There's a popular carnival ride that I've heard about but never experienced.
The riders stand against the inside walls of a centrifuge that begins to spin. Eventually it spins so fast that the floor drops away and the riders are suspended against the wall by, well, centrifugal force.
That's the power of spin.
Right now the Bush administration has us at maximum spin, hoping to keep us up against the wall of conformity with our eyes tightly shut to fight back the nausea that is also a side effect of spin. This Jessica Lynch thing has me spinning so fast I'm about to pass out.
First, kudos to Jessica for acknowledging the situation when, if she was so inclined, she could have done a lot to keep the ride going. Instead she's trying to push the stop button.
And before I go any further, I'm going to mention Shoshana Johnson. That's just something that needs to start happening more, if you ask me.
It's something Glamour magazine seems to have realized, and we all really do need to wonder why it hasn't happened before.
I mean, what do they think of us? Aren't you all insulted by this nonsense?
In case you haven't heard, it turns out that someone somewhere (I'm not in a position to point fingers in a specific direction, here) apparently decided to exaggerate the story behind Lynch's capture by Iraqis and her eventual, videotaped rescue.
The fact that the rescue was taped shows the planning that went into the unknown spin-meister's work. He must have seen her picture.
Can you see the weasel, probably sitting in a helicopter on his or her way somewhere, drooling over a picture of that pretty blond face and dreaming up scenarios?
She was shot and stabbed while fighting off her attackers, the initial reports said. Now Lynch says her gun jammed and she fired not a shot. Her injuries came from the accident that followed a rocket attack on her convoy that had made a wrong turn.
Johnson did some fighting and was shot in both ankles. Now not only is she not famous, the Army doesn't seem to want to pay her much in disability pay, only 30 percent of her salary as opposed to Lynch's 80 percent.
Maybe there's some good reason for that, but the point remains that, considering the kind of people behind this, I don't think the African American community is being racially paranoid when they say she has been overlooked because of her race. I hope that has an effect on next November's election.
And, pardon my bluntness, but she's not quite the model-type like Lynch.
There's even some doubt about whether Lynch was raped, since she apparently doesn't remember it happening and the Iraqi doctor who treated her is contradicting the medical reports cited in Lynch's book "I Am A Soldier, Too" to show the rape occurred.
Now, in fairness, I can't say that the Bush administration ordered the "exaggerations" to come out. But I think it set the stage for this fiasco by its own loose treatment of the truth.
Beginning with the pumped-up reports of Saddam's threat that came out before the war to the recent aversion to bad news still pouring from Iraq every day, Bush has set a precedent that The Boss wants to hear good things. Or more accurately he wants the American people to hear only the good stuff, whether the good stuff is true or not.
But as my respect for Bush decreases with this incident, my respect for Lynch increases. She hasn't contributed a drop to this cesspool and I hope she doesn't drown in it.
Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org