Friday, October 9, 2009


I couldn't believe what I was hearing on the tube today from not just the usual rightwing misinformation and propaganda purveyors but the major outlets like say NBC news where the "White House Correspondent" as well as Brian Williams or whoever manages the Evening News there need a history lesson.

Treating the story of our president winning a Nobel Prize for Peace like it was unheard of in the history of the award for it to go to anyone who hadn't achieved some kind of major world peace agenda after a lifetime's effort was just plain silly, let alone ignorant or at least ill informed.

Who does the research for these guys, and isn't there anyone there who's old enough to even remember that Kissinger won the bleepin' Nobel Peace Prize while he was still running the then longest war in the history of the USA and one that was completely pointless in the end (as well as the beginning but not many saw it at the time except for "peaceniks" and lefties and such) and it went on for quite a while after the award (and parts of it were "secret" and even more illegal and killed millions who otherwise might still be alive even today were there any real "peace" achieved) and ended in a complete fiasco not in any Kissinger inspired or led peace!

Obama's already made more changes in the world visa vis "peace" than Kissinger ever did! Like the spokesman for the Nobel committee said in the announcement, just by changing the tone from belicose to open-to-diplomacy has altered the urgency of a lot of possible wars that haven't happened yet and may never thanks to his change in "tone" as they put it.

And if that means nothing to rightwingers who hate any achievement of Obama's and would rather see him lose anything than their country win anything (like the Olympics etc.) then they have just proven once and for all how unpatriotic they are and how little this country means to them. All they care about is seeing Obama fail and their rightwing cronies returned to power.

None of that was on the major newscasts about the award. Just speculations about what calculations were in the minds of the Nobel committee, like the new Meet the Press guy has some telepathic connection to the Swedes in charge. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Where are the Cronkites and Moyers (oh yeah, the latter's on PBS doing great journalism)? The Murrows and Rathers (oh yeah, the latter got kicked out for investigating the last president's actual personal "peace" initiative, avoiding the Viet Nam war and even the duty he signed up for at home)? Rachel Maddow's doing a great job of exposing stuff the mainline media should be doing, and Keith Olberman did a great report on the healthcare situation the other night (which my COOL BIRTH old friend Tom noted and linked to yesterday).

But most of the rest of these posers. It's a shame, because I'm a news junkie and actually enjoy some good investigative journalism and sound reporting in the old evening news format. I know, I know, thank God for PBS and the BBC and a lot on MSNBC. But they don't have the coverage we used to get on the old network shows with their foreign correspondents (there's still a few great ones left, like Lara Logan on CBS and Richard what's his name on NBC). Oh well, I'm starting to sound like my grandmother lamenting what's passed and gone.

Hopefully someone out there's going to come up with a new format that still uses the basics of great journalism to do the research and base the story on actual facts and historic precedents rather than on speculation and horse race analogies.

[PS: Some folks didn't get that I was being a little tongue-in-cheek-ish about supposedly not knowing or remembering the names of NBC reporters Chuck Todd, David Gregory and Richard Engel, etc. as a way of demonstrating lack of research or knowledge in "reporting" etc.]

[PPS: For another valid take on all this, and a more reasoned guess at the Nobel Prize Committee's thinking go here.]

[PPS: Yet another, equally valid take, from Howard Zinn who I admire and appreciate and even read with not so long ago but who I don't entirely agree with in terms of absolutes.]


Anonymous said...

Thank you...thank you for reminding everybody about Kissinger. I was reflecting the other day that Bush never in 8 years attempted to hold peace talks to end the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. What's up with that? What can be deduced is that these are not Wars - they are Occupations. I wonder how many people actually are aware that there are as many civilian contractors in these countries as there are soldiers posted. I remember Cindy Sheehan remarking that her son told her that the soldiers were not fighting a war, but were glorified security guards for the contractors.

Ed Baker said...

heck man

dough-nut worry about the state of news reporting
"all the news that's fit to print"

it is ok in the hands of them that tweet, blog, facebook, and text-while-driving "the bus"!?

heck where DID Ron Reagan go...Rachel Maddow looks and acts just like he did/does.

JIm said...

I believe the Nobel Committee was insightful in picking Obama.
Historians are very likely to look back on the Obama administration
and judge him to be in concert with former winners. Obama will probably placed on the list of great presidents to be very close to Jimmy Carter. Carter through his deft foreign and military policy helped bring about the rule of the Ayatollahs and the resurgence of militant Islamism. Obama’s international popularity is linked to his anti American speeches. Obama’s appreciation of the quack science of new global warming religion of Al Gore, which is being increasingly debunked, is the inspiration for Obama’s attack on the US economy through Cap and Trade legislation. Obama’s support of the US Constitution and the free enterprise system rivals Yasser Arafat.

All in all the committee did well.

JIm said...

Note to Nobel prize winner Al Gore: According to the, BBC usally a reliably liberal source, the Global Warming debate is still on and in fact many scientists believe that we are facing a 20-30 year cooling because of the cooling of the Pacific Ocean. By the way the Rockies are not playing the Phillies tonight because snow and temps in the 20s.

What happened to global warming?
By Paul Hudson
Climate correspondent, BBC News