Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Clown Show must go on

Infotainment can be in good taste or not. But I'm coming to really agree with economist Jamie Galbraith that it's foolish to judge our TV "news" reports by the standards of what most of the world calls "journalism". The PBS Newshour's Political Wrap infotainment segment of 05/15/09 is a prime example of why that is so.

"Liberal" Mark Shields, who managed to get through this whole segment without expressing his unbounded admiration for the Bold Maverick McCain, and neoconservative David Brooks were in full-blown clown-show mode. Moderator Jim Lehrer was, too. Clown Brooks and Clown Shields both agreed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was thoroughly horrible for giving a news conference to defend herself against Republican accusations that she is to blame for the Cheney-Bush torture program.

Clown Brooks expounded a current Beltway Village script - remember, facts don't need to impede on their scripts - about how Pelosi has been changing her story on the CIA briefings about their criminal torture program. Neither Clown Shields nor Clown Lehrer bothered to point out that the Village tale is bogus.


Try going to the text at the link above and press Ctrl-F and search for words like "law", "legal", "crime", "criminal". I did get one hit. The word "law" appears as part of the word "flawed". Yes, our PBS "quality" news program devoted a whole Political Wrap segment of 12 minutes or so focusing on the torture issue and Dick Cheney's torture tour without bothering to bring up the fact that it's seriously, big-time illegal. Because the Villagers think it's fine and perfectly normal for (Republican) Presidents to break the law. Torture itself is major-league illegal. But we know from government admissions that nearly 100 people died in custody in the Bush Gulag, over two dozen of them officially considered homicides.

Be sure to watch the video to get the full effect of the good ole boys setting around snickering about how dumbass it is for anyone to get upset about a little torture. Toss in a few dozen murders, that doesn't diminish the merriment. Not that the homicides came up on the Clown Show.

Honestly, this is far more sickening to me than the photos Obama refused to release on their scheduled May 28 date. (More snaps from Abu Ghraib Sydney Morning Herald Update 05/30/09: 14 of the 15 photos in the Sydney Morning Herald set had been previously published by Salon on 03/26/2006, including the one shown below) Those photos depict crimes that can be prosecuted. The Political Wrap segment shows in vivid detail the extent of the corruption our public discourse in general and the collapse of the infotainment reports formerly known as news.

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