke holes in his story. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer put out one of her trade-mark hit pieces. She was invited onto one of the talk shows but would not appear face to face with Aldrich even though her article was the template for all the other attacks on Aldrich’s credibility. “Lurid night-wing fantasy,” was the mildest charge made against him.
A little over a year later, there was an avalanche of explosive disclosures about Bill Clinton’s compulsive behavior. The prurient interest in the Monica Lewinsky scandal overshadowed the disquieting aspects of the story from a national security perspective. People forget there was evidence of blackmail by foreign intelligence services. In one of Clinton’s tape recorded phone calls to Lewinsky, the president, in his inimitable Arkansas-speak, is heard to say; “We gotta be real careful. There are all these foreign embassies listening in on us!”
Did anyone who labeled Aldrich and those who took him seriously as “deranged conspiracy theorists” ever admit they were wrong, let alone apologize? Being a Clinton defender means never having to say you’re sorry!
Fast forward to my KC Confidential blog post from 2014 on Planned Parenthood.
I’ve never seen such angry responses to anything I’ve ever said, even in lawsuits!
One commentator even claimed he knew my elderly mother (giving details like her age, her address, and her hobbies) and that she had told him she wished she’d aborted me!
Part of the reason people got so enraged was my rebuttal of the specious arguments used to rationalize Planned Parenthood’s charming practice of selling fetal body parts for fun and profit. The bigger factor, I believe, was citing all the racist appeals used to justify abortion by abortion proponents. The problem was that these things were all things I had seen or heard personally.
Little did I realize that “pro-choice” icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg had given an interview which confirmed my worst suspicions:
“Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations we don’t want too many of.” 2009 interview of RBG in N.Y. Times Magazine (“Notorious RBG” indeed!)
I think that this is conclusive proof of my point that abortion proponents slyly point out its disproportionate impact on minorities and the poor to justify the practice to affluent white suburbanites. These are the people who fund Planned Parenthood, even if they rarely use it themselves. The usual appeals to feminism and consequence free sexuality might not work with them so we need to set the hook with an old standby. One pitch is to argue that crime rates began to decline dramatically eighteen years after Roe V. Wade. I have no idea whether this supposed fact is true, but I do know what the message is i.e. let’s limit growth of “populations we don’t want too many of.” I’d just wish I’d known about this quote when I wrote my blog post but it still feels good to know I wasn’t just imaging things about peoples’ real motives.
Now we have yet another example of a question being raised about a Democratic candidate, which has led to a deafening Greek chorus of cat-calls and jeers from not just partisan supporters but the supposedly impartial media.
After the month Hillary Clinton spent largely absent from the campaign trail after the Democratic Convention, right-wing critics of the former Secretary of the State revived rumors about her health.
Recounting a history of not-so-trivial incidents – three serious falls, blood clots, and a concussion – they combined this with her seeming difficulty climbing stairs and apparent problems with her vision to argue she was concealing a serious illness.
The push-back from the “Respectable” press was loud and shrill.
The Washington Post’s chief political reporter, Chris Cilizza even ran a piece entitled, “Can’t We Just Stop Talking About Hillary Clinton’s Health Now?”
Numerous other liberal commentators joined in, claiming this was another example of a right wing conspiracy, which showed the paranoia and credulity of those who raised such questions. Then came Hillary’s collapse at the 9-11 Memorial service in New York. If it hadn’t been for an alert by-stander with a cell phone camera, the whole incident would have been concealed from the public. (Her handlers at that point had ditched the press corps that travels with her.)
The explanation for her condition went from “allergies” (Friday) to “overheating” (Sunday morning) and finally to “pneumonia” (Sunday night). Clearly, something about her health was being hidden.
In the days that followed September 11th, two other significant developments occurred.
A 2011 e-mail surfaced, thanks to Wikileaks, from Jake Sullivan, an assistant to HRC at the State Department, to the Secretary of State. Sullivan reported to her about a new drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. On Friday afternoon, Hillary responded to a press inquiry about whether she would submit to a neurocognitive test by refusing point blank.
Given her age and health history such a test would clear up any concerns about her capacity to carry out the responsibilities of the presidency but she would not even consider it. (That’s obviously a less critical issue than what The Donald paid in federal income taxes in 1994)
Why is it that yet again the liberal default position to those raising awkward questions is to brand the questioners mentally ill? And when these concerns are shown by new facts to have some rational basis, what is the response of liberal journalists? Usually it is silence. Sometimes, however, it’s a complete about-face, with no admission that the person had ever said anything to the contrary, let alone labeled it a sign of mental illness or being a pathological liar.
We have truly arrived at Orwell’s 1984, where something is only true and good to the extent it advances the interests of “The Party” (Democratic) or “the progressive movement.”
Every inconvenient statement made or position taken goes down the Orwellian memory hole. (Or the editing booth at CNN or NBC, the present day equivalent!) The gremlins were indeed at work.
Like William Shatner in that long ago Twilight Zone episode, I really have seen the cowling torn off the plane’s engine.