25 July 2011

It's hard to break old habits...

It might be Pavlovian, but then again it might be that dull simplicity that you see in cows as they move on the paths they've been shown and come to a dead halt when confronted with something new.

Here's the front page of Rupert Murdoch's Sun on Saturday, July 23, the day after the Norway killings:

Now why the hell would The Sun, Murdoch's popular British rag, print such a ridiculous headline? Probably for the same reason that the racist Right in the US immediately jumps to blame Muslims (or Latinos or unions, etc.) for tragedies. For examples of which, simply read the comments section of Washington Post articles on the killings -- preferably the articles from Friday, when no one was sure who had done it. Or maybe I should say, when no one actually knew who had done it -- because these racist yahoos were pretty damn sure they knew who had done it, just as Murdoch's tabloid was certain.

And of course, you have the "experts" called in by the various television media, such as Cliff May, the president of the "Foundation for the Defense of Democracies," which despite its nice name often aligns itself with police-state reactions to unrest and overall has a xenophobic attitude. On Bloomberg/Washington Post, May immediately responds with a list of Norway's "enemies," all of which are connected in some way to so-called Islamic interests, and after giving that some expansion, he finishes up with "it may not be any of that, of course." Why was this idiot given air time?

We really don't need the sort of "analysis" that either May or Conley provides. Anyone can sit in a chair and speculate without providing any evidence. It's called fanning the flames of ignorance.

It isn't helpful.


Washington Cube said...

I was talking to a friend the other day about "talking heads." I told them that lately, more and more, I'm seeing news anchors offering their personal opinions on stories they've just reported on.

A few weeks ago, HBO showed a documentary on Bobby Fischer (fascinating) and during the movie they had news clips read by the old guys: Cronkite, Harry Reasoner...all men who started as print or radio reporters. I mentioned to the friend how seeing those men made me miss them and their sensible, articulate voices.

I also recalled Andy Rooney trying to eulogize his old friend, Walter Cronkite, and breaking down into sobs and having to be led away. Those old guys had a long history together, and I know re: Cronkite and Rooney, they had both been in London reporting during WWII.

So when I read and hear these blathering idiots you mention, I really can't bear it. It's so...insulting.

cs said...

Cronkite was someone you actually respected, but it wasn't just because he was who he was; it was also that the news organization behind him was diligent. Broadcast news from the three major networks back in the day was more serious. I think cable news adversely affected those organizations.

I rarely watch any news of any sort; I get it from print media (both online and actual old school print).