Archive for Media

Heard On The BBC

Today on the BBC they did a heartfelt piece about the anguish of the average Gazan. It dripped with empathy, British-style, meaning they were warm and caring toward the Gazans and at the same time hostile and snotty toward Israel.

I thought about this: “Aggie, (I thought), how can you help the British media, and the British public, to feel empathy for the suffering of the Israelis? How to make them understand that in a nation of roughly 7 million people, 14,000 missiles have been launched from Gaza in total, and about 3,500 of them happened within the past couple of months? How can such loving people not feel for the poor Israelis, and how can I help?”

Well, I thought and I thought and I think I have the solution. It is pretty simple. You see, there are about 7.5 million Israelis, but 63,742,000 citizens of the UK. I want to divide the UK into Israel-sized populations. Hmmm. I have to divide 63,742,000 by 7.5 million. It comes up to 8.493333333333. Let’s agree on 8.5, ok? So that means that there are 8.5 regions of the UK, somehow divided into 7.5 million human beings each (except for the .5 which has only 3.75 million, give or take). Got it? Now draw the borders any which way, as long as each region has only 7.5 million people.

And start shelling them. Randomly and persistently, begin to fire missiles into the UK. Some will land in fields, some will shatter the stained glass in those beautiful cathedrals, some will hit cafes, and some will land in nursery schools or senior living facilities. This needs to go on for 9 years and it needs to be random. Perhaps someone can write a computer program to create the randomness of the targets? And naturally, the missiles themselves must be faulty enough that even if something is aimed at a park, it could as easily land in the 3rd floor living room of a nice apartment.

Talk doesn’t matter. Whoever runs the program can talk and talk and talk, as long as the shelling continues. It’s best if they promise to stop if demands are met, etc., but the shelling must continue. Oh, and it would be lovely if the population of Britain was blamed for their own misery and most especially if the UN passed dozens, oddles!, of resolutions blaming them.

In 9 years, we can see how the BBC responds. Our readers who either live in the UK or are familiar with it can write and let us know if this would work.

Best,

Aggie

Comments

He Won.

We’re Sad.

Americans really wish they elected Mitt Romney instead of Obama

Americans are so down on President Obama at the moment that, if they could do the 2012 election all over again, they’d overwhelmingly back the former Massachusetts governor’s bid. That’s just one finding in a brutal CNN poll, released Sunday, which shows Romney topping Obama in a re-election rematch by a whopping nine-point margin, 53 percent to 44 percent. That’s an even larger spread than CNN found in November, when a survey had Romney winning a redo 49 percent to 45 percent.

Two years ago, Obama won re-election with about 51 percent of the vote.

Of course, the poll should be taken with a grain of salt. While Obama is actually taking on the tough task of leading the nation, Romney is sitting comfortably on the sidelines where he is liable to receive a more favorable reception. Still, the finding comes as foreign and domestic crises have sent Obama’s approval rating tumbling back to 40 percent, per Gallup.

Also in the CNN survey, a record-low 46 percent say Obama “shares [their] values,” while only 49 percent say he is “sincere in what he says,” also a record-low.

OK, CNN is a terrible news organization and most of what they say is rubbish. I don’t believe this at all, but it’s fun to fantasize. In any case, we are getting the government that we elected – twice.

- Aggie

Comments (1)

Israel Explains Things To CNN

No clue if it went through the thick head.

- Aggie

Comments (1)

Utopianism Vs. Reality (Alternative Title: The True Cycle Of Violence)

In my view, utopian ideologies (such as pacifism, leftist appeasement, Messianism, etc.) are the most dangerous philosophies that mankind has created, with the possible exception of Communism and its offshoots. Communism itself is a utopian ideology, come to think of it. What these ideologies share is the belief that given the right set of circumstances, peace on earth will come about.

Don’t get me wrong – a small dose of this stuff is just fine. We can all pray for the Messiah to come (or return). We can pitch in and help our neighbors. We can avoid conflict if it is reasonable to do so.

But Reality is ever so much more powerful than Utopianism, especially in the world today.

This is about Israel, but it pertains to the US too:

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers of Great Britain and France all are rushing to achieve a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Their motive — to end civilian suffering and restore stability to the area — is noble. The images of the wounded and dead resulting from the conflict are indeed agonizing. However, these senior statesmen can be most helpful now by doing nothing. To preserve the values they cherish and to send an unequivocal message to terrorist organizations and their state sponsors everywhere, Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

This is the lesson of previous rounds of fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces and terrorist strongholds. In Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza in 2008 and again in 2012, Israel responded to rocket attacks on its cities with fierce counteroffensives. Fighting against a deeply dug-in enemy that both blended in with the local population and used it as a shield, Israel’s best efforts to avoid civilian casualties invariably proved limited. Incensed world opinion generated immense pressure on governments to convene the U.N. Security Council and empower human rights organizations to censure Israel and stop the carnage. These measures succeeded where the terrorists’ rockets failed. Israel was compelled to back down.

And the terrorists, though badly mauled, won. Admittedly, their bar for claiming victory was exceptionally low. While Israel must achieve a clear battlefield success to win, the terrorists merely had to survive. But they did more than survive. Under the protection of cease-fires and, in some cases, international peacekeepers, they vastly expanded their arsenals to include more lethal and longer-range missiles. While reestablishing their rule in the streets, they burrowed beneath them to create a warren of bombproof bunkers and assault tunnels. Such measures enabled Hamas, as well as Hezbollah, to mount devastating attacks at the time of their choosing, confident that the international community would once again prevent Israel from exacting too heavy a price.

So the cycle continued. Allowed to fight for several weeks, at most, Israel was eventually condemned and hamstrung by cease-fires. The terrorists, by contrast, could emerge from their hideouts and begin to replenish and enhance their stockpiles. That is precisely the pattern established in the second Lebanon War and repeated in Operations Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Hezbollah and Hamas sustained losses but, rescued and immunized by international diplomacy, they remained in power and became more powerful still. Israel, on the other hand, was forced to defend its right to defend itself. Jihadist organizations no different from the Islamic State and al-Qaeda gained regional legitimacy, while Israel lost it in the world.

The cycle can end, now and decisively. As Operation Protective Edge enters its third week , responsible world leaders can give Israel the time and the leverage it needs to alter Hamas’s calculus. They can let the Israeli army ferret Hamas out of its holes and make it pay a prohibitive cost for its attacks. They can create an outcome in which the organization, even if it remains in Gaza, is defanged and deprived of its heavy arms. Of course, Hamas will resist demilitarization, and more civilians will suffer, but by ending the cycle once and for all thousands of innocent lives will be saved.

Life in Gaza is miserable now, but if Israel is permitted to prevail, circumstances can improve markedly. U.S.- and Canadian-trained security forces of the Palestinian Authority can take over key crossings and patrol Gaza’s porous border with Egypt. Rather than be funneled into Hamas’s war chest, international aid can be transferred directly to the civilian population to repair war damage and stimulate economic growth. Terrorist groups and their state patrons can be put on notice: The game has changed unalterably.

More at the link. Again, it doesn’t exactly make us want to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but it is the truth.

- Aggie

Comments

Chips and Guacamole!

Obama’s foreign policy:

As smoke billowed from the downed Malaysian jetliner in the fields of eastern Ukraine on Thursday, President Obama pressed ahead with his schedule: a cheeseburger with fries at the Charcoal Pit in Delaware, a speech about infrastructure and two splashy fund-raisers in New York City.

The potential for jarring split-screen imagery was clear. Reports of charred bodies and a ground-to-air missile attack from Eastern Europe dominated television screens while photographers snapped pictures of a grinning Mr. Obama holding a toddler at the restaurant. The presidential motorcade was later filmed pulling up to Trump Place Apartments, the Riverside Avenue venue for his first fund-raiser.

Excuse me, New York Times editors, but isn’t “grinning” one of those racist dog whistles? My Bloodthirsty Puppy jumped to her feet when she read that.

Moments after making a grim statement about Ukraine on Friday, the president popped into the East Room, where the first lady, Michelle Obama, was holding a mock state dinner for children to promote her Let’s Move nutrition initiative. “My big thing,” he confessed to the kids, “chips and guacamole!” There was plenty of laughter all around.

Ha-ha-ha-ha! What a card.

On Friday afternoon, Mr. Obama flew to Camp David for the weekend. This week, he plans a three-day fund-raising swing in Seattle and California. White House officials said there were no plans to cancel the trip.

Of course not. They need the money.

Obama can’t afford to change his plans: that might raise expectations that he could or would actually do something. He likens himself to a bear on the loose, and there’s something to that: bears root through dumpsters and garbage cans looking for food. Meanwhile, the Russian bear lumbers across the landscape without opposition.

Comments

Transparent Hypocrisy

Everything Barack Obama touches turns to dreck: it’s the reverse Midas touch. What a pleasure it has been lately watching his reputation swirl down the cistern where dreck belongs:

Right now, here ON THE RECORD, fired “New York Times executive editor, JILL ABRAMSON.

While working at “The New York Times” and after decades of covering presidential administrations, Abramson calling President Obama’s White House the most is he secretive White House that she’s covered. And she’s not the only one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BYRON YORK, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: This is not the most transparent administration in history.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will make our government open and transparent.

One of the things I want to do is open things up. I want transparency. I want accountability.

BOB CUSACK, MANAGING EDITOR, ‘THE HILL’: This White House came in saying we’ll do things differently, we’ll change Washington. They didn’t change Washington.

OBAMA: The more transparency we can bring to Washington, the less likely it is Washington will be run by lobbyists and special interests.

Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.

A.B. STODDARD, ‘THE HILL’: He’s broken a promise.

OBAMA: This is the most transparent administration in history.

VAN SUSTEREN: You said have this administration is the most is the secretive. What is your support? Why do you say that?

ABRAMSON: I think it’s easy to demonstrate that that’s true, starting with — I love the name of your show, “ON THE RECORD.” I have never dealt with an administration where more officials — some of whom are actually paid to be the spokesmen for various federal agencies –demand that everything be off the record. So that’s secretive and not transparent.

But the most serious thing is the Obama administration has launched eight criminal leak investigations against sources and whistleblowers. And they have tried to sweep in journalists, including – it’s almost the one- year anniversary exactly that your college, James Rosen, had his record secretly looked at by the government in a leak investigation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it profoundly different thought than the other administrations?

ABRAMSON: It is profoundly different. Before these cases, these eight cases, and all of history, there have been fewer than half of those. And so it is different.

So, this has been an historic administration, after all.

Oh, and about “not changing Washington”, there is agreement:

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: This is within our power to change. Everybody says because we tried in ‘08 and it didn’t happen, it’s not possible.

Give yourself a little credit, Joe. You changed Washington plenty. Never before has an administration that “ended” two “wars” and governed over a five-year “recovery” been so wretchedly unpopular. If you guys were the ones we were waiting for, I wish we had been less patient.

Comments

Antisemitism At The Washington Post

- Aggie

Comments

Boko and Mindy

Our intrepid diplomats have a cunning plan to bringbackourgirls.

Sit-coms:

The State Department is financing a new 24-hour satellite television channel in the turbulent northern region of Nigeria that American officials say is crucial to countering the extremism of radical groups such as Boko Haram. The move signals a ramping up of American counterinsurgency efforts to directly challenge the terrorist group, which abducted nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls in April.

State Department officials acknowledged that setting up an American-supported channel could prove challenging in a region where massacres, bombings and shootings by Boko Haram are common, and where the American government and Western educational programs are far from popular. The group has been known to attack media organizations in Nigeria.

The goal of the channel is to provide original content, including comedies and children’s programs that will be created, developed and produced by Nigerians. State Department officials said they hoped to provide an alternative to the violent propaganda and recruitment efforts of Boko Haram.

Suggested program titles: The Big Game Theory; Seinveldt; Allah in the Family, 276 Broken Girls.

Hey, it could work. Nothing changes minds and mores like mass media, right?

Many foreign policy experts, while applauding State Department programs to counter the efforts of Boko Haram and other extremist groups, said the new satellite project faced several challenges in a region with low levels of infrastructure, public services, literacy and security.

Access to electricity is limited in many rural areas of northern Nigeria, and few people own televisions. While some people might be able to view the programs on cellphones, a U.S.A.I.D. official recently told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Boko Haram has been targeting cellphone towers to reduce access to communication services in the region.

If Western education is sinful to Boko Haram, I doubt episodes of Hanna Savanna are going to appeal to the devout and pious Muslims among them. But other than “infrastructure, public services, literacy and security”, plus “massacres, bombings and shootings”, this thing has a chance.

They couldn’t protect Christopher Stevens, but they think they can produce a TV show. I’d say that’s Obama’s foreign policy in a nutshell.

Comments

Made You Look!

CNN’s obsession with the missing plane long ago became the stuff of farce, ridicule, parody.

Ratings bonanza!

The 850 square kilometers scanned off the coast of western Australia in the hunt for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane are not the “final resting place of MH370,” the agency leading the search said Thursday.

The search area is where four acoustic pings originally thought to be from the black boxes of the Boeing 777 were heard in early April.

“The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has advised that the search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections can now be considered complete and in its professional judgment, the area can now be discounted as the final resting place of MH370,” a statement from the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said.

Authorities now almost universally believe the pings did not come from the onboard data or cockpit voice recorders but instead came from some other man-made source unrelated to the jetliner that disappeared on March 8, according to Michael Dean, the Navy’s deputy director of ocean engineering.

I don’t watch CNN, but I understand from those who are paid to do so that it has obsessed on this subject like Michelle Obama on curly kale. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that CNN itself dispatched some junior producer to the South Pacific with a triangle from a high school band. He’s floating in a dinghy, surrounded by sharks, pinging the triangle every eight seconds. Well, now he’s stopped, back on dry land, applying makeup to Wolf Blitzer’s brow.

I guess I should declare that I am not making fun of such a tragic loss of life. Real people, not that different from me, lost people they loved very dearly. But is CNN’s comical coverage any more respectful?

“Now clearly we were hoping that the pings would narrow that broad area down to a narrow one, but that has not been the case, and now we have to unfortunately go the long road,” he told CNN.

You just take your time, says CNN. We’ve got hours of programming to fill.

Comments

Who You Callin’ Gray Lady?

Here in Bloodthirstan, we always like to make popcorn when we watch a fight. But how about the rest of youse? Chips? Something healthier like almonds? And if you want my recipe for guacamole you need but ask:

New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. felt he had no choice but to hit back at Jill Abramson late Saturday after being attacked in the media for sexist motives in dismissing his executive editor.

Sulzberger sacked Abramson after concluding that her managing editor, Dean Baquet, would have quit otherwise and that this would have been devastating to the paper, says a Times executive with knowledge of the situation. Instead, Sulzberger elevated Baquet to be the paper’s first African-American editor.

The final straw was Sulzberger’s conclusion that Abramson had misled him by not informing Baquet that she planned to bring in another journalist, the Guardian’s Janine Gibson, and give her the same title of managing editor, the executive said. That was viewed as a sign of disrespect to her deputy. Baquet complained to Sulzberger about being blindsided shortly before Abramson’s dismissal.

Sulzberger said he had “heard repeatedly from her newsroom colleagues, women and men, about a series of issues, including arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues. I discussed these issues with Jill herself several times and warned her that, unless they were addressed, she risked losing the trust of both masthead and newsroom. She acknowledged that there were issues and agreed to try to overcome them. We all wanted her to succeed. It became clear, however, that the gap was too big to bridge and ultimately I concluded that she had lost the support of her masthead colleagues and could not win it back.”

Sulzberger has taken a PR beating as the media have embraced the theme that Abramson was paid less by a paper whose liberal editorial page has championed equal pay for women. He has also drawn criticism for objecting to Abramson’s brusque management style, with critics saying male editors would not be denounced as overly aggressive or pushy, and for the way that she was abruptly shown the door.

But the executive with knowledge of the situation said that Sulzberger was open to a more amicable parting, with Abramson staying on for a period of time, only to learn that she wanted to be publicly fired and wage a publicity war against her ouster. In management’s view, Abramson is responsible for leaking confidential salary information—not just about herself but others–and her friends in the media are promoting her narrative.

In the statement, Sulzberger also said: “Equal pay for women is an important issue in our country – one that The New York Times often covers. But it doesn’t help to advance the goal of pay equality to cite the case of a female executive whose compensation was not in fact unequal.”

Is that double-negative (or is it triple) part of the Times stylebook? Earlier stories referred to Abramson as “pushy”, a word we love applied to dames, along with “loud”, “aggressive”, and “leggy”.

The Times is about as dishonest a publication as I can think of. Not just among its editorialists and op-ed writers (Paul Krugman, Tom Friedman), but in its slanted news coverage. (Check out CAMERA’s analysis of Mid-East reporting). This airing of dirty laundry is Christmas in May.

PS: Lots of cilantro and hot pepper flakes—and raw red onion. The avocado tames the wild flavors.

PPS: And more salt than you might think healthy. For the same reason.

Comments

PUMA (Paper Unity My Ass) II

A white woman who’s got the job all sewn up suddenly finds herself out on her ass, replaced by a black man.

Nah, could never happen:

New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson was suddenly fired on Wednesday, less than three years after taking over the top editorial position at the newspaper.

In an article posted on its web site, the Times said Abramson has been “dismissed” and will be replaced by Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the newspaper.

The first female executive editor at the Times is being replaced by the first African-American to fill the post. Baquet, 57, was Abramson’s hand-picked deputy during her term in office.

“I’ve loved my run at The Times,”Abramson, 60, said in a statement released by the paper. “I got to work with the best journalists in the world doing so much stand-up journalism.”

Sulzberger told the employees that Abramson was leaving due to “an issue with management in the newsroom,” adding that there were no editorial issues during her tenure that caused the move. Abramson was not in the newsroom during the announcement, Politico reports.

“I chose to appoint a new leader for our newsroom because I believe that new leadership will improve some aspects of the management of the newsroom,” Sulzberger said, according to the Politico report. “This is not about any disagreement between the newsroom and the business side.”

The Times’ article on the dismissal states “people in the company briefed on the situation described serious tension in [Abramson's] relationship with Mr. Sulzberger, who had been hearing concerns from employees that she was polarizing and mercurial. They had disagreements even before she was appointed executive editor, and she had also had clashes with Mr. Baquet.”

Who said Ms. Abramson was “likable enough”.

Except when she wasn’t:

The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta reported in a blog post that Abramson, the first female to serve as executive editor for the prestigious newspaper, was let go because she demanded “equal pay” to male personnel, a point immediately denied by The Times.

“Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs,” Auletta writes.

“‘She confronted the top brass,’ one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was ‘pushy,’ a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect,” he continued.

Auletta notes that Sulzberger feels the financially-strapped Times needs to be less extravagant with its salaries and that Keller had spent many more years at the paper than Abramson, which would also explain the pension disparity.

He concludes that, whether Abramson was “right or wrong, both sides were left unhappy. A third associate told me, ‘She found out that a former deputy managing editor’ — a man— ‘made more money than she did’ while she was managing editor. ‘She had a lawyer make polite inquiries about the pay and pension disparities, which set them off.’”

Nothing makes working women all warm and fuzzy like being told they’re pushy. (Especially if they’re Jewish, as I suppose Ms. Abramson to be.)

Me, I think this is what got her canned:

Abramson made waves in January when she said in an interview with Al Jazeera that President Obama was operating “the most secretive White House” she has ever covered.

“I would say it is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering, and that includes — I spent 22 years of my career in Washington and covered presidents from President Reagan on up through now, and I was Washington bureau chief of the Times during George W. Bush’s first term,” she said in the interview.

Talk about waving a red flag at a bull! That’s like a Nigerian schoolgirl walking up to a pack of Boko Haram and saying “The sum of the areas of the two squares on the legs (a and b) equals the area of the square on the hypotenuse (c)…asshole!”

Comments

The Most Transparent Administration Evah! [Update]

They are refusing to release emails about strategy to handle Fox News Benghazi reporting

See the pretty blank spaces at the link. It is all unclassified; they just don’t wanna.

And here’s the report:


This is amazing. Watch Beckel admit that the National Security Advisor was absent. And we know that both the President and Secretary of State were absent. And that is what happened. It is like being out of town when your house catches on fire.

The Obama administration is withholding the full contents of a “media strategy” discussion over a Fox News report on Benghazi, claiming that releasing them would have a chilling effect on their “frank deliberations.”

The seven-page email chain was in reference to a Fox News report on Sept. 27, 2012, that the intelligence community knew within 24 hours that Benghazi was a terrorist attack.

The emails, with the subject line “Fox News: US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm,” was circulated at senior levels of the administration. Denis McDonough, the president’s deputy national security adviser during Benghazi; John Brennan, the former White House counterterrorism adviser; and presidential communications adviser Ben Rhodes, whose Sept.14 email linked the anti-Islam video to Benghazi, were all part of the discussion.

“A seven-page dialogue concerning one Fox News report to me demonstrates an alarm bell situation where they are reacting to and trying to shape a response,” senior Judicial Watch investigator Chris Farrell told Fox News. “There was a contrarian news report that didn’t align with their position and they were clearly reacting to it in a way that would help reinforce their position.”

While originally designated “SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED,” Justice Department lawyers told a federal court May 1 that the State Department rightfully withheld “…comments, opinions and assessments related to the formulation of a media strategy with respect to an ongoing sensitive matter….The release of this information could reasonably be expected to chill the frank deliberations that occur when State Department and other U.S. government officials are formulating public responses to address sensitive issues.”

Two days after the emails, a spokesman for the nation’s intelligence chief, the director of national intelligence, released a lengthy statement explaining the evolution in the intelligence community’s thinking from the assault being a spontaneous attack to it being pre-meditated terrorism.

The statement does not mention a video originally cited by then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as being behind the attack. It also does not, on its face, constitute the “media strategy” that was the subject of the seven-page email chain.

An DNI spokesman told Fox he could not comment on what may or may not be in the redacted emails.

When previously asked about the Sept. 28, 2012 release, the DNI spokesman said the suggestion to “develop the statement came from within the intelligence community.”

Fox: The Only Television News Organization.

- Aggie

Comments

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »