Deep thought

When a powerful person lies in public or directly to a journalist’s face, that is a noteworthy event. Also known as news. It might be worth writing about.






58 replies
  1. 1
    Joe says:

    Reporters ought to keep a truth/lie score for politicians. Then, after each person’s name, they could put something like (R-NJ, 17/35).

  2. 2
    Valdivia says:

    but it may just be a ‘fact in question’ never a lie!

  3. 3
    mclaren says:

    So sorry, Timmy, you’re just not getting it.

    “Rutherford unperson. Substitute Ogilvy. Ogilvy blog details as follows: war hero, recently killed, Malabar front. Today awarded posthumous secondary order of conspicuous merit second class.”

    [1984, George Orwell, 1948]

    That’s how the mainstream news media works today. A powerful or wealthy person who tells a lie today never spoke. Meanwhile, one of the 99% who tells the truth in public becomes a criminal guilty of slander. Ask Julian Assange if you don’t believe me.

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Ages ago I was with my family on vacation somewhere in the Caribbean. My father was a newspaper junky (the NY Herald-Tribune, IIRC) and was trying to find a paper, without success. One of the hotel staff asked him “why do you need a paper? – there’s a war on somewhere and some politician said something stupid; that’s the news” It was hard to argue.

  5. 5
    Egg Berry says:

    @mclaren: Tim F.

    Edit. I see you recognized your mistake

  6. 6
    DCLaw1 says:

    When a powerful person lies in public or directly to a journalist’s face, that is a noteworthy event. Also known as news. It might be worth writing about.

    A thousand journalists’ heads are nodding and thinking, “Of course! We write down, ‘Mr./Mrs. X said….'”

  7. 7

    Makes you wonder how we ever got this far in the first place.

  8. 8
    Kyle says:

    When a Serious and Important Person lies to their face, we can count on the New York Times to report it verbatim, without any further investigation or comment, bcause they are also Serious and Important and must uphold loyalty to their class against the unwashed masses.

  9. 9
    RSA says:

    I wonder about what it takes to be journalist these days. In rare cases when someone has lied to my face, I’ve gotten mad. What do people in the business do? Go home and take a pill? Or just say, “That’s the way the game is played,” and forget about it?

  10. 10
    gnomedad says:

    More like “dog bites man”, I’m afraid.

  11. 11
    phantomist says:

    “I remember how my Great Uncle Jerry would sit on the porch and whittle all day long. Once he whittled me a toy boat out of a larger toy boat I had. It was almost as good as the first one, except now it had bumpy whittle marks all over it. And no paint, because he had whittled off the paint.”

    Jack Handy

  12. 12
    dr. bloor says:

    When a powerful person lies in public or directly to a journalist’s face, that is a noteworthy event. Also known as news. It might be worth writing about.

    Who cares? The real issue is whether journalismists should avoid the obvious in the main article, or in a sidebar piece?

  13. 13
    jeffreyw says:

    My parents filled the sandbox with quicksand. I was an only child, eventually.

  14. 14
    Arclite says:

    Where’s Jack Handey when you need him?

    Thought of the day (apropos I thought):

    When I get rich I hope I am not mean to poor people, like I am now.

  15. 15
    Paula68154 says:

    I stopped getting my newspaper years ago (Warren Buffett bought it last fall, so…).

    Last spring, an article stated that a nearby nuclear plant was all cool, because the company rep said so. I spent 3 minutes on the net & found out that the plant had some serious issues, per the NRSC. Some issues were surrounding flood preparedness and of course we had a 100 yr flood.

    WTF do I want with a newspaper that doesn’t report the news?

  16. 16
    p.a. says:

    I will now reveal myself to be a hopeless romantic fool, but given the collapsing state of the newspaper industry, you’ld think someone would maybe try to provide honest analysis to see if that could possibly maybe stop the bleeding.

  17. 17
    magurakurin says:

    So, none of the Front Pagers or the Host has an opinion on the video of Marines pissing on dead bodies and the enormous shitstorm it is about to produce? It’s all Girl Scout Cookies and Pravda on the Hudson meta.

    Those guys fucked up real bad. At the very least one has to ask what the fuck were thinking filming that? Apparently it is being consider a Geneva Convention violation.

  18. 18
    Arclite says:

    @magurakurin: Dude, the FREAKIN’ TALIBAN didn’t even get upset about it. This, too, will pass.

  19. 19
    chrome agnomen says:

    @p.a.:

    bleeding sells copy

  20. 20
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @magurakurin: I dunno, there are people whose corpse I’d like to piss on. Unfortunately they’re alive, so that’s a bit of a problem.

  21. 21

    @magurakurin:

    I found the video disturbing and disgusting. They knew it was going on video. Why would they do that? To prove they were the victors? What?

  22. 22
    Gus says:

    @efgoldman: Steven Wright-esque. Very funny.

  23. 23
    Richard says:

    Anyone remember Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert, the “8 inches uncut” whore that used to attend and get called on to ask questions at Dubya’s White House press conferences?

    I think he’s the perfect symbol for what journalism has become in this century.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    magurakurin says:

    @Arclite: They’ve decide to run with it:

    The Taliban initially indicated that the video would not undermine the push toward talks, saying that they saw it as just more evidence of what they said was American brutality and arrogance.But later on Thursday, in an official statement, the Taliban dropped references to the talks and emphasized the brutality message. “We strongly condemn the inhuman act of wild American soldiers, as ever, and consider this act in contradiction with all human and ethical norms,” the statement said.

    I’m not judging the individuals. I can’t begin to imagine the trauma they have been through. We asked them to go to war and war is a terrible thing. Pissing on dead bodies is certainly the least terrible thing a soldier does. But still, what were they thinking? I feel sorry for those Marines because they are going to get punished far beyond their crime because of the politics of war. But politics is a part of war and somebody should have taken a step back and said, “hey maybe this isn’t such a good idea.” Other marines are going to be killed because of what these guys did and I’m sure there are marines and soldiers who are disgusted and disappointed at what was done.

    But I don’t really know. I probably would have done the same thing if I had been there. They shouldn’t be there at all. It’s clearly time for them all to come home. Let’s write down another one in the L column and move on.

  26. 26
    JC says:

    Election reform – how does it work? How can it work better? Which version? Local or national? how is it funded? How can it pass?

  27. 27
    Corner Stone says:

    @Arclite:

    Dude, the FREAKIN’ TALIBAN didn’t even get upset about it. This, too, will pass.

    That’s kind of the craziest fucking response I might have ever imagined.
    Marines pissing on dead bodies.
    Well, the Taliban doesn’t seem to care! So we’re good bra!

    Did you even read your post?

  28. 28
    Narcissus says:

    I still want to know who Gannon was fucking.

  29. 29
    srv says:

    HYPOCRITE!!! WHERE IS YOUR RETRACTION OF RESVERATROLL!!!!! YOU LYING SCIENTISTS AND THEIR LIBERAL ENABLERS!

  30. 30
    srv says:

    @Narcissus: You didn’t think Rove was straight, did you (not that there’s any problem with making a career off fear of teh gay)?

  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    @magurakurin: What is a post about it supposed to say? Everybody agrees that it’s horrible and the jarheads were morons. Yes, Pam Geller thought it was awesome, but nobody with an IQ over room temperature.

  32. 32
    Narcissus says:

    I was sort of hoping, yeah.

  33. 33
    Tim F. says:

    @magirakurin: I think that if that is the worst thing our troops do this week we should count ourselves lucky. Christ, at least these victims were already dead. I’m used to news about torture, summary executions, shooting peole at checkoints for virtually no reason, home invasions at Haditha that killed entire families in cold blood. Chopper pilots cutting down innocent civilians and joking about it. We blew up wedding parties on a weekly basis.

    So no, I am not terribly worked up about this video. War makes people do things a whole lot more evil and stupider than that. I doubt that many Taliban care much either, save for whatever PR They might squeeze from it.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tim F.: And you’re the “liberal” on staff, amirite?

  35. 35
    Tim F. says:

    Also too. Unlike most soldiers who have committed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, these guys will most likely face discipline that is commensurate with what they did. Ask me again if, like Alan West, they get elected to a House seat in Florida.

  36. 36
    jeffreyw says:

    @efgoldman: Not original, alas. I do remember the first time I heard that, forget who, it cracked me up. Here are a couple of kitties.

  37. 37

    Newt Gingrich:

    A commenter on GOS suggested that we try to keep the Bain video on youtube for as long as we can.

    How would we do that? Clicking on it so that it doesn’t sink into the mire from disuse?

  38. 38
    noodler says:

    @magurakurin: This is a tremendous failure of leadership on the part of the USMC. The marines that did this deserve a GCM, but their officers and even more senior USMC leadership needs to be accountable for this. It is disgusting and abhorrent behavior.

  39. 39
    Corner Stone says:

    I don’t know man. The day an American soldier pisses on a corpse they’ve most likely terminated and I’m kind of “meh” about it?

  40. 40
    dead existentialist says:

    Re: the Marines going R Kelly. Four or five guys acting like assholes represent a nation of 308 million. Yeah, right. Let’s get upset.

    Have you been paying attention to the Republicant primary? That’s trickle down on an otherworldly scale.

    Get upset.

  41. 41
    MikeJ says:

    @dead existentialist: Should I change my livejournal template?

  42. 42
    Brachiator says:

    @Tim F.:

    @magirakurin: I think that if that is the worst thing our troops do this week we should count ourselves lucky.

    You talk about this purely from your point of view. Even though there has been a great effort by both the US and the Taliban to downplay the incident, do you have a clue how even desecration of the dead is perceived?

    Even after bin Laden was killed, a deliberate effort was made to bury him within an appropriate period, and not to desecrate his corpse, or at least not let stories about a desecration leak out.

    Insults can be compounded by acts of disrespect. Even to the dead.

  43. 43
    Steve says:

    Say what you will about those Marines, at least they didn’t run over a dog.

  44. 44
    dead existentialist says:

    @MikeJ: Do it, now, in a fit of upsettedness.

  45. 45
    moops says:

    My only real opinion on the marine issue is that I’d like to see how far up the chain of command the punishment reaches.

    Navy guys have been making a lot of blather about how the Navy and Marines have accountability, unlike those savages in the Army.

    OK. Prove it. Someone was in charge when this happened. There is a process for determining how far up the chain of command the punishment should proceed.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    The idea of pissing on a dead body is just beyond the pale abhorrent and reminiscent of the trophy pix from Lynndie England et al. It kind of made me sick when I saw it at the gym today.

  47. 47
    Palli says:

    @Narcissus:
    yea who but also how much Gannon/Guckert is still getting monthly as hush money?

    Lots of think tanks launder money to keep people quiet but when does the bank of silence cash out?

  48. 48
    gaz says:

    War is a golem we *all* create. Soldiers that commit specific heinous acts under color of uniform do so in our name – that doesn’t excuse them – but we own it – I’d argue at least as much as they do. Even if I don’t support a specific war, or any wars – I live in a country that does. I’m complicit.

    Soldiers do horrible shit, especially when subjected to lengthy active combat duty.

    If anything, the crux of my point is if we want this to stop – we need to stop the useless wars. We need to take care of our returning troops – and yes, we need to demand that our UCMJ is evenly and fairly applied to specific offenders, (like maybe these soldiers, IANAL?)

    Nothing we do will ever make war any less brutal. Arguably we can’t stop the kind of desensitization that active combat duty will inflict on a soldier. All we can do is try to stop the damned wars. And hope that justice is done when war leads to crime. *shrug*

    my $0.02, is all.

  49. 49
    Yutsano says:

    @Tim F.:

    I think that if that is the worst thing our troops do this week we should count ourselves lucky.

    They were beyond stupid. These are not dumb boots right out of Parris. This was an elite sniper team who should be living, breathing, and eating discipline. They all deserve to get busted back to one stripe, including their CO. If not drummed out of the Corps altogether. A Marine lives and dies by his honour. Once s/he loses that, they lose the title Marine.

  50. 50
    Triassic Sands says:

    When a powerful person lies in public or directly to a journalist’s face, that is a noteworthy event.

    It may be important, but it certainly isn’t noteworthy. Not today anyway, when the entire Republican Party is one stinking pile of lying frauds and clowns. Virtually everything they say is a lie; and it is noteworthy that they are so wedded to dishonesty. But an individual lie coming from Mitt Romney is like a leaf on the ground in a deciduous forest in November — utterly commonplace. Or a grain of sand at the beach.

  51. 51
    Schlemizel says:

    @Narcissus:
    He was Rove’s dom. Seriously. Did you read his web ad (before they took it down)? He specialized in B&D. He was in the WH on days Boy Blunder was away (besides W is too much a sadist to be a sub – all sympathy to Laura (and you wonder why she looks like that?))

    Add to that Rove’s daddies leather fetish and I think the conclusion is obvious. It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

    P.S. He started with Cheney but the bastard left too many marks & was too abusive so they brought in a pro.

  52. 52
    Mino says:

    There’s another element to this failure of our press–they produce a population pig-ignorant about the rest of the world.

    If you think domestic reporting is slanted, try the international, what there is of it.

  53. 53
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yutsano:

    Agreed.

  54. 54
    Digital Amish says:

    The idea of pissing on a dead body is just beyond the pale abhorrent and reminiscent of the trophy pix from Lynndie England et al. It kind of made me sick when I saw it at the gym today

    Yeah, you’d think they could have just put a bullet through their heads and be done with it.

    I’m not picking on FlipYrWhig. You’re just the last handwringer. If we don’t want this shit to happen we probably shouldn’t give testosterone fueled young men guns and send them off to war.

  55. 55
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Digital Amish: Even testosterone fueled young men should have the common sense not to piss on dead bodies, much less film it. It’s against code. Think of how football fans reacted to the Suh incident, or Bill Romanowski spitting at somebody. There’s being macho, and then there’s being repugnant. It really is worse to shoot someone then piss on them than it would be to shoot them and leave it at that. It really isn’t a case of War Is Hell And Shit Happens.

  56. 56
    FlipYrWhig says:

    ETA: for “It’s against code” read “At an absolute minimum, it’s against code.” FYWP.

  57. 57
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Richard:

    Anyone remember Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert, the “8 inches uncut” whore that used to attend and get called on to ask questions at Dubya’s White House press conferences?

    Nope. No one remembers that. The Bush White House planted an ACTUAL MALE PROSTITUTE to ask fake questions at White House news conferences, and, amazing to say, by now it’s as if it never happened. Not one person in a hundred could tell you his name or remembers who he was.

    Now, if the Clinton or Obama White Houses had done that, it would be all we would ever have heard about for the rest of time.

  58. 58
    Rafer Janders says:

    @magurakurin:

    I’m not judging the individuals.

    What? I certainly am judging them. They’re adults. They’re responsible for their actions. Beyond that, they’re United States Marines, and they’re supposed to stand for something, to adhere to a code of honor. They’ve dishonored themselves and dishonored their comrades by their flagrant disrespect for the corpses of slain enemy fighters.

    I can’t begin to imagine the trauma they have been through.

    Nothing they have been through excuses what they did. Plenty of other soldiers and marines went through the exact same things they did and didn’t respond by doing that.

    Pissing on dead bodies is certainly the least terrible thing a soldier does.

    Um, no, it’s not at all one of the least terrible. It’s horrendous.

    I feel sorry for those Marines because they are going to get punished far beyond their crime because of the politics of war.

    I feel sorry for them not at all. Not at all. This kind of shit has to be stomped down on, and hard. It’s all part of the process of brutalizing and dehumanizing the enemy, and if you allow this kind of stuff, you send a message that it’s OK to do anything at all to the enemy — which eventually leads to the torture of prisoners.

Comments are closed.