While channel surfing the other night, I caught a minute or two of an interview on Rock Center with a woman who, as a 19-year-old white house intern in the early 60s, became one of JFK’s sex toys for a while. The segment was prefaced with a warning from news mannequin Brian Williams to the effect that the story we’re about to hear may be shocking to some viewers (presumably those who still believe in the Camelot fairy tale). (By the way, how many hours did Brian Williams have to practice that earnest frown before it was ready for prime time?) I had next to no interest in hearing an older woman’s rueful recollections of being boned by the man whose most noteworthy accomplishment as president was fucking lots of women–well, that and getting his head blown off–so I kept going, returning a few minutes later, just as Chris Matthews and two other court historians appeared like the cleaning service hired by the local peep show joint to mop all the sticky shit off the floor. They reassured us that while this may have been a tawdry affair, JFK was a complicated man and it shouldn’t tarnish all of the good things he did as president (like make some vague gestures towards civil rights legislation and…some other stuff). In other words, we should continue to think about JFK the way we’ve always been told to think about JFK.
Not long after this story initially broke, we had some family over for dinner and the subject was brought up. There was much agreement about what a disgrace it was, and then one person said, “They should all be fired and replaced with veterans returning from overseas.” I love how it’s a “scandal” that a bunch of dudes on business—oh, but it’s official government business of the utmost importance, and our tax money!—in a foreign country hired women for sex. I mean, who ever heard of such a thing?! Seriously, it strains all credulity to think that any grown person, even an American, could in any way be shocked by this. Meanwhile, of course, the ongoing slaughter of children with remote control airplanes elicits not a peep of (for-public-consumption) outrage from our illustrious elected idiots and the media organs that serve them. And best of all, we get to watch Joe Lieberman, the man who gets a hard on just thinking about dropping bombs on people in sandy, faraway places, play arbiter of good taste and proper moral conduct. Americans can spill all the blood they want. But as soon as they start spilling semen, look out—heads are gonna roll!
If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the media has been working overtime to make excuses and drum up sympathy for our fallen hero, who must have been driven to this aberrant act by something other than just a total disregard for the lives of the people he murdered. The good guys just don’t do this type of thing, not without a good reason anyway.
Just check out this list of headlines from over the weekend:
My favorite has got to be the last one. Willy Loman with an M-16. There were a couple of mentions, almost in passing, of an assault on a girlfriend and an arrest for fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run. Something tells me that if he had shot up his own base or climbed a bell tower at a university back in Washington State and started picking off co-eds, we’d be hearing a lot more about these warning signs of anti-social behavior and a lot less about how he was just a family man struggling to make ends meet.
So far, authorities have no possible motive for the killings, Bowman says, but he emphasizes that the intentional killing of civilians by U.S. soldiers has been very rare in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Bowman” is Pentagon spokesman Tom Bowman. Sorry, make that NPR’s Pentagon correspondent.
Interesting how when a lone soldier, or group of soldiers, takes it upon himself to massacre half a village, it’s described as “intentional killing of civilians” and a “crime,” whereas when a remote control airplane fires a missile into a civilian area and kills a bunch of, ah, civilians, it’s an accident. How unfair. Maybe the guy heard there were “insurgents” operating in the village and took a little initiative, you know, instead of waiting around for the drones to do it for him.
Echoing IOZ (echoing Rob Payne, here), I have to laugh at the hilariously backwards-ass notion of decorum on display from our intrepid news media. It’s one thing to kill a bunch of guys, and it’s another to pee on them. But to show the soldiers’ penises?(*) Why, that would be offensive!
My favorite bit, from the USA Today article quoted by Payne:
In the video, four men wearing what appear to be Marine combat uniforms are seen standing around three dead bodies, quietly talking and joking as the camera rolls. They are equipped with chest rigs, grenades, body armor and some specialized gear. One is holding a precision rifle.
Yes, a bunch of dudes standing over a pile of dead bodies with their dicks in their hands, and the most noteworthy aspect of the image is their gear? What is this, a feature for Soldier of Fortune Magazine? IOZ is right, there aren’t enough LOLs in the universe to do this justice.
(*Sorry, the “alleged” penises of “what appear to be” US soldiers.)
Malik insists he has no orders to go easy on the network.
“As a military commander, let me assure you, I have no orders to spare anybody, and I don’t spare anybody,” he says.
But when asked if his troops are specifically targeting the Haqqani network, Malik says: “We don’t specifically target anybody. You see, there’s no such thing as a good terrorist and a bad terrorist.
“Anybody who challenges the writ of the state, or who is working against the interest of Pakistan, we target them.”
Malik never quite says he is or is not targeting the Haqqani network.
“I don’t give names to the terrorists, you know,” he says. “I don’t differentiate. My issue is I ask questions later, I shoot first. … We target them very, very indiscriminate, if I may say so.”
Listening to this on the way in to work yesterday, I couldn’t help thinking that Steve Inskeep was auditioning for a job at Hillary’s State Dept. His tone was all like: “Well, are you gonna kill these Haqqanis or what? Huh? I can’t hear you!”
Conservatives like to rip NPR as though it’s some sort of bastion of “socialism” in the heart of freedom’s land. This is your typical Hannityesque critique of the “librool media” pushing its insidious, American character-eroding pro-government agenda. As usual, they’re only half right. They’ve got the pro-government part correct, but the “liberal” bugaboo is nowhere to be found.
The local NPR affiliate in Philly, WHYY, is in the midst of one of its annual pledge drives, and this morning its main pitch man, a pompous twit whose affected highbrow manner of speaking arouses a powerful urge to drag him to the nearest high school and stuff him in a locker (after dumping his backpack and stealing his lunch money, of course) was going on about how “you, the listener” are responsible for financing the station and how they’re able to bring us the high-quality programming they do because they’re not beholden to the commercial interests that other stations are.
Then, I swear less than two minutes later, the other pitch person said something about how they’re probably going to get less money from the federal government (not a “commercial” interest, true, but certainly a pretty big interest nevertheless, wouldn’t you say?) this year, so listener pledges are even more important than usual; and this was followed by a spot for a local hospital that specializes in cancer care. So, for shits and giggles, I went onto the station’s website and, sure enough, there’s a page dedicated entirely to soliciting corporate “underwriters.”
Well, gee whiz, and all along I was wondering why their programming is basically no different than the so-called commercial media outlets.