Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Is the Pope Really to Blame?

I know- stupid question, right? But here's the reason I ask- I was watching Fox News this past Sunday morning when all that stuff with the Pope and angry Muslims was going on, and one of the Fox newsies (didn't catch her name) began the broadcast with:

"A nun shot dead in Somalia, and the Pope's words might be to blame. Hello everyone, I'm so and so and this is Fox News...."

I'm not kidding- she really said that. I'm not trying to single out Fox News here- it happens all the time with every major news outlet. If the person (I use the word loosely) who shot that nun were to have written the intro to that newscast, I ask you- how different would it have been from what she actually read? Not much different, I would guess. The killer probably would have dropped the words "might be," but it would have otherwise sounded exactly the same. I don't think I've seen such a clear cut example of our own media being used by terrorists as a propagnada weapon. It really is amazing. What she said is absolutely no different that starting off a newscast with:

"A suicide car bomb killed fourteen people in Baghdad this morning, and the U.S. humanitarian efforts in Iraq might be to blame."


"Radical Islamic extremists beheaded an American civilian and posted it on the internet, and our own President Bush might be to blame."

Am I the only one who sees the danger in this?

Believe me, Fox News is NOT trying to push a terrorist agenda. I don't even believe that the other network and cable news outlets are trying to push a Democratic Party agenda (okay, maybe CBS a little bit). I think every media outlet in America is merely doing what every red-blooded American company is trying to do- make a buck!!! It's capitalism, stupid!

It sounds better when they blame the Pope for murdering a nun, doesn't it? Isn't that a tantalizing way to start a broadcast?

Isn't it hard to flip the channel when they suggest that maybe- just maybe- our own President is ordering U.S. troops to play "Walk the Dog" with a bunch of terrorists in Abu Ghraib?

How about the hot air-filled talking head who says stuff like "we've been creating more terrorists ever since we started fighting them. Before we decided to fight back, everything was just peachy keen. You know, and embassy here, a USS Cole there, a few buildings in some major U.S. cities- no big deal. But now we've made them angry! And French people hate us! Bad Mr. Bush!"

Or what about the time when our President and his band of thugs endangered the life of a CIA agent in order to get back at her and her husband for being so mean to Republicans!?!? Holy Moly! Ben Affleck informed me that they shoot people on the battlefield for that sort of thing! Wow, man- Ben must have all kinds of war experience and he must know a whole heck of a lot about spy stuff, what with all his play-acting and stuff. But I digress...

So, yes, it all may be a total crock of BS, but it sure gets our attention, doesn't it?!?!? And it stirs the pot, and gets people fired up and angry, and it generates all kinds of debate, and it gets ratings and sells newspapers, and the money just keeps flowing in...

The obvious problem with all this- the terrorists know exactly how capitalism works. And they know how our media works. And we are absolutely powerless to stop them. Our only hope is to somehow be smart enough to see through our own BS.

Ever since I returned from Iraq, I've been asked the age old question, "Why don't we ever hear about the progress being made over there? How come we never get the good news?" The sad (but true) answer to this question- you don't really want to hear it. You think you do, but you don't. Everybody's always screaming about the "biased" media, and everyone's always lamenting about sensationalism trumping the facts, and blah blah blah- but the numbers don't lie, people.

How many of you would watch the Fox News special about power grid reconstruction efforts in Mosul? Yeah. Well. Not too exciting, huh?

Okay, now which of you would watch the special report about the suicide bomber who killed 4 American soldiers and 20 children who were giving them candy? Yep, that'll get your attention.

Are you going to watch the 2-hour special that takes you through the entire start-to-finish construction of the newly-formed Iraqi government? No. You're not going to watch that. And you're not going to read about it in tomorrow's Washington Post. Stop arguing with me- you have no interest in that stuff. But I promise you, it's the most important thing that's happening over there...

The terrorists know what you're going to watch. So do the suits at the news bureaus. The media isn't all that biased, ladies and gentlemen- they just want your money.

Even if it means in-your-face reporting on every single terrorist act that takes place in any part of the world at any given time.

Even if it means regurgitating a nun-killer's talking points. Verbatim.

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