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Tag Archive: New York Times

An article that was never worth dying for

Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 (11:23 pm), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011:

From a New York Times article, published on Boston.com, from four Times’ reporters who had just been released from several days of captivity in the loony bin of wartime Libya, relaying some of the details of their ordeal, including this moment of realization that their Libyan driver had likely been killed by the soldiers who’d captured them:

From the pickup, Lynsey saw a body lying next to our car, one arm outstretched. We still don’t know whether that was Mohammed. We fear it was, though his body has yet to be found. If he died, we will have to bear the burden for the rest of our lives that an innocent man died because of us, because of wrong choices that we made, for an article that was never worth dying for.

No article is, but we were too blind to admit that.

Ummm, do you think? And if that poor man had a family, what exactly should be said to his wife now? That he died so that Americans back home could be thrilled by up-to-the-minute eye-witness war reporting?

I often feel queasy when I pass by TVs playing war front footage, thinking about the irresponsibility and just plain inanity of it all. And it’s not just the media outlets that are to blame; those who sit down with their popcorn and crackerjacks to take it in are equally responsible.

War zone reporting is a kind of pornography; a tacit agreement between a salacious public eager to indulge its lust for the thrill of purely objectified knowledge, and a pimping media equally eager to grow wealthy and powerful providing the entertainment “content” of a stranger’s debasement, especially given the ease with which such emotionally charged messaging can be used to manipulate public opinion for political ends.

The “news” is just about the worst of what the mass entertainment industry has to offer society, and this article is, I hope, a pretty clear example of why that is.

Vicious charges made by people who claimed to be criticizing viciousness

Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 (7:47 pm), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for Wednesday, January 12th, 2011:

New York Times columnist David Brooks, in a too-rare moment of lucidity, commenting Monday on the despicable liberal media spin on the Giffords shooting:

Keith Olbermann demanded a Palin repudiation and the founder of the Daily Kos wrote on Twitter: “Mission Accomplished, Sarah Palin.” Others argued that the killing was fostered by a political climate of hate.

These accusations — that political actors contributed to the murder of 6 people, including a 9-year-old girl — are extremely grave. … They were vicious charges made by people who claimed to be criticizing viciousness.

Yet such is the state of things. … We have a news media with a strong distaste for Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement, and this seemed like a golden opportunity to tarnish them. …

I have no love for Sarah Palin, and I like to think I’m committed to civil discourse. But the political opportunism occasioned by this tragedy has ranged from the completely irrelevant to the shamelessly irresponsible.

I think Brooks misses the Left’s sly assault via this tragedy on the 1st Amendment, but I have to give him credit for bucking the mob of his fellows, and doing it early, before the backlash from an offended public – if this was published in the grey lady Monday, it must have been written no later than Sunday night. Besides, the aspect he instead focuses on is at least equally important, and he hits the nail on the head in terms of the viciousness involved. I don’t know how some of these people sleep at night…