Monday, November 19, 2007


Surely, you've done this: tell a dog, "Go get it!" as you fake throwing it's favorite ball or toy. Poor creature runs about half way to where the object would be an then turns in confusion. And so with the departure of the Fran Townsend, Bush's "Homeland" security and "counterterrorism" advisor, NPR chases the invisible tennis ball while missing the main story.

First Melissa Block comes on to interview Townsend. You'd think anyone who's been awake for the last six years might just address the fact that the foreign policies of the United States have made it more hated and targeted than ever before, that the war in Iraq has provided a terrorism recruitment bonanza and hands-on training ground for potential non-state terrorists. Even many stalwart centrists and military loyalists such as Joseph Galloway have nothing but venom for the Bush administrations "war on terror." Just do a quick Google search of "failure of war on terror" and you'll get a huge helping of tips on what to ask one of Bush's wooden-headed quislings for the "homeland." Instead all Block can do is chase after the failure to catch Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri. Yes that is a tactical failure, but is nothing compared to the overall disaster of "counter-terrorism" that the US government has waged.

Then Pam Fessler comes on to chase the invisible stick by turning to all the pro-establishment experts that NPR can dredge up to talk about Townsend. She talks to David Heyman of CSIS, who as his bio notes has "served in a number of government positions, including as a senior adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on national security and international affairs." Next up is P.J. Crowley from the Clinton Administration, and finally James Carafano from the far right Heritage Foundation, (Of course there is some mild criticism, but obviously none of these people are going to challenge the basic foreign policy actions of the US (both before and during Bush) that fuel terrorism.

(the graphic comes from here)


Anonymous said...

Amen. The softball questions Block was lobbing and the not so subtle cheerleading (a job well done Fran!!) were sickening. I reached for the ipod before they got to the "experts." There was just no journalism going on in this piece - just nudge-nudge-wink-wink propaganda. No hard questions were asked at all. Not even the obvious ones. The piece ended my ATC listening for the evening. Maybe the week. Kudos Mytwords.

Porter Melmoth said...

Yes, the Fran/Melissa koffeeklatsch was just two career gals getting together for a perky love-fest. You could just hear the biscotti being dipped and the chocolate being drooled over. Phyllis Schlafly couldn't make it, but NPR still managed a Heritage Foundation word to the wise. But listen, the girls sounded very 'up'! Too bad they don't know they're mere shills for the good ol' boy management above them. Just the way they like it.

Curiously, the 'spend more time with the family' line never came up. Goes without saying. Aren't we as listeners sophisticated enough to figure that out yet??

When I heard the Heritage Foundation 'expert' come on, my boom lowered, and only ridicule was possible after that . . .