Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Czar needed


Anybody out there as puzzled by this as me? I heard a reference to this on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now this morning and thought it was some kind of joke, only to pick up my Wash Post and see it on the front page, above the fold.

A war czar? Isn't that what the Secretary of Defense is? And aren't there a couple of layers at the uniformed military level for this, someone who's the military chief of the region, another person that overseas the Iraq war broadly and another who's the on-the-ground chief?

However unusual this is or what the position is supposed to entail that would distinguish it from the warriors above, no one seems to be taking, and what's more, they're willing to state publicly that they aren't and why.

Not sure where this is going but I wouldn't count it as indicative of competence in the war-room.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"Serious"? Seriously?

Today is Day Two of my staying home with a bad tooth day. And apparently this Bad Tooth Day will go on for another two weeks, as my appointment with the oral surgeon isn't until April 23, and the meds the dentist prescribed for me yesterday are only having a minimal impact on my impacted wisdom tooth, which is rumored to be the cause of my present, physical suffering.

But anyway, enough about me. Let's talk more about Me.

Or rather, that I was guesting over at No More Mister Nice Blog over the weekend, where I had a few things to say about the latest flap-up involving Don "the Iman" Imus.

But I wanted to highlight an article that appeared in the Business section of yesterday's NYT about "the Iman". The writer, David Carr, noting how Imus's show is regularly frequented by media and politician-types, appropriately refers to the host as a "lawn jockey to the establishment". Most of the article is a pretty accurate rendering of how borish Imus and his show are and all-too-rare reflection on why it is that a lot of high-profile media show ponies and politicos nonetheless keep appearing on his show and kissing his ass.

But I stumbled over sections of the article like these:

"...his show is one of the few places where they can talk seriously and at length about public issues."

Um, talk seriously and at length about public issues? On Imus in The Morning?

Later in the article, after pointing out that there is a suspicious and typically incestuous connection between Imus's guests and his program, namely being that many of his guests get paychecks from the same corporate media giant as him, lapses into this:

"He fills a demand for serious discussion on contemporary radio so that the journalists and politicians pushing an agenda or a book don't have to get in line behind the strippers at Howard Stern's show."

There it is again, that word serious, meant to depict the type of discussion that occurs on the Imus show, between himself and his illustrious guests. Of course, the word "serious" is used here in a very maximumly relative fashion, with Howard Stern's radio stripper shows serving as the control group for comparison, which I understand now can only be heard on Sirius satellite radio, but I digress.

But serious and at length discussions about public issues on Imus in the Morning?

No, Imus is just a sample representive of the hate radio genre that has bloomed in the last several decades, but which for some unknown reason seems to be exempt from complaints about incivility from the mainstream, corporately run and controlled press, the trash talk radio that has regularly demeaned everthing non white Christian male and demogogued and exploited every possible issue for its resentment value, all without having to serve on any blogger-ethics type panels for their eliminationist rhetoric and hate-mongering.