Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Fake News Follies

I apologize that lately the ITscout Blog has been filled with much blather about such non-IT topics as BS artists (see "How Much of EA is BS?") and celebrity worship (see "Celebrity Power"). In my defense, I did have gallbladder surgery this past Friday and ever since have been heavily medicated on Percocet. While Percocet has been a terrific pain killer, one of its more unpleasant side effects has been that it makes me a bit more mean and nasty than usual. So, please try and bear with me as I recover from my operation.

In the course of my complaining, some of my more venemous remarks were directed at cable news shows, especially those broadcast by CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. By contrast, there is one news program, albeit one that specializes in fake news, that deserves special recognition for its superior broadcast journalism. I'm talking, of course, about Comedy Central's "Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
The Daily Show's cutting edge humor coupled with its insightful reporting style provides a perspective on explaining what's happening in today's world that's unmatched by any other news source anywhere. For instance, take a look at the conversation below between Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart and correspondent Stephen Colbert discussing the recent Michael Jackson verdict:
Jon Stewart

The trial is over. Michael Jackson has been acquitted. What's the overall lesson we should learn from this case?

Stephen Colbert

If you're planning to commit a crime, California is the place to do it. The DA's are functionally retarded and the juries won't convict anyone.

O.J. Simpson had the means, motive, and her blood was on his glove. He got off.

Robert Blake. 'I went back into the restaurant to get my gun' was his alibi. He got off.

They had videotapes of cops beating up Rodney King. The cops walked so the people rioted.

The rioters beat up another guy. They were videotaped. They walked.

I'll tell you, Jon, the only way to get convicted of a crime in Southern California is if you commit the crime in front of the jury.

Jon Stewart

Why is it so difficult for district attorneys to get convictions out in Los Angeles?

Stephen Colbert

It's simple. Brain drain, Jon. It's LA. All the really good prosecutors and detectives are working as consultants on the three 'CSIs' and four 'Law and Orders.'

For another example of the Daily Show's brilliance, read the following dialog between Jon Stewart and his guest Kenneth Timmerman, author of "Countdown to a Crisis."
Kenneth Timmerman

Iran is a confirmed terroist state. They've been murdering Americans for twenty years. They've been murdering them in Lebanon, in Saudi Arabia, and today they're murdering Americans through the insurgency in Iraq. And now they're on the verge of developing a nuclear arms capability. This is the cocktail from hell.

Jon Stewart

This is the argument made about Iraq. So, in essence, they [the Bush administration] were only one letter off.

Kenneth Timmerman

Iran has much closer ties to Al-Queda. I have credible evidence of eyewitness accounts that meetings took place before 9/11 inside Iran between top Iranian regime officials and bin Laden's son, and bin Laden's #2 in command. They were planning 9/11 together in Iran.


Blogger Abid said...

I was just researching the issue, and realized something that’s just unbelievable…Timmerman and Diaoleslam are straight-up creating lies about the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and Parsi (its president)…as an international affairs student, I wrote a paper on them once…and when I was looking for information about Parsi on the web, I came across not one site linking Parsi or his organization to the regime in Tehran (from what it looks like to me, he’s really against it)…But I did some research on Diaoleslam…a colleague of Timmerman (both writers tried to defame Parsi in their respective articles)…and turns out this guy (Diaoleslam) is a member of a terrorist group named MEK, and that this group is on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations…What the hell? How are these guys pointing the finger at NIAC? Parsi and NIAC are pretty much the only voice of reason and peace among all the crazies…They seem to me like they represent the voice of ordinary Iranian Americans who don’t want to see their neighbors and friends in America die in war (Iraq, anybody???), and at the same time they don’t want their family members killed in Iran…But Timmerman and Diaoleslam, in their articles…seem to be the extremists, advocating for war. Crazy. BTW…here’s a link I found to NIAC’s response: http://www.niacouncil.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=744&Itemid=59

11:30 AM  

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