Saturday, October 14, 2006

Irony Without Irony

I remember how maddening it was in the 80s to hear the smug, self-congratulatory tone most US journalists took when comparing themselves to their Soviet counterparts—even while they themselves did nothing to expose the lies, corruption, and violence of the Reagan administration. This morning Scott Simon dipped into that well of puffery by praising the slain Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya as if he were in the same league as her. With no sense of irony he states, "She became a journalist, not a propagandist as in the days of Isvestia and Pravda, but a hard-digging investigative journalist of the kind not well known in Russia."

What does Scott Simon know about being "a hard-digging investigative journalist?" God knows he won’t get exposed to one on "Weakened" Edition Saturday. For that matter, what hard-digging investigative journalists are “well-known” in the US? Greg Palast? Juan Gonzalez, Amy Goodman, Dar Jamail, Seymour Hersh? Not exactly household words.

Then Simon plays Politkovskaya's last broadcast in which she challenges the very notions of "terrorism" and the "war on terrorism" in reference to Chechnya. She asks, "why do I put the word 'terrorism' in quotes? Because the vast majority of these people [detainees] have been appointed to be terrorists…this practice…had begun to produce more people who want to take revenge, i.e. potential terrorists.” Simon offers no awareness of how her report could equally apply to the US policy of creating potential terrorists through its own torture and detention policies.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just let me follow up on your thoughtful (as usual) posting by adding my own - long held - opinion:

Scott Simon is a phony, loathesome douchebag.

[I was happy, btw, to see a link to your blog on Crooks and Liars the other day. You do good work here, and it should be linked to by the big dogs. I bet 80% of Kos readers would appreciate your posts.]

Also, if you ever get tired of running your fingers through the muck of NPR, you should address Charlie Rose. Somebody needs to.

Porter Melmoth said...

Bravo to everyone here who's calling Scott Simon as Scott Simon is. In my opinion, he has become unlistenable. He and others like him are why I have officially dumped NPR news shows, both morning and night. For the foreseeable future, too. Conversely, I shall be checking 'NPR Check' more often than ever.

Scott Simon's false modesty, always fluttering through his performances, seems less in evidence these days. False modesty has been replaced with honest egotism. I think he was more tolerable before he got married and then nobly and conspicuously adopted a baby, the act of which he never stops grandstanding. Recently, in one of his cloying eulogies, concerning a production person who was leaving (escaping?) his show, he said that, because she was departing, he wouldn't be quite as 'funny' as before. I'm trying to recall if I have ever actually witnessed him being funny. Perhaps my tastes for Colbert and Jon Stewart have spoiled my appreciation of real humor to be found in today's news shows. But wait a minute, let me give Scott a second chance. Maybe he was funny once or twice during an 'Annoying Music Show' segment, but it's Jim Nayder and his Annoying Music that always made Simon cry 'mercy', and me laugh. Scott obviously wanted to be the entertainer that his dad couldn't quite become. Sad, really. But despite the generous fluff injections, he's still hosting a news show, isn't he? Few things are worse than when a 'phony, loathsome douchebag' (to quote the previous commentator) becomes 'serious', as Simon purports to do when he deems it fit. Jerry Lewis, at his most pretentiously 'serious', is far more hilarious and has far more integrity. At least he's not posing as a journalist.

Sorry to run on about such a tedious subject. It's only because I'm phasing Simon & Co. out, and some sort of closure was needed. Scott Simon has peaked, and it's in the rut called 'Weekend Edition Saturday'. And it's a rut I have finally extracted myself from. Free at last, free at last.

Thank you, 'NPR Check', for your intelligence in interpretation, your 'eagle ear' in picking up important perspectives, and for your general sanity and objectivity in facing the sinking ship that is NPR. And thanks for listening to NPR at all. So I won't have to.

Porter Melmoth said...
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Porter Melmoth said...
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jules said...

Billy Bragg was *way* too decent to the inauthentic douche...I wanted to hear his fist in Simon's mouth.

Anonymous said...

Oy vey, if i have to listen to Scott Simon chortling one more time i'm going to stomp my radio into powder and tear my own head off. I don't care how clever the novel about the wealthy llama farmers daughter who is engaged to the generalisimo but falls in love with the firey revolutionary poet and both die in a gunfight with the policia at the library, kissing one last time. Don't care. Do you know there's a war on? I did a google search for 'scott simon is an f'n douchbag' and this came up first. Sigh. Guess i can watch infomercials on the fox affiliate.....