I Am The News
Why We Keep Turning Off Our TV Lately
Mind-boggling. That's how my friends abroad describe
the U.S. media's news content. The abduction of children dominates
the media for weeks, even though this despicable & inhuman trend
is apparently on a downswing. Meanwhile, most of Europe is enduring
floods in ages, and it gets a 30-second snippet. It's hard to
decipher from here in the states what the agenda really is. It's
easy to get paranoid and think there's some serious backscratching
going on when something like the
Enron/Andersen scandal falls off the media screen in a matter
of weeks, while unconfirmed sightings of a Bill
Clinton talk show re-surface weekly. Are we attacking Iraq?
"Er, maybe, if uh, anybody in on this hand? Nah? Well, maybe,
er..." Sure makes for some profound debate on the Fox Morning
Show, though, where the television equivalent of shock-jock radio
pops open a Bud Light at 7 am and says "Yeah! Let's kill them
there dang ay-rabs! whoo!" Which reminds us of another American
Our News Is Better Than Your News
We miss Walter Cronkite. He'll never make the
cover of GQ, but for years he and others of that era delivered the
news in a reasonably impartial manner, just like you might expect
of a real journalist. Sure, Walt was probably a simpering liberal
in reality, but this was only evident in editorials, when a little
personal expression should be allowed anyway. Unlike today, when
a self-obsessed idiot like Geraldo
Rivera not only insists on making his very presence in a hostile
environment the real story, but then also
lies about where he is. We're not meaning to single out Geraldo,
the list runs on and on. Bill O'Reilly only thinks he's in a no-spin
zone because his head is spinning in the same direction as the great
toxic vortex that is today's impartial reporting. Dan Rather's obvious
liberal spewing is equally reprehensible. We're glad to see Phil
Donahue's back, and as long as he doesn't start claiming he's doing
real news, his hypersalivary
Naderism might even be acceptable. So who's left? Jim Lehrer?
Tom Brokaw? There actually are some intelligent people still working
in television news these days, but the final decision makers in
programming at major networks don't think America's smart enough
to watch, and Jon Stewart's got a nice contract with the Daily Show.
So Why Do We Care?
Well partly, just like the X-Files, we believe
"The Truth Is Out There". We laugh aloud every time Fox
News does the station ID where they say, "Fair,
Balanced Reporting". We assume they justify this statement
by serving up shows like Hannity & Colmes, where two former
AM radio stars rant in what is presumably the voice of their respective
ideologies. Their attemps at being thoughtful and provocative end
up spinning into Beavis & Butthead-like dialogues, which would
be okay, if they were in fact Beavis & Butthead. In fact if
they were Beavis & Butthead, we'd probably tune in every
night. (Note to self: Contact Fox News and suggest Beavis &
Butthead do News Show.) CNN does a little better in this arena
with Crossfire. At least they have one or two people with a background
in the subject matter they're addressing. Disclosure: We
confess, we're James Carville fans. This has nothing to do with
being liberal. He's a disturbingly straight shooter, to the extent
that he even visibly appears ashamed when admitting he's friends
with the Clintons.You can guage exactly how honest he's being by
his degree of eye contact. If he's telling you a shameful, despicable
truth, his chin will be seemingly welded to his chest while he tries
to shake his head in restrained despair. If he's lying like a sack
of potatoes, he'll look at the camera dead-on with a big smile and
those Deliverance-banjo-player-eyes. Now if they could just replace
the smirky, bow-tied Tucker Carlson with somebody a little hipper,
O'Rourke, we feel they'd have a real winner here.
So what's the point?
The point is, we're mad as hell, and we're not
gonna take it anymore. We're on the offensive. What's the point
of having eighty-some channels of cable, broadband internet, cell-phones,
digital cameras, and a computer powerful enough to run Microsoft
Word if we're not gonna do something with it? So we've got
a hit list:
Hannity & Colmes
FOX & Friends
Curtis and Kuby
Follow the saga of our heartfelt but antagonistic
emails with America's finest news figures.
First Up: Bill O'Reilly
As the former "hard-hitting investigative journalist"
Edition, Mr. O'Reilly makes frequent references to his Peabody
Award, although apparently neither he nor Inside Edition ever
received one. In spite of making more than $4 Million a year (with
a $20 Million contract apparently in the works), Mr. O'Reilly is
a self-proclaimed common man, who understands our plight. In his
quest for spin-less journalism, his two most powerful tools are
the the following expressions, typically utilised when he's been
clearly caught off guard regarding some actual facts:
"Well, that's YOUR opinion, and I guess
we're all entitled to opinions"
"I'm sorry, but this is a NO SPIN ZONE"
The second expression is used to quickly disqualify
any remarks made by the guest immediately prior to its utterance.
We'll be posting all our emails and their responses
here at Echopraxia.org beginning October 11. Check back!
The O'Reilly Emails>
The O'Reilly Emails>
Don't smash your TV yet, just turn it off for
awhile and see if you can still read...
War for Perpetual Peace
Gore Vidal's essays
rival those of George Orwell in their insight
and clarity. Although given to some occasional
liberal rants, his commentary is nevertheless
informed and thought-provoking.
Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy
With almost mind-numbing
detail, this book explores the complicated
events leading up to September 11, 2001.
A skilled novelist could only dream of weaving
a tale this complex and fueled by such interesting
characters, many of whom are powerful figures
rarely mentioned in the mainstream media.
A must-read if you still feel unsettled
about why 9/11 happened.
War, Inc.: Inside The Secret World of Osama
Even though he's a CNN
employee, Mr Bergen seems to have covered
the bases while assembling this book. We
especially enjoyed ironic details like bin
Laden's original call to aggression being
composed in Microsoft Word, on a Mac. Think