Okay...it was Tuesday. The masses, normally sluggish and unmotivated after a fall weekend can be excused - partially. Our friends, neighbors and fellow Americans at large, not the most curious or engaged population, seem to have little interest in some of the daunting challenges facing us collectively. Granted, some of this lethargic disconnect is attributable to the war that grinds on in Iraq while our Dork in Chief continues to deny reality and lie.
True, we are still far removed from the nitty and gritty of the 2008 presidential campaign although it has been in full swing for several months. This fact reflects the unprecedented eagerness of a majority of politicians, engaged activists and concerned citizens to see the end of this administration. Poll numbers tell only a partial story of the anger and frustration among the majority of Americans regarding George W. Bush, his war, his policies and the shame he has brought to our country, our discourse and our global reputation.
So, perhaps it was inevitable that a day would dawn where the media as a whole decided that there was an ample supply of crap that they could pass off as news and that we were ready for it. Yes, in their generously and journalistic integrity, they decided we were entitled to much deserved reprieve from death and destruction, the failures of our government to actually do anything about anything, the early signs that do not escape the average citizens radar indicating economic troubles on the horizon, record high prices for crude oil and the looming foreclosure crisis in the housing lending market that could make the Saving and Loan debacle look like a nickel and dime back alley loan from a bookie with a heart. Yesterday turned out to be that day and then some. What made the headlines and lead stories yesterday:
While the Pentagon released yet another internal report virtually refuting everything George W. blathered about during his televised address to the nation last Thursday, that was not the main story nor, in most media outlets, did it even merit more than cursory coverage. Instead, our TV and cable networks reverted to their standard tactics and devoted extensive coverage to other items of national interest such as:
The arrest of O.J. Simpson. Will we have to suffer through yet another saga where he is the star? We prove our collective metal by being able to look at this narcissistic sociopath without vomiting. A murderer still capable of earning millions of dollars annually on sports memorabilia? Indeed, a great American, an icon, an arrogant gomp. Who buys his crap? Probably the same folks who mourned the day Mike Tyson went to prison after a rape conviction.
Yesterday there was a veritable media frenzy as staunch conservative Larry Craig of Idaho returned to the Senate for the first time since his wide stance provoked arrest in an airport men’s room. Boy, it was sure good to see that hypocritical, sexually confused, deceptive stalwart of the Senate back in the hollowed chambers. Insiders anonymously reported Senator Craig received an enthusiastic greeting from whore mongering Senator David Vitter of Louisiana. In a show of true bipartisanship, openly , flamingly gay Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts invited Craig to “an intimate candle lit dinner at his Georgetown townhouse to discuss “exactly how wide a guy Craig really is”
These hard-hitting news items would have been incomplete without the dramatic footage of a young, boisterous Florida college student being removed from a speaking event featuring John Kerry. The nation was transfixed as dozens of highly trained and skilled campus police officers wrestled the pencil necked activists to the ground where they were then able to blast 50,000 volts into him from a taser gun. A fine example of the nuanced approaches campus security is so adept with. Too bad such aggressive law enforcement tactics and zeal are painfully absent at our southern border.
Somewhere along the way we have lost the original, historic definition of what does and does not constitute national news. Our culture and society cannot seem to get enough of the sort of tripe that was once the bailiwick of dimwitted supermarket tabloid and TV news magazines the ilk's of which have given us Billy O’Reilly . Yet we should all be grateful to “Inside Edition” and “A Current Affair” for paving the way for the legion of talent deprived, rabid, pathetically misinformed, incoherent, blowhards and buffoons given platforms from which to spew their own twisted and grossly inaccurate views of the world, current events and serious matters of public policy. Talk radio was even more influential and creative by identifying the tactics they have long ago perfected. Shout long and loud enough, incessantly deny reality and the truth, insert jaundiced, bigoted, biased almost asinine interpretations of current events to largely captive audiences spending hours commuting in the privacy of their cars, with no desire to question the bilge being pumped into their air-conditioned confined spaces and, lo and behold, an army of combative, hostile, borderline paranoid sycophants emerged more than willing to ridicule anyone deranged enough to question their positions, spend 10%of their gross earings on NRA, NASCAR and HOOTERS bumper stickers and knock the tar out of a Little league coach now and then.
If we are half as fortunate today as we were yesterday we will awake to the news that Paris Hilton was seen at a bar, that Brittany Spears engaged in oral sex with a homeless man on Wiltshire Boulevard, that Mike Vick participated in a midget tossing contest in a bar in Hapeville, Georgia and startling new evidence has proven that Princess Diana is alive, well and cohabiting with James Dean and Elvis.
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