Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Fire the Editors

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Andrew Leonard makes a rather tongue-in-cheek article about how Apple fanboys are railing against Obama over a speech he recently made at Hampton University, in which he says,

“Meanwhile, you’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t rank all that high on the truth meter. With iPods and iPads; Xboxes and PlayStations; information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment.”

Leonard ends his article by clarifying that Obama is, after all, pointing out the difference between educating oneself on the world and filling one’s free time with the hyper-grapevine New Media has become. Hey, it’s a valid point and Leonard agrees with it. Which is why Salon titles his article “Obama’s self-hating iPad attack” and gives it a picture of Obama’s laser-beam eyes blowing up an iPad.

Thereby proving Leonard’s and Obama’s point. Irony.


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Meathead* has it right.

Consequently, you know partisanship is alive and well when, in investigating the egregious wrongdoings of the former Republican administration on the matter of torture, a Democrat is getting the brunt of the judicial probe… for being in the same room as them.

Garrison Keillor (of NPR fame) did a recent piece that he came under flak for apparently offering appeasement for the torturers. So, in defense of Keillor and to find a viable solution because I, too, would like to see Dubya & Co. drawn and quartered over this, I ask this:

How can we hold a criminal investigation that may encompass a sizable chunk of Republican leadership without it appearing politically charged?

Consider how the Monica Lewinsky debacle completely eclipsed the second half of Bill Clinton’s second term, to the point that the entire Bosnian war was a mere footnote under the far more important tribulations of Slick Willy.

I worry that the assumed level of fealty politicians and pundits have to this country as compared to the party in power has waned precipitously. We don’t have the “Yes, Mr. President” bipartisanship of FDR’s first term. We don’t have the “nobody is above the law” eulogy of Nixon’s fall. The Republican establishment killed that: They didn’t just break the government’s ability to govern, they broke democracy.

What we have instead is a media franchise that smells blood and is all too willing to play the part of over-funded tabloids than actually report the news. As Obama said fairly recently, it’s the media that makes democracy possible, and I believe his reticence towards prosecution is a direct result of the media hampering his ability to assume the responsibility of office when it comes to enforcing the rule of law.

This isn’t to say that the media is necessarily politically biased (except where it is, Fox News) but that network “news” and the 24-hours news cycle, coupled with dire needs for advertising and readership for traditional outlets to remain solvent, means that the media is in the business of entertainment, not news, and as such will forego news for, well, tabloid tomfoolery.

*Archie Bunker reference a happy coincidence

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