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Monday, November 12, 2012

News vs Opinion

I think the first step in solving America’s problems is to rid ourselves of pundits of every persuasion.  A lot of people don’t seem to know this but there is a huge difference between opinion and news. A message to all of the blowhards on television: stop giving us your opinion and go out there and do some actual reporting. Fox News and MSNBC could vanish today and the country would be a lot better off without them both. They are two sides of a fake coin that promises news but delivers churlish narrow-mindedness and very little in the way of context. Citizens aren’t provided with facts; they are simply told how they should think about a particular tidbit of ephemeral trivia.

The problem is we now expect to be entertained by the news. We have been herded into two camps which for many people has no relationship with where their personal interests lie. We now have dozens and dozens of “news” programs which do absolutely no reporting or investigating. A lot of this began with the onset of “news” bloggers. I would venture to say that there has never been a blogger who has ever done anything remotely similar to reporting. How can you be a journalist when you never leave your computer?

What I find completely hilarious are these professional opinion givers who take so many completely contradictory position as if there is no such thing as history, that no one will know that they held a completely opposite view only months or weeks ago. Pundits are paid to give opinions yet most of them, most of the time, give opinions that I wouldn’t accept if they paid me to read them.  And how valuable could your opinion be if you are on both sides of so many important issues that we’ve stopped counting. Two of the most egregious offenders of flip-flopping are Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan.  Both were cheerleaders for Bush’s failed wars and now magically have done an about –face. Sullivan is a gay man who advocates for the Catholic Church. I doubt there could be a less principled man in our public news theater.

So whether you call yourself a pundit, or a news analyst, or an editorialist just stop what you are doing, change careers, and become journalists.

Politics has even poisoned people’s opinions of movies. I came cross this odd little pissing match at www.imdb.com about the film Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden. I felt compelled to write my own review in defense of this fine film. 

Like most Americans I was interested in seeing a film version of the operation which led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Before I watched this film I looked here at IMDB and was discouraged by the low rating. It seemed that this movie was a real piece of crap. I read a couple of reviews which totally ripped it. I started watching the movie and liked it immediately and wondered if it was going to turn horrible at any second. With the movie on pause looked at all of the reviews. There were only ten and nine of them panned the movie and said the worst things imaginable about everything from the acting to the film locations.

It was blatantly obvious that the poor reviews were politically motivated and had everything to do with the fact that one of the heroes of the story is our president, Barack Hussein Obama. The movie also touches on the fact that President Bush basically allowed Bin Laden to slip through our fingers at Tora Bora. Most of the assholes giving this movie a bad review have no other reviews. This means they created an account just to slam the movie.

America won one, folks. We did something right for a change after eight years of Bush making a mess out of our military. These reviews illustrate how some people have become completely unhinged mentally because of their moronic political views. Our president made a momentous and incredibly risky decision to carry out the raid. I think every sane person in this country can agree that his judgment was impeccable.

The movie itself is very good. Some of the other idiots trashing it have the lamest of complaints. The film wasn't filmed in Pakistan was one of the things mentioned in more than one review as something inexcusable. Pakistan is a not exactly a friendly place for an American film crew and especially one making a movie about the killing of OBL. Some other idiot complained that it wasn't a good "storyline." What? It's about the planning and operation that killed OBL. What better storyline could an action movie fan ask for?Maybe the people who don't like this movie should go back to Saudi Arabia.

The men of the SEAL team are depicted as the bad-asses that they are and I'm quite sure they don't have a problem with the movie. They deserve the credit and honor the film bestows upon them. Obama also deserves a lot of credit and this operation, as the film shows, was hardly a slam dunk. It was taken at great risk but I think that in hindsight only a bitter, right-wing ideologue would say that it was worth the risk. Our CIA and military pulled off one of the great missions of modern warfare. The Israelis will be studying us for a change. So suck it up, conservative nut-jobs. 

1 comment:

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