Good News


McCain wrote that the president’s strategy is beginning to show results but that most Americans don’t know it because the media cover the bad news, not the good news. Of course, reporting any news in Iraq is an extraordinary act of bravery, given the dangers journalists must navigate every day. But the fact is, virtually every “welcome development” McCain cited has been reported, including the purported anti-al-Qaeda alliance with Sunni sheikhs in Anbar, the establishment of joint U.S.-Iraqi security stations in Baghdad and the decision by Moqtada al-Sadr to go to ground — for now.

And here’s something that’s annoyed me since I started blogging. The entire “you’re not telling me the thing I think I know because I heard it from somebody! Boo, you H0R!” mostly conservative but sometimes 9/11-conspiracy-theorist’s most beloved fantasy.

I’d like to make excuses for these people, kind of, and say it really says something about American media when people just plain don’t believe the evidence before their own eyes. It points to a loss of trust between the people and the press, and it’s not exactly unwarranted either, Judy Miller. And no code of ethics is going to fix that, no signatories to a petition to not fuck up so badly anymore if we can help it can repair that trust. It’s going to take years to get it back only if the press wants it back and there’s quite a few people who make up “the press” and I don’t honestly think all of them give a shit whether they can be trusted so long as the checks don’t bounce. And blah blah blah, really, because come the fuck on.

After a certain point you do have to start saying to yourself, “If there’s no basis for the story I’ve been telling myself in my head, my insistence on sticking to that story makes me a solipsistic asshole.” Occam’s Razor does make the simplest thing in the world to believe you’re going crazy, and it’s not exactly out of the realm of possibility that the sinking feeling in your stomach does mean something’s amiss, but again. We have more access to information from more sources than at any other time in our history and if you still can’t find anything to substantiate your inherent belligerent crapola, it’s time for a mental regime change already.

During this whole Don Imus thing we’ve been having discussions about people making the determination that certain things are unacceptable in public discourse, and it’s not a free speech issue. It’s an issue of no longer coddling the obviously batshit and rewarding them with coverage and praise. It’s an issue of oh my GOD, you can’t be serious and no longer acting like grown politicians are children whose imaginary friends have to be given a plate at the dinner table.


One thought on “Good News

  1. I like to refer to the bumper sticker “Reality Bites”–because it does bite, and it bites hard.
    You can give all the impassioned speeches you want how you personally are immune to the effects of gravity. You can believe that with every fiber of your being; you can start a whole new religion on it, and have millions of followers who all believe that you will float, feather-like, to safety if you step off the Empire State building.
    But you know what? If you take that step, you are going to plummet. No matter how many people cheer you on, no matter how many “news outlets” report your claims as real, no matter how many “think tanks” support you: you are going to bite concrete and bite it hard.
    The word for that is delusional, and the only that can save you is realizing that you are delusional and stopping before you take that step. Or maybe have someone else realize it and prevent you from hurting yourself. (Hey, why are there all these safety fences up here, anyway?) And if your planned leap from the Empire State Building is likely to kill a bunch of innocent people on the sidewalk, then someone else has every right to stop you from acting on your delusion.
    You can deny it all you want, but gravity exists, and it will fuck you up without respect for your beliefs and without deference to your followers, hell, without even being aware of your existence. It’s not capable of giving a shit about “you”-it just is, and you’re the one who has to adapt to it.

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