Imitation is a form of flattery, so I’m flattered that Mother Jones’s David Corn found my post on Bill O’Reilly’s possibly covering up war crimes in El Salvador so inspiring that he basically wrote an expanded version. A mention, rather than an anonymous link, would have been nice. It took a bit of effort to track down that CBS footage. But hey.

What is really annoying, however, is that my larger, and I think important point, about El Salvador’s serving as a key moment in the post-Vietnam degeneration of war journalism gets completely lost. As does O’Reilly’s coverup, intentional or not, of war crimes. Corn makes it all about O’Reilly. Which, of course, means it is really all about Corn. Now it gets turned into a lame Politico he-said, he-said spat between Corn and O’Reilly. Corn is a “guttersnipe,” says O’Reilly. Corn “hits back.”

So here’s how it works: Bill O’Reilly goes to El Salvador and avoids talking about a US-implicated war crime. David Corn writes about Bill O’Reilly going to El Salvador and avoids talking about a US-implicated war crime. And the circle remains unbroken. Bread and circuses, circuses and bread.

Also see Freddie Deboer on the matter.