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The Global War on Celebrity

8:39 am in Uncategorized by JP Sottile

Our ever-vigilant news media cannot stop reporting on the war. Each day, journalists engage us with in-depth, hour-long explorations of every facet of the war. Tireless reporters report on location about the war’s smallest details and the war’s mounting causalities. Despite cynicism about the indifference of the American public, all that relentless attention has got the whole country talking about the war.

No, not that war.

The news media is obsessing on “Charlie’s War,” as in Charlie Sheen’s “war” against…something. Against sitcoms. Against sobriety. Against self-important talking heads choking on dead air in between commercial breaks. Whatever and wherever the battle might be, you can bet that the media will be there in the trenches to cover it. And yes, MSNBC officially branded the whole sordid Sheen side-show…“Charlie’s War.” Martin Bashir spoke in somber tones about the day’s latest developments in “Charlie’s War.” Like any war, they’ve done it up right, complete with a snazzy graphic.

Really.

And it worked. We’ve become entranced by this misdirected “war coverage.”  You see, we were too busy watching Charlie’s War to notice a week’s worth of deaths in the other war—Afghanistan.

It seems inevitable that the celebrity-obsessed tastemakers currently languishing in cable newsrooms would find a way to conflate the meaningless rantings and ravings of an actor with something as dire and transcendent as war. Their ill-informed use of language marginalizes the true cost and sacrifice of “war” until the reality of it all is diluted beyond recognition. Language matters, except to those who peddle it on TV.

Continued…

FDL’ers: ReaderSupportedNews picked up my latest attack on the media. Again, I want to share it with the FDL community, but RSN wants it exclusively for a few days. Here is the link to the full article. Cheers, JP.

The Global War on Celebrity

Posted on | March 9, 2011 | 2 Comments

Our ever-vigilant news media cannot stop reporting on the war. Each day, journalists engage us with in-depth, hour-long explorations of every facet of the war. Tireless reporters report on location about the war’s smallest details and the war’s mounting causalities. Despite cynicism about the indifference of the American public, all that relentless attention has got the whole country talking about the war.

No, not that war.

The news media is obsessing on “Charlie’s War,” as in Charlie Sheen’s “war” against…something. Against sitcoms. Against sobriety. Against self-important talking heads choking on dead air in between commercial breaks. Whatever and wherever the battle might be, you can bet that the media will be there in the trenches to cover it. And yes, MSNBC officially branded the whole sordid Sheen side-show…“Charlie’s War.” Martin Bashir spoke in somber tones about the day’s latest developments in “Charlie’s War.” Like any war, they’ve done it up right, complete with a snazzy graphic.

Really.

And it worked. We’ve become entranced by this misdirected “war coverage.”  You see, we were too busy watching Charlie’s War to notice a week’s worth of deaths in the other war—Afghanistan.

It seems inevitable that the celebrity-obsessed tastemakers currently languishing in cable newsrooms would find a way to conflate the meaningless rantings and ravings of an actor with something as dire and transcendent as war. Their ill-informed use of language marginalizes the true cost and sacrifice of “war” until the reality of it all is diluted beyond recognition. Language matters, except to those who peddle it on TV.

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

2:00 pm in Uncategorized by JP Sottile

WWe all know that Washingtonians love a good photo op. It’s been said that the most dangerous place on Capitol Hill is the no-man’s-land between oncoming Senators and a newly staked out camera.

Fair enough.

But what the hell was "the government" thinking yesterday when it ran a strange replay of 9/11, complete with a jetliner and a fighter jet? For a photo op?

Excuse me, but what the hell kinda photo did they need? How much money went down the public relations drain for that glossy 8×10? Do we all get a copy of Air Force One’s understudy set against the backdrop of Lady Liberty?

We’re all paying for this bizarre glamour shot, after all.

Then there is the money authorities in NYC and NJ had to shell out to deal with the fallout of this cruel stunt–police, ambulances and firefighters all deployed to manage the masses of frightened folks pouring out of buildings, a.k.a. targets. All while we are in a financial crisis.

Funny, but this psychological slap in the face of fear-conditioned veterans of that terrible day happened at the same time as the media spent hour after hour on the Swine Flu.

A plane menacing Lower Manhattan. Deadly outbreak of a virus. Tami-Flu. Media in a frenzy. Fear.
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If the Shoe Fits, Throw it

9:07 am in Uncategorized by JP Sottile

You could almost feel the collective glee that spread around the world when Bush found himself dodging shoes over the weekend.

But it is also a moment of great sadness.

It was the first time in recent memory that the issue of the pain and suffering of the Iraq people has come up in the mainstream media. The only time it has come up in politics since the presidential campaign began two years ago.

What we’ve done to Iraq—yes, I am sorry…but it is “we”—never makes it into mainstream politics, into the mainstream coverage…into the mainstream consciousness of America.

We never heard Obama say that one reason we needed to get out of Iraq is because we killed tens of thousands of innocent people, destroyed their country, forced millions to become refugees and it was wrong…we are sorry and we will get out, pay reparations and prosecute the people who did this.

We never heard Obama or any major candidate even mention the death and suffering of the Iraqi people. Never heard the media ask one question about it. Not one.

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