12 August, 2009

WTF Is Happening Up North?

Years ago, I did emergency preparedness training for a few years. During that time, instead of using the overhead slides that came with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) course materials, I usually crafted my own. I preferred to use transparencies with a little pizazz and artistry rather than a slide full of boring text right out of whatever textbook we were using for the particular course.

Speaking of FEMA, as an aside, that poor agency is now buried within the bowels of a super agency that seems to be generating policy and procedures for all the agencies under its purview, from readings of Mein Kampf and viewings of Nazi propaganda films from WWII.

Using my own slides also gave me a certain freedom during the presentation of the course to move things along as I saw fit rather than some "beltway bandit" who apparently never actually presented a course in his life.

A couple of the slides I prepared were news comparisons - stories I clipped from a randomly picked day that week from a local newspaper and one from the same week of the National Enquirer. The topic was something like "integrity and honesty in reporting".

What brought this to mind this morning is some of the headlines I've been reading lately:
  • Downright Evil Death Panels
  • Stephen Hawking wouldn't stand a chance under NHS in the UK
  • UK Comedian (Paul O'Grady) Held At Miami Airport Over Fears He Was A Cuban Commie
  • Principal's Family Sues School District Over Swine Flu Death
  • Sotomayor Will Destroy Supreme Court
  • Obama to Turn US Into Welfare State
Not that most of these individually are appalling, but collectively, they seem to be something that I would have selected for my National Enquirer transparency.

It just seems to me that, even before the death of Walter Cronkite (well, ever since his ouster to be replaced by Dan Rather at CBS News), that what passes for mainstream American journalism nowadays, both in the print media and especially television, would likely have been picked up as front page material for the National Enquirer of years past.

Some of the vitriolic, absolutely frothing-at-the -mouth reportage should be nothing less than jaw-droppingly amazing to any sane and literate adult. However, I suspect that is not the case anymore. People seem, by and large, to be ready to believe as gospel truth, the most far-fetched, flimsy and contrived stories possible.

Now that we're down here and out of the rat race, I'll admit we are no longer really paying attention to the "news".

I catch most of my daily TV news fix from the Daily Show and that also probably has its own twists and perversions. I suspect mostly because what the show is reporting and commenting on is already so twisted and perverted as to stretch credulity. It not only makes great comedy, but it helps magnify the bizarreness of what we are fed on a daily basis as real "news".

It's tempting to take my old transparency of the National Enquirer and hold it up for comparison with today's legitimate headlines... Which is which?

I don't know. I can't tell.


Julian in SC said...

I am headed in your direction... at least somewhat. By this I mean that I used to listen to some talk radio as I drove around town handling my clients. And I also used to watch the evening news, some CNN and some (mostly) Fox News. I have stopped listening to all except the weather and my own CD's and I barely watch the news except at supper. It is weird and getting weirder. Look at my own Governor for Pete's Sake.....

Oh well, if it continues this slide then you might see us fairly soon, assuming that they will let us (and our money) out of the country at that time.


Vivien said...

Bombshell-I agree. The Canadian stuff we see and here is bad enough but certainly not as appalling as a show like Nancy Grace or some of the other HLN or CNN programs. I never made the comparison to the National Enquirer before but now that you mention it, I do see it.

Dave Rider said...


There must be something about Argentina...

We'll keep our fingers crossed that you get to come down on your terms and in good financial condition.



It makes "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" seem positively tame, eh?


sandy a said...

Its the thought police trying to take control!
Seriously though, you have to practically be a detective to figure out what's REALLY going on.