Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » The Rebellion of the Talking Heads

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: The Rebellion of the Talking Heads
TS Elliot
Member
Member # 736

 - posted      Profile for TS Elliot   Email TS Elliot   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just for now, I'll let some else do the talking, but soon I'll be back
with my usual friendly self you all know and love ... [Confused]

This piece is prolly intended as good news, but we all know that
politicians are a bit more criticims-proof than this. Still, if you
steel yourself against Great Expectations, it's entertaining.

quote:
The Rebellion of the Talking Heads
Newscasters, sick of official lies and stonewalling, finally start
snarling.

By Jack Shafer
Posted Friday, Sept. 2, 2005, at 2:36 PM PT

Anderson Cooper: no more Mr. Nice Guy.

A former deputy chief of FEMA told Knight Ridder Newspapers yesterday
(Sept. 1) that there "are two kinds of levees—the ones that breached
and the ones that will be breached." A similar aphorism applies to
broadcasters: They come in two varieties, the ones that have gone
stark, raving mad on air and the ones who will.

In the last couple of days, many of the broadcasters reporting from
the bowl-shaped toxic waste dump that was once the city of New Orleans
have stopped playing the role of wind-swept wet men facing down a big
storm to become public advocates for the poor, the displaced, the
starving, the dying, and the dead.

Last night, CNN's Anderson Cooper abandoned the old persona to
throttle Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., in a live interview. (See the
video or read the
transcript
.)

"Does the federal government bear responsibility for what is happening
now? Should they apologize for what is happening now?" Cooper opened.

As if campaigning before the local Democratic Ladies' Club lunch,
Landrieu sing-songed back, "Anderson, there will be plenty of time to
discuss all of those issues, about why, and how, and what, and if."
She went on to thank President Bush, President Clinton, former
President Bush, Senators Frist and Reid, and "all leaders that are
coming to Louisiana, and Mississippi, and Alabama, "for their help.

Her condescending filibuster continued: "Anderson, tonight, I don't
know if you've heard—maybe you all have announced it—but Congress is
going to an unprecedented session to pass a $10 billion supplemental
bill tonight to keep FEMA and the Red Cross up and operating."

Cooper suspended the traditional TV rules of decorum and, approaching
tears of fury, said:

Excuse me, Senator, I'm sorry for interrupting. I haven't heard
that, because, for the last four days, I've been seeing dead
bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. And to listen to
politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, you
know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are
very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated.

And when they hear politicians slap—you know, thanking one
another, it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way
right now, because literally there was a body on the streets of
this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had
been laying in the street for 48 hours. And there's not enough
facilities to take her up.

Do you get the anger that is out here? …

I mean, I know you say there's a time and a place for, kind of,
you know, looking back, but this seems to be the time and the
place. I mean, there are people who want answers, and there are
people who want someone to stand up and say, "You know what? We
should have done more. Are all the assets being brought to
bear?"


Landrieu kept her cool, probably because she's in Baton Rouge, while
the stink of corpses caused Cooper to tremble in rage all the way to
the commercial break.

Yesterday, on NPR's All Things Considered, Robert Siegel didn't
get medieval on Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, in
part because the microphones there are specially fabricated to decant
all emotion from the voices of their reporters. But Siegel
aggressively blocked every escape route that Chertoff took to evade
hard questions about "corpses" and "human waste" piling up at the
city's convention center, where thousands were stranded without
provisions. (Siegel gets tough at about minute four in the audio
clip.)

Siegel kept asking Chertoff how long it would take to serve or rescue
these people, and a couple times Chertoff answered that the government
was doing a great job at the Superdome.

When he cautioned Siegel about the danger of relying on "anecdotal"
"rumors" of people in dire straits, Siegel said, no—these are facts
presented by reporters who have covered war zones. There are 2,000
people at the convention center in need, he said. Having finally
broken through the steel plate that is Chertoff's skull, the secretary
confessed he hadn't heard those reports — reports that the
television networks were documenting, live, with their cameras.
Chertoff promised he'd look into the matter.

Several readers directed me to CNN reporter Miles O'Brien's hard-
boiled interview with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in which he
repeatedly invited the governor to agree with him that the federal
government had "dropped the ball." When Barbour demurred on this and
other points of culpability, O'Brien came back at
him
without the politesse
code:
Courteous formality;
politeness

reporters usually extend to dissembling pols.

I recall Andrea Mitchell all but editorializing on NBC the other night
about Congress taking its sweet time to reconvene and pass a
hurricane-relief bill … Fox News Channel's Shepard Smith chasing after
a mute police officer down the New Orleans freeway overpass and asking
in outrage when the stranded would get help … and MSNBC's Joe
Scarborough in Biloxi transforming himself into the voice of the
disenfranchised to put in a good word for the looters:

You got to understand that these are people who have young
babies who haven't had water in four days, in some cases, haven't
had formula, haven't had basic necessities. I just wonder what you
would do, what I would do if we were in a situation where our 15-
month-old child or our 2-year-old baby needed something to stay
alive. I don't know what you would do. I know I would do anything
it took to get what they needed.

Now, I should be getting it from the federal government if I am in
New Orleans, from the state government. But I will tell you what.
It is amateur hour, and it has been amateur hour over the past
four or five days. This is completely different, friends, from the
way the crises were handled in Florida last year, four hurricanes,
two of them major, it was handled with ruthless efficiency. I
know. I was there. That is not happening tonight in New
Orleans.


This morning the discontent spread to the anchor booth at CNN, as
Wonkette notes, when Soledad O'Brien openly mocked FEMA in an
interview with its director, Michael Brown:

As you can tell, the situation clearly is deteriorating. You've
got armed bandits roving the streets. They're heavily armed.
You've got people living out on the streets with absolutely no
protection, no help whatsoever, no food, no water. How many armed
National Guardsmen do you have on the ground right now? …

How is it possible that we're getting better intel than you're
getting? …

FEMA has been on the ground for four days, going into the fifth
day. Why no massive airdrop of food and water? In Banda Aceh, in
Indonesia, they got food dropped two days after the tsunami
struck. …

It's five days that FEMA has been on the ground. The head of
police says it's been five days that FEMA has been there. The
mayor, the former mayor, putting out SOS's on Tuesday morning,
crying on national television, saying please send in some troops.
So the idea that, yes, I understand that you're feeding people and
trying to get in there now, but it's Friday. It's Friday. ...

CNN anchor Jack Cafferty growled about the media coverage of Katrina's
victims yesterday on Wolf Blitzer's The Situation Room, name-
checking me and citing my Wednesday column about the broadcasters'
failure to acknowledge the race and economic class of the hardest-hit.

Said Cafferty:

We knew it was coming. And yet, the poorest and the neediest
and the most helpless of those in New Orleans, well, they're still
there, aren't they? Despite the many angles of this tragedy—and
lord knows there've been a lot of them in New Orleans—there is a
great big elephant in the living room that the media seems content
to ignore.

That would be until now. Slate.com's Jack Shafer wrote today in
his column that television coverage has shied away from talking
about race and class. Shafer says that we in the media are
ignoring the fact that almost all of the victims in New Orleans
are black and poor. And he's right. Almost every person we've
seen, from the families stranded on their rooftops waiting to be
rescued, to the looters, to the people holed up in the Superdome,
are black and poor.

Many of them didn't follow the evacuation orders because they
didn't have the means to get out of town. They just couldn't do
it. A lot of them are sick, a lot of them don't have cars, a lot
of them just didn't have the means to leave "The Big Easy." And
they're still there.


This gave the Washington-based Blitzer a perfect opening to comment on
race and class, but he stumbled and fell into a "Campanis
moment
." While airing file footage of victims trudging through
hip-deep water looking for help, Blitzer, no racist, said:

You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals,
as Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these
people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they
are so black
, and this is going to raise lots of questions for
people who are watching this story unfold. [Emphasis added by
slate.]

(Note to Blitzer: You might be one of those guys, like
Campanis, who shouldn't talk about race extemporaneously.
code:
spoken, performed, done, or composed with little or no preparation or
forethought. Extemporaneous, extemporary, and extempore most often
apply to discourse that is delivered without the assistance of a
written text

Next time, try channeling your outrage from the
pages of a well-thought-out news script.)

The rebellion of the talking heads reached its culmination today as
CNN.com contrasted "the official version" of events in New Orleans
with its "in-the-trenches" account by its reporters and authoritative
sources. Muted compared to the on-air growling, the Web story still
portrays the government as a pack of liars, or worse, as bumbling
idiots. The broadcasters' angry dispatches break with the "public
face" they usually give their work: polite, patient, neutral,
generous. A steady diet of such confrontational reporting would
probably be as edifying as a Jerry Springer show. But when the going
gets this tough—when government incompetence and lies become so
insurmountable—sometimes the only way to get the story is by getting
mad.

******

Get this: Rush Limbaugh called me a liberalon his show
yesterday for my Wednesday
column
about the news broadcasters' general neglect of race and
class. Said Limbaugh, "The whole purpose of this story for Mr. Shafer
and these stories on these lower level websites that hopefully they
think will percolate to the mainstream press is to eventually indict
the American way of life, to indict the American culture, to indict
the American society as inherently unfair and racist." I can't wait to
impress my friends at the
American Prospect
by sending the transcript over. Meanwhile,
call me a communist, a fascist, a neo-con, an anarcho-syndicalist, or
late to dinner via e-mail: yeah@right.com



[ September 03, 2005, 02:48 PM: Message edited by: TS Elliot ]

Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TS Elliot
Member
Member # 736

 - posted      Profile for TS Elliot   Email TS Elliot   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Limbaugh: "The whole purpose of this story for Mr. Shafer and these stories on these lower level websites that hopefully they think will percolate to the mainstream press is to eventually indict the American way of life, to indict the American culture, to indict the American society as inherently unfair and racist."
I must say, this is largely what I wanted to express, without the implied attack-mode. But "American society as inherently unfair and racist" ? Hmmm, maybe not inherently as such, but practically racist, yes for the most part, and traditionally racist with no real sign of change, yes, that too for the most part. And of course, there are exceptions.
Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
canadian
Member
Member # 1809

 - posted      Profile for canadian   Email canadian       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.slate.com/id/2125581/?nav=tap3

There's the link for those of you going as bug-eyed as I am trying to read this article...

[ September 03, 2005, 02:40 PM: Message edited by: canadian ]

Posts: 5362 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TS Elliot
Member
Member # 736

 - posted      Profile for TS Elliot   Email TS Elliot   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
to bugeyed: yep sorry, dunno what happened, I actually edit my posts on another message bord with easier make-up skills ..... [Wink]

http://forums.shareaza.com/

Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RickyB
Member
Member # 1464

 - posted      Profile for RickyB   Email RickyB   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"yeah@right.com"

That is a very cool addy. [Big Grin]

TS, you're from Holland, I gather (guessing by the dutch link you provided)? Let's say a disaster like this were to strike Rotterdam. You really think the victims wouldn't be mostly Indonesian, Surinamese, Somalian, Turks, Morrocans and so on?

People like you are worse for progressive causes than any fascist fock.

Posts: 19145 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
David Ricardo
Member
Member # 1678

 - posted      Profile for David Ricardo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I already posted this in an earlier thread, TS.

http://www.ornery.org/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=007132

[ September 03, 2005, 03:08 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

Posts: 1429 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TS Elliot
Member
Member # 736

 - posted      Profile for TS Elliot   Email TS Elliot   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh and for those who were not so lame as NOT to look up the Campanis moment:

In the 1988 Seoul Olympics, during the 100 meters Butterfly, one could hear the reporter comment the following about Matt Biondi, Eric Heiden of swimming:
quote:
"Yes they are in the water, Biondi is going strong, they've reached the turning point ... Biondi is actually .24 seconds UNDER the world record, folks! .... 25 meters to go, it's gonna be, Biondi ... Biondi ... Biondi ... Biondi ... Nesty!?
I so enjoyed that.

The bright ones under you here have guessed it: Anthony Nesty is a black man. Carribean (Trinidad), and I have to admit, trained in the usa. Biondi didn't win Heidens 7, maybe even just 5 gold medals.
Yeah, yeah, you're allowed to make 'Soul Olympic' jokes, we don't mind.

[ September 03, 2005, 03:22 PM: Message edited by: TS Elliot ]

Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TS Elliot
Member
Member # 736

 - posted      Profile for TS Elliot   Email TS Elliot   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
"yeah@right.com"

That is a very cool addy. [Big Grin]

TS, you're from Holland, I gather (guessing by the dutch link you provided)? Let's say a disaster like this were to strike Rotterdam. You really think the victims wouldn't be mostly Indonesian, Surinamese, Somalian, Turks, Morrocans and so on?

People like you are worse for progressive causes than any fascist fock.

I hope you realized that that addy is fake since i didn't know what ornery policy is on this. I just didn't think it was nettiquete to put someones email on a messboard. especially someone who seems wide open for hatemail, spam and spamming hatemail.

Ricky, are you sure that link wasn't norwegian?

Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RickyB
Member
Member # 1464

 - posted      Profile for RickyB   Email RickyB   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wouldn't know. Could be.
Posts: 19145 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TS Elliot
Member
Member # 736

 - posted      Profile for TS Elliot   Email TS Elliot   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
tssk, tssk, ricky-baby. check your facts! toplevel .no stands for NOrway!

And whats witht the "People like you are worse for progressive causes than any fascist fock."
snack attack?? What have I done NOW to upset the beautiful fairy land you live in? Huh? come on, tell it all to daddy .... [Wink]

Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TS Elliot
Member
Member # 736

 - posted      Profile for TS Elliot   Email TS Elliot   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
for those that didn't completely understand the digression into olympic swimming (i didn't either:)):

http://www.slate.com/id/2124688/

Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1