The Brew: Mary Lou on the Mend, US at the Ready
Before we get to the gritty, let’s kick off the morning with news worthy of a backflip.
Olympic Darling Mary Lou Retton Home and on the Mend
Famed Olympic gymnast and 80’s icon Mary Lou Retton has been released from the hospital following a precarious, life-threatening battle with pneumonia.
Retton’s daughter McKenna Kelly took to Instagram Monday with the good news: “Mom is HOME and in recovery mode. We still have a long road of recovery ahead of us, but baby steps.”
“We are overwhelmed with the love and support from everyone. Grateful doesn’t scrape the surface of the posture of our hearts.”
For those too young to remember, Retton gave one of the greatest clutch performances in sports history at the 1984 Olympics. The perky little Retton needed a perfect 10 on the vault to earn the gold and become the first American to win the over-all-title. She needed perfection. And nailed it.
As Amy Bass wrote for CNN, Mary Lou’s victory set the table for American domination of women’s gymnastics that continues to this day. Speaking of which, we are now only 276 days away from the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Also, point of personal privilege: Christmas movie buffs will also remember Mary Lou for her cameo in Bill Murray’s Scrooged. She played Tiny Tim. God bless us, everyone.
And God protect us.
U.S. “Won’t Hesitate” to Get Involved in Israel-Hamas War if Line is Crossed
Monday marked the 40th anniversary of the Hezbollah attack on the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut that killed 241 of our bravest and finest. 220 Marines, 18 U.S. Navy sailors and 3 U.S. Army members.
40 years ago today, 220 Marines, 18 Sailors, and 3 Soldiers were killed in a bombing at the United States Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. pic.twitter.com/PKhYHxCJgT
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) October 23, 2023
Earlier this month, for the first time since the bombing, an Iranian official admitted Iran’s role in the attack’s planning and execution. The video of Sayyed Issa Tabatabai, who represents Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Lebanon, was immediately scrubbed by the Iranian Republic News Agency. But to say it again, Iran admitted it was behind an attack that left 241 American service members dead.
And the American response to that confession … or boast? You see or hear any response?
Which brings us to today:
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday the U.S. “won’t hesitate to take the appropriate action” if Iranian proxies attack U.S. troops. The White House reported Monday that Iran is “actively facilitating” rocket attacks against U.S. bases in the Middle East. And word broke late Monday afternoon that drones have again attacked a U.S. base in Syria.
Unknown whether it is directly connected, but Joe Biden cut short a speech and press briefing to “go to the situation room.” (He declared he would not support talking about a cease-fire until all hostages are released.)
But how convinced are you the White House has the backs of our troops? (After Afghanistan, that’ll always be a question.) Yes, we know that by the time you read this, the U.S. might have responded. If so we pray for the safety of all our military personnel involved. However, last week, with 32 Americans killed, Biden’s response was to talk about Islamophobia and handing more billions to Ukraine. Amid reports the White House is pressuring Israel to hold off on a ground invasion, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says the U.S. is asking “tough questions” of Israel in regards to its effort to exterminate Hamas. (Just think what the answer would be to any country that asked us “tough questions” about our response to Al-Qaeda after 9/11.) And what about tossing out foreign nationals who are openly celebrating and cheering on Hamas? No, says Kirby, that would violate the First Amendment.
KIRBY: Deporting or revoking the visas of pro-Hamas protestors would be a violation of free speech. pic.twitter.com/gWunCFqlkl
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 23, 2023
Says the same administration that is imprisoning people … and trying to imprison the former President of the United States … for saying the 2020 election was rigged.
What about the torrent of hatred and calls for the extermination of the Jews rising from our streets and campuses? Like the 19 pro-Hamas demonstrators arrested while battling police in Brooklyn Saturday night? Or those who vandalized the office of Jewish journalist Bari Weiss? Or random attacks on elderly Jewish couples?
When asked about the rise of antisemitism, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pivoted immediately to Islamophobia:
Jean-Pierre is asked about the rise of anti-Semitism in America and responds by saying “Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks."
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 23, 2023
Media Going to Muddle
Remember two weeks ago when some media outlets were getting heat for calling Hamas “militants” instead of “terrorists”? Well, the BBC has now has dropped referring to the terror group as even “militants” after getting heat, sticking it with “bomber, attacker, gunman, kidnapper or insurgent.” Give it a month and they’ll call these blood-thirsty terrorists “snuggle bunnies.”
Then there’s what Not-The-Bee called the “new worst tweet of all time.”
Last night, I asserted that this report indicated that babies were beheaded. This was an overstatement. I should have said that the report established that babies were found headless, a fact that lends plausibility to claims of beheading, but which does not prove them.
— Eric Levitz (@EricLevitz) October 22, 2023
“Overstatement”?! Levitz writes for New York magazine’s Intelligencer. After the outcry, he explained he was trying to be journalistically accurate and was not trying to give credence to the idea the media was lying about the atrocities committed by Hamas. Indeed his full thread does not downplay the horror. Okay. But still how do you type that tweet without realizing how wretched it sounds?
Meanwhile, the New York Times delivers an almost mea culpa for taking Hamas’ word that Israel had bombed a hospital in Gaza City when it was actually a misfired rocket from the “other team,” as Biden put it. The Times admits they “relied too heavily on claims from Hamas.” If Trump said the sky was blue, the New York Times would add a disclaimer that Trump’s statement has not been independently verified. But Hamas? More trustworthy than a Swiss watch.
“The report left readers with an incorrect impression about what was known and how credible the account was.” And that report spread far and wide, and helped ignite violent protests.
The Times did not actually apologize for the damage it caused. (The NYT’s statement is behind a paywall.)
Along The Stream
Part Two of “Understanding Israel’s War” from Dr. Jim Garlow.
Stream Senior Editor Nancy Flory interviews Dale Sutherland, a former undercover narcotics officer and pastor. What a tale he tells!
Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and co-author of the counter-terrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.