Archive - Jul 21, 2008

Pride And Professionalism

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Memo to the media: WHAT WILL IT TAKE?

One thing that has consistently boggled my mind over the last eight years is the lack of a bottom. No matter how ridiculous or stupid things get, there's always something dumber right around the corner. Every straw that should have broken the camel's back somehow leaves the camel intact, until the pile is scraping the stratosphere.

Dubya says a lot of shit. Now, I can understand, if not sympathize with, journalists' desire to report that shit in a manner that takes it seriously. They think that's their job. They think they're doing a good job when a turd is placed before them on a silver platter, and they make sure to evenhandedly report on all the turd's fine qualities - it's pleasing shape, it's relative lack of corn, whatever. They can then go home, comfortably mistaken in the belief that they've given the viewer the information they need to decide for themselves whether the turd smells bad or not.

But you would think that eventually, there would come a point when your Anderson Coopers, your Wolf Blitzers, and even those Teleprompter-reading shlubs who are stuck there eight hours a day presenting the latest news would just throw down their blank "note pages", look the camera straight in its unblinking eye, and finally ask America the one question it desperately needs to be asked: "Can you believe this shit?"

But it never happens. For example, it didn't happen at the end of last week, when it was announced that the Bush administration had agreed to what they were calling a "general time horizon" for troop withdrawals in Iraq. Why did they agree on a "general time horizon"? Because, well, they've spent the last five years constantly criticizing, demonizing, and mocking timeframes, timetables, timed schedules, and any other good euphemism for saying we're going to leave Iraq. Because they never want to leave Iraq.

Just one small snag in the plan. The Iraqi government, ungrateful bastards that they are, have decided to celebrate their newfound sovereignty by doing what they want. And what they want is us gone. So they've refused to sign Bush's "long-term security arrangement", a.k.a. Bush's probably illegal attempt to commit U.S. forces to Iraq without a treaty, United Nations sanction, or Congressional approval. They won't sign the thing that lets us stay unless we tell them when we're going to leave.

So they came up with the "general time horizon" concept. There is only one valid response to the phrase "general time horizon" concept. Five minutes of uninterrupted laughter, followed by a request to hear the ACTUAL plan. But the Fourth Estate managed to straight-face it. They dutifully told America that there was a "general time horizon", which was nothing like a timetable or a timeframe because timetables and timeframes are merely tools for terrorist victory. A general time horizon is something completely different, and isn't a complete fucking joke.

How must it feel to do that? To have no pride at all? No self-worth? To sit there and say "general time horizon" as if it weren't the most obvious, transparent lie on the planet? Do these people go home, walk in on their wives or husbands having sex with another man, woman, or animal, and when said spouse claims they're not "fucking", they're just engaging in "therapeutic internal massage", do these newscasters turn around, go into the living room, and calmly watch footage of themselves regurgitating bullshit into the mouths of the American public like an insane mother bird?

When will these people learn to distrust the administration and put it under a microscope? I don't know, but if I were a betting man, I'd put all my money on or around January 9, 2009.