Topic: The Media
Paying Attention: What’s News and What Isn’t
So now we know who Deep Throat was. Fine. So?
And what is there to say about the massive landslide out here, just down the coast, with up to twenty multimillion dollar houses sliding down toward the Pacific? Such things happen. This is California.
The Michael Jackson trial goes to the jury – but there will be no comment here.
And what is there to say about the American Family Association urging a boycott of Ford cars and trucks – they say Ford has given thousands of dollars to gay rights groups, offers benefits to same-sex couples and actively recruits gay employees - just after their call for a boycott of Kraft macaroni and cheese in a box (the one will the picture of SpongeBob SquarePants on the cover). Oh, it wasn’t just the cartoon character. Kraft authorized its company logo to be placed on the official website of the 2006 Gay Olympic Games in Chicago as a major corporate sponsor. Boycott all Kraft products? Even Tang with its new mango flavor? Oh my!
This is news? What about the war?
Some of us are still thinking about what the vice president, Dick Cheney, said on CNN a day or two ago -
As Andrew Sullivan comments -
Yeah, it is a marker, just like the other one Sullivan points to -
That one was from October 28, 2004.
I think Herbert Hoover said prosperity was just around the corner. To repeat?. When someone tries to sell you something by opening with "Trust us ? this is not what it seems," one is naturally a bit skeptical. If that is followed with, "Have we ever lied to your before?" One steps back. If that is followed by, "I know you THINK we lied, but you weren?t listening carefully," then one steps back even more. These guys need some marketing advice.
Our own marketing guru, who this week asked why aren't we acting as if we understood moral authority and, in the same item, discussed how to exterminate swarms (perhaps you should read the item), suggested I ought to look at something other than the fluff stories in the news. He suggested I pop up the New York Times before it goes behind the subscription wall and only those who pay big bucks can read it and comment on it.
His suggestions from the June 1 issue?
Item one: Patriot Act Redux, and in the Dark
He says the editorial is scary ? and that what's emerging AGAIN in DC and why it's NOT just about what THEY do to others outside our borders.
He says - "Why should we believe these guys? They treat their own constituents as if WE were terrorists..."
Yep. Let?s see ? there the proposal to let FBI agents write their own "administrative subpoenas," without the need to consult prosecutors or judges, and demand of all manner of records, from business to medical and tax data. Yep. And there?s that library provision that lets the government seize entire databases at libraries, hospitals and other institutions when just one person is under investigation. And there?s that part of the act that makes it a crime for record holders to let the public know when a government data sweep has occurred.
But we worry about Michael Jackson and SpongeBob SquarePants. Was your Ford Explorer assembled by some gay guy?
Item two: America's DNA
This is Thomas Friedman's opinion column, explaining why he's worried that in fits and starts we are eroding everything we've inherited as our heritage ? what he calls our DNA. Freidman recalls a conversation with a friend in London ?
As our business school professor of marketing comments - "This is our new American Product - along with war on foreign soil - that NO AMOUNT OF PR can overcome. People's experience IS the product and it's far greater than any packaging we call PR!"
So how do we want to be seen? How do we want to be known in the world?
It seems it is okay of the world goes dark.
Our market friend comments - "These are not SMALL issues!"
No, they are not small issues. There was some comment on this on the leftie blogs today ? but generally a collective national yawn. Oh well.
Item three: The Peacemaker
This is about Rudolf Giuliani ? with the subtitle "Olle Wastberg nominates Rudy G for the Nobel Peace Prize."
Our friend comments - "Now here's a man, that acts in the best interests of his constituents. Despite party and politics, I'd vote for Rudy in the White House, because in moments of crisis he's been shown to be true to human moral instinct. I can respect that in a person, especially in a politician! We really need a new style of American leadership! And if he could unite red and blue states, more power to the guy... (quite literally)"
The problem with this man with the "human moral instinct" is clear. He?s pro-choice. And a Republican. That party is now firmly evangelical Christian and Frist and Dobson will not allow Giuliani any chance for any nomination to any office, unless he embraces what the call the "culture of life" ? and comes out for embryo rights, the death penalty for most felonies, and an expansion of the war of Jesus against the heathen terrorists, to Syria, Iran and Korea. I suspect Giuliani is not so much pro-abortion as he simply feels the decision is not the government?s to make, on Southern Baptist theological grounds. Too bad. The party to which he belongs now believes they have the mandate to make these decision for women.
Giuliani is toast. And he won?t get the Nobel Peace Prize either. Besides, his divorce was messy and offended a lot of the evangelical Christians who are working so hard to protect marriage, particularly from gay men who want the same legal rights as married heterosexual folks in Alabama.
Item Four: Beyond Viagra Politics
As our friend puts it, this is Matt Miller's fantasy appeal for leaders of both parties to take truth serum instead of Viagra for a day - "Miller includes the thought that we ALL must be held accountable for what our leaders do!"
After point to these our friend says - "These are all four taken way out of context and each deserves a full read. But taken together they reflect the angst and concern I feel for our national malaise - our lapse of moral responsibility - that got me started on this whole writing kick this morning."
And then he went back to work.
Angst and concern?.
I came this on the site Tacitus where in a discussion of bringing back the draft the anonymous writer, a right-wing conservative to the core, suggests we?re all in this together -
The war is our war. What happens at Guantanamo Bay is what we did. Shutting down our borders to the best and the brightest is what we are doing. Giving up our rights to be safe is what we are doing. Allowing the evangelical right to define, by their rules, what is moral and allowable is what we allow. Assuming no one does the right thing as a matter of course ? just the way life is - is what we assume.
So what are "we" going to do?
We're going to wonder if Michael Jackson will be convicted.