Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The context, the meaning

We have to pick and choose what to cover.  Some things matter more than others, some things really don't matter at all.

Iraq has had countless suicide bombers since the start of the Iraq War.

For a week or so, the fact that one of them was British led to tons and tons of hand wringing copy that shrieked "Oh, the humanity!"

It also brought a level of fame to the suicide bomber.

It was a level none of the others experienced because, of course, to the press it only matters when western lives are at stake or taken.

We sidestepped the nonsense.

Someone chose to take their own life and the lives of others and the press goes crazy sniffing its own ass as it runs in circles.

Here we'll pass.

We have no need to note his name.

If a serious study or analysis is done on the topic, we might note that.  But shrieking copy?  We're not interested.

And then there's . . . Maude?

No, this:

  • Pentagon says air strike in Iraq has killed an IS militant linked to 2012 attack on US diplomatic compound in Libya

  • BBC words it far better than some.

    And as a recording of a claim the US government is making, it may serve a purpose.

    We're just not overly interested in propaganda.

    An air strike, in Iraq, killed someone?


    Who did it kill?

    The Pentagon's claimed multiple kills in the nearly year long air bombing.

    Has claimed.

    I'm missing the verification aspect.

    Can someone explain that one to me?

    Where the US military goes to the site of a bombing and verifies who died?

    Maybe does some DNA recon?

    That happens when?

    Oh, right, it doesn't.

    So the Pentagon gets to claim whatever it wants.

    Maybe tomorrow they'll be in need of press and decide to claim a US war plane dropped a bomb on Big Foot?

    Richard Sisk (Military Times) explains:

    U.S. military officials are pushing back against charges that the air war against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria has been ineffective and amounts more to a "drizzle."
    In Pentagon briefings and in Capitol Hill testimony, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, and others have responded that the campaign was killing ISIS fighters at a rate of about 1,000 per month, while taking "excruciating" pains to avoid civilian casualties. Up to 75 percent of the sorties flown have returned to base without firing weapons.

    If you're under criticism that your actions have accomplished nothing (and largely, the war planes have accomplished little of value), it would certainly be nice for you if you could claim that you killed someone important -- say a criminal behind the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack.

    And a jolly press that just goes along with your claims is certainly nice.

    What is known is that a US war plane dropped a bomb or bombs.  What is suspected is that someone was killed when they hit.

    No one knows who was killed.

    No one sent a team of US forces to inspect the site after.

    These pleasing tales tend to get repeated over and over without question.

    Then a Seymour Hersh offers "The Killing of Osama bin Laden" (The London Review of Books) -- if you're lucky.

    More often than not, everyone just goes along repeating the claim -- and repeating it as fact.

    Marty Kaplin.

    How sad you have become.

    A cheerleader masking as a critic.

    And Jon Stewart, if he didn't give a damn, he might be interesting.

    But the reason even he's bored with what he does is because he's done little more than greatest hits since 2009.

    He caters to the same audience and his routine gets tired and old.

    He knows it and that's why he's stepping down.

    He was never the second coming of comedy.

    He was a few cheap yucks -- often sexists ones -- for people who like to pretend they follow the news and he knew how to feed into their pretense.  The routine itself became precious and pretentious.

    That's what happens when you start catering to your audience, when you start performing greatest hits non-stop.

    Poor Marty.  There was a time when it seemed he might actually matter.

    Now he just churns out sop he knows will please.

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