Monday, January 12, 2009

Plumbing the Depths

"I Think Media Should Be Abolished From, Uh, You Know, Reporting."

Peak Oil
is a theoretical model used to describe the point "at which the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline." The 2008 election in America saw the demonstration of a similar principle, when right-wing punditry reached a critical mass and collapsed on itself like a white dwarf of calculated cultural resentment and ALL-CAPS "citizen-journalist" authored exposes and conspiracy theories so stupid and lazy (Obama was Malcolm X's secret love-child! Bill Ayers ghost-wrote Obama's book, poor minorities destroyed our economy and will steal the election!) they make the 9/11 "Truthers" and "Loose Change" movement look like Seymour Hersh by comparison. That they were actually dead-serious the entire time, and remain to this very day defiant in their belief that if only the media hadn't sabotaged Sarah Palin, the Marxist-mulatto would never have won by nearly seven million votes is yet another piece of evidence that in the ongoing Satire-Olympics, rightbloggers have lapped parody more times than should be allowed. Even now that the election is over they seem to stuck in a vicious cycle of the K├╝bler-Ross stages, sans "Acceptance."

All of this speaks to the right-wing media's now palpable sense of contempt for anyone that knows anything about anything. Which is probably why All-American Moron, Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher was elevated to iconic-martyr status by the faithful for his singular determination to not know shit about shit. For the crime of simply not knowing what he was talking about, Joe--like Sarah Palin--was crucified by the "Drive By Media" for trying to warn about the creeping dangers of socialism "in a country whose highest income tax rate has dropped by half in thirty years."

So it I guess it should come as no surprise that after the election Pajamas Media would send Joe to Israel as their "war correspondent." In his own words, Joe is there to tell the "truth" about the situation in Gaza, you know, all the stuff the traitorous MSM won't. (Yeah, because the Israeli POV is rarely seen on TV or in print) It's a perfect fit for a website that is populated entirely by sad, little men possessing self-images ludicrously out of proportion to their actual achievements. The selection has already been hailed by Powerline, who asks, "Is there any chance Pajamas can send Joe on to Beirut, Damascus and Tehran after he completes his assignment in Israel? I think he could teach the media reporting from those locales how to do it right as well." Blogger "Confederate Yankee" compares Joe to Stephen Crane from The Red Badge of Courage, and Roger L. Simon from Pajamas breaks out Ernest Hemingway (hey he never went to college or J-school either!) to defend his choice of a war correspondent who thinks the main part of "corresponding" is not doing anything, sayeth the Plumber:

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think journalists should be anywhere allowed war. I mean, you guys report where our troops are at. You report what’s happening day to day. You make a big deal out of it. I think it’s asinine. You know, I liked back in World War I and World War II when you’d go to the theater and you’d see your troops on, you know, the screen and everyone would be real excited and happy for’em. Now everyone’s got an opinion and wants to downer–and down soldiers. You know, American soldiers or Israeli soldiers.

I think media should be abolished from, uh, you know, reporting. You know, war is hell. And if you’re gonna sit there and say, “Well look at this atrocity,” well you don’t know the whole story behind it half the time, so I think the media should have no business in it.

Like so much with the right-wing, one has to ask themselves to what extent does a stunt like this reflect an actual belief that sending a man who just learned to "pronunciate" the names of the countries and people he's covering will really bring the much needed perspective of a "regular-guy" to one of the oldest and most complicated ethno-religious conflicts on the planet, and to what degree they're just doing this to piss off their social betters. I'm sure that to most of the people who actually read Pajamas Media, its the former, yet for those who actually thought up this sideshow it's almost certainly the latter. Much like their insistence that Sarah Palin had the most executive experience of anyone running for President, or that she was actually a genius on energy issues, this represents a kind of intellectual violence against anyone capable of thinking. I'm certainly not saying that all professional journalists know what they're talking about--far from it, most "war coverage" on TV is not radically different from this kind of pageantry--but the right distinguishes themselves with this certain brand of populism, where one can do and say things like this, that are so fantastically ignorant they blinker the imagination, while simultaneously demanding the same respect and consideration that is afforded people who have actually, you know...worked and studied long enough to know something about the topic they're talking about. It amounts to little more than Affirmative Action for morons or a kind of Endangered Species Act for fat, balding, white men. Once you snake the drain, at the bottom of all this is the desperate mugging of a carnival barker whose act has long since failed to bring in the punters.

At this point, with 75% of the country glad to see their patron-saint W. slink away in disgrace, watching and reading the same people who a scant three years ago talked of permanently replacing newspapers with the opinions of Best-Buy employees, hypochondriacs, and shut-ins is like seeing an Escher painting come to life and start whining.

1 comment:

  1. Dumbing-Down of America = 95% complete. Now all we have to do is elect Dog the Bounty Hunter president and well reach a critic mass of stupid so dense even Superman couldn't escape it's gravitational pull.