Books Dinesh-D’Souza Edward-R.-Murrow gay-marriage GI-Joe Humor Michael-Moore Mika-Brzezinski News Paris-Hilton Politics Post Republican satire Thundercats TV Wolf-Blitzer

What’s Wrong with Mainstream News Reporting, from Mika to Moore to Murrow

Many years ago, I got a bachelor's degree in journalism. After considering a few $20,000 per year job offers, I decided to work in web development instead. For a few years, I would read the paper or check out the news and wish I was writing instead of coding. Not so much any more. I don't think I could put up with the crap. Much like Mika Brzezinski from MSNBC, who just couldn't stomach reporting about Paris Hilton any more: [youtube]6VdNcCcweL0[/youtube] But it's not just about fluff like Paris Hilton. We already know that judging by sheer weight of coverage, Anna Nicole Smith's death was much more important that the passing of Kurt Vonnegut. The real problem is that since 9/11, the fourth estate has acted a lot like the first estate's adoring puppy. You might not be a huge Michael Moore fan, but take a look at this video at CNN (CNN doesn't provide any way to embed video, so I can't post it direct). Wolf Blitzer has not sunk quite to the National Enquirer level, and he's not exactly a partisan hack either, so he got two points above most of the people on CNN, Fox, etc. But Moore is right - Wolf Blitzer is one of the few people in the world with the ability to ask Bush, Cheney, and other very powerful people the questions that need to be asked. And he has largely failed to do so. I love The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, but every time I watch I also become a little sad. Sad because these are the only shows that bother to call public figures and politicians on their obvious BS, and they are comedy shows! For the past 6 years, the fake news has performed more of a public service than the real news. I wonder if Edward R. Morrow would be working for Comedy Central today. I don't want to end this on a down note, so just for fun, here's an example of the best reporting on TV today: .

Finally we can Blame 9/11 on Gay Marriage

It has taken five years and two wars, but finally, author Dinesh D’Souza has found the real cause of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.  Saddam Hussien?  Nope.  Lax airport security?  Sorry.  Osama bin Laden and the extreme religious conservatives who plotted and carried out the attacks?  Not so much. The real culprit is gay marriage and Fear Factor.  D'Souza explained on the Colbert Report. [youtube]rqIXBRTwcUI[/youtube] Now, some might say that advocating that we become more like the terrorists in order to avoid terrorist attacks is sort of like giving in.  But that's just silly.  Let me explain why with a simple analogy everyone can understand : Imagine you are back in grade school and out of no where another kid hits you in the head with a rock, then says: "That's for all the times you came over to my house and broke our yard gnomes.  Also, your T-shirt has GI Joe on it and that means you are an idiot because Thundercats are obviously better than GI Joe and Panthro rules!" How should you respond?  Now my first thought would be to go over to a totally different kid's house and start breaking his yard gnomes in revenge.  But it turns out, the best course of action is to stand up, brush the dirt and little rock pieces out of your hair, and tell your attacker: "Of course, you are right, Thudercats is way better than GI Joe, though I must point out that Lion-o is truly our lord and savior.  This shirt is a hand-me-down from my brother, I blame him for the whole situation!" That way, the disagreement is cleared up immediately, and instead of a schoolyard enemy you now have an ally to help you plot the brutal beating of your own brother. Isn't it funny how things like this end up?  It truly takes a world-class intellect like D'Souza to figure things like this out, but once he says it, it so obvious!  It's just like when the Wright brothers had their first flight, and the next day everyone walked around saying, "all it took for man to fly was an airplane!  Why didn't I think of that?"

Bush thinks you are stupid – 9-11 and the Iraq War

Monday marks 5 years since the 9/11 attacks.

This not a particularly political site. I'll let others hash out the differences between liberals and conservatives. But I will say that the current administration apparently thinks I, and the rest of America, are idiots. President Bush thinks we are stupid, and afraid, and they think they can sway us with ridiculous, illogical arguments.

At a press briefing on September 8th, Press Secretary Tony Snow said the following:

"But, more importantly -- if we have people who want to re-litigate that, that's fine, but the President's stated concern this week, as you've seen, is to think, okay, we'll let people quibble over three years ago; the important thing to do is to figure out what you're doing tomorrow, and the day after, and the month after, and the year after to make sure that this war on terror is won."

This is not the first time the administration has used this argument. In fact, I'm surprised Snow didn't accuse anyone of trying to "rewrite history," since that has been such a popular phrase. But with the coming anniversary, I felt particularly disgusted and patronized by Snow's statement on Friday. As far as I can figure, this is the argument:
  1. A lot of people, Republicans and Democrats, keep coming up with more evidence that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 or any terrorism. Also, we never did find any weapons of mass destruction, and now there is no evidence that Saddam was a threat to the United States in any way.

  2. America is threatened by terrorism in the present.

  3. The invasion occurred in the past. At that time, the President convinced a lot of Republicans and Democrats that Iraq was a threat.

  4. It is now the present – and the present is not the past

  5. Therefore, no evidence will ever be needed to justify the war in Iraq. Also, any discussion of it is quibbling by lawyerly nebbishes who distract from the real threat in the present.

Apparently, if I decide to do something, and I can get enough people to agree with me, I am untouchable from that point on. It doesn't matter if my reasons turn out to be wrong or right. It doesn't matter how horrible the consequences of my actions are. Since the decision was made in the past, it cannot be questioned in the present or future.

Often it's useful to make a few substitutions to point out the problem with a logical fallacy. Imagine if you were a judge, overseeing the trial of a person accused of murdering their neighbor three years ago.

Judge: what do you say to all of this new evidence-DNA tests, phone and credit card records, bloody clothing found in your closet- that indicates that you are the murder?

Accused: The murder occurred three years ago. At the time, something was chewing on the wires in my garage – everyone agrees it's very dangerous to have bare wires. Jesus spoke to me though my toaster and said that my neighbor was actually a rodent, like a rat or mouse. I told everyone I know that I had a pest problem, that I had proof it was a rat, and that I knew where the rat was hiding. Everyone on both sides agreed I should kill the rat.

But, more importantly -- if we have people who want to re-litigate that, that's fine, but my stated concern this week, as you've seen, is to think, okay, we'll let people quibble over three years ago; the important thing to do is to figure out what you're doing tomorrow, and the day after, and the month after, and the year after to make sure that I don't have a pest problem now.

Judge: [brain explodes]

I cannot believe people are allowed to make arguments like this on national TV and get away with it. I cannot believe that no one ever replies to this argument with something like this:

“...what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.�

Finally, I'll let more capable people than myself have a say. It gets especially interesting about 4 minutes in.


On terrorism and pregnant women

While watching a special the other night on the up-coming five year anniversary of 9/11 I found myself overwhelmed with all that our government has achieved in preventing another terrorist attack in this country. However, one comment in particular resonated with me. It was pointed out that in order for us Americans to ever be completely safe our government has to be completely on top of terrorism 100% of the time, while the terrorists only have to get it right once. For instance, that one guy with the bomb in his shoe; it's a relief to me to know that no one will ever be able to sneak other bomb onboard an airplane for as long as the literally millions of Americans that fly on airplanes every year are required by federal mandates (passed merely years after his attempt) to traipse about barefoot in airports. Err .. I meant, for as long as the literally millions of Americans that fly on airplanes every year are required to traipse about barefoot with liquid-free carry-ons. Unless of course that those liquids are neither medication nor baby food; because no one would ever feed a bomb to their baby. Or would they ... ? Now, as any freedom-loving, baby-kissing, loved-one-lost-in-the-War-on-Terror-consoling politician will tell you, these terrorist are evil, evil people who have no regard for human life and will stop at nothing to send the U.S. into a fear-stricken panic. And as I traipsed barefoot and liquid-free down this terrorist-free train of thought, it occurred to me, as if in a vision from Osama himself, the next plight of those infamous terrorist: plant a bomb inside a pregnant woman. This is a plan whose shear evil lack of regard for all human life is matched only by it's simplicity and ease of execution. Think about it: no one would ever suspect an expecting mommy to harbor such vileness and cruelty towards anyone. I mean, they can't even see their own toes! As an added bonus, it's not like the airport security is going to think to go rooting around in the whoo-ha's of every bun-toting-oven that waddles barefoot through their check-points. Plus, it's not like the terrorists will care that somebody's soon-to-be-mother gets blown to smithereens; after all, according to the popular media, as far as terrorists are concerned, women are only one step above cattle anyway. And thus, I believe it to be imperative to our national safety that we no longer allow pregnant women on airlines, trains, buses or in any other highly populated public venues, such as stadiums, concerts, and, most importantly, hospitals. If you disagree with me, you are an enemy of freedom and you are personally spitting on the graves of the thousands of men and women that have died fighting for this country.