Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Imbeds are Back, But This Time It's Worse

On the same night earlier this week, TV viewers were treated to the following on the big three networks: Lara Logan gave another of her impassioned propagandistic (war) promotion pieces. Charles Gibson flew in a helicopter with the Israeli Defense Forces. And Brian Williams also flew courtesy of Israeli Defense Forces. This wasn't (isn't) right in Iraq and isn't right now. Of course, the fact that nearly half-a-million Lebanese are homeless and refugees wasn't deemed important enough to emphasize. One had to go to the foreign press, Free Speech TV (only available on satellite in my area), Air America Radio, or to experts’ blogs to get even an inkling of what was really going on.

Meanwhile, according to FAIR (, also this week, CBS's Bob Schieffer trotted out once again the myth of the frog and the scorpion, which ended, as usual with the "Because this is the Middle East" tired and bigoted conclusion. No insight into the context. No complex reporting. Not even simple reporting in any real detail, except by the breathless Lara. It's enough to make one sick.

Simultaneously, in the void of complete and honest coverage, the rabid call for World War 3 by the usual cacophony of immoral and amoral neo-cons raised its ugly head. Is there no conflict or crisis these brutal, war mongering opportunists won't savage?

In a Seattle Times Online story, Newt himself all but slipped and admitted his political motivations ( story that he wants to drive this story for its political benefits, never mind what suffering, or potential suffering, he salivates for. We have a Congressional election this fall and Newt is worried, it seems. He wants to nationalize the election around George W. Bush. If there were ever a hope that this man would grow a conscience, it is long gone. And like the lapdogs they are Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, William Kristol, and others drool their lust for expanded war. "Bring it on" was tired, bankrupt, a target-the-wrong-enemy rally cry, and evil to its core, when it reared its head before. Now the WWIII mantra is more evil still, if that is possible. Promoting world-wide cataclysm so cravenly is without precedent in the US. But here we are with the unconscionable given a daily voice via networks, talk television and radio.

The fem-bots at CNN are out in force. FOX News is predictable as ever. Only (and this is a refreshing change) MSNBC has had to shows (Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann) urging reason and thoughtful solutions instead of RAMBO. Where are the other counter-voices? We need an informed data set which includes a variety of perspectives. No blinders are appropriate. Those who truly wish for the survival of both innocent Israelis and Lebanese, surely deserve a news stream and voice. This recent round of violence, which began over a dispute about two hostages has mushroomed to imperil two nations, a region, and, perhaps (if neglected), worse. Surely, the ethical thing is to try broker an end to the hostilities.

Meanwhile, as Americans seek information, it appears, once again, we’ve all been taken kicking and screaming into the unseemly world of the imbed. But imbedded journalists’ stories are unseemly, whether at the hands of our own nation’s government or that of a valued ally.