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July 3, 2005 - Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

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World's Laziest Journalist

July 4, 2005

By Bob Patterson


One of Hunter Thompson's sayings was:  "Buy the ticket; take the ride."  It means that when the rollercoaster ride pulls out, you have to stay in your seat until the ride is over.


We wonder if Thompson's recent death was meant to be a repudiation of his own philosophy.  He did not seem to like the Bush Junta, and it seems he didn't want to see where it was going to take him and the country.


Last year, a website run by the Columbia School of Journalism assessed the Mainstream Media's (MSM) coverage of the presidential election and found some deficiencies.  After the election, the site has continued with more material on the subject they know best. 


There's an old adage about changing the things you can - and taking the ride with the others that can't be modified or upgraded.  The president has been elected to serve a four-year term and is well known for his adherence to Horton the Elephant's philosophy about not changing his mind.  Maybe the CJR Daily crew could, at least, nudge the newspaper folks into something akin to a "mid-course correction" and urge them to cover some things that ought to be considered in the MSM, in an effort to make up for past deficiencies in performance?


Does the fact that after a Democrat does something that Karl Rove would disapprove of all the conservative talk show hosts (who tout rugged individualism) respond as if they are reading from the same mimeographed press release, sound a bit suspicious?


The big publications (before their news budget shrinks to Zilch) should have a college history professor look at the paradigm for a great country's path when suffering the "decline and fall" syndrome.  Aren't there some sure signs that things are going wrong which a good college history professor could outline?  Then the intrepid reporter could then look around the world today and see if there is a world leader falling into such an ominous modus operandi?  (Isn't one of the hallmarks reckless military adventures?)  Political commentators can find a source for apropos quotes from Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire online and get some eloquent lines that are still very relevant today.


Before the first war with Iraq, during the Bush I reign, the government paid millions to PR firms to create some enthusiasm for the potential conflict.  Those PR firms didn't run ads in Time or Newsweek.  The money had to go somewhere.  Wasn't that when some conservative talk show radio hosts were experiencing a meteoric rise in their careers?  Are those two items connected?  Are all of this country's investigative reporters up to their elbows in good story ideas?


If you can believe stuff you read on the Internet: both Osama and members of the Bush family belonged to the Carlyle Group.  Bush's loyalty to his fellow members of the Skull and Bones society is well reported.  Does he feel the same about folks in the Carlyle group even if they were (reportedly) asked to remove themselves from the group after 9/11?


Everyone does a knee-jerk reaction when someone says Halliburton - they say the name Dick Cheney.  Shouldn't some of the aforementioned investigative reporters do some feature stories on the president's grandfather, Prescott Bush, and Dresser Industries and say what company Dresser merged with in the late 1990's?


Saddam Huessin was declared to be a modern day Hitler.  Why couldn't Dubya do business with Saddam?  Didn't his grandfather, Prescott, do business with Fritz Thyssen, who in turn had close connections to the German leader in the thirties, who was literally a Hitler?  If Prescott did business with Fritz Thyssen, why couldn't Dubya do business with Saddam? 


Edmond Gibbon wrote:  "Of the various forms of government which have prevailed in the world, an hereditary monarchy seems to present the fairest scope for ridicule."  Didn't Seymour Hersh write an article in the New Yorker in 1993 which gave some credence to the contention from platoon of tinfoil hat folks that the fall of Saddam was just an episode of Family Feud in the desert?


Who was in charge of security at the World Trade Center?  Was there a Kuwait connection?  Was there a Bush family connection?


If Jeb runs in 2008 will the Main Stream Media ignore Broward Savings and Loan as a courtesy and only mention it after he wins?  Will the CJR daily let them do that?


When they show movies at the White House do they ever select Lawrence Kasdan's 1985 movie Silverado starring Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, and Kevin Costner?


What is newsworthy?  Did it seem odd that there was a great deal of coverage of a religious speaker in the New York area because it might be his last appearance in that area and then it ended with the guy hinting he might come back again?  Isn't he best known for hanging out with various presidents?


[Let's quote Gibbon again: "It is incumbent on us diligently to remember that the kingdom of heaven was promised to the poor in spirit, and that minds afflicted by calamity and the contempt of mankind cheerfully listen to the divine promise of future happiness; while, on the contrary, the fortunate are satisfied with the possession of this world… ."]


The supermarket tabloid publications used to inform their readers what a voice stress analyzer would indicate when notable figures gave a speech as far as indications of veracity were concerned.  Now, aren't those analyzers being sold to parents for use during the heart to heart conversations with their kids about the use of drugs?  Why did those tabloids drop the use of those analyzers?  Wouldn't it have been interesting if they had used them during the run-up to the "Shock and Awe" TV specials?


The big news media have employed a brigade of military advisers to help evaluate the news events during the war in Iraq.  The FBI inaugurated the use of profilers.  Why can't any of the Main Stream Media hire a competent psychologist with some profiling experience to evaluate some folks in news?  Maybe they would be able to accurately assess if someone was or was not a fibber?  Wouldn't it be very interesting to see them used as part of Extra's Rumor Control?


The president has said that there will be no timetable for a pullout from Iraq, but wouldn't it be more accurate to say that, as things now stand, the terrorists won't have to be re-elected in 2008, and Bush is scheduled to step down?  Couldn't that be a strong selling point for urging a repeal of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution? 


On August 6, this year, someone is bound to do an update on the judge, Joseph Force Crater, who went missing in New York seventy-five years ago.  So if old information can still be relevant today, why hasn't anyone recently done a review of It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis?


A few weeks back, on the Chris Matthews show on NBC, the host asked his guests what advise Karl Rove might give to a Republican candidate who hopes to win the presidency in 2008.  The conversation quickly veered away from that topic in a new direction and they left that question unanswered.


Why doesn't the press give folks a heads up in that regard?  Doesn't Rove prefer to keep the promises vague and incontestable and repeat them over and over and then to attack the opposing candidate on the basis of his/her main selling point?  


How would that philosophy apply to… let's use Hilary Clinton as a hypothetical example.  They would say that a woman couldn't lead the military, especially if the insurgents are still active in Iraq.  They would subtly indicate that a real man wouldn't vote for a woman in times of peril.  They would not condone the attack that some independent group, like for instance the imaginary Swift Boat Lesbians for Truth, might recklessly bandy about.  They would, however, say that the candidate, at times comes across as shrill and hint that that was equivocal to borderline hysteria.


One of the conservative talk show hosts, Laura Ingraham, not only indicated that would be one of the main talking points, she even, in the spirit of good sportsmanship, advised any potential woman candidate how to avoid that issue.  Laura informed any Democrat listening, that men when they raise their voice can sound strong, but when women raise their voice, they tend to sound shrill.  Laura further noted that if a woman wishes to emphasis a point, they should lower their voices to underscore the importance of a particular point, and not try to get it across by yelling.


Maybe one of these weeks, before the first Tuesday in November of 2008, Chris's posse will get around to answering the question they have raised.


Speaking of a strong voice, is it true that Enrico Caruso was in San Francisco when the big quake hit and was so traumatized by it, that he couldn't sing or speak for a while afterwards? 


Do you believe the Internet report that Bryan Frances is working on a book about skepticism?


Just above Sunset's beloved editor and publisher, Alan, has hinted that if this columnist would change from the usual basic helmet of tinfoil to the traditional printer's hats made of the same material, it would subtly be more apropos for a columnist.


Is there some significance to the fact that, in Bartlett's Quotations, there is no entry that uses the word "paranoia"?


Howard Hughes has been quoted on the Internet as saying: "I'm not a paranoid deranged millionaire. Goddamit, I'm a billionaire."


Now, if the disk jockey will play the song Paranoia Will Destroy Ya, by the group called Swollen Members, we'll use the secret passage way to slip out of here.  Maybe we will appear suddenly in your midst again next week with a column that asks the question: "What could Democrats possibly learn about politics in a Rape prevention class?"  Until then, have a week that's top secret and confidential.




Copyright 2005 – Robert Patterson

Email the author at worldslaziestjournalist@yahoo.com



Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
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