Topic: In these times...
Staying Informed: No End of Futile Analysis Available
As the week ended the London bombings were the sole topic of debate in the chattering class. Whatever did they mean to us all? What about the GWOT (Global War on Terror)? Does it need to be redefined? Should we revise the objectives? What about its efficacy - is it working?
Who knows? You can always check on the status of the debate over at The Daou Report where Peter Daou provides the most current comment on the left in excerpts in the left column, with links to the source item. The most current comment on the right are shown in, of course, the right column, with links to the sources. The middle-of-the-road comments are lower left, and comment on the media lower right. It's convenient, and disheartening.
At the end of the week this is the divide as he sees it.
That about captures the debate, although not everyone one the right is so overtly claiming the superiority of the White Man, who has dominated the world because he deserves to dominate the world.
Did these events in London change everything, or anything? Kevin Drum over at the Washington Monthly thinks not:
Same old same old.
Of course, speaking of "windbaggery," Fox News, which I suspect Ric and my friends in Paris don't see over there, has been saying, in their rotation of commentary, that we Americans all agree it's too bad the bombings weren't in Paris.
John Gibson, the day before, on why Paris should have got the Olympic bid - then they'd have been bombed - "So it would have been a treat, actually, to watch the French dealing with the problem of their own homegrown Islamist terrorists living in France already."
John Gibson, the day of the London bombings - "The bombings in London: This is why I thought the Brits should let the French have the Olympics -- let somebody else be worried about guys with backpack bombs for a while."
And the other hand, Fox anchor Brian Kilmeade argued that now the Brits, who really knew nothing about terrorism and such, will "get it" - and this happening with the G8 leaders nearby was a great day for us all - "And that was the first time since 9-11 when they should know, and they do know now, that terrorism should be Number 1. But it's important for them all to be together. I think that works to our advantage, in the Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened."
But classic on Fox News was Shepard Smith and Brit Hume just after the bombings - note Hume's first thought -
From Fox News' July 7 breaking news coverage between 1 and 2 p.m. ET:
Rick, the News Guy in Atlanta - who, in spite of his connection to CNN as one of its first employees also worked twice for Roger Ailes, the fellow who runs Fox News - was amused:
That about nails it, but you might want to check out James Wolcott's discussion here as it is even more detailed and snarky. (Wolcott argues as callous as the statement was, it was also lousy investment advice.)
Minor gossip item - on Wednesday last, Roger Ailes, head of Fox News, had lunch with Jonathan Klein, the new head of CNN, at the famous Michael's (of course, New Yorkers know all about the place). The day before the London bombings. A conspiracy-minded friend of mine is working on a column for these pages proving that what Brit Hume said above - "there's no indication that we here had any advance warning " - is a lie. He contends key people knew about these London bombings - time and place and all that. He says there's something fishy here. Ah, perhaps Klein and Ailes were planning their coverage together over seared ahi and a flinty French Chablis - how to drive the American public into a new pro-Bush panic. Perhaps they were discussing how to play the market the next day, for maximum profit. Spin your own theory.
Is there a master plan? Over at Fafblog (don't ask) you can find one - which is also one of the better summaries of the Bush speech on the war last week -
I don't know why I like this stuff, but it's kind of cool. And I keep hearing Tony Orlando and Dawn singing, "Hang another ribbon on the SUV..." (Well, it scans right.)
As soon as I said that Rick, the News Guy in Atlanta, shot back -
Actually I was thinking of the magnetic yellow ribbons one sees on SUV's that say "Support Our Troops" - and note this is a demand that you so something the other person assumes you are not doing, rather than a self-declaration like "I Support Our Troops" - and since these are magnetic yellow ribbons the verb should be neither "hang" nor "tie," but rather "slap."
Rick shot this back -
Yep, events in London caused a whole lot of slapping. Harmless enough.
But Rick did take exception to something else I said regarding the Karl Rove business (did he commit a felony by revealing the name of a CIA agent for petty political reasons?) and how it wasn't getting much press attention -
Rick's response -
That set off our business school professor in upstate New York -
Rick, the News Guy in Atlanta, responds -
From upstate New York -
From Atlanta -
From upstate New York -
Buffalos. Ducks. It's been an odd week.