It’s funny, in the least funny of ways, how a week that began in unspeakable tragedy unfolded into one filled with so much absurdity and journalistic malpractice, along with a truly bizarre string of unrelated events, that the actual news was often so frankly guffaw-inducing that The Onion would have a hard time topping it.
No one is particularly surprised anymore that the mainstream media turn into Mr. Magoo on meth when faced with an unfolding story; surely after the Clinton scandals, the 2000 election, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, “Climategate,” and on and on, we all just glumly expect that when it matters most, American news media can always be relied upon to to get the story not just wrong, but wrong in a forehead-slapping way that somehow, inevitably tends to redound to the benefit of the political right.
But this week, it got a little ridiculous: while we sat through one absurd and quickly debunked speculation after another solemnly “reported” as fact about the Boston bombings, actual facts managed to worm their way in on the back pages that demonstrated that teh stoopid now rules our world, and we just live in it.
Yeah, the same guys (and it almost always seems to be guys) who brought us tales of Hillary’s lesbianism and torrid affair with the vagina-deprived Vince Foster, accepted at face value Fox News somewhat unsurprisingly calling the election for W, went ape over Saddam Hussein’s WMD, breathlessly hyped nonexistent baby rapes in the Superdome, and uncritically read Exxon-Mobil press releases about the nefarious behavior of climate scientists, got another important story, well, the opposite of right, repeatedly. Yawn.
But the same sort of massive media #Fail that launched fictitious bombs, casualties, and swarthy perps into the headlines also appears to be creating a bonkers and misinformed public who actually swallow such crap, and the antics of their own brand of newsmakers at least provide a bit of comic relief, albeit unintentionally.
As I searched in vain for any credible information about the Boston tragedy, I kept seeing things that showed me just how far down the rabbit hole our media has plunged us. I suppose, when we have Supreme Court Justice (!) Antonin Scalia telling an audience we have to get rid of the Voting Rights Act (a PENDING case before the court, for those paying attention) because those danged darkies are so uppity, why wouldn’t an accused child molester lady also think she could escape suspicion by saying she thinks black kids are too icky to touch?
And when you think about it, why wouldn’t the same sort of God fearing Confederate-Americans who returned whore-mongering David Vitter to the US Senate not elect Mark Sanford to the House, even when he violated his divorce decree and paraded his new squeeze at his somewhat premature “victory” party? While we’re at it, what’s to stop an Elvis impersonator from mailing deadly toxins to the President, along with a cheery word salad for roughage?
And come to find out, it can be occasionally problematic to value property rights above all, because one of the freedoms the UN is trying to take away is the precious liberty to have an uninspected and shoddy fertilizer plant across the f*cking street from a nursing home and a block or two from a school, the latter two of which now lay in ruins, along with a sizable chunk of the undoubtedly hellish town it once graced. Shut up and pray for the victims. That ammonia you’re smelling is freedom, hippie.
Ah, Texas, where they’re so enamored of Republicans that they have a cheesy statue of George H.W. Bush in the Houston “Intercontinental” airport; they also have venal and cuckoo “justice” officials murdering each other, initially reported erroneously, natch, as a terrorist act. Of course, they had to depart from the usual storyline a little bit, since even the dumbest slack-jaw in Waco knows that the anti-gummint types tend to have a whiter hue down there.
And don’t let’s forget that the Senate just “defeated,” by a 54-46 majority, a pathetically weak gun law, even as gun nuts and kids have been mowing each other down with even more than usual regularity of late while it became glaringly apparent that the recent, sundry massacres of children and public officials had already slipped the addlepated Village mind.
I guess in the end, it’s a chicken and egg question whether the idiocy on the front pages leads to the squibs in the local roundups, but these days they seem a little, uh, related.
Photo by Lydiat under Creative Commons license