Friday, May 06, 2005

Community notes: Bruce Springsteen, Love Green Zone Style, 20/20, et al

My apologies for the delay in posting tonight. Ava and I had planned to review Less Than Perfect for The Third Estate Sunday Review but it wasn't on. They had two episodes of Hope & Faith (which we've reviewed) and the other sitcoms on had also been reviewed (Reba and Living With Fran, the latter is a funny show). We debated 20/20 and Numbers (hope that's the name of the show -- it's the one we'll be reviewing) but 20/20's doing a "hard hitting," "ground breaking," journalistic look at the story of our times, ABC's Lost. The "lead story" is nothing but a commerical for a TV show and the commercial's being passed off as news.

So the scramble to figure out what to watch took more time than I'd imagined.

While we're in this community note, thank you to Heath and to Susan who both e-mailed asking if I was sure I had Bruce Springsteen's Devils & Dust in the CD player correctly since I couldn't get it to play on the JVC or Sony. No, I wasn't sure. And no, I didn't have it in there right. Having flipped the disc over, it is now playing.

For Susan, here's the opening to "Devils & Dust:"

I got my finger on the trigger
But I don't know who to trust
When I look into your eyes
There's just devils and dust
We're a long, long way from home, Bobbie
Home's a long, long way from us
I feel a dirty wind blowing
Devils and dust
-- "Devils & Dust" words & music by Bruce Springsteen

To an e-mailer I'll dub "Flower," who wrote in re: Dexter Filkins and John Burns asking "any word?" I'm not clear what the question is about, sorry. (And e-mail replies probably won't go out until Monday so I'm tossing this out here so you don't feel ignored -- e-mails are saved to draft and then a friend e-mails them out; this weekend, my friend will be out of town.)

If you're asking have I heard anything about the rumors of the "lively going ons in the Green Zone" of the personal nature, yes, many rumors but I'm sure they are just rumors. I haven't seen anything printed on Love Green Zone Style, no.

If you're asking why they weren't noted, I don't even know that they were in the paper today (though you may be asking about earlier in the week). We don't highlight the Green Zone reporting from the Times. Others (such as Ron of Why Are We Back In Iraq?) were much more skeptical of the reporting coming out of the Green Zone than I was. They were proven right. (Or to be Judy Miller about it, "They were proved f**king right!")

I have no interest in highlighting Filkins ever. History won't be kind to his award winning, rah-rah story of the destruction of Falluja -- a story that honestly reminds me of the story in Amy & David Goodman's Exceptions to the Rulers about the Times reporter, William L. Laurence, who covered up for the destruction of nukes. Laurence wrote for the Times. He even won a Pulitzer. For many years after WWII he was held in high esteem. But truth does come out and he's known today, if at all, as the cheerleader for nukes who down played their costs.

Sidebar: William L. Laurence is also now known for "not only receiving a salary from The New York Times. He was also on the payroll of the War Department (p. 297)." The Goodmans note Harold Evans on Laurence:

After the bombing, the brilliant but bullying [General] Groves continually suppressed or distorted the effects of radiation. He dismissed reports of Japanese deaths as "hoax or propaganda." The Times' Laurence weighed in, too, after [Wilfred] Burchet's reports, and parroted the government line.

Awards are forgotten, the truth outlives us all. Christian Parenti and Dahr Jamail are two examples of reporters taking their job seriously. When we note Iraq stories from the Times at all these days, we go with an Associated Press or Reuters article. I believe it was Lizz Winstead and Rachel Maddow on Unfiltered who noted that reporters reporting from the Green Zone should note that. When those comments were made, we stopped making it a point to highlight the Times's coverage of Iraq.

If that didn't answer your question, Flower, please e-mail again and let me know what you were asking because I wasn't clear on my end, sorry.

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