Saturday, January 19, 2008

Traveling With the President

On Jan. 16th's Morning Edition Montagne says, "NPR's Michele Kelemen has been traveling with the President and joins us on the line." I think she meant to say on the leash.

Here's a bit of my own two cents for NPR: drop the whole stupid farce of having your reporters accompany, travel with, and follow the President. Whether its Kelemen, or Greene, or Gonyea, your reporters never challenge the stupidity, hypocrisy, or dishonesty of the President - on the contrary, they go out of their way to repeat, rephrase, and regurgitate whatever he and his staff say. It's embarrassing. It's like getting the news from Barney.

Bush just spent a week visiting the scene of his crimes and Kelemen was along for the ride. Here's her insights:

Jan. 8, ME: "he thinks he can help the Israelis and Palestinians reach a vision of what a Palestinian state would look like....Bush said he hopes people in the region will remember him as the, quote, 'guy who was willing to fight extremists and who had faith in people to self-govern.'
But if this is a trip about burnishing his legacy, he's not expected to change his tune on what he calls the freedom agenda."
Jan. 9, ATC: "he tries to get Israelis and Palestinians to agree on the contours of a Palestinian state....Bush, not one to get down into the nitty-gritty of peacemaking, said he's been urging the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to keep the big picture in mind....he is optimistic the two sides can agree on a vision of a Palestinian state...He says the US won't dictate, but will nudge the two sides....another issue is crowding the agenda on this trip, the threat of a rising Iran. "
Jan. 10, ME: "It is a bold prediction [a peace treaty before Jan 2009]....he's confident with the proper help that the state of Palestine will emerge, and he's confident that when it emerges it will be a major step toward peace....Part of this day was really about giving a boost Abbas. The Palestinian president is a weak leader....Gaza, for instance, is under the control of Hamas, which the U.S. and Israel consider a terrorist organization."
Jan. 10, ATC: (referring to Bush's crass joke about checkpoints) "President Bush told Palestinians today he understands their frustrations about Israeli checkpoints and he got a firsthand view of that, well, sort of."
Jan. 11, ATC: "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says talks are focusing on threats in the Gulf, the problem of extremism, whether by al-Qaeda or Iran and, as she put it, Iran's tentacles in the region....This was Mr. Bush's first visit to Israel as president, and he capped it with an emotional tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, where he said it was a sobering reminder that evil must be resisted."
Jan. 13, ATC: "Mr. Bush came out strong on Iran, calling it the world's leading state sponsor of terror, and accusing Tehran of sending hundreds of millions of dollars to extremists around the world."
Jan. 15, ME: (on all the progress in Iraq) "reinstates former Saddam Hussein loyalists to jobs...reconciliation...some momentum on this legislative front...administration thinks this might add some momentum to the process...."
Jan. 16, ME: (referring to the thug, Mubarak): "And President Mubarak has been around for a long time. President Bush noted that, that he could he could get some advice from someone who's been in this business for a very long time."

Man, that is some hurting journalism. "Arf!"


Porter Melmoth said...

Indeed, this is the sort of watery spinnishness so dear to NPR's heart: that sort of half-genial half-smug cooperative balderdash that's smothering the craft of journalism to death. 'Worthless' is a banal enough term, but it's about the only one I can think of anymore to summarize NPR's contributions to news-gathering. We know who the good ones are in that crew, but the rewards are so few and far between...

Bush's putzy pronouncements were merely to gloss over his trip's real purpose: to cap some mega-sized arms deals with some quality Crawford crackerbarrel joshing, and to get out the butter so as to arouse the region for some very sexy Iranian penetration.
Oh, and what happened to Pakistan's status as Most Dangerous Nation?

I read a good article in the Moscow Times about Gorbachev, who says that Russia isn't fooled by this preposterous missile program that's supposedly meant for Iran. It's meant for Russia, folks - the latest devil-baby spawned by frozen-out Cold Warriors who wanna make a comeback before they kick the bucket.
Chomsky wrote a trenchant article called 'Cold War II' last August, very worthwhile.

Porter Melmoth said...

PS: Barney looks good on that podium. Nice pup. I bet he's 'barney'd' under the Oval Office desk a few times, as a commentary on his not-so-masterful master.