A Crazy Idea
This post was written by MJ on 27th Mar, 2003
Right now, my idea of nirvana includes one week without CNN
Paula Zahn is a stuttering goon whose attempts to emulate sincere human emotions are pathetic and unsuccessful.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been at RCI, plugged into CNN since, oh, 05h00 — both the time and the channel selection are part of the job, writing news scripts, following the wires and scanning the nets for the 08h00, 10h00 and 13h00 newscasts — but Ms Zahn is even more atrocious than usual today. It’s her unthinking boosterism which is most horrible: She just did a live hit with that grunt-fucker Walt Rodgers — the twit who sang about the “wave of steel” in the first days of the war until that wave washed up on an Iraqi sandstorm — and, at the end, asked him: “So, Walt, what’s next in your mission?”
Memo to Paula: Soldiers have missions. Walt has an assignment.
Then was an in-studio bit with one of their pompous political hacks who did a bit on the history of dissent during wartime. At the end, Paula got all incensed about the journos in the CentCom daily briefing in Qatar this morning who had the temerity to ask “skeptical questions.”
I guess Paula thinks they need a new mission.
In other war news:
A quick measure of the level of misinformation, disinformation and lies in this war can be found on the front page of the Montreal Gazette. Today’s big banner headline is about that alleged 1,000-car column of Iraqi forces moving south from Baghdad; this morning we found out that the column, if it did exist, was maybe a tenth the size; it was just a battlefield rumour reported as fact by Mr Rodgers (see above) on CNN and then picked up by everyone. For awhile, CentCom believed the rumour, until they realized that a computer error had inflated the size of the column.
It’s not the first time the Gaz has swung and missed on the front page. This week started okay — Monday: “Iraq captures U.S. soldiers” — but foundered on Tuesday — “80 km to Baghdad”; even now even the most optimistic observer doesn’t think US/UK regular units are that close — and really blew up on Wednesday — “Basra’s people rise”; not likely.
The Gazette isn’t totally to blame here, even if Tuesday and Wednesday’s fronts were based on the most optimistic and US/UK-friendly spins on the news. There might be a good deal of wishful thinking in the editorial suites of 250 St-Antoine. But the fog of war has settled heavily there, and other western newsrooms.
Classic rocker Lenny Kravitz has added his jingle [his what? –ed] to the growing pile of tunes competing to become known as “The give peace a chance” ditty of Gulf War II. Called, imaginatively, “We want peace,” he performed it with Kazem Al Shahir, a top Iraqi pop star. It’s being hosted by Rock the vote, the American organisation that tries to get young Americans to exercise their constitutional rights, or, in the words of the executive director: “We are here to rally young people to their sacred duty as patriotic Americans to speak out and participate in our democracy.”
Well, they might want to start their rallying with dear Lenny. According to the always juicy thesmokinggun.com, Lenny has not voted since the 1992 tip between Clinton and Bush I, aka the good ol’ days. “I haven’t voted in many years and it was a mistake,” he told tsg. “Up until recently many people like myself have taken this right for granted and now more than ever it is time to voice our opinions.”