Friday, July 08, 2005

Coverage of London Attacks

I watched a little bit of that fucknut Bill O'Reilly last night. As much as I could stomach, anyway. In his little introduction, he basically says that anyone who is criticizing America is helping the terrorists, and that people criticizing the good guys need to realize who the real bad guys are and if you don't agree with him, then you're helping the terrorists. Oh, he also said that The Guardian is edited by Osama Bin Laden.

Of course, I have lots of problems with this nonesense. Obviously, to these idiots, everthing is black and white, there are good guys and bad guys and everything the bad guys do is 100% evil and everything the good guys do is 100% wonderful. And since we all know the terrorists are bad guys, that makes us the good guys, therefore everything we do is ok. But here's the problem, in the real world, we all know the terrorists are the bad guys, but that doesn't justify everything we do as long as we say it's to fight the terrorists. We America hating liberals don't need to spend time condenming the actions of terrorists, because terrorists are expected to be evil, everyone recognizes that. We do need to spend time criticizing our own government when they do things we are not happy with, because it's not what is expected of it, and because we don't want it to continue. Criticizing the War on Terror is not about saying America is the bad guy, it's about saying that if we really want to fight terrorism, then maybe we should actually go after the actual terrorists, instead of going after whoever is convenient and then hanging a terrorist sign around their necks. Expecting the best from our government is pretty American to me, and when we don't get it, demanding it is also important.

I don't get how these right wing idiots can say with a straight face that we need to focus on who the real bad guys are instead of arguing with each other by calling out people who disagree with them. Sean Hannity did something similar on his show yesterday that I caught the end of. How do they not choke on the hypocrisy coming out of their mouths?

The other thing that really bothered me about yesterday was all the shows I saw focusing on the London bombings almost exclusively, which is fine, I realize it's a very big story, but if thirty something people had been killed by bombs in Iraq, it might have been mentioned, but that's about it. Now, I understand that the London bombings are a bigger story because they aren't exactly in the war zone and because they were a surprise, but really if we're supposed to be at war with terror, should we be all that surprised when we are attacked? And at the end of the day, thirty people killed in Iraq ae just as dead as thirty people killed in London. I just wish all their lives were valued the same by the rest of us.

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Robert Bayn said...

Fox News Rhetoric, you ask me, those people are really the anti-americans, their nothing more then bigots and trying to restrict freedom of speech.

John Howard said...

I agree, but I support their right to be bigoted assholes if they want to.

An Angry Old Broad said...

I just wish these Freedom Loving Americans could get it through their teeny heads that America needs more than one voice,or,umm,well,it's not actually America at it's best.I have no problem with their rights to spout whatever,it's the restriction and complete dismissal and shouting down of other voices that's the problem.If we had say,one,just one program to line up against each one of theirs,toe to toe,then we'd be looking at some fair and balanced.

These people are inciteful and they KNOW it.They like stirring people to fury,but then they hide and watch the fight with a smug smirk.The result is the kind of crap you see on Little Green Footballs and their ilk.I just keep wondering when it will be that someone(s) in their audience begins really acting out on their hatespew,and it's open season on "the liberal menace".

Rana said...

"smug smirk" - that does encapsulate that attitude well, doesn't it?

Good post, John, especially the last paragraph. I hate how we grow indifferent to violence where it's common and frequent -- the reaction should really be the exact opposite.

Ol Cranky said...

How do they not choke on the hypocrisy coming out of their mouths?

They speak out of their anuses

John Howard said...

Yeah, rana, thanks, that was the main point I wanted to make, but Bill O'Reilly pissed me off so much that I probably didn't stress that one enough.

Anonymous said...

Where do you live? I get stories all day long about the death and bombings in Iraq, Isreal, Afghanistan, etc.

John Howard said...

cranky, I think you're right. But I honestly wonder if they're blind to their own hypocrisy or just don't care.

John Howard said...

There are always stories about what goes on in Iraq, but they are not the focus of entire shows, and they are not looked at in any depth, and they certainly are not covered anywhere near as well as the London attack has been. They're not covered as much as the missing girl in Aruba, or whatever the pedophile of the week has done. Stories about the war are put on the back burner and worse, are actively discouraged by the administration and people on the right.

Ron said...

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.

As the cool and deliberate sense of the community ought, in all governments, and actually will, in all free governments, ultimately prevail over the views of its rulers; so there are particular moments in public affairs when the people, stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn. In these critical moments, how salutary will be the interference of some temperate and respectable body of citizens, in order to check the misguided career, and to suspend the blow meditated by the people against themselves, until reason, justice, and truth can regain their authority over the public mind?

-James Madison

I've been reading from the founders of the U.S. lately. It amazes me how thoughtful and prescience they are. We were luck to have such leaders in our early history. Too bad our current leadership is exactly the kind of leaders were warned about over 200 years ago.

John Howard said...

And too bad they like to ignore everything that our founders actually said, and instead just focus on how Christian they were, since they did use the word creator after all.

I think they were probably all Scientologists.

Claire said...

Wow, perfect. I often wonder how they don't choke on hypocrisy myself. I admire that you can watch any of that crap on the 24-hour "news" stations. It makes a certain vein on my forhead throb dangerously. It's all bullshit and they are just trying to whirl us into an apoplectic mess. Or at least that's their affect on me.

John Howard said...

I watch it for two reasons, first to stay informed about what other people are thinking, and second for my own amusement at how people can be so stupid.

Anonymous said...

ron, what an awesome quote you found! It's so perfectly apt!

Is that in one of the Federalist Papers?

As to O'Reilly, sounds like he completely confuses nationalism with patriotism.

That's an excellent way to be an out & out fascist.


- oddjob

John Howard said...

Yeah, oddjob, I think a lot of people are like O'Reilly and can't tell the difference between nationalism and patriotism. Unfortunately.

Ron said...

oddjob, it is from the Federalist papers. Here's a link to a good site at James Madison U:

I think he might now be my favotite FF over Ben Franklin. He was a thoughtful, subtle man, little more than 5' and very soft-spoken. Very big ideas though. We'd probably never elect a man such as him anymore, to our loss.

Andrew said...

John, I like that you defend their right to be bigoted assholes. That's the sign of a real patriot.

It's a shame they don't afford you the same courtesy. They claim to fight for freedom yet condemn as treason any dissenting voice. It's particulary ironic in that they want the same blind obedience as the extremists they oppose.

PaulNoonan said...

Be careful attacking guys like Hannity and O'Reilly too much. They're the ultimate straw men because they actually exist, but they don't speak the actual, logical, justified reasons for being in Iraq.

It's the equivalent of conflating Noam Chomsky with sensible liberals. Really, who cares what any of them say.

John Howard said...

Yeah, that's a good point, Paul. But I don't think there are very many logical, justified reasons for being in Iraq, and even if there are, they aren't the reasons we were given by our government before going in, and they also shouldn't have been our top priority in any case.

Robert Bayn said...

Of course they have a right to be a bigioted asshole, and we the american people have a right to call them on it.

PaulNoonan said...

Perhaps not, but by attacking Hannity and O'Reilly, while admittedly fun and easy, misses any credible arguments altogether.

For instance, you (and many others) often state that Iraq should not have been our first priority. There are some compelling facts in favor of this view. The predident's inherent bias towards said nation and the lack of a direct connection being the most prominent.

There is a reasonable counterargument to this view, however. That view is more of a macro view. The "creating democracy" view. This is often not treated seriously by those who disagree with it, but it completely explains Iraq as a reasonable target.

Another common criticism is that Iraq, unlike Iran, Afgahnistan, etc, is not an Islamic autocracy. Again, the creating democracy idea explains this criticism as well.

To create a stable democracy (regime change, whatever) you need a citizenry that is at least not openly hostile to you. That doesn't view you as trying to wipe out their religion immediately upon seeing you.

The Iraqi citezenry fits this because they are not devoutly muslim, they know that, by and large, we hate the those oppressing them, and we have the very friendly kurds to work with.

With regard to Iran, converting them, so th speak, would have been nearly impossible.

You may think we need to concentrate more on Afgahnistan, and that is also a fair criticism, but we are there, and that nation is also not a ripe for change due to its poor infrastructure, tribal nature, and rather barren, rocky landscape.

North Korea may have been capable of destroying South Korea. The administration (and many others of all political stripes) see them as a cornered wild animal.

Iraq also is a good target because of their proximity to other hostile nations, Syria and Iran in particular. Democracy does tend to spread, if not in total, at least in part. And Democracies do not wage war on each other.

This is merely one part of one credible argument. Attacking those like O'Hannity, who claim that our opponents "hate freedom" (sigh) is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Recidivist said...

If you will pardon my French; the words 'stupid' and 'prick' (in that particular order) spring to mind.

Scourge said...


Knocking over other governments because we think that said other governments should be like ours -- isn't that imperialism?


American expat in London said...

Whilst I agree that dead Iraqis are just as important and tragic as dead Londoners, I don't think it's fair to come down hard on people who haven't been outraged about the carnage in Iraq. It's hard to realise just how horrible things are when the footage looks like any action movie and the media itself treats it like a footnote. I think that's why the bombings yesterday invoked such a strong reaction in people; they were made aware that this isn't a movie, it's real life, and real people are dying, Britons are dying. Which is not to say that a British life is more important to an Iraqi, certainly not. But the loss of a British life hits closer to home for most Britons than an Iraqi, French, Dutch or American one would.

If anything good can come out of this, I believe it will be the British people waking up and demanding the truth and some accountability from their government. Reality demands it and so should they.

American expat in London said...

to an Iraqi = than an Iraqi

It's late. Sorry.

Recidivist said...

Exactly who was made aware that it wasn't a movie?

With all due respect, the British people have been demanding accountability from the word go.

Robert Bayn said...

I think u.s. media has a problem when it comes to iraq.

1. If they talk about the violence in depth, bush and other conservatives say thier anti-american, and blaming the U.s. first.

2. It's harder to get in depth reporting in a war zone.

3. The media has taken some hits in the last 4 years by a effort by conservatives to control the air waves to produce thier propaganda, therefore unbias news reporting gets unnoticed.

For me it dosent bother me that thier covering the UK bombing's more, what bothers me is the insanity by the right following the bombing's, it made me ill.

John Howard said...

Paul, youre right it is easy to attack the simple arguments of people like Hannity and O'Reilly, but those are the arguments I've usually heard from people. I honestly have rarely heard an argument like yours, which is probably about the best one anyone could come up with for our actions. However, I simply don't buy it, most notably because no one ever suggested it until the other reasons flopped. I't just not credible, even if it is more reasonable than the crap we have been told.

John Howard said...

Amexpat, I don't mean to come down on anyone for not being outraged by Iraqi deaths, I'm just saying I don't understand it. I think if people are outraged by one bombing, they should be outraged by another, and they just don't seem to be.

Kathy said...

And at the end of the day, thirty people killed in Iraq ae just as dead as thirty people killed in London. I just wish all their lives were valued the same by the rest of us.

I agree with you, and if you want to see a truly blatant illustration of the attitude that some lives are more valuable than others, read Thomas Friedman's column today.