Cider Press Hill

You mean the earth isn't flat?!

Friday, 2:39 pm

By Kate

Sep

21

2007

sunny

Let’s hear it for another special moment in women’s television. The question was....Is the earth round or flat? This question was posed on the Emmy award winning show called The View, that erudite symposium of eloquence and cat fights.

Now, excluding the possibility that Sherri Shepherd’s concept of the world consists entirely of Kansas (which mathematically proved to be flatter than a pancake), did she have the momentary image of earth twirling in space like a sheet of paper? To implant an unforgettable image, perhaps she needs to see this beautiful movie of the earth’s rotation, taken from the Galileo spacecraft somewhere around 1990.

The following day there was follow-up discussion during which Sherri was given the chance to defend or explain herself. She said she had a ‘senior brain poopy moment’ and she was nervous and flustered and her brain froze. I dunno. Is the question really that hard? Her view of the world is evidently two dimensional, in more ways than one.

Is this what it takes to sell ads on TV anymore?!

(via Americablog and The Daily Background)



 

Nix the empire rhetoric

Thursday, 7:03 pm

By Kate

Jul

19

2007

fog

I have noticed lately, that more and more news articles refer to the United States as the American homeland. It’s bad enough to be stuck with a clunker like the Department of Homeland Security, but do the media have to glom onto the name, too? How many little Americas do we have out there anyway? I thought the United States was pretty much it. American homeland sounds like empire talk. Is someone planning on annexing something to the United States? I’d hope not. Why can’t we call the United States...um...the United States? Or America, if you’d prefer. But dump the homeland garbage. It sounds stupid, pretentious, and arrogant.



 

A house divided

Monday, 1:55 pm

By Kate

Apr

30

2007

partly sunny

Robert Novak wrote a column that appears in today’s Washington Post, called Hagel’s Stand. In it, Novak says that Hagel just returned from his fifth visit to Iraq. He spoke on the record to Novak and says that Iraq is coming undone and growing weaker by the day. We need to start pulling back some troops and we have a very large mess—thanks to people like Elliot Abrams. (Welcome to reality, Mr. Hagel.) Novak puts a lot of faith in what Hagel says because, well, Hagel is a Republican. In fact, Novak devotes the last paragraph of his column to reminding the party faithful of Hagel’s bona fides.

These judgments come from someone credited with rebuilding Nebraska’s Republican Party and who has earned a lifetime conservative voting rating of 85.2 percent from the American Conservative Union. Hagel represents millions of Republicans who are repelled by the Democrats’ personal assault on President Bush but are deeply unhappy about his course in Iraq.

I think the inescapable point that Novak is making is this: If a respected Republican says it, we should pay attention. Never mind that Democrats and independents across this country have been saying the same thing for quite some time.

When a respected Republican says it, we should pay attention.

Even lefty blogs are noted for quoting Republicans when they stray off the reservation. As if the Republican’s words give weight to the argument they’ve been making for years now. When a Republican says it, that lends gravitas and affirmation to the same argument they’ve (we’ve) been making for the last 3 years, at least.

But such are the times we live in.

And that, I believe, is going be one of George W Bush’s enduring legacies. He and his faithful so divided this country that policy arguments were no longer considered on the basis of merit—they were considered on the basis of which party faithful said it. That was calculated, intentional, encouraged—and they accomplished that division with ease. All the right ingredients were in place for it.

Now that a few of the Republican faithful have begun to stray off message, that division may become more muddied. It’s still a powerful force in the minds of many, particularly the media, when assessing issues. And I think it’s becoming a source of confusion for a good many people in this country. Perhaps the media more than anyone.

It was a dangerous experiment that worked very well. I hope that, collectively, we will eventually have the hindsight to recognize what that calculated and orchestrated division in the people wrought. It was and is still dangerous. Fact and truth are never the province of one ideology over another. When we discard intelligence (brains) based on party allegiance, we are only half a nation and you know what they say about a house divided.



 

Media sewer

Wednesday, 4:56 pm

By Kate

Apr

18

2007

overcast

I have come to the conclusion (it wasn’t difficult) that the news media in this country are not only worthless, they are stupid. I would also add dangerous, but that may be a side effect of stupid. I’ll also add heartless and venal. There’s nothing like a mass tragedy to inspire the festival of exploitation. If we thought that sex sells on TV, it doesn’t hold a candle to the way death sells on TV. Doesn’t much matter who they have to climb over to get those coveted ratings. Dead bodies and grieving families included.

Even when we try to avoid the feeding frenzy, the networks make sure that we are still tuned into it. I tried to sit down last night to watch a couple of non-news shows. The network kept running ads about the Virginia Tech tragedy and the upcoming specials and coverage. Complete with special theme music and graphics. No new news to be offered, but a look back at the events.

The victims are hardly cold and not even buried yet, but the media are already looking back. At what? The the same damned videos that tell us nothing new and a raft of new talking faces to expound on speculation and opinion and a rich tapestry of blame.

There is no dignity left in the media. I am appalled at the way they are exploiting the parents’ grief and even the victims. I am appalled at the nearly 24 hour coverage of a tragedy that goes to extra lengths to find every possible angle to exploit. The truth and dignity have nothing to do with it. The more outrageous the claims, the better the festival is. Keeps people glued to the tube. And that’s the point, isn’t it?

My television remains off for the next week. If nothing else, this should be enough to convince me to keep it turned off permanently.

I am so disgusted and sick that I can hardly verbalize it. What I can verbalize is my utter hatred of the media. It’s deep and abiding. I don’t anticipate that will change any time soon. As long as people continue tuning in to the Festival of Death, the media will continue to exploit it. It’s what we’ve come to expect, it’s what we’ve been trained to accept. It passes for news, but it isn’t. It’s ghoulish, indecent, and calculated infotainment. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them....



 

Très sucky

Thursday, 6:20 pm

By Kate

Apr

05

2007

overcast

Today for the first time in about six months, I turned CNN on to see what they had to say about the state of the world. I shouldn’t have bothered. I don’t think those people live in the same reality that the rest of the mere mortals on this earth live in.

My impression was that they are now almost entirely in the sensationalism business. There is no story that they can’t tart up nor any effort spared to do so. And, of course, the two largest stories today were the British seamen returning home and the exhaustive (and exhausting) flagellation of one Nancy Pelosi. Facts be damned.

I more or less tuned out their incessant burbling about Nancy Pelosi—it was repetitive and boring—but I was really rather horrified at the nastiness directed toward the British seamen. Good golly, you’d think that because they didn’t all die in a blaze of glory, they’re wretched cowards. And to pound that idea home, CNN trotted out various of our military experts to point-blank say that if WE were in the same position, we’d have done things a whole lot differently. Not getting caught in the first place and going down with guns blazing if we were. Easy to say from their comfy chairs stateside, I suppose.

The lone Brit interviewed simply said, “We’re thrilled with the outcome. No one died.”

It’s hard to know what went on behind the scenes, but the absence of guns blazing and exploding international incidents is a breath of fresh air, actually. No one died, and I sincerely doubt whether the world thinks the less of Britain for it. Its rather pleasant when people live through a tense situation without crafting it into the latest casus belli. And other people seem to celebrate that fact, too. These CNN clods are really bloodthirsty jingoists. How utterly ugly.

It’ll be a long while before I tune to that channel again. What has happened to CNN?!



 

He Won!

Monday, 2:42 pm

By Kate

Feb

26

2007

overcast

I was ever so pleased to see that Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth won at the Oscars ceremony last night for Best Documentary. I had forgotten that the Oscars were on last night until about 10:30-ish. I ran in to turn on the TV, just as the Best Documentary was being announced. Talk about good timing. His acceptance speech was very short, simple, and kind of elegant. I like that man.



 

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