May 25, 2004


What the hell is Time magazine’s Mary Corliss talking about?

Last week, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited Iraq and, to the cheers of his military audience, defiantly called himself "a survivor" (a word traditionally reserved for those who have lived through the Holocaust or cancer, not for someone enduring political difficulties).

I hope Corliss points out to fellow Time staffers Karen Tumulty ("Bill Clinton, who was the ultimate political survivor") and Richard Lacayo ("What makes Clinton a survivor?") that they have violated this ancient and noble tradition. Of which nobody has ever heard.

Posted by Tim Blair at May 25, 2004 02:58 PM

Eh, I hate it when people start referring to themselves as "survivors", too. Too self-congratulatory. But perhaps Rumsfeld is speaking of 1983 Beirut when terrorists, thwarted from attacking the US and British embassies directly, started to hit people on their way to work, or at home:

...we'd been trapped in there for three or four days where they were shelling the house we were in. And we got in the car and there was all this crazy driving. My wife took some Dramamine. She was in there with me that whole time.

We ended up in your [i.e., the British] Embassy on those wooden pews that are in the front, where all the people come in to get visas? And she had taken two or three Dramamine and fell completely asleep in a flak jacket. And I can still picture her, just out cold from the Dramamine, waiting for a helicopter to come in, and the only place we could go was your Embassy, before we got out of there.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at May 25, 2004 at 03:21 PM

The TV show Survivor is about cancer-stricken former inmates of Auschwitz? And it rates eh?

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 25, 2004 at 03:23 PM

Give her some slack, Tim, the poor girl works for TIME; can't expect much

Posted by: Ken White at May 25, 2004 at 03:25 PM

Not to mention millions of Americans who "survived" College and Graduate School. Don't forget the millions who “survived” their bad marriage.

Posted by: perfectsense at May 25, 2004 at 03:35 PM

First, Bush = Hitler.

Now Donald Rumsfeld is worse than cancer.

When do these folks start shooting puppies and stuff?

Posted by: Steve in Houston at May 25, 2004 at 03:42 PM

Is a cancer survivor like an AIDS victim?

Posted by: Freddyboy at May 25, 2004 at 03:59 PM


It may be time to bring the word 'idiotarian' out of retirement, it seems to describe so many people these days...

Posted by: rosignol at May 25, 2004 at 04:18 PM

Lest anyone forget, Donald Rumsfeld was in the Pentagon on 9/11.

Posted by: Ben Zeen at May 25, 2004 at 04:18 PM

On television news (ABC I think), someone was saying "We aren't bushfire [or whatever] victims but survivors", and the caption was "[person's name], bushfire victim". Sure, just ignore what the person was saying...

The first word I'd associate with "survivor" is holocaust, but we can't ban people from using the word from any other context.

But the use of the word "survival" in "My Hell in Camp X-ray" seemed a bit much - I commented to someone when talking about it that he seemed to think he was "surviving" the holocaust or something.

Posted by: Andjam at May 25, 2004 at 04:24 PM

Lest anyone forget, Donald Rumsfeld was in the Pentagon on 9/11.

Rumsfeld knew! He kneeeeeeeeeew!

Oh - more of me complaing about use of the word "survivor":

Do you mean the reality tv show, or are you falsely pretending to be a holocaust survivor? You are below pathetic.

Posted by: Andjam at May 25, 2004 at 04:27 PM

In bootcamp the goal was to subsume the individual in order for him to become a member of the unit first in mind and action. One of the very first tools of dismemberment of the future Marines psyche, was to remove the word "I" from his vocabulary. You couldn't refer to yourself in the first person for three months.
Now we have a Times writer taking on the mantle of a drill instructor. Brow beating the Secretary of Defence of all people.

The hubrus of this action is beyond belief.

Posted by: Papertiger at May 25, 2004 at 04:59 PM

Secretary Rumsfeld is a former Naval Aviator. He flew fighter aircraft off of aircraft carriers in the 1950's, when naval fighters were like every other jet aircraft, which is to say underpowered.

And he flew underpowered "bricks with wings" off of a ship.

Memo to Time Magazine's Mary Corliss: Yes, he's a survivor, dumbass.

Posted by: Mike James at May 25, 2004 at 05:26 PM

Better tell the girls in Destiny's Child too, their song 'I'm a survivor' is about surviving a 'breakup':

Now that you're out of my life
I'm so much better
You thought that I'd be weak without you
But I'm stronger
You thought that I'd be broke without you
But I'm richer
You thought that I'd be sad without you
I laugh harder
You thought I wouldn't grow without you
Now I'm wiser
Though that I'd be helpless without you
But I'm smarter
You thought that I'd be stressed without you
But I'm chillin'
You thought I wouldn't sell without you
Sold 9 million

Posted by: soul at May 25, 2004 at 05:33 PM

And let's not forget Mary's husband, Richard, on Anita Mui (Time, Jan. 4, 2004):

And Madonna didn't die at 40. Mui did, last week, of cervical cancer, in an exit as poignant as any of her songs or films.
Most Hong Kong thrushes are sweet vixens. Mui was different. Her large eyes, beaky nose and small, lurid gash of a mouth gave rise to another sobriquet: the Ugly Queen of Pop. That's a harsh way of saying that Mui was a throwback to chanteuse Bai Guang and other Shanghai "sour beauties" of the pre-Mao era. The sour beauty sang of love as a burden that made the sufferer superior. Mui was that survivor: battered but proud.

Posted by: Chuck Tulk at May 25, 2004 at 05:53 PM

Oh man. This has got to be one of the most desperate attempts at oblique slander yet. These people are coming unhinged.

Posted by: Russell at May 25, 2004 at 06:02 PM

When I was googling about Rumsfeld's military service, I got this page. Given the track record of Bush's critics, I'm not confident about the page's accuracy.

Has anyone done an analysis of those who voted for and against the Iraq war authorization to see how well Vietnam veterans were represented in both groups?

Posted by: Andjam at May 25, 2004 at 06:30 PM

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

Rice / Rumsfeld in 2008.

Posted by: steve at May 25, 2004 at 06:55 PM

Come on guys......

"survivor" is just one of the terms that the left reserves for itself.

Feminists are survivors, activists of all kinds. In Australia, John Howard, despite some setbacks, has just celebrated 30 years as a politician. I'll bet survivor hasn't been used at all.

Funny that.

Posted by: nic at May 25, 2004 at 07:11 PM

How's my favorite dumb Nazi slut going, Andreea Harris?

Tim got back from holidays too quick for you hunny? Didn't get to delete enuff posts and tell uz all about the snarky emails you sent them?

Dumb power hungry slutt.

Posted by: Jeff Jantsz at May 25, 2004 at 07:42 PM

Volume II of the The (Tim) Blair Watch Project is up:

"... So score 1 point to Tim for spotting journalistic stupidity. But take 5 or 10 off for being immune to the astonishing chutzpah of a harried bureaucrat, Rumsfeld, telling a bunch of soldiers, marines and civilians-in-harm's-way that he's a survivor...." (more)

Posted by: Nick at May 25, 2004 at 08:03 PM


A majority of veterans in the U.S. Senate is Republican. A majority of veterans in the House is Republican. Most combat veterans in Congress are Republican. Most gubernatorial veterans are Republican.

">My source is Richard Aragon. He is a disabled Vietnam Veteran who served in Vietnam 1970-72 with the 2/12 25th Inf Co. B; 3/22 25th Inf Co. B; Co. E 50th Inf; 56 Sup Co. USARPAC; USA Depot DaNang. Among his awards are the Purple Heart, Combat Medics Badge & the CIB.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 25, 2004 at 08:38 PM

I guess "Jeff Jantsz" is giving us an example of someone who is a "survivor" of severe brain damage. And it's spelled "Andrea", "honey", "enough", "us", and "slut".

And now I will display my power-hunger by banning your IP, you pathetic troll wannabe. (Hint: real trolls start out being on topic.)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 25, 2004 at 08:43 PM

Jeff Jantsz

You poor baby, did she say nasty things to you?

Posted by: Gary at May 25, 2004 at 08:49 PM

A sixth spelling error: he was riffing on the name of Australian TV cook, Jeff Jantz. Hence the hotmail name. Tool.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 25, 2004 at 08:55 PM

We live on a veritable planet of god damn morons.

Posted by: Aaron at May 25, 2004 at 09:05 PM

Of course, Corliss' sensibilities were offended by Rumsfeld misappropriating the word "survivor" because of its association with the Holocaust. Rumsfeld can be such a callow sort who apparently has little grasp of history, proportionality and the emotional impact of common nouns.

Why couldn't he have just used the term that the sensitive Left calls him, Ashcroft, Cheney, Bush, Republicans, Israeli Jews, and now Andrea Harris- "Nazi"?

Posted by: c at May 25, 2004 at 10:45 PM
Why couldn't he have just used the term that the sensitive Left calls him, Ashcroft, Cheney, Bush, Republicans, Israeli Jews, and now Andrea Harris- "Nazi"?

Given the views of today's left, they're probably trying to pay a compliment.

Posted by: Clem Snide at May 25, 2004 at 11:12 PM

"Mary Corliss has covered the Cannes Film Festival for Film Comment and other publications since 1974"

I'll email Omar that yet another boomer locust, working the same fashion-and-flashbulbs fluff job for thirty years, writing from the vacation playground of Saddam's best pals France, states - without a moment of hesitation - that the liberation of Iraq was *bad* for the Iraqis.

To her and Moore's credit, the point about the Bush-Saudi coziness is well taken; but we've known about it for a long time and since then the US has pulled its forces and closed its bases in "the kingdom" and it would appear that a disentanglement process has begun. Do I wish Bush cut himself off from the head of the serpant, the House of Saud? Yes, of course. Maybe Mary can take a minute out of her busy day in Cannes and go visit some members of the Saudi family - who vacation every year in the South of France, plopping down millions of dollars in petroloot into the French economy - and ask them a few questions about Wahhabism.

Posted by: Sergio at May 25, 2004 at 11:53 PM

We live on a veritable planet of god damn morons.

a friend in college used to lament "why is the world so full of walking, talking rectums?"

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at May 26, 2004 at 12:00 AM

So, what does everyone think will happen on tonight's episode? Will Aaron and Shmuel break their alliance with Yitzhak, or are they going to be like, Yitzhak's a Kapo now, if we turn on him he can rat us out to Sturmbannfuehrer Schmidt and have us sent to the ovens? My buddy from work thinks Block 43B is going to totally blow away Block 23C in the rock-breaking contest, but what I say is if 43B is so great how come less than half of them lived through the medical experiments last week?

Posted by: Paul Zrimsek at May 26, 2004 at 12:08 AM

Way to go Mary, spin the word "Survivor" uttered by Rummy while amid throngs of cheering soldiers, survivors by any definition.

Posted by: Dash at May 26, 2004 at 12:26 AM

Talking of people who have been called nazis, John Howard will be meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Man of Steel to meet Terminator

(The joy of headlines)

If Howard pulls off the deal for LPG supply, I reckon they'll be calling him the terminalator.

There was a jibe about the two meeting being like "Twins". I don't usually like jokes about Howard's height, but that one was a good one.

Posted by: Andjam at May 26, 2004 at 12:30 AM

Currencylad — According to the MainStreamMedia and their pod-people followers — Their being veterans doesn't because they're Republicans and that makes them partisan... those damn soldiers, taking sides...

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at May 26, 2004 at 01:30 AM

Currency lad — According to the mainstream media and their followers, Republicans being veterans doesn't matter since they're Republicans and that makes them partisan, even if, as with the Swift Boat veterans, they specifically state they are acting as a nonpartisan body.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at May 26, 2004 at 01:42 AM

OK, that was weird.

Andrea, feel free to delete either post at your preference.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at May 26, 2004 at 01:43 AM

Don't worry, Richard. You can now be a tortured post survivor!

Posted by: c at May 26, 2004 at 01:49 AM



Posted by: CurrencyLad at May 26, 2004 at 02:41 AM

Didn't anybody see the episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" when Larry's Rabbi asks if he can bring a "Survivor" friend to the dinner party? Larry has his dad invite a friend who survived the death camps, thinking they would have lots to talk about. And the "Survivor" turns out to be Colby, from Survivor: Outback. Even better was when they started arguing about who had it worse.

Posted by: mailman at May 26, 2004 at 03:02 AM

My rule of thumb... if you want to call yourself a survivor, there better be a sunken ship, crashed airplane, or burning building behind you...

"But I'm an emotional survivor..." = "I whine a lot."

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at May 26, 2004 at 10:47 AM

This is just pathetic. Utterly, utterly, scraping-mold-off-the-rocks-UNDERNEATH-the-barrel pathetic. Somehow this quote journalist unquote lacks a television, or at least one that gets CBS. And is completely unfamiliar with the disco era and the works of Gloria Gaynor. And, of course, with the press coverage of the former President.

For the record, the original "come back kid" / "survivor" monicker for that former President concerned withstanding allegations of infidelity during the Presidential primaries. But that case, obviously, was a noble use of the term, whereas being a war veteran and "non casualty" of two of the most devastating terrorist attacks of the last quarter century could not possibly use it without it being an outrageous affront to all those real "survivors".

Everyone here needs to remember this little tidbit in the future when people make mention of some sort of quality dividing line between "professional" and "amateur" journalists.

Posted by: Robin Goodfellow at May 26, 2004 at 12:37 PM

Actually I have no idea who little Jeffy Jantz is or thinks he or she is. I suppose I could go through my stored records of trolls' IPs but it occurs to me that I don't give a damn. Or in the immortal words of Miss Gloria Gaynor:

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
'cause you're not welcome anymore
weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
you think I'd crumble
you think I'd lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as i know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive


Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 26, 2004 at 01:25 PM

Wow. Can't believe no one has mentioned Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger". Rummy's got that in spades.

Do the power chords at home with me, people!

Posted by: JDB at May 26, 2004 at 03:32 PM

Actually I'd prefer to forget Survivor and their one-hit wonder tune ever existed. But now that you mention it, the refrain from "Eye of the Tiger" is playing in my head over and over again. I'm going to need your address to sent my future therapy bills to.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 26, 2004 at 03:33 PM

What happened to the rest of the face of the tiger?

Posted by: Andjam at May 26, 2004 at 04:21 PM

Speaking of Eye of the Tiger have you seen the new Starbucks ad where a band is following a guy drinking thier canned coffee singing the song but with his name in it. I thought it was quite funny.


Posted by: Bart at May 26, 2004 at 11:36 PM

Yeah, this totally reminded me of that Curb Your Enthusiasm . . .

Rumsfeld did survive the terrorist attack on the Pentagon, people. He was there.

Posted by: Crank at May 28, 2004 at 03:41 AM