Monday, September 24, 2007

Crisp Republican Hair Cuts And Bad Ahmadinejad Journalism

If you have a rummage through Google News looking for details on the protests against Antichrist Of The Week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, you'll notice an interesting pattern. There are a few references to a protest yesterday, before Ahmadinejad had even arrived in New York. He's scheduled to speak at Columbia University, and there appears to be a great deal of public sentiment against a University's unthinking support of the free exchange of ideas.

One thing you'll notice going through these reports: a recurring use of the phrase "about 40 elected officials and civic leaders."

I would probably be a terrible journalist. If I was writing this story up for, say, US News And World Report, I'd be asking all sorts of foolish, Un-American questions, like:

-"...about 40 elected officials and civic leaders?" I was arrested once at a demonstration. The strange things is, the politicians are what we were protesting against. No elected officials chose to join us. Why are "elected officials" (who by definition already have a public platform) out waving placards and shouting at a guy who hasn't even shown up yet? Why did these "elected officials" feel compelled to get out and wave placards the day before Ahmadinejad showed up? Is it so that the major networks could run this story on Monday morning, and set the stage for further protests of questionable origin?

-Who are these elected officials? Not one news story, anywhere, seems to ask this question. It might help answer Question #1.

-Did any of these "elected officials" realize that the UN General Assembly is in New York, and that implies that foreign leaders who aren't as American mainstream as Newt Gingrich might show up occasionally?

-If all these "elected officials" showed up to protest all at once, is there any chance they're all members of the same political party?

Again, I'd probably be a terrible journalist, because I've gone over all the reports I can find about the Sunday protests, and all the professional journalists covering it seem to have known better than to waste our time and theirs asking such (apparently) pointless questions.

As I write this, CNN is interviewing a student protester... one of many we're assured, despite the fact that he seems to be by himself at the moment. I was at a University last week, and damn... this kid on CNN sure has a crisp, Republican hair cut compared to the students I've seen lately.

Of course, so does everyone on CNN these days.

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