Monday, December 27, 2004

News hour

I watched tv on Christmas day - for the first time in probably since about Christmas day last year. I was the only one in the room who wanted to watch news on Christmas day. I felt like my grandfather. I just wanted to see what kind of brain-washing was on with and how different it might be from other thought-detergents. I watched fox. Very very smooth highly researched cultural propaganda. There didn't appear to be many on-site reporters.

Most of the international "stories" seemed almost devoid of journalism. There was one of Rumsfeld doing an Iraq Christmas Troop Tour, stop-offs in Mosul and Tikrit. Basically just a whole lot of speech clips from various locations run together. The Tikrit footage seemed especially strange. I can't quite put my finger on it, kind of like glimpsing an exposed seam in an almost flawlessly edited production. I think there was a spotlight on Rumsfelds face because the shadow from a flag behind him fell at odds to the highlight on his cheek and forehead. Must've been hot out there in the Tikrit sun without shade, and with spotlights. Unless he was filmed in a studio and the background spliced in later. He kept pausing - not sure if it was to let his words sink in or remember what his next line was.

After that Jim Lehrer hosted a little studio chat about the Ukraine situation with two guests. The whole thing totally rigged. Once upon a time studio chats with two guests implied two different opinions, a little debate and a bit of elbow from the host. Not here. Bruce Jackson was so totally pre-packaged pro-west/Yushchenko it was almost funny (orange tie and rote approach) while the guy who was supposed to be the legitimate eastern rep spoke in an eastern european accent with an oddly whitehouse twang. Anyway, Bruce Jackson sat there reciting rehearsed lines and the eastern rep guy sat there looking a bit alarmed and not providing much of an alternative viewpoint apart from one cryptic sentence at the beginning referring to "100 percent European production" re orange events. Jim Lehrer just read his prompts and looked tired.

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