Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Falmouth Enterprise: Head In The Sand While Life Goes Extinct
June 27, 2012

The local news rag for Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod is called the Falmouth Enterprise, a small publishing empire comprising several towns on the west end of the Cape. The Enterprise, an old family concern, tends to be provincial in style – though perhaps parochial would better describe it. Though they do a decent job of covering the local news, I tend to suspect that they also manage to cover up things they deem it better for the public not to know. Selectmen driving drunk perhaps. Incompetent police chiefs maybe. Rich residents pulling political strings in town hall perhaps. The sorts of things local papers tend to do everywhere. The usual sins. And the writing is too often… well, a few of their writers could use a copy of Writing With Precision by Jefferson D. Bates – but on the whole they’ve gotten much better at writing than they used to do.

I should fully disclose that I’ve lived here, on and off, in the same house, for fifty-five years, and once worked for the Cape’s daily newspaper, now called the Cape Cod Times. And that I regard the Cape as a place utterly destroyed by the song stylings in 1957 of Patti Page, whose warbling, though pretty, encouraged hordes of tourists and settlers to overrun the place and destroy most of the beauty and charm. Ultimately greed destroyed the place. It ain’t pretty no more. It has pretty spots and it has the National Seashore on the Lower Cape, but on the whole, no, it ain’t pretty.

Be that as it may, the bigger issue is that Cape Cod is a low-lying seaside resort peninsula sticking out into an ocean that is, by all scientific accounts, dying, swelling, and rising. The science is in: there is no legitimate debate – this biosphere is dying, life is going extinct at an accelerating rate, the temperature is rising, and the seas are rising. And humans are responsible. Questioning the science is, at this point, irresponsible, if not criminally stupid.

The climate is a great planetary flywheel. Humans have put energy into that flywheel by filling the atmosphere with greenhouse gasses, and now the flywheel is energizing itself through feedback loops. To wit, the Arctic icecap melts, the open sea warms, thus melting more ice, warming the sea further, which warms the atmosphere, and soon the warmer planet begins to melt permafrost and release methane which increases planetary warming which melts more ice, and so on. We’ve kicked the system into runaway motion and other than a drastic and catastrophic curtailment of the use of fossil fuels nothing will stop it. It’s accelerating. Scientists discover that the predictions of  last year, indeed of last month, are no longer valid, that last years foot and a half sea level rise in this century has become six feet, or more, and sooner than any of them thought possible. And life in the sea is at risk, serious, deadly risk of massive extinction: in case you might think that, well, you’ll just eat cows and corn instead of fish, you might want to recall that one-third to one-half of our oxygen is produced by bacteria in the sea.

We might also keep in mind that scientists are notoriously conservative when making public pronouncements and predictions. So it would be fair to believe that right now the scientists are screaming ‘Fire!’

Obviously little is being done to mitigate global warming. Political will is lacking, crippled not only by politicians fearing for their jobs if they tell the truth and take appropriate actions, but also by corporate and wealthy elite interests doing their very best to sabotage not only any mitigative action but even any responsible discussion. In sum, the rich are willing to kill most life on the planet in order to line their pockets with more money gained from producing goods and services which are responsible for creating the greenhouse gases that are killing us. One might consider that the rich already have more money than they can spend in a hundred lifetimes, but they want, as the rich always do, more. I believe these people should be regarded as criminals.

We have also, of course, a culture of people who demand gewgaws and gimcracks like tablet computers and big cars and five hundred different models of cellphones to choose from, thus feeding into the whole system that is crashing down on their heads.

Then we have newspapers like the Enterprise that contribute to the childish and magical thinking that stifles the outrage people should be feeling, that would drive actual change for the good of the biosphere. Which brings me to the genesis of today’s rant in Grumpy Lion, that cause being an editorial appearing in the June 26, 2012 edition, on page five, said editorial titled ‘Planning For Sea Level Rise’. I’ve reproduced the editorial in full below.

A little context: Surf Drive is a beach road that is only a couple of feet above sea level. It is very pretty in an old Cape sort of way, or would be if the town had refused to allow people to turn private bathhouses into actual houses right on the narrow strip of beach sand between Surf Drive and the sea. The houses, sitting on stilts, are picturesque in one sense, and ugly, very ugly in a more profound sense. And the Cape, as noted, is a low-lying peninsula which depends for drinking water on lenses of underground water which are subject, should the sea rise somewhat, to saltwater infiltration.

Herewith the grand editorial of the Falmouth Enterprise on sea level rise:

Planning For Sea Level Rise

Sea level is rising faster along the Atlantic Coast of the US and globally, according to a study released this weekend by the US Geological Survey. And based on the data, USGS reported, the rate of sea level rise on the East Coast will continue to increase.

The rise is incremental – measured in millimeters a year – but significant. Cities such as Boston are taking the situation very seriously. The Boston Globe reported yesterday that the city has already begun mapping low-lying areas and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission will begin inspecting sewers, storm drain connections and pumping stations in order to assess what needs to be done to prepare for the rising sea level.

Sea level rise will obviously have the greatest impact on coastal cities and their billions of dollars of infrastructure, but coastal communities, including Falmouth, will have to plan for the eventuality as well.

As a Jeff Williams pointed out in an article published in the Enterprise last month, Falmouth is already experiencing the effects of sea level rise with increased erosion, and over wash of low areas such as Surf Drive and West Falmouth Harbor.

Falmouth officials have begun planning. Last year the town took part in the state StormSmart Coasts program.

But that program focused largely on emergency management systems. While that is good because it will help the town qualify for FEMA funding in the event of a large storm, it doesn’t address the larger issues. And some are large indeed. Low-lying roads will be affected. Many will remember that parts of Surf Drive were washed away during Hurricane Bob. Eventually it might be that it will take a lesser storm than a hurricane to do the same damage. How can such roads be protected? Or should they be abandoned? The answer to the latter is almost certainly not.

These are big questions, too big to be answered behind closed doors at Town Hall. Eventually the community will need to be involved with the planning process.

Aside from virtually ignoring real sea-level rise by pointing at occasional storm surges, the writer of this magical editorial chooses to engage in high-school cheerleading when he writes, “How can such roads be protected? Or should they be abandoned? The answer to the latter is almost certainly not.”

Really? Surf Drive is likely to be permanently under water within a few decades. It is likely that Main Street, less than a mile away in the center of the town, will follow soon after. In due time, by which I mean considerably less than the thousand years some predict, and considering the rate at which climate is changing, the town will be uninhabitable, if not entirely under water. It is not inconceivable that Falmouth could be uninhabitable, along with much of the Cape, within this century or the next. But the best the editorial board of the Enterprise, and papers like it around the country, the best they can come up with is ‘Rah! Rah! Rah! Let’s save Surf Drive!’

I find it interesting that a corollary discussion, that of sewering the town to protect five or six coastal ponds from nitrogen pollution at a cost of a half billion (yes, billion) dollars, has entirely avoided the issue of global warming and sea level rise. Those ponds will soon belong entirely to the ocean and those sewers, off which some people will make a considerable amount of money, will be utterly useless. The Enterprise has yet to produce a serious, ongoing discussion of that matter in relation to global warming.

I would suggest that perhaps the reason for such a pathetic piece of editorial work is that the powers-that-be at the paper seek to protect the commercial interests who might be upset that speaking truth might keep tourists away and money out of the merchants’ pockets; or perhaps some of those rich people who want more and more and more have had a word with the publishers, suggesting that they tone down any mention of the coming catastrophe, for the, you know, good of the community. I could, of course, be wrong. It could simply be that the combined weight of editorial thinking at the paper amounts to little more than what it seems – high school cheerleading in the face of madness.

But it doesn’t matter. The sea will rise no matter what the editors of the newspapers think, no matter what the politicians do or don’t do, no matter what the rich think they can get away with. The seas will rise, humanity will fall. The Enterprise and its ilk just insure that the fall will come faster and harder and that the survivors will be screaming, “Why didn’t you tell us the truth?”.  Said survivors would likely burn down the Enterprise offices if said offices were not by then well under the sea. Besides, given the availability of legitimate information on planetary warming these days, no one has the right to ask that question, now now, not in the future. But people do have the right to demand of the Enterprise and its kind why they focus on Surf Drive when civilization, indeed humankind itself, verges on extinction.

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MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Beats Chris Matthews As Worst Interviewer
November 23, 2010

The Lion didn’t think anyone could conduct a more annoying interview than MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, a man who never shuts up, who interrupts his guests constantly, and puffs himself up as something really special.

But he’s been outdone by Dylan Ratigan, who comes on in the hour before Matthews. Ratigan’s gift differs from Matthews’. Matthews will rattle off rapid fire questions and demonstrates vast impatience with anyone who actually tries to give a coherent answer. The viewer is left learning pretty much nothing.

Ratigan, however, never asks a question that is less than five minutes long and during which he rambles all over the map, all through time and history, and brings in every disparate element that apparently rattles through his brain at the moment.

By the time Ratigan gets to the end of his speech, virtually nobody knows what the hell he’s talking about or what the question is. The guests sit through these bumbling rambles looking as if it’s all they can do to not actually roll their eyes in irritation.

At least he usually lets them answer the question, although The Lion can never be sure if they’re answering the question Ratigan originally intended to ask or if they’re just riffing in the general area of the issue because they haven’t a clue what he’s talking about either.

Both these guys need some serious training in interviewing, reporting, and public speaking. The Lion doesn’t know or care what their ratings are, but if ratings were based on skill they’d be somewhere below the lowest basement level at the Nielsen building. Right now MSNBC is wasting three hours a day on Ratigan and Matthews.

Matthews and Ratigan might as well be handing ratings points to Faux News.

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Kiran Chetry Speaks Peanut At CNN
November 10, 2010

I was just watching Kiran Chetry of CNN “News” deliver a story of profound news value.

Ms. Chetry is sitting on a bar stool, all pert and cheery, dressed in a short black something, alongside her partner whatshisname, and announcing as news to the world that the Planters Peanut cartoon character sales icon is no longer a silent character. The company has given him an actor’s voice.

I said to Ms. Chetry, “Don’t you feel like a fucking idiot sitting up there announcing this to the world? You’re supposed to be a professional news anchor, not a public relations flack for some jagoff peanut marketing department.”

Apparently my comment didn’t bother her an iota. She just rattled on, and was still rattling this inanity when I switched off the television.

Seeing her sitting up on that stool reminded me of the hookers who sit in the windows of Amsterdam. Which, all things considered, seems appropriate for American television news.

CNN: The Anti-News Non-News Organization. What Oil Spill?
May 3, 2010

CNN once again shows its utter failure to comprehend news, and to put advertiser dollars ahead of truth. Way ahead.

What are they devoting most of their on-air time to these days?

A failed, amateur bomb scare in New York City. Nothing happened. Nothing is happening, but CNN is going on and on and on about it.

And in the meantime, what gets short shrift?

The Gulf of Mexico British Petroleum oil spill catastrophe that will cost billions, no, tens of billions of dollars at a minimum; that is right now destroying the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people along the Gulf Coast, and more as the economic effects spread inland; that promises to be an unparalleled environmental disaster.

That’s what CNN is softballing.

Instead of investigating BP and Congress and the regulators, instead of doing some genuine investigative work, instead of even paying attention, they put up anecdotal stories about restaurants facing the loss of their business. Or as of right now, a long live feed about the Iranian president speaking at the United Nations, presenting his usual propaganda.

And all that’s more important than the expected collapse of the Gulf economy, the Gulf fisheries, and potentially the Atlantic fisheries if the spill makes its way to the Gulf Stream?

Oh me oh my, how much money does BP spend advertising on CNN?

Oh me oh my, how big a whore is CNN, obviously down on its knees in front of BP? How come when they do manage to talk about the spill, they barely mention BP?

And right now their big story – a teenage girl made a dress from juice pouches.

CNN, once again the World’s Worst News Network.

Later note: CNN anchors have consistently referred to the oil seeping from the well, or to the seepage. Someone should tell these bozos that five thousand barrels a day is not seepage. It’s a goddam gusher.

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Corrective Rape: The Best People Do It
April 8, 2010

The United States Department of State reports in today’s Globe, in an AP article, that gays in the broken and destitute nation of Zimbabwe ‘face widespread harassment’.  Homosexual acts are illegal in Zimbabwe.

Not only has Zimbabwe stepped back into medieval ignorance and brutality on just about every front imaginable, it has sunk to new depths of stupidity too.

Gay men were forced into heterosexual acts and lesbian women were raped, sometimes by male relatives, to teach them to change their ways, said Amanda Porter, political officer at the US Embassy in Harare and compiler of the report.

“Some families reportedly subjected men and women to corrective rape and forced marriages to encourage heterosexual conduct,’’ she [State Department political officer Amanda Porter in Harare] said Tuesday.

Corrective rape. Think about that for a minute. Let it work around your consciousness for a while. Corrective rape.

If someone doesn’t agree with your rules, your style of living, well, rape them. Brutalize them, and that will turn them into good little conformists, that will bring them around to your way of thinking.

Corrective rape.

But what can you expect from a country driven back into primitive times by a psychotic dictator who is no better than a common thug informed by witch doctors?

Right?

One could argue that the best people, the best governments, do the same thing. The United States did it in Iraq, and Afghanistan. Iraq didn’t fit into George W. Bush and his bunch of neocon witch doctors’ world view, so that country had to be correctively raped. Of course, the gays in Zimbabwe are real gays, and the stuff Bush used to justify raping Iraq had to be made up, but rape is rape. Iraq now stands corrected. If we listen hard we can hear explosions of joy almost every day now in Iraq.

And Afghanistan continues to receive its therapy of corrective rape, begun under Bush and continuing under Obama, who is apparently under the spell of Democratic witch doctors. The Taliban, who never attacked the United States, and who are out of power, or would be if the United States wasn’t supporting a corrupt and apparently addled fellow who may or may not be in control of Kabul, the Taliban are the current recipients of corrective rape as applied by Obama and the United States government and the United States military.

The Taliban are not, of course, the nicest people, and they disagree with the United States and do not want to follow the dictates of the United States. So they should be raped. Correctively. By bombs. By rockets fired from anonymous drones. By American soldiers eager to prove their own ignorance and brutality by killing as many women and children as possible, knowing that the military brass will brush off such murder as ‘collateral damage’. The difference between ‘collateral damage’ and corrective rape? None if you’re the one taking the damage, the one getting raped.

So, the difference between the putatively most technologically advanced nation on earth and one of the most backward nations on earth? None, really.

And Obama and his political shamans brought that home with even more force with the recent revelation that he had ordered the killing of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, a loudmouth jihadi born in New Mexico, operating overseas, linked to the Fort Hood killings and the Christmas airline bomb plot.  Like it or not, the man is an American citizen, entitled to the protections of the Constitution and laws. That means dragging him into court and proving the case against him and then sentencing him to death if warranted. Like it or not, the United States claims to be a nation of laws. There is no middle ground. You cannot be a nation of laws sometimes, and not at other times when it may be inconvenient or may not suit the particular neurosis of the crew in power.

If an American President can order the murder of this American citizen, then he, or the next one, or the one after that, can order the killing of any American who disagrees with the crew in power. There is no middle ground.

And given the actions of the United States government under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, it has become apparent that the United States is no longer a nation of laws, but has become a nation that justifies the application of corrective rape not only to nations that disagree with it, but to its own citizens.

The virulent right will cheer the application of corrective rape, whether in the United States or overseas. The left will cluck-cluck powerlessly. The middle will continue on in ignorance, letting it happen while they worry about bills and jobs and school bullying, not understanding the significance of the matter because for the most part they understand nothing about the republic in which they live. The ironic thing is that all of them, no matter their persuasion, can now be considered suitable, by some crew in power, for corrective rape.

Not quite what the Founders had in mind, though they were well aware of the difficulty. As Ben Franklin said, “[We’ve given you] a Republic, if you can keep it.” Apparently, the Republic has been correctively raped by its people and its government. Old Ben must be rolling about in his grave with both hands over his ass.

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Stupid News Writing By Professionals
November 11, 2009

In today’s Globe two Washington Post reporters write about last night’s execution of John Allen Muhammad, the D.C. sniper who, with an accomplice, murdered ten people in October 2002.

The story contains this paragraph, by reporters Josh White and Maria Glod:

The killings began with no explanation. Then the snipers left cryptic notes and phone messages demanding $10 million, just as millions of Washington area residents were distracted by white vans and other delusions that authorities were mistakenly chasing.

Delusions?

The authorities were chasing delusions?

Perhaps the huge financial hits that the newspaper business has taken lately have forced the Post to pawn its dictionaries.

The police pursued the leads they had. That the leads were false or bad or misleading does not make them delusions. Nor were the police ‘mistakenly chasing’ anything. They followed the leads they had at the time. The mistake would have been to do nothing.

White and Glod make the police out to be the sort of nutcases who believe in ghosts, vampires, and gods, who use Ouija boards to solve crimes, who believe Elvis Presley lives in a suburb of Detroit.

The Lion is certain that if pressed on the issue, White and Glod would claim the deadline defense. “We were under tremendous deadline pressure. Mistakes happen.”

Well, yes, mistakes do happen. And deadlines are real, not delusions.

But this is just sloppy writing enabled by poor thinking and a complete lack of editorial judgment. It’s what one might expect from a high school sophomore just starting out on the school newspaper.

On the other hand, it is not beyond the capacity of some of The Lion’s darker personality elements to consider that the phrasing the reporters used was intentional, meant to slur the police. It is certainly not unknown for reporters to inject their personal biases and agendas into news stories.

Did that happen in this story? There’s no way to know, unless the writers want to make a claim of deadlinitis and subject themselves to competent cross-examination. But that the question needs to be asked at all tells much about the times we live in and the delusions therein.

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The Dying Marine: America Revels In Its Disconnection From Reality
September 7, 2009

The Associated Press published a picture its embedded photographer took of a mortally injured Marine in Afghanistan, and America’s inner idiot exploded.

Professional opiners opined that it was disgraceful to publish such a picture: it disgraced the military, it dishonored the dying soldier, it was an evil plot by the socialists, it’s time to shoot Obama. And so on.

To quote Barney Frank, what planet have these people been living on?

What do they think this kid was doing over there? He was a goddammed Marine. His job was to rip people open with bullets, grenades, knives, his bare hands if need be. And the American soldiers have been very good at doing just that. Men, women, children, bloodied, smashed, shattered, turned to bloody paste and shattered bone by Americans wielding American weapons.

And American soldiers have been ripped in turn by Afghans and Iraqis and other fighters joining in what to them is the good fight to defend their beliefs and their lands.

Do Americans think that people die in war zones like they died in John Wayne movies, in war and crime movies of the Forties and Fifties? Fall down, don’t bleed, lay still. Maybe a dramatic, breathless little speech about something noble?

Do Americans think it’s okay to watch the violence on television and in Hollywood movies, where the deaths most nearly approximate reality, and then protest when the real thing shows up on their doorstep in the form of a photograph in the news? Do they think the people who created the stunningly realistic opening scenes from Saving Private Ryan were kidding?

Americans are responsible for the bloodbaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. Americans are responsible for their out-of-control leaders who invaded these countries, one an invasion based on stupidity, the other an invasion based on lies. Americans are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths over there, for the torture and murder of prisoners and detainees, for the destruction of two nations.

But the only hue and cry they raise is about an honest and not particularly brutal photograph of a dying American soldier whose job it was to implement the brutality of American policy.

What in hell do these people think war is about? Are they stuck on John Wayne’s vision of war? He was a piece-of-crap actor who hid out in Hollywood making what amounted to propaganda movies for the government, getting rich and fat off the deaths of American soldiers.

The Marine in that photograph got blown up for a reason and there was nothing noble or pretty or uplifting about it. His death was as ugly as George Bush’s shriveled soul. He died for an illusion, for a delusion, for a pound of lies.

What is truly disgusting, truly dishonoring, truly nauseating, is for the airheads on television news to treat this controversy with empty-headed politeness and ignore the truth of the photograph, to ignore the reality of the wars.

The so-called news programs should be required, and should have been required for the past eight years, to show five minutes of photographs during every newscast of American soldiers and Iraqi and Afghani civilians torn up by weapons from both sides. No commentary from the dumb-as-rocks on-air ‘personalities’. Just photographs and silence. Five minutes an hour. No commercials on either side of that slot. Five minutes of the real war, or as close to real as tens of millions of pathetic, childish Americans can get. They should get a good look at what twelve billion dollars a month can buy. They should get a good look at what morally corrupt, power-hungry American politicians can do to children. They should have their faces shoved in the gore and death that they support and condone.

As for those who say the family’s privacy should be respected, fine, respect the family’s privacy. But that Marine signed up for the war. He belongs to the people of the United States. His death belongs to the people of the United States, and those people should get a good look at what they own.

His name was Joshua M. Bernard. He was a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, and he deserves better than to be fought over like a piece of meat tossed into a pit of politicians, pundits, and media personalities. But what happened to him should not be hidden from the people who are responsible, from ordinary Americans, and from the politicians, pundits, and media personalities who put him in harm’s way.

Michael Jackson And The News: Put A Sock In It!
June 28, 2009

How much longer must the country be subjected to the crocodile tears and endless repetitions of trivia and nonsense from Jackson’s life by news entertainers?

Subjecting the nation to endless hours of Jacksonian drivel, day after day, is nothing more than pandering to ratings and sucking up to the one percent of people who worship him.

This sort of thing is why news ‘personalities’ should be laughed at and mocked in public, this is why the ‘news’ can no longer be trusted to deliver timely and accurate information on anything that matters. Their priorities are their hair and their ratings.

Televised news has all the authenticity of a television reality show. Both are a case of idiots speaking to idiots. Jackson is just the latest case of the media betraying the real needs of the real world.

The little freak is dead. His music lives on. Stick him in the ground and move on.

Michael Jackson Dead. Farrah Fawcett Dead. News Media Self-Destruct Again.
June 26, 2009

Okay, nobody remembers that Farrah Fawcett died yesterday about an hour before Jackson kicked off. Apparently the news media have also forgotten she died, even though they were in the midst of trying to suck ratings from her death.

Now, of course, they’ll try to suck bigger ratings from Jackson’s death. They’ll treat us to days and days of 24/7 Jacksonia to be followed by extensive ongoing coverage of the vultures who will assuredly crawl out to feed on his corpse. It is possible, though, that since the guy who turned crotch-grabbing into high art owed $400,000,000, that we’ll be spared the Anna Nicole Smith Syndrome: the Jackson vultures might not want to put themselves at risk of having to assume some of that debt.

The psychotic Iranian mullahs are probably laughing their rag hats off in relief. They know the news media will be focusing on the death of the whiny, seriously neurotic entertainer instead of on their brutal, death-dealing attacks on their own people.

The Republicans in America are no doubt gleeful that the news shows won’t be paying attention to them as they sabotage any meaningful reform on health care, on energy use, on the financial crisis. And of course we won’t be hearing about Governor Sanford waving his penis in Argentina.

The Lion would venture a guess that there are two hundred ninety nine million people in the United States who don’t give a damn about Jackson, but who will be subjected to the suppression of legitimate news and information by the established news media as they seek ratings and as they polish their egos and careers on Jackson’s corpse.

No wonder the country’s in such a mess.

Twitter, CNN, And The News
June 14, 2009

Recently The Lion conducted a rigorous, detailed, scientific survey of the contents of Twitter Tweets. Strict methodology was followed and results were crosschecked with alternative sources.

The results: Conclusive proof that ninety nine point nine percent of everything Twittered, or Tweeted, is Twittershit or Tweetshit.

The Lion would also like to note that if CNN spent as much time on hard news as they do on bragging on and explaining their Twittish technology and reading mindnumbingly useless and irrelevant comments from Twitterers, they might come up with an actual news organization.

If The Lion wants informed and uninformed opinions he can read Grumpy Lion. CNN bills itself as a news organization but except for the rare bit of intelligent comment and news from the likes of Christiane Amanpour CNN does little more these days than organize drivel and spew it out.

Credit where credit is due though. CNN is a cut above its sister channel, Headline News, but barely, and only because Nancy Grace and Jane Velez drag HLN down into melodrama and slime every night. But they would appear to be balanced by Lou Dobbs and his forays into distortion, phony drama, and his abuse of fact and evidence. Maybe it’s a wash.

It doesn’t help CNN that their mainstay anchor, Wolf Blitzer, can’t ask a simple question without turning it into a convoluted piece of rhetoric that injects his own views into the interview. Of course it appears to be the current fashion these days for interviewers/anchors to talk at least twice as much as their interviewees, resulting in interviews that produce much noise and little light.

If the Founding Fathers had had to build a free republic using the likes of CNN as an information channel for the citizens, the United States would be neither united nor states nor free. We would be a nation of Twitiots, spewing vast volumes of words signifying nothing.

Perhaps something like today’s America?