Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Surfing the Ministry of Truth

I'll confess it's been awhile since I watched the cable news nets - nearly two months. This afternoon, I was actually hoping to get an update on what was going on in Asia. Slap me and call me silly. Here's what I saw in roughly 1/2 hour of channel surfing:

CNN: Judy Woodruff was gushing over Bush being picked as the "most admired American". I didn't stick around to see what the hell was up with that. As I clicked the remote, my head was swimming: most admired for what? For skipping out on his National Guard duty? For smirkingly executing hundreds of prisoners on death row during his term as Texas Governor? For eschewing "nation building" in his first presidential run, knowing full well his administration was planning to do just that if he was elected? Turning a major government budget surplus into a historic deficit in less than 3 years? (Yes, he did that in 2003, and again in 2004.) Sending over 1300 American men and women (and countless thousands of Iraqi civilians) to their untimely deaths for a lie? Yeah, I guess there's a lot to admire there, Judy.

CNBC: I'm not familiar with the blow dried bimbo who was anchoring Closing Bell this afternoon, but she had economist and op-ed guy Paul Krugman on the show. Krugman was trying, over all of her protestations, to explain in simple, clear terms why potential Social Security issues were, at best, a distant third in terms of priority if BushCo was looking at the big picture. The deficit was number one, followed by Medicare / Medicaid, and then (maybe) Social Security. The bimbette kept trying to trap Krugman into saying that SS was a problem, using old figures and absolute worst case scenarios, but Krugman was having none of it. He took the bimbette to school, basically. She asked repeatedly why he didn't think the deficit could be halved in 4 years. He kept telling her to do the simple math. When the segment was over, it was like she finally gave up - Krugman did a stellar job of bitchslapping the bimbo.

MSGOP: Does anyone still watch this network? Why? They were prattling on and on about this past weekend's airline woes, and how sucky the airlines have become. Yeah, I think that justifies the (at least) five minutes worth of my life that I wasted watching Fox-verylite. 50,000+ people dead, and I'm watching folks whine about lost luggage.

Fox: Neil Cavuto's on vacation, so the heavyset dude with the Aussie accent was doing the show. He was worse than Cavuto; unfortunately, no barf bags were immediately available in my kitchen. He and a panel of UN-bashers weren't discussing the calamity of 50,000+ killed in the tsunami, and the obvious humanitarian crisis that builds by the hour, but spent their time lambasting the U.N. spokesperson who said the U.S. was "stingy" in it's relief response to the crisis. It was all well planned - the charts and graphs that compared (basically) apples to oranges in terms of relief efforts had obviously kept some graphics guy up all night last night. I'm betting that the later Fox shows actually lay total waste to the unfortunate U.N. spokesperson.

Now you know why I haven't even thought about watching broadcasts from the Ministry of Truth for a couple of months. It may be even longer before the next time that I chance surfing through Maximum Leader's cable outlets.

Ok, after all of that, I still came back to the web to search for updates on the disaster. The death toll is up over 52,000 right now, and word is that the toll could easily double in the coming days. I'm hoping that tonight's BBC newscast gives me some real info.

And I couldn't let this commentary pass without at least one more parting shot -- as I kind of expected, the "end-timers" are picking up on the tsunami theme as another indicator of the approaching apocalypse (google "Luke 21:25" if you don't believe me). They're waiting for the mothership to arrive at any moment. You can peek into the end-timers take on this event here, here, here, here, here, and here. Oh, and just in case you were wondering: the Rapture Index is now at 155. Ahem.

Jack Van Impe's show this weekend promises to be a high-octane, olde tyme fire and brimstone gas. (For those of you unfamiliar with Van Impe, he's one of the original four horsemen of the apocalypse, and is only about 1/2 step to the left of the late Marshall Applewhite.)