FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O CAN'T CREATE JOBS.
HE CAN'T FIX THE ECONOMY.
BUT HE CAN SPEND!
HE CAN SPEND AND SPEND AND SPEND!
REACHED FOR COMMENT, BARRY O TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY, GO BIG OR GO HOME! GO BULLS! OR WHATEVER SPORT PEOPLE WATCH THIS TIME OF YEAR!"
Let's start in the US where two people don't have a grip on the facts: Jason Ditz and Medea Benjamin.
Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) argues the US focus keeps shifting with regards to the Islamic State.
That's a solid observation.
At the start of the war, Mount Sinjar was the clear focus, and the conflict was even couched as a humanitarian intervention specifically for the refugees there. When the refugee situation turned out to be dramatically overstated, the focus shifted toward ISIS in Iraqi Kurdistan and then Syria.
Never solved. Yazidis are still held hostage -- at last count, it was 400 families.
The US didn't rescue anyone. Those who were rescued by the Peshmerga (elite Kurdish force).
In October, Susan Rice went on Meet The Press. Pressed to cite a 'success' for the White House in Iraq, she declared it was the rescue of the hostages on Mount Sinjar.
Less than 36 hours later, it was revealed that thousands of Yazidis remained hostages on Mount Sinjar.
Antiwar.com could have run with that.
Except it's the home of the pig-headed male.
I am not 100% right.
I'm wrong often.
When I am, I say so.
The head of Antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo, decided to mock the Yazidis and their plight.
And that became the default position of Antiwar.com.
We pointed out here that nothing was going to be accomplished by Raimondo's nonsense except turning people off to what was being dubbed an "isolationist" position. The American press wanted more war and was already ridiculing and admonishing those of us against more war on Iraq.
And then comes Justin playing into every stereotype of Ugly American.
Children are being terrorized -- as were adults -- and Justin's mocking it.
Nothing did more damage to the position of 'antiwar' than Justin's bulls**t.
He wanted to stop further war?
Well his ridicule of those suffering wasn't the way to do it.
For those making up their minds and those with a stance that was weak, the response to Justin's mocking of the suffering of the Yazidis was to recoil in disgust.
He did real damage to the 'antiwar' group. (I belong to the peace movement.)
Justin staked out a position and he's too pigheaded, even now, to admit he was wrong.
This attitude? It's not antiwar.
It's exactly why the world has so many wars.
People stake out a position and refuse to modify it or to admit they were wrong.
Justin can pretend to be antiwar all he wants but the reality is his mocking of the Yazidis did real damage.
Jason Ditz could probably write the truth, but this is Jason who praised Nouri al-Maliki, remember?
The thug and War Criminal was hero worshiped by Scott Horton (dee jay, not Harper's writer and college professor) and when Jason was a guest on the show, he'd join in on the grooviness of Nouri.
Even though Ned Parker had already exposed the torture chambers Nouri was running, even though Nouri had already launched a witch hunt on Iraqi's LGBT community and much more.
Let's move over to Medea Benjamin. At the Guardian, she has a column noting the press' inability to question the war claims of the White House. That's a good topic. It's one we cover repeatedly. Medea points out how fear was used to frighten people -- yeah, we covered that months ago. Thanks for catching up, Medea.
We've also been covering the killing of civilians in the US-led air bombing campaign.
We've noted the inability of the western media to cover those deaths and how, if they were being covered, some of the public support for the bombings -- support in the US -- would erode. So by all means, Medea, please work your way over to that part of the topic real soon.
Day after day, night after night, the press relied on propaganda from both Isis and the US government to whip up fear and a thirst for revenge in the American public. Gruesome beheading videos distributed by Isis were played over and over. The media not only regurgitated official US messages but packaged them better than the government itself ever could.
What is she saying, what does she mean?
We've covered this.
The US press did not cover all the beheadings. They only cared about Americans and the first death horrified them because of their own huge egos and vanity run amok.
Once upon a time, when the press was supposed to strive for objectivity and to be impartial, there were questions about women reporters and abortion. Could women cover the topic and be impartial?
Regardless of what camp you fall into on that question (I don't think most people impartial on the topic -- I'm firmly pro-choice), the reality is the press is not impartial.
Steven Sotloff and James Foley got attention -- got round the clock attention -- from the US media because they were reporters.
You did not, as a news consumer, get coverage of those beheadings.
You got obsessive cries from a self-interested group that doesn't give a damn when it's an aid worker beheaded by the Islamic State.
We made that comment in real time, we were correct as demonstrated by the deaths that followed and the lack of media coverage of them.
The press loves war, no question.
But the beheadings resulted in overheated 'coverage' that was nonstop and the reason for that was that the press was having a panic attack, a guttural cry of, "It could have been me!"
When that happens, when the media makes themselves the story, it's not just embarrassing, it's bad journalism.
If Stoloff and Foley's lives (and deaths) mattered (and I believe they did), then so did the others who were beheaded but were reduced to a single sentence in a generic report because they weren't reporters.
There was no grand conspiracy (unless Medea's arguing that the White House gave orders to the Islamic State to kill the two reporters).
The deaths just played into the US press' own vanity and they went crazy with it.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"