Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First, Kill All the Journalists

So while we listen to a bunch of elitists like George Will bloviate about how elitist Barack Obama (son of a single mother, mixed-race, non-wealthy upbringing, worked as a community organizer in Chicago's south side) is compared to the uber-folksy Hillary Clinton (I shot a duck! Once.) and John McCain (husband of the multi-million dollar beer heiress), here are all the things your stupid TV media people are not talking about:

From the Army Times (that left-wing rag): "McCain Reveals Confusion Over Petraeus Role": Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona may not have been paying the closest of attention last week during hearings on the Bush administration’s Iraq policy. Speaking Monday at the annual meeting of the Associated Press, McCain was asked whether he, if elected, would shift combat troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to intensify the search for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. “I would not do that unless Gen. [David] Petraeus said that he felt that the situation called for that,” McCain said, referring to the top U.S. commander in Iraq. Petraeus, however, made clear last week that he has nothing to do with the decision...McCain did not stay for the full Petraeus appearance before the armed services committee, so he might have missed that explanation." Why would Senator McCain, the leading proponent of the war effort in Iraq (and with a campaign focused around his military knowledge) NOT stay for his General's full appearance? And how does he not know who makes decisions regarding combat troop shifts? And how does he keep getting away with making statements that show a clear lack of comprehension of al-Qaeda and Sunnis and Shiites (you know, the people we're fighting? Sort of. In Iran. Or is it in Iraq? Or Syria. And who knew that Iranians aren't Arabs?). WHY are we not hearing more about John McCain's CLEAR gaffes on national security? Oh. Because our media would rather parrot the Karl Rove Talking Points Memo: Does Barack Obama Hate Pennsylvanian Churchgoers? Give me an effing break.

Next, from Media Matters: "AP scrubbed Hadley's reportedly mistaken reference to 'Nepal.'"
Summary: In an article on appearances by national security adviser Stephen Hadley on two television news programs during which he discussed President Bush's decision to attend the Olympics opening ceremonies, the Associated Press did not note that during his appearance on ABC's This Week, Hadley repeatedly referred to Nepal when apparently talking about Tibet and reported: " 'The whole issue of opening ceremonies is a nonissue,' Hadley said. 'I think it is a way of dodging what really needs to happen if you're concerned about' Tibet." In fact, Hadley had said, "This whole issue of opening ceremonies is a nonissue. I think it is a way of dodging what really needs to happen if you're concerned about Nepal [emphasis added]." By contrast, The New York Times reported that Hadley "referred at least a half-dozen times to Nepal when he seemed clearly to be speaking of Tibet." So think about that: a news organization failed to tell you that a United States National Security Advisor repeatedly discusses the wrong country when discussing issues surrounding one of the most complicated foreign policy relationships our nation has. If you don't think that's a problem, I have a mountain in Nepal to sell you.

Next, an article at Portfolio.com that ought to result in firings across the board at the Pentagon. Apparently, our financial tracking systems are so antiquated (and efforts to upgrade them are so unsuccessful) that the Pentagon really, actually has no clear way to track where the trillions of dollars it spends really go. Nice. So--can we start asking how the Pentagon will get its financial house in order so it can meet basic Standards of Accounting--or are we going to keep ourselves busy discussing how a lack of bowling ability makes you not a good president. I mean, it's just a few trillion of YOUR money, so feel free to ignore it if you'd rather focus on something else...portfolio.com

Okay, so I think I've purged my irritation for the morning. So far. I know I'm a bit of shill for my boyfriend Barry, but it's more than that. It's just the absolute irritation of watching self-important blowhards like Russert and Mathews and pretty much everyone on Faux News discussing how elitist OTHER people are! Yeah, like people who actually have to be accountable for what they say. People who don't get paid tons of money to sit around and talk out their a-holes. This is not journalism. It's high school. You remember high school, that bastion of meritocracy? And it is absolutely the death knell of our democracy if we allow news organizations to decide what they will tell us, to decide what candidate is worthy or not, to ascribe personal characteristics to public figures based on their own opinions (I'm talking to you, Chris Mathews) and call it journalism.

UPDATE: A nice piece on Elitism We Like by Vigilante: http://the-vigil.blogspot.com/2008/04/i-am-closet-elitist.html


Geoff said...

Phew. For a second there, I thought I felt a bullseye on my back.

If I might be so blunt, a lot of these talking heads are really ruining the reputations of individuals who've given their blood, sweat, and tears to informing the public - a la - what journalism is supposed to be.

In any event, I doubt you needed me to say as much, so I'll just be off and spare a long and verbose reply.

Emily said...

Thanks for this, E. Just noticed it!