Reporters ask the tough question
August 5, 2006 4:39 PM   Subscribe

Journalism. There have been lots of complaints in the US about reporters not asking the tough questions, especially when they contradict the prevailing view, or the current administration's view. Here are some reporters who won't accept a weasel answer.
posted by caddis (52 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's not necessarily about agreeing with the reporters or not, but about the lack of tough questions on tough issues. The powers in control here in the US seem to have either cow towed the media or at least been able to avoid addressing the tough questions without repercussions. Helen Thomas was once feared by Presidents, now she is ignored and no one seems to care. These reporters may not be "fair and balanced" but they have tenacity, kind of like if Jon Stewart did the real news without comedy.
posted by caddis at 4:39 PM on August 5, 2006


Right, these people have no bias. They're just after "the facts." *sigh* I dont know whose worse, big media or the conformist "free thinker" crowd. The antidote to fox news is not fox news with the opposite spin.
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 4:47 PM on August 5, 2006


They shouldn't ask these questions! Quick! Quick! Delete this post! AHHHHH!!!
posted by geoff. at 4:51 PM on August 5, 2006


One-sided, lame.
posted by gsteff at 4:53 PM on August 5, 2006


Right, these people have no bias. They're just after "the facts." *sigh* I don't know whose worse, big media or the conformist "free thinker" crowd.

I don't know it was actually pretty shocking to hear a newsperson take a hard line on the israeli/lebanon situation. I can't imagine someone asking a question like that in the US. It's weird watching Anderson Cooper in Israel talking about "Daring" Israeli raids and so forth.
posted by delmoi at 4:58 PM on August 5, 2006


The antidote to fox news is not fox news with the opposite spin.

"Equivocation is a logical fallacy. It is committed when someone uses the same word in different meanings in an argument, implying that the word means the same each time around."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:59 PM on August 5, 2006


That said though, asking "tough questions" to PR people and ambassadors isn't really that interesting. I mean, they just stick to their talking points and divert.
posted by delmoi at 5:00 PM on August 5, 2006


From the link: "The reality: Millions of Americans are aware that US foreign policy has been hijacked by the Israeli War Party - and they cannot get their voices heard because of US media news censorship."

To save you the time: this is a one-link FPP, which contains four videos with the perspective above. Two feature reporters questioning Israeli representatives, the other two have nothing to do with journalists.

My prediction: those who have come out strongly against Israel in previous posts will defend this, those who have defended Israel will hate it, and Matt will delete it because it is a lame one-sided post with a misleading description.
posted by blahblahblah at 5:02 PM on August 5, 2006


One-sided, lame.

Sigh. Jeez, gsteff, can't you see that it's not about "sides" but rather about a vigilant press hounding whoever is in power--left or right--to keep us, the people, informed.

Remember: "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. " Thomas Jefferson was right.

I'd expect a committed fourth estate to press Clinton just as strongly as Bush the Lesser. No sides about it.
posted by John of Michigan at 5:04 PM on August 5, 2006


By the way, that first video, John Snow I think. What's up with that absurd desk and table. It looks like he thinks he's the emperor of the universe or something. And that crazy camera angle, creating such a distance between the subject and the interviewer. Very weird.
posted by delmoi at 5:06 PM on August 5, 2006


Ken lay, gsteff:

Questions that the person agrees with are not hard questions.

That Devil's Advocacy is one-sided doesn't necessarily make it spin or lame. When those people are given a chance to openly respond to nasty questions that many are thinking but not saying, and thus defend themselves, that's pretty useful. If they use that opportunity to try to weasel out of the question, that's also useful.

Condeming this sort of thing as one-sided is like saying a court prosecutor should be ignored because he wasn't as sympathetic to the defendand as the defense counsel.

If a lawyer was unbiased and did not engage in spin, the trial would be useless, and the judge could not come to an adequately-informed decision.

Not all media needs to be adversarial, but there needs to be some. And the US doesn't have it.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:07 PM on August 5, 2006


When was the last time a US president was interrogated in this manner?

When Bush did an interview in the UK a year ago, and didn't expect a real interview, and afterwards, proceedure was changed to ensure it would never happen again.

When was the last time the UK Prime Minister was interrogated in this manner? Last week. When will the next time be? This week.

The US needs to treat its top politicians like the slimey civil servants that politicians generally are, not the current culture where they are celebrities with whom it is an honour to talk too and a good career move to play softball with.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:13 PM on August 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


blahblahblah, the questions may be about Israel, but the interesting part is not the issue being discussed but how the issued is discussed with the press. These guys (in the first two videos) push back when they hear a weasel answer. That is refreshing.
posted by caddis at 5:18 PM on August 5, 2006


Those are good points, JoM and harlequin. I'm turned off by the page, not the interviews. Having now watched them all, the videos are impressive, and definitely a contrast to American cable news. I'll stand corrected.
posted by gsteff at 5:20 PM on August 5, 2006


One-sided, lame.

One sided? Israel is one-sided. Over the years, it has morphed from victim to defender, to ruthless aggressor, to war criminal. Since these latest bombings, I've lost all sympathy for their "cause" which I see now as nothing but a shameless excuse for ethnic cleansing.
posted by chance at 5:25 PM on August 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


When was the last time a US president was interrogated in this manner?

How soon they forget...

Bill Clinton was hounded for 8 years by the media, who resorted to making stuff up about him (NY Times/Whitewater for starters). Why? He was an outsider who tried to empower the non-ruling class.

The Washington press corp suddenly acted as if he was the first politician who'd ever had an affair- while previously looking the other way when it came to Bush I's mistress.
posted by wfc123 at 5:30 PM on August 5, 2006


By the way, that first video, John Snow I think. What's up with that absurd desk and table. It looks like he thinks he's the emperor of the universe or something. And that crazy camera angle, creating such a distance between the subject and the interviewer. Very weird.

delmoi, that's just the way the Channel 4 news studio is set up, whether Snow (bless his terrible ties and unorthodox socks) is quizzing an Israeli Ambassador or the MP for Tower Hamlets.

If you want to see some real adversarial UK News interviewing, you need to see some Jeremy Paxman. Paxman asks then-Home Secretary Michael Howard the same question 12 times in a row. Bonus footage: Paxman takes on Ann Coulter, and leaves her flummoxed. ("Your publishers gave us chapter one [of your book], Ann Coulter. I've read it. Does it get any better?")
posted by Len at 5:32 PM on August 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


The breadth of American news is a Geraldo-esque media circus of ratings-focused jackholes who do their best to fool you twats into thinking you live in a leading country. Your news media is a farce. I believe you once had something like real journalism, but it's long gone now.

It's been a decades-long decline and, as a result, you've ended up with a Bush.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:35 PM on August 5, 2006


Yes, I've been living in Britain, and reporters here are like terriers with politicians, no matter what party. John Humphries (BBC Radio 4) regularly grills politicians and public figures of all stripes - none are let off easy. Even when he hosts Mastermind, he grills the contestants!

The page was perhaps not the best way to display this. North American reporters are softest on our own politicians, and there are many examples that could be found of this. Canadian reporters are not yet as kid gloved as American, but they are getting increasingly so. It's so strange, since I think many Americans would believe that theirs is a culture which does not like to kow-tow to authority, but having lived and consumed media in Canada, the States and Britain, the American media seems loathe stand up to politicians. The job of reporters is not just to let each side tell their stories, regardless of fact, but to get at the truth. Democracy needs this, desparately.
posted by jb at 5:37 PM on August 5, 2006


Y'know, the greatest favour Americans could do for themselves is live outside the USA for a while. The more I learn about how America operates, the more appalled I am that the citizenry puts up with it. I think it's because they mostly don't realize that there are other ways of doing things.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:40 PM on August 5, 2006


caddis: the questions may be about Israel, but the interesting part is not the issue being discussed but how the issued is discussed with the press. These guys (in the first two videos) push back when they hear a weasel answer. That is refreshing.

Come on, caddis, how can you say that this post isn't about Israel, but instead is about journalism? There are tons of examples of the British press "pushing back," see Len's post above, or the Syrian ambassador, or this interview with the head of Hamas (in 2004):

KM: We are not targeting civilians and we are not targeting children. From the beginning the Palestinian resistance was focusing on military targets and on settlers
TS: So the suicide bombs on buses aren't for civilians? The children and women who die on buses? I don't notice the suicide bombers allowing civilians off the bus before they blow it up.

The page you chose is obviously not the only, or best example (2 out of the 4 videos are not even related to the topic), and instead goes on to talk about the "Israel War Party" controlling the US. It is fine, if that was the debate you wanted to start, but saying there is no agenda here seems silly. We can discuss the US vs. British press without making the only example a site referring to the undefined Israel War Party as the universal censor, can't we?
posted by blahblahblah at 5:43 PM on August 5, 2006


those are good too, thanks
posted by caddis at 5:48 PM on August 5, 2006


ifamericansknew.org was founded by Alison Weir, who wrote "Britain's Royal Families", "The Six Wives of Henry VIII", "Children of England", "Eleanor of Aquitaine" and "Henry VIII: King and Court". I'm not sure that makes her qualified.

From the first video: "What do you need to bomb a power station for?" Umm...DUH!!!

The third video is complete bullshit with "Amazing Grace" as the background music.

As was said, "There's a really simple solution: Give us back our two soldiers and stop firing rockets at us."
posted by sluglicker at 6:06 PM on August 5, 2006


Sluglicker, different Alison Weirs.

The historian is quite good, actually. The activist who runs the anti-Israel site has no formal qualifications, as far as I know.
posted by blahblahblah at 6:10 PM on August 5, 2006


Oops! Thanks for the correction.
posted by sluglicker at 6:22 PM on August 5, 2006


"What do you need to bomb a power station for?" Umm...DUH!!!

Um, you think there is a reason that is not collective punishment (which the man was trying to deny)?

I think the journalist's argument was much stronger on that one than the answer given - that cover of darkness would, if anything, aid smuggling more than hinder it, therefore the stated reason was dubious at best.

Am I missing something? Or are you saying it's obvious that collective punishment was the reason and the man was just trying to weasel out of admitting this?
posted by -harlequin- at 6:38 PM on August 5, 2006


Watching that video led me to another set of videos, with Ann Coulter getting a hard time from Hannity & Colmes on Fox News of all places. Part 1, Part 2.
posted by kfx at 6:53 PM on August 5, 2006


Remember: "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. " Thomas Jefferson was right.

I think that says more about Jefferson's commendable opinion of government than about his opinion of the media — he also said, "Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper," and "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
posted by IshmaelGraves at 7:21 PM on August 5, 2006


The fourth video had some more heavy-weights concerned about the Israel issue. There are some legitimate concerns about US policy.
posted by stbalbach at 7:24 PM on August 5, 2006


Why? He was an outsider who tried to empower the non-ruling class.

Hahahahaha... oh man... good one.

"What do you need to bomb a power station for?" Umm...DUH!!!

What the fuck is wrong with you? Yeah, I guess it does make things a little harder for whoever the enemy is supposed to be in Lebanon. Guess what, so does water. Better stop the water supply too, so those evil terrrists can't whet their whistles. Moron. That, or your Duh meant something else, in which case, my apologies, but you should clarify.
posted by odinsdream at 7:51 PM on August 5, 2006


"Bill Clinton was hounded for 8 years by the media"

Y'know, I think Rove has managed to change the rules of the game, and I think future political advisors will take note.

Today, people know that if you hit this administration hard enough to get noticed, they will fucking bury you, and there is nothing you will be able to do to save yourself.

If I was a journalist with a family to feed and payments to make, and a career built labouriously over 20 years of hard work, I'd be sorely tempted to be a spineless gutless worm too. :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 7:54 PM on August 5, 2006


@-harlequin-
Um, wtf does "collective punishment" mean and who exactly coined that phrase? The "DUH!" refered to the fact that bridges, dams, roads, railways...and power stations...are actual strategic targets.

@stbalbach
In the video, there is no explanation as to why an explosion occured. That usually means that the explanation would not support the point the propagandist was trying to make. The woman might have lived if a) the soldiers were allowed into the home to evacuate her and give her medical treatment [they were denied entry and were forced to blow the door off its hinges] and b) the husband didn't stand in the doorway denying access to the injured woman for an indeterminate amount of time.
posted by sluglicker at 8:01 PM on August 5, 2006


Today, people know that if you hit this administration hard enough to get noticed, they will fucking bury you, and there is nothing you will be able to do to save yourself.


You only get punished if you lack the courage, and your organization lacks the courage, to stand up to such attempts. Burying implies consent by the media to agree to such tactics. The Brits seem not to have bought into it. Our legal protections on free speech may be broader, especially in the area of libel, yet the real protections of free speech in the press may not be due to variations in the market.
posted by caddis at 8:28 PM on August 5, 2006


I only watched a bit of the John Snow piece, and then all of the fourth story, from CBC's Neil Macdonald.

I am very happy with CBC, even though they have some problems, they do try. There are some brilliant journalists on their staff.

I've also lived, off and on, in the United States, probably for a sum of three years, and I don't understand how anything ever functions there. Without an internet connection, only depending on the television media and the newspapers (not that I really see anyone ever reading any of them), I would be living in a complete fantasy. Well, not a fantasy, I suppose, just a very specific selection of totally benign facts.

We could do with 50 or 60 more Keith Olbermanns and Jon Stewarts.
posted by blacklite at 8:48 PM on August 5, 2006


Some of y'all seem to be conflating Exhibit #1, which is about Israel's attacks on the Gaza strip after one soldier was kidnapped/captured, with Exhibit #2, which is about the Israeli bombing of a building housing Lebanese civilian refugees in Qana, Lebanon, after two soldiers were kidnapped/captured.

It seems to me that in both cases, Israel is warring on the general populace. They're working the West Bank, too.
posted by taosbat at 8:48 PM on August 5, 2006


Oh, and about American journalism...well, it helps to have the internets...and to use them for something besides music downloads.
posted by taosbat at 8:51 PM on August 5, 2006


Regarding the first link, with the John Snow interview. That was not good journalism, that was just Bill O'Reilly of the other side. That's not what we need.
posted by iconjack at 9:15 PM on August 5, 2006


Ugh. Yet again I'll say it.

This is not about politics. It's about corporate spin.

It's not journalism. It's economics.

It's not about votes. It's about money.

This is about both the big G (Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah: pick one) and the little g (gold, oil, 'corporate funding': pick one). It's about bastards in places of power who are trying to serve two masters.

It's stupid eternal game of blood sport. the 'holy land' is the goal. Right now, Israel has the ball, and the muslims are gonna constantly try to take it from them. Eventually they may succeed, at which point, it will be up to the jewish side to be on the offensive and take it back. They've been at this for millenia. There's no sensible questions and answers here. You kidnapped our soldiers. Your soldiers were killing our people. Your people bombed our people. You bombed us first. And so on. This isn't an argument; this is contradiction.

You want journalists to ask tough questions? Here's one: Israel is surrounded by enemies, yet they remain there. Why is that? Why cling to that piece of dirt beyond all sense and reason? You can't report on this with things like truth and logic. It's not about truth and logic. It's about faith. Faith without common sense inevitably leads to bloodshed.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:54 PM on August 5, 2006


Interesting post caddis.

Reminds me of the difference between American and European waiters.

In America, a waiter is a student, actor, etc. working a temporary job.

In Europe, a waiter is a waiter.

The same is true, it seems, for newscasters. In America "journalists" are entertainers, reading and writing the news, careful not to step on anyone's toes, waiting for that "big break," in Europe journalists are in fact journalists.
posted by three blind mice at 12:10 AM on August 6, 2006


in Europe journalists are in fact journalists

they used to be journalists here too. Guard your journalism. All too many things American wend their way across the pond. I think you have expressed all too succinctly the issue and I hope that the European brand of journalism spreads this way rather than ours spreading the other way. The US has incredible freedom of expression, which our media wastes and fails to use. How sad. Someone was talking above about how they piled onto Clinton, but that was not over policy (except for his rocket attacks on al Qaeda) but more on moral grounds.

Too often anymore somone in the press will ask a tough first question but waste it by accepting without further probing the talking points non-answer. It's so Hollywood. Everyone is working off of a script and without the ad-lib and tough follow-up question real results are lost. A vigorous press is essential to freedom. We worry about our declining freedom these days. I think at least as much blame falls to the press as to the Bush administration. Because of the Internet the collapse is not complete, yet most of the Internet sites which expose the hypocrisy of the spin have a miniscule audience compared to the main stream media. In my mind it seems less the fault of corporatism in the media, which has long been an issue (think Hearst) but the failure of individual journalism which no longer seems revered. The new stars are not journalists, they are celebrities like Katie Couric. Ugghh. She's a sweetie, but I am not so sure that is what I want. Edward R. Murrow risked all to stick it to McCarthy and help bring an end to one of our darkest days. Who now has that kind of sway and guts? I doubt Couric has it in her. I doubt any of the current crop do. The people need a Johny Cochran type representing our interests - eloquent, smart, tough. Here's hoping one arises. Good night, and good luck.
posted by caddis at 12:55 AM on August 6, 2006


Regarding the first link, with the John Snow interview. That was not good journalism, that was just Bill O'Reilly of the other side. That's not what we need.

You seem to be American, so I'm guessing your opinion is based on that interview, rather than Jon Snow's work as a whole.

British journalists tend to conduct interviews in an adversarial style. The job of the interviewer is to approach the subject as if he or she were the staunchest critic of the interviewee. The interviewer will try to make sure the interviewee answers the criticisms put forward and the audience is left to decide to what extent he was able to do so.

Jon Snow is fairly good at taking this approach against anyone who comes on his program, as an example Galloway has come off quite badly against him in the past.

He's pretty much a national institution in this country, having been a figurehead for CH4/ITN since 1989 (one of the 3 big tv news companies, alongside the bbc and sky). I really don't think he's anything like Bill O'Reilly.
posted by Olli at 3:36 AM on August 6, 2006


Offtopic Correction:

The historian is quite good, actually. The activist who runs the anti-Israel site has no formal qualifications, as far as I know.

The Alison Weirs who writes Tudor History is not good. She writes popular but rather inaccurate and sensationalistic history, based on a poor reading of secondary sources. You want to read John Guy, or David Starkey or a million other actually good historians who can also write a pretty sentance. I've TA'd in Tudor History, and our students are officially not allowed to use Alison Weir, because you can't trust what she writes.

posted by jb at 4:42 AM on August 6, 2006


@-harlequin-
Um, wtf does "collective punishment" mean and who exactly coined that phrase?

posted by sluglicker at 4:01 AM GMT [!]

A very simple example of collective punishment:
Teacher : OK, who put the thumbtack on my chair? One of you did it, who was it?
Class: <silence>
Teacher : OK, well ... you're ALL staying an hour after school unless one of you owns up.

It's not a difficult concept. It's also expressly forbidden under article 33 of the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War:

Article 33

No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.

Pillage is prohibited.

Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.

posted by kaemaril at 8:04 AM on August 6, 2006


In America "journalists" are entertainers, reading and writing the news, careful not to step on anyone's toes, waiting for that "big break," in Europe journalists are in fact journalists.
posted by three blind mice


Probably quite true and an astute observation. The difference being, however, that journalists in the US are being told by the government, cooperate or face prison time.

(Well, that and the fact that a growing number of Americans don't want news that will confuse them; they want infomercials that will make them feel good about being Americans who are better than the rest of the world.)
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:20 AM on August 6, 2006


The media conglomerates are under the impression that there is more money to be made in not telling Americans the truth about their country. It's about keeping the American dream alive — and note that dreams are fantasies, not reality.

The media conglomerates appear to be right: they're hauling in the big bucks by fooling Americans.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:23 AM on August 6, 2006


(Well, that and the fact that a growing number of Americans don't want news that will confuse them; they want infomercials that will make them feel good about being Americans who are better than the rest of the world.)
posted by leftcoastbob


I think you hit the nail on the head. It seems to me that in our consumer society the duties of citizenship have all but vanished from the public consciousness.

I was struck by Ann Coulter's statement, read by Jeremy Paxman at Len's link, Paxman takes on Ann Coulter...: "...Environmentlist's energy plan is the repudiation of America and Christian destiny, which is jet skis, steak on the electric grill, hot showers and night skiing."

Christian destiny...?
posted by taosbat at 10:32 AM on August 6, 2006


Christian destiny...?
posted by taosbat


Christian destiny. (From The Daily Show)
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:03 PM on August 6, 2006


taosbat, your very own President has stated quite clearly that the greed of America must continue unabated: that there is no need for Americans to start viewing their consumption as a threat to global stability, no need for Americans to reconsider their ostentatious lifestyles while bajillions are starving, no need to worry at all about whether such is sustainable.

IOW, you suffer a monstrous marriage of Christian Destiny and American Destiny. It's proving to be a lethal combination: your country consumes and wastes more than almost all the rest of the world combined, and it's gonna kill us all.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:51 PM on August 6, 2006


@kaemaril
Yeah, I got it. See, one of the problems with war is "innocent" people are hurt or killed. That's kinda why war sucks. Taking out a power station, although it adversely affects "protected persons and their property" is not collective punishment. As I stated, it is a legitimate strategic target and Snow should not be admired for this BS question.
posted by sluglicker at 2:14 PM on August 6, 2006


sluglicker: Yes and no. If powerstations are being used solely or partly for military purposes, yes. If, on the other hand, that powerstation is being used solely for civilian purposes, no.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1):

Article 52.-General protection of civilian objects
1. Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals. Civilian objects are all objects which are not military objectives as defined in paragraph 2.

2. Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives. In so far as objects are concerned, military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military of advantage.

3. In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used.

Article 54.-Protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population
1. Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited.

2. It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.

3. The prohibitions in paragraph 2 shall not apply to such of the objects covered by it as are used by an adverse Party:

(a) As sustenance solely for the members of its armed forces; or

(b) If not as sustenance, then in direct support of military action, provided, however, that in no event shall actions against these objects be taken which may be expected to leave the civilian population with such inadequate food or water as to cause its starvation or force its movement.

4. These objects shall not be made the object of reprisals.

5. In recognition of the vital requirements of any Party to the conflict in the defence of its national territory against invasion, derogation from the prohibitions contained in paragraph 2 may be made by a Party to the conflict within such territory under its own control where required by imperative military necessity.

Though I guess you could argue that power isn't strictly a necessity for survival. Hospitals etc could disagree with that, however.
posted by kaemaril at 2:35 PM on August 6, 2006


Imagine the British at Lexington or Concord when confronted with the new Americans who, having learned a thing or two from their aboriginal brethren, hiding behind rock walls and trees and firing upon them instead of standing straight up, face-to-face, 20 strides away, and hearing one of them saying. "Can they do that?"
posted by sluglicker at 3:03 PM on August 6, 2006


Thanks for the link, leftcoastbob. I always appreciate Truthyman links. I don't have a TV.

That's a far cry from "...jet skis, steak on the electric grill, hot showers and night skiing."

Hiya, five fresh fish.

I see AC and W's thinking as maybe the logical pinnacle of Calvinism. I hadn't heard that particular bit of bald entitlement from AC's book before and it is striking. It's such an unholy conflation of vanity, greed and god.

I haven't read her books but she sounds like Ayn Rand on coke in all of the interviews I've seen.

I'm pretty unhappy that those who who think they can consume themselves into paradise feel entitled to drag the rest of us into their orgy of suicidal gluttony. I think Marx and Engels thoroughly underestimated people's slavishness and I'm not thrilled with that thought, either.

I sometimes think W is half sincere. I think AC is just cashing in on people's superstitions and knows it. Maybe that's where the viciousness comes from.

That crowd is going to be real surprised when they are confronted with the second coming of Ba‘al Zebûb. I'm just gonna' be pissed.
posted by taosbat at 4:48 PM on August 6, 2006


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