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January 11, 2007

The Incredibly Broad and Invigorating Debate Found On American TV

David Swanson tells me he was just at an event featuring George McGovern. And in a conversation afterwards with several people, McGovern said that he's been trying to get on television to talk about Iraq. But producers and hosts are telling him that they "already have too many anti-war people on."

How many is "too many"? I'm guessing that number may be as high as one.

BONUS: Here's Kenneth Pollack writing in the introduction to his 2002 book The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq:

We are part of the world's most vibrant is critical that we engage in a comprehensive and informed public debate...

With this kind of insight into politics, it's no wonder Pollack turned out to be so incredibly prescient about Iraq.

Posted at January 11, 2007 01:53 PM | TrackBack

A little math and science might help us out here. There's just this extra part to understand: the number of guests on TV programs is not a real number, it's complex! All of the anti-war guests are contained in the imaginary portion of the total number of people appearing on TV, Z:

Z = (# of pro-war loons) + i(# of anti-war cowards)!

So Re(Z) = what you see, but that doesn't mean that Im(Z) = a real multitude of anti-war views wasn't a buttload of cleaning in the Green Room, too!

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at January 11, 2007 02:58 PM

I caught a bit of Talk of the Nation on NPR today.
It was about Bush's speech. They had three guests: Jack Keane, Michael O'Hanlon, Larry Diamond.

Hmm, I see a common thread here. Wait, wait, don't tell me! Right, they were ALL in support of the war!

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at January 11, 2007 06:46 PM

Aaron: It's even worse! They'll say they give you not only Z but also its conjugate as a bonus!
So what's there to complain about? OK, just to save time they add them up. Big deal!

(Aaron will get the joke, but I hope he's the only one because it's really BAD!)

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at January 11, 2007 06:55 PM

The one-sided media coverage of this (and other issues) is a symptom - not the problem. The problem is that the mass media are owned by the wealthy, and they slant their reporting to reflect their owners' wishes.

The war and right-wing control of government are very profitable for the wealthy, so are promoted by their media.

Posted by: Alan8 at January 11, 2007 07:03 PM

Bernard -
The initial joke was not that good, either. Thanks for catching my air-ball.

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at January 11, 2007 07:13 PM

Anyone remember the Princess and the Pea?

It may be like that. In these half-hour shows of Orwellian obsequy for two-tenths of a second someone cleared their throat which -if interpreted at accurately- was antiwar dissent.

They felt this throat-clearing as the pain of a thousand knives, in their personal hells!

Posted by: Henry (TN) at January 11, 2007 08:03 PM

i got it!

but then i was a math geek in a former life.

Posted by: almostinfamous at January 12, 2007 10:43 AM

I thought it was pretty clever, Aaron, but if you've noticed the quality of my jokes you won't be tempted to let that compliment go to your head.

But I did think it was funny.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 12, 2007 03:21 PM


"The one-sided media coverage of this
(and other issues) is a symptom - not
the problem. The problem is that the
mass media are owned by the wealthy,
and they slant their reporting to
reflect their owners' wishes."

Hey Alan, I agree 100% with you.

"In Russia the state has been tightening
control over media ever since president
Putin came to power. National television
was by far the most important target,
but rather than harassing journalists
and editors, the Kremlin opted for
controlling the owners - a method that
has proved to be fairly effective in
furthering the Kremlin needs."

The U.S. powers-that-be have learned
from Russia and other dictatorships.
Although in our case it's the owners
calling the shots and deciding with
politicians will be most profitable
to be put into power.

I bet the overlords of Egypt, Syria,
Saudi Arabia, etc. all use the power of
TV as a crucial tool to keep themselves
in power.

Posted by: Terry at January 13, 2007 06:44 PM