Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Patients Are Running The Asylum

Hi everyone. I have a question for you guys. I'm not always able to keep up with all the goings-on with the world. I have that job thing, and every once in a while I even stumble upon having a life. So, I'm wondering if perhaps while I was focused on one of these other endeavors, I maybe failed to notice us being sucked into a parallel universe where everyone is insane. Anyone remember this happening? Because it's definitely feeling Twilight Zone-y up in here.

Where does one even begin with this Terry Jones Koran-burning mess? I literally only left my house for about two hours today, came back, and it's like, KABOOM! Explosion of craziness all over my Twitter feed. The Secretary of Defense of the United States actually called this crackpot, which, you know, fabulous! I think it would be super-cool to talk to a cabinet member. Maybe I should go stand on the corner and rant. Clinton, call me!

Jones initially said he would stop the burning, but apparently only because suddenly the Cordoba House Community Center was being moved. Except, um, it wasn't, and Imam Rauf pretty much didn't know what Jones was talking about. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here wondering how the hell these two very different things suddenly got all meshed up in this weird pseudo-negotiation. Yes, please, let's make this seem like some crazy epic battle between Christians and Muslims. That makes this so much better!

By the time I learned that Donald Trump was offering to buy out the site's investor, all I had the energy to do was throw up my hands and say, "oh for fuck's sake." I mean, really? REALLY? Well, why not? Welcome to the circus. Everybody participates! What. Is. Happening? It's September. The Summer O' Crazy is supposed to be ovah! Yet here we are. Since 9-11 I've had days where I've wondered if we might be doing absolutely everything wrong. This is one of those days. Ted Koppel actually had a great piece in the Washington Post related to that notion, and I'd encourage you all to give it a read.

As for the media, I see we've finally hit that lovely meta period where they all earnestly have themselves a ponder about their role in this mess. Mind you, this is after they've done all the damage. While it's true that General Petraeus's remarks--brought about by Brian Williams--and the White House's subsequent involvement blew this story up, this is for the most part a media-created monster. The crackpot pastor has less followers in his congregation than I have on Twitter. At this point I'm pretty disgusted with everyone involved. If you'd like to hear this sentiment with more obscenity, allow me to introduce you to John Cole.

With regards to the 360 kids, ugh, what can I say? They decided to join the circus for a little longer. Fine, yes, briefly give us the facts of what went down today, even do the interview with Imam Musri if you must. But there is no need to "continue the conversation." What's funny (in a non funny way) is that Anderson Cooper tells us they had this epic debate about the coverage, and yet here we still are, continuing the conversation.

Our anchor also seemed to try to defend CNN, claiming that it really wasn't until the Petraeus statement that the network gave the crackpot any significant coverage. This, of course, is wrong. While it's true that 360 didn't really get mixed up in this until recently, Rick Sanchez interviewed Jones way back at the end of July. In fact, this article implies that the appearance was a pretty big deal, no doubt further elevating Jones' notoriety. Perhaps, like many of us, Anderson would like to forget Sanchez's existence.

Thank you, 360, for having a practicing Muslim on the panel this time. Maybe next time you could have one that doesn't belong to what is essentially a right-wing lobby group. American Islamic Forum for Democracy? That name just screams, "THIS IS PROBABLY NOT EXACTLY WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE." We've stumbled upon one of the things that annoys me about the news. Having Zuhdi Jasser on? No problem with that.

But people shouldn't get to be introduced context-free by whatever patriotic-y family-friendly name they give their front group (think Focus on the Family). I'm not saying I have a way to fix this (booking needs a major overhaul). All I know is that if I'm ever a guest on the teevee, I'm totally going on as a member of the Orphan-Saving Puppy-Raising Candy-Makers Association.

There was more to the show, and other topics were covered, but honestly? Meh. I knew this was going to happen. I knew as soon as I said it seemed like the show had been improving of late, we were going to take a nosedive. The 360 kids certainly haven't been the worst offenders, but these past two nights have not exactly been shining moments. Let's hope that tomorrow they go back to that new-found factiness I was loving so much.

Thoughts go out to the people in San Bruno.

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Blogger Anne said...


Congratulations on your 4th year anniversary of this blog. I'm late because I didn't have access to read the blog until last night.
I refuse to watch the Jones/ Balloon boy type coverage. This past week has been unbearable with this nonsense. How could one crazy dude hold the media hostage, it looks like the Stockholm syndrome with those reporting on it. There are so many other crazies like this so-called pastor, will the media run to each one? They are providing second by second coverage of will he, won't he, much more than was provided on Pakistan's flood. I can't believe this is happening. I truly believe if crazy Jones doesn't do some burning, someone would be sent from the media to beg him to get it started. For that matter fly Jones to San Bruno, get two stories at once. I read Chris Cuomo's remarks in the link you provided. Indeed, the media has provided the oxygen to the flaming pastor, pun intended. The comments to the article in the NY times reflect that many are disgusted with the overwrought coverage of Jones. A very insightful post by you. It should be read by the kids at 360 you write about. Anne D.

5:39 AM  

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