Sunday, December 20, 2009

TV: No way

"There's no way that happened," a Michigan student was insisting to us as we spoke at her campus last week. If Tony Blair had been asked about WMD and responded, "I would still have thought it right to remove him. I mean obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments, about the nature of the threat," it would have been "huge," insisted the student, "and Amy Goodman would have been covering it."

Maybe . . . in 2003. Or 2004 or 2005. But in 2009 Amy Goodman's just another Media Whore. Tony Blair did make those statements (and others) in a BBC interview and some did register the remarks and what they meant. For example, Henry Chu (Los Angeles Times) observed, "It was a startling admission from the onetime British leader, who was President Bush's staunchest ally in the decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Blair's comments were immediately denounced by critics who accused him of using false pretenses to drag Britain into an unpopular war that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of allied troops and thousands of Iraqi civilians." Stephen Jones (Epoch Times) reported, "Tony Blair's admission that Britain would have still taken part in the Iraq war -- even if it knew that Saddam Hussein didn't have weapons of mass destruction (WMD), has sparked calls that Blair stand trial for war crimes." Goody didn't have time for it. Excuse us, she had time to reduce it to a headline -- to ninth headline out of fifteen on Monday. No segment, no probe, no discussion, nothing. Blink and you missed it. As Goody once hectored The New York Times, "It's a matter of emphasis."

Last week found Goody joining the gymboree in Copenhagen and what she chose to emphasize was "live." "We're broadcasting live from Copenhagen . . ." She's say it after the opening theme music and she'd also often say it in her teasers over the opening music. If "live" to you means Goody does wrap arounds for pre-recorded pieces, you were in hog heaven. Most, however, probably caught on to the reality of the canned nature of "Climate Countdown: Copenhagen" (yes, her program's now as bad as any corporation -- with cutesy slogans). Certainly those catching the live stream (WBAI listeners, visitors to the Democracy Now! website, etc.) should have caught on. You can't include clips from your 'live' interviews in your opening moments of the show. No, you can't. But Goody did just that repeatedly.

It was week two of canned Democracy Now! shows from Copenhagen. The Iraq Inquiry was taking place in London, an inquiry into the illegal war that John Pilger has called "The Crime of the Century," and Goody and her fringe freaks didn't have time for it. See, they'd already spent weeks ahead of time planning.

Their coverage?

Oh, cookie. Please.

There wasn't a spontaneous moment in Copenhagen. True of the various officials representing countries and true of the protesters.

As the first week whimpered along, we'd talked to various real environmentalists and heard about all about the freaks like Naomi Klein who had spent months trying to round up support for what they swore would be "the next Seattle." Didn't turn out that way, but it never would have. You can't put a weak minded and non-creative person like Naomi in charge and expect to get anything accomplished. She was far from the only freak.

We couldn't stop laughing at what they produced -- and what Goody chose to highlight. The big complaint Goody used to make (pre-2004) was that activists were always portrayed as "screaming" and she'd usually pair that with 'maybe if they were invited in, they wouldn't have to yell.' But there was Goody doing just that, all damn week, yelling protesters. With little slogans. The ones NPR had made fun of the week before. For good reason.

The leaders of the freaks are angry and that's the only 'message' they got across. Movements have to recruit new members to be successful. When you fail to do that, you're the Shakers. That's the reality, like it or not. Anger doesn't recruit a lot of people. Engaging them might. When most people hear yelling, the response isn't, "What are they yelling about?" No, the response is to move on. The un-official theme song of the non-event really drove home that the 'leaders' had no idea of how to lead. A rap song.

A rap song.

Angry chants and a bad rap song.

The Civil Rights Movement offered a ton of songs (some of which were original to the movement, some of which were adopted by it) and the focus on those songs sung in public during activism was on melody. The Copenhagen Freaks would have been better off trying to adapt new lyrics to Celine Dion's theme to Titanic than trying to seem 'hip.' During the Civil Rights Movement, Motown emerged. Great songs, no question. But the Civil Rights Movement didn't say, "Hey, we'd be 'hip' if we did 'My Guy' or 'Stop! In The Name Of Love'." The Copenhagen Freaks just wanted to be 'hip.' They lack the artistic chops to come up with anything catchy -- let alone arresting -- and they lack the brains to realize they're supposed to be reaching out. They just wanted to be superior. So all you saw and heard was shouting and anger. And blame.

But the real blame goes to those freaks who thought they were leaders. Leaders are supposed to inspire which this whacked out group confused with "perspire." Chief among the idiots Kumi Naidoo. Now before we talk about the stupidity of Naidoo, we should probably first talk about Greenpeace's stupidity. A man with no record of accomplishment in environmental issues got put into a position that is, thus far, too much for him. When you pick a president, you need to grasp he or she is your public face. Had Greenpeace grasped that, Naidoo never would have become president because, as a general rule, those who grow pelts on the side of their face are a little too 'out there' to speak to the average citizen. With Naidoo, the immediate question is: Does he shave or is he sheered?

He may have wool but there's nothing lamb-like about the man who, after Barack Obama gave his Nobel Peace Prize winning speech, declared that the escalation in Afghanistan and the continued war in Iraq could be forgotten if Barack would only address climate change. [Marcia called it out here.] Greenpeace is losing donors off of that one and that's a good thing because that s**t never should have come out of the mouth of the president of any organization. We do not okay the deaths of millions to get our own pet issue pushed through the pipeline.

It's a lesson Bono still hasn't learned. He refused to call out George W. Bush and he refused to speak out against the Iraq War. When asked why by Jann Wenner for a Rolling Stone cover story, Bono explained that his issues were important and Bush's help with those issues bought Bono's silence. That was laughable then and it's more laughable now. Bono's nothing but a joke.

Kumi Naidoo has helped turn Greenpeace into the same thing.

Jokes were really all Naomi Klein had to offer, or attempted ones. She was on Democracy Now! so much in the last two weeks, she was practically Kelly Rippa to Goody's Regis. Not that the overexposure made Naomi generous with other guests. Thursday, she was pretending she really didn't want to be back on again while sharing a segment with French reporter Jade Lindgaard.

For someone who didn't want to be on, she certainly monopolized the segment. Lindgaard managed to get out 213 words while Naomi yacked away for 851. That's basically four times as many words. (It's one word over four times for those doing the math.)

All those words, she must have had something to say, right? The Obama administration had come up with a proposal. Whether you like the proposal or not (Naomi didn't), it came from the Obama administration. We grasp that Naomi hates all women (she's made that increasingly clear) and possibly she truly believes that women go 'rouge' -- a term she snorts out whenever speaking of Sarah Palin; however, Hillary Clinton doesn't make policy. If the US is proposing leading on a $100 billion effort, Hillary didn't decide that morning, while putting on her make up, "You know Barack wants me to announce ___ in Copenhagen, but I think instead, I'll just create a $100 billion proposal."

Naomi ripped apart the proposal and ripped apart Clinton. Like the roots she hails from, she naturally avoided ripping apart Barry Obama.

When Barack won the 2008 election, Naomi told Matthew Rothschild (The Progressive), "Well, I made a really conscious choice that I was going to enjoy the night." She wasn't, she explained, going to listen to 'downer' friends who noted he was just another Corporatist War Hawk. And Naomi's 'positive thinking' (willful blindness) continues to this day. As does her never ending sexism. In the interview with Matty Roth, Naomi's blustering (while stroking herself?) about Lawrence Summers and, like many a Blue Dog gas bag, insulting the p.c. movement. She's offended, oh, let's let her tell it:

But to me it's just shocking -- and I know we shouldn't be shocked -- that Larry Summers is [a leading economic adviser]. And even more shocking to me -- and I don't know how to say this in a politically correct way -- is that the main thing that people are objecting to is what Summers said at Harvard about women's aptitude in science. It was an offensive thing to say, and he lost his job for it. But that, to me, is so much less of a crime than the fact that he was the main architect in Treasury for the shock therapy in Russia that impoverished sixty million people --and did a lot of harm to women.

You can be sure if Lawrence Summers had said that African-American males weren't able to do math because of genetic deficiencies, Naomi would take the remark seriously. Instead, it's 'just women' and insults of women and discrimination against women never really matter to Naomi Klein.

In that regard, she truly is the face of the Faux Left.

Imagine a real left, a left that gave a damn about ending the Iraq War? Such a left might decide, "Forget Copehagen, let's go demonstrate in London." Certainly, it was always known that nothing would be accomplished in the big Denmark meet-up (something even Nicole Colson appears to admit at US Socialist Worker). Naomi and her band of cry babies (perfectly captured by a woman who told Amy Goodman she was there so that developing countries would know people like her cared about the issue -- give her a gold star!) hoped to top Seattle 1999 but they couldn't even manage to recreate it. That's what tends to happen with stage managed 'actions' as opposed to real demonstrations.


So Amy Goodman wasted two weeks of everyone's time and no one learned about Blair's remarks or the Iraq Inquiry and Barack's BigBusinessGiveAway (posing as health care reform) came ever closer to passing. Goody had no time last week for Howard Dean or any of the opponents of the Big Giveaway. But, segment after segment, she did have time to pretend she was addressing global warming.

If you're unhappy with the US policy on global warming, you better blame the person in charge. And despite the lunatic ravings of Naomi Klein on Goody's show, Hillary Clinton is not the president of the United States. Though Naomi could screech ("screech" is the only word for it) that Hillary was attempting to "blackmail" developing countries -- "naked blackmail" at that, the offer was the one that the administration wanted proposed. But there was never time to call out the person responsible. Goody offered lots of 'love' segments for Barack. She just didn't hold him accountable. It's not an accident, it's intentional. It happened with his 'surge' speech (as we documented before) and it'll continue to happen. And don't expect any movement in this country when 'left' 'leaders' are too cowed to call out a sitting president. Expect people to continue being Naomi Klein Zombies, wandering around in a daze, having "made a really conscious choice that I was going to enjoy the night."
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