Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two Bold Fresh Pieces of ___________ !

It's a twofer on NPR this morning. There's a gentle 7 minute tea chat between Michele Kelemen and war criminal Sec. of State Rice. A bit later in the program Renee Montagne leads an O'Reilly infomercial for his latest book, A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity.
The only positive element of the Kelemen interview was her use of the word "torture." Kelemen says to Rice, "And Guantanamo wasn't sort of the only issue that tarnished the U.S. image. There is also the treatment of terror suspects, waterboarding, other methods of torture..."

Rice cuts off Kelemen and huffs, "Oh, well, you know that I'm going to have to object, because the United States has always kept to its international obligations, which include international obligations on the convention on torture. The President was determined after Sept. 11 to do everything that was legal and within those obligations, international and domestic laws, to make sure that we prevented a follow-on attack."

And Kelemen's follow up is...NOTHING. She doesn't politely ask, "Are you saying beatings, forced nudity, bolting to the floor and letting people defecate on themselves are keeping with 'international obligations?' I guess that would take a bit of spine. That would take a bit of spine.

Kelemen lets Rice state such comical absurdities as "Well, I'll certainly give my advice to the incoming team, and I'll do so privately. There are obviously some things that are under way. I think that the Annapolis process will eventually lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state." Not once does she even timidly note the string of foreign policy disasters that Rice/Bush have had their hand in.

And of course, it wouldn't be a morning edition interview without the banal. Kelemen asks, "And you've said that we were not — we're not going to hear from you very much. I wonder if you're going to be ready for life out of the limelight, away from the blogs that follow your hairstyles and shoes?" (By shoes does she mean Condi's Katrina shopping spree?)

With O'Reilly, Montagne is downright collegial - chuckling at his jokes, comparing childhood memories (and perhaps wondering when she can get a Mara/Juan gig over at Fox). There's not one mention of O'Reilly's lies, bigotry, hatred, rudeness and general rightwing stupidity.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Heh. First thing on their "community discussion rules" page...

First things first: If you can't be polite, don't say it.

It is IMPOLITE to ask if making people defecate on themselves is torture. IMPOLITE!

Anonymous said...

'ey Port - the accompanying pic with this entry only further substantiates the 'Salò' riff we'd been reveling in, hmmmm?


nash said...

Hey Mytwords, if you want to induce vomiting sometime, see if you can find the old episode of PBS's Flashpoints USA with Bryant Gumbel and Gwen Ifill (wow! star power!) devoted to the media. They did a similarly fawning segment on Bill O'Reilly: lots of footage of him blustering and pontificating in front of his staff, not a word on his documented history of disgorging lies, half-truths, and spin, of his telling his guests to shut up and cutting their mics, etc. etc. etc. They vaguely nodded at his being "controversial," but they never bothered to give their viewers any serious details as to why this might be. The whole segment was just sickening. I didn't hear the recent NPR segment on O'Reilly, but I think I saw the TV version of it some years ago. Ugh.

Categorical Aperitif

P.S. I've got an NPR-related piece by the humorist Barry Crimmins that I KNOW you'll get a kick out of if you haven't seen it. If you'd like to, drop me a line at and I'll send you a copy. It's a hoot. --nash

Anonymous said...

Nash - if the BC piece you're referring to bears the title "I Was Almost a Stooge for NPR" and accounts his meeting with the endearing personality we know here as "The Simonizer" .... yes, it is a hoot! (Nat'l Plutocracy Radio)

nash said...

"I Was Almost a Stooge for National Plutocrat Radio," yes. I don't him mentioning Scott ( an ex-Quaker) Simon in it, but he does hilariously recall attempting to produce (by invitation) a satirical piece on the 2004 Democratic primaries for the NPR program On Point -- only to find out that, on NPR, there are pretty strict limits on what "satire" can mean. (Basically, it's got to be shallow, conventional, and polite. It's funny to imagine what an NPR producer would have done to Candide. "Monsieur Voltaire, there are a few things we'd like to go over with you..."