Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Lloyd Bentsen Moment Perhaps

On ATC tonight Melissa Block talks to Time magazine's managing editor Richard Stengel about the decision to name Vladimir Putin Time's Person of the Year. We get to hear Block describe "the icy, impassive eyes" of Putin on the magazine's cover. Later in the interview Stengel says, "you know the person who Putin could end up being like, Josef Stalin, was person of the year twice."

Okay. Hold it! Reality check needed. I really wanted Block to say, "Mr. Stengel, we know about the millions that Stalin murdered, and Putin is no Josef Stalin!" Alas, such correctives were not forthcoming. If this were an isolated event, I'd pass it off to a bit of careless hyperbole, but it fits the pattern of NPR carelessly exaggerating foes of the US establishment (Chavez, Castro, Ahmadinejad, etc.), while glossing over the grotesque faults of our own leaders and "friends." Funny, I don't recall NPR talking about Putin's icy eyes when Bush was covering for his carnage in Chechnya. Look, Putin is no friend of democracy; I know that, but comparing him to Stalin....give me a break.


masbrow said...

I noticed that at first Stengal took pains to explain that "Person of the Year" is not any kind of endorsement, honor or accolade, and then, a couple of minutes later, said that he consults former "Persons of the Year" and other "wise men" when engaged in his "unscientific", unilateral decision making process.
give me a f@#%king break!

Anonymous said...

My favorite part was when Missy-poo asked "Does he ever smile?".

Good work, Shirley Temple.

Porter Melmoth said...

Woeful times, these. When access to information (especially regarding other countries and cultures) has reached unprecedented levels, the xenophobic blinders are put on more and more. It seems there's less understanding of Russia now than during the Cold War. Of course, Americans just expected Russia to become 'like us' now that Ronald Reagan singlehandedly 86'd the Evil Empire. Putin is as integrated into the Russian power structure as George W. Bush is. I don't know why that's so hard to figure out.

One thing that proves the fundamental dysfunction of many (but not all) NPR persons: no matter how many international trips to locations both famous and obscure, troubled or untroubled they seem to make (on public money, folks!!), I have yet to find one iota of wisdom or insight or even interest in where they've been or what they've seen. Oh, I know, they're supposed to be 'impartial' and stuff, but they hide their own vacuousness behind this alleged impartiality.
This lack of dimension is perfect for inflatable media talent: no matter how filled up they get with input, they always remain empty. You never want propaganda mouthpieces to be too smart or questioning.
This is particularly true of the fun-loving Stevie 'n Renee, who happily leave the passions of humankind to be nobly addressed by Our Man With Plenty of Heart, Scottie S.

I think Missy B has a crush on Vladimir.

Anonymous said...

"I think Missy B has a crush on Vladimir."

as well she might - check out those pecs!