Thursday, December 07, 2006

A vast wasteland, except for Wife Swap on ABC

I don't watch the ranting talking heads on cable anymore. I haven't for long time and I don't miss them. Ninety-nine percent of the political screaming matches you watch on The O'Reilly Factor or Hannity & Colmes or Tucker or whatever is just a vaudeville act. It's not intellectual debate, it's argument for the sake of argument. Nothing is solved, nothing is learned. Certainly not in the three to six minutes given for the segments. It's just yell out your talking points as fast and as loud as you can. Like I said i don't miss it. It's like missing punches to the head.

The latest example of public discourse descending into the gutter is the New York Post's front page today. Rupert Murdoch, the media/propaganda barron put the faces of James A. Baker III and Lee hamilton, the co-chairs of the Iraq Study Group, on monkeys and screamed the headline, "Surrender Monkeys." It's really impressive in it's childish viciousness and total lack of substance. But what do you expect from Murdoch or the right? They can't defend against the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group so they call the co-chairs surrender monkeys. Listen to Tom Friedman and then decide whether getting out of Iraq is a bad idea. Listen what an intelligent assessment sounds like and compare that against questions from O'Reilly like, "Do you want America to win in Iraq?" (Unfortunately it's not the complete interview - I caught it his morning and it was refreshing.) The death of substantive debate is complete. No longer do we use history or facts or political assessments to frame a debate - it has arrived at the destination where a former Secretary of State, who also served as a White House Chief of Staff is called a "surrender monkey" by a major newspaper whose publisher controls Fox News.

So do yourself a favor. Turn off the television. Pick up a book, magazine or a newspaper. Hey here's a crazy idea - why not actually read the Iraq Study Group report instead of having some right-wing nutjob newspaper like the New York Post distill it down into a two-word slur? Learn something. Learn how you are treated like fools by the smirking cable hosts. Learn how you've been lied to and fed a steady diet of propaganda. If you don't you'll be using examples of Jack Bauer in "24" (a Fox show) to justify torture. Too late, already done. In the meantime I'm going to tune out, turn away and drop out of wasting brain cells on people who have none.

2 Comments:

Blogger FriendlyQuark said...

Does it ever feel like the people on the TV are in another country or talking about completely different things than they say they are? I keep listening to the news, waiting for it to make some sense, and it never does.

The commentators and the anchors seem oblivious to the issues that most concern me. There was almost no reporting on the revoking of Habeus Corpus. Where were the outraged screams?

Do they actually listen to what they are reading, or just mouth the words with no understanding of the meaning?

2:21 PM  
Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

The media has become one more weapon of mass distraction, focusing on endless loads on bullshit, while ignoring the real issues. And people say there is no censorship in America.

5:18 PM  

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