The "WAR ON TERROR" is ENTERTAINMENT

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Psychoblues, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    The following is a piece written by Darryl Cramer. He is a level-headed one and a friend of mine. I have his permission to quote his piece in it's entirety in this forum.

    "René Duprée's massive, 6'3" 250-pound body struts onto the stage. Surrounded by blaring music, fireworks and artificially-enhanced women gyrating in skin-tight outfits, he flexes his substantial muscles and waves the French flag. In no hurry, he sneers at the crowd as he moves towards the ring. Upon relieving the announcer of the microphone, his booming voice declares to the overwrought crowd, "Je vous annonce que je suis fabuleux!" ("I tell you that I am fabulous!") His accent betrays the fact that he is not French, rather French-Canadian, but no one seems to observe or care about the nuance: they clearly hate the guy.


    Professional wrestling does not, however, have a monopoly on explosive visual and audio pyrotechnics. While one might expect to find such eye-popping exhibitions on MTV or Monday Night Football, a 24-hour news network would be less obvious. Nevertheless, Fox News does not disappoint. Tune in seeking to find out what is going on in the world and be barraged by screaming opinion show hosts, wagging fingers, whirling graphics, smiling commentators and breaking news "alerts" for stories that might normally be considered banal. We can be thankful for being unable to view the spectators, but one might imagine their reactions to be equally rapturous.

    Young men always have been, and most assuredly always will be, enthralled by gladiator-like sports heroes and the accompanying Bacchanalian festivities. Nonetheless, a considerable amount of the appeal in professional wrestling can be attributed to simplicity of the plot lines and even more so to the lack of subtlety in the characters. While the sophistication of the shows has evolved somewhat from good guys in white and bad guys in black, the positions of the performers are easily discernable to even the most casual observers.

    Even so, for the spectacularly obtuse, the World Wrestling Entertainment web site provides the following in Mr. Duprée's profile: "At the height of recent tension between the U.S. and France, the pompous Frenchman [once again, he is Canadian] debuted using the conflict as a platform to promote French culture and his claim of French superiority over that of any other nation or culture in the world!" As a result, like students attending a high-school football game, no one is ever encumbered by uncertainty about for whom to root.

    Fox News provides the same soothing clarity. The complex issues of our day are quickly and effortlessly dismantled into their good and evil components. The Republican Party, for its part, has also seized upon this powerful tool. The "you're-either-with-us-or-against-us" mentally relieves people of the mental struggle of having to determine if, well, someone is with us or against us. Cognitive dissonance is not an obstacle.

    Liberals deride conservatives for living in their condition of conflict resulting from their inconsistencies, but Fox News solves this issue by simply not addressing it. How was the Republican Party's reaction to Terri Schiavo coherent with its views on federalism? How can they be for fiscal responsibility but not against the budget deficit? How can they be against stem cell research yet for IVF? If the War on Terror is of such monumental importance to every American, how come only a very few are being asked to sacrifice anything for it?

    There apparently is not much to be gained by muddling everyone's brains with these dilemmas.

    Eventually, however, professional wrestling has had to grapple with the obvious: that it is fake. There is no denying that the participants are impressive physical specimens, or that their craft requires extraordinary athletic ability, or that they invariably incur substantial bodily pain during their matches; but despite the fact that any elementary school student of average intelligence could plainly see that the bouts and ancillary theatrics are all choreographed, professional wrestling fought hard against admitting as such.

    John Stossel, a journalist for ABC, while doing an expose for 20/20 in 1984, famously told David Schultz, aka Dr. D. (no specificity on whether it's an M.D. or Ph.D.), that he thought professional wrestling was fake, prompting the 6'8" 280-pound wrester to hit him upside the head, yelling, "You think it's fake?" Mr. Schultz was fired by the World Wrestling Federation, but maintained that he was ordered to attack Mr. Stossel. Either way, while professional wrestling worked hard to support the frail illusion that the matches and soap opera antics were real, they finally succumbed.

    Vince Russo, one of wrestling's best scriptwriters, discusses this fact in a recently released documentary, "Pro Wrestling's Ultimate Insiders." "It's not rocket science," he says while talking about the story lines he fabricated. "Put your finger on the pulse and give the people what they want." Ultimately, the World Wrestling Federation, under pressure from the World Wildlife Fund (also WWF), but also to a certain extent in acknowledgement of the scripted nature of their business, even changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment.

    No one should hold his or her breath waiting for Fox News to change its name to Fox Entertainment, but it would not be entirely inappropriate. Sure they discuss issues of the day, and sure they introduce facts here and there, and sure they send personnel into the field to interview people; but despite the fact that any reasonably balanced individual with a modicum of sense of reality can plainly see that the coverage is egregiously slanted, Fox News continues to call itself "fair and balanced."

    There are innumerable anecdotes that could be presented here to make this case, but "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism," a brilliant documentary by director Robert Greenwald, does a wonderful job at chronicling how the network misrepresents facts, manufactures terror and slanders liberals and adulates the President, all with the sole purpose of advancing its right-wing agenda. The film uncovers daily internal memos that outline conservative talking points, nonconformists that are threatened with their jobs and correspondents that often do not even pretend to be impartial.

    Bernie Sanders (I-VT) correctly accused Fox News of being "an adjunct of the Republican Party." As far as journalism is concerned, it is difficult to avoid remarking the obvious: that it is fake.

    In the end, though, the general public will inevitably catch on, or, having done so long ago, grow bored, rendering the medium something somewhat less than it used to be. Professional wrestling still captivates a depressingly wide audience, but its heyday must have been in October 1999 when World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) launched its IPO. The stock debuted around $25, but quickly plummeted and has languished under $15 for over four years, briefly dropping below $8 at a couple points. Pay-per-view sales have been weak and attendance at live events has been dropping since 2001. There has even been a class-action lawsuit against the company alleging violation of federal securities laws during the IPO.

    So what is the company's strategy for liberating itself from these doldrums? Expand internationally. To what degree and for how long foreign markets will be enchanted by fake sports entertainment of such a uniquely American variety remains to be seen, but perhaps there will at least be an opportunity for Mr. Duprée to perform in his native France.

    Fox News has yet to suffer a similar fate, presumably because, for the most part, viewers do not regard it as fake. It became the number one prime time cable news network sometime in 2001 and has not looked back since. There have been some signs of weakness, with CNN reporting in April this year that Fox News' viewership of adults between 25 and 54 had dropped for six consecutive months for a total decline of 58%, but since Katrina the network has come back strong.

    This is unfortunate since, unlike professional wrestling, Fox News has an impact on society at large, influencing popular perception and by extension public policy and elections. Certainly there will always be individuals willing to sit on their sofas day in and day out, lapping up conservative propaganda, but at some point one has to hope that people will catch on to the fact that it is entertainment rather than news and conduct their lives accordingly."


    Psychoblues
     
  2. LuvRPgrl
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    LuvRPgrl Senior Member

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    yawn

    :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: yawn
     
  3. LuvRPgrl
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    LuvRPgrl Senior Member

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    The referendum result again demonstrates that American policy- and opinion-makers are more pessimistic than are Iraqis. Part of the problem is that Pentagon officials and journalists alike chart Iraq's success through misguided metrics. Counting car bombs does not demonstrate progress or lack thereof in Iraq. Objective indicators show that Iraqis have confidence that did not exist prior to liberation.
    According to an Aug. 16, 2002, commentary in the Guardian--a British newspaper that often opposes U.S. foreign policy--one in six Iraqis had fled their country under Saddam. Millions left because of war, dictatorship and sanctions. Today, several hundred thousand have returned; only the Christians still leave. If Iraq were as chaotic as the media implies, it would export refugees, not resettle them.

    Other indicators suggest Iraqis have confidence in their future. The Iraqi dinar, freely traded in international currency markets, is stable.

    When people fear for their future, they invest in gold; jewelry and coins can be sewn into clothes and smuggled out of the country. When people feel confident about the future, they buy real estate. Property prices have skyrocketed across Iraq. Decrepit houses in Sadr City, a Shiite slum on the outskirts of Baghdad, can easily cost $45,000. Houses in upper-middle-class districts of Mansour and Karrada can cost more than 20 times that. Restaurant owners spend $50,000 on top-of-the-line generators to keep open despite the frequent blackouts. In September 2005, there were 40 buildings nine stories or higher under construction in the Kurdish city of Sulaymani. Five years ago, there were none. Iraqis would not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on real estate if they weren't confident that the law would protect their investment.

    Iraqis now see the fruit of foreign investment. A year ago in Baghdad, Iraqis drank water and soft drinks imported from neighboring countries. Now they drink water bottled in plants scattered across Iraq. When I visited a Baghdad computer shop last spring, my hosts handed me a can of Pepsi. An Arabic banner across the can announced, "The only soft drink manufactured in Iraq." In August, a Coca-Cola executive in Istanbul told me their Baghdad operation is not far behind. Turkish investors in partnership with local Iraqis have built modern hotels in Basra.

    Cameras and reporters do not lie, but they do not always give a full perspective. Political brinkmanship devoid of context breeds panic. Beheadings and blood sell copy, but do not accurately reflect Iraq. Political milestones give a glimpse of the often-unreported determination that Iraqis and longtime visitors see daily. Bombings and body bags are tragic. But they do not reflect failure. Rather, they represent the sacrifice that both Iraqis and Americans have made for security and democracy. The referendum, refugee return, real estate and investment show much more accurately--and objectively--Iraq's slow but steady progress.

    Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is editor of the Middle East Quarterly.
    __________________
     
  4. LuvRPgrl
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    LuvRPgrl Senior Member

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    If liberals would get with the program, we would have already wrapped things up in Iraq and the soldiers would be back, HENCE, all further casualties on Americans there is at the hands of LIBERAL DEMOCRAT anti war activists.

    THIS MEANS YOU :whip:
     
  5. LuvRPgrl
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    LuvRPgrl Senior Member

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    fACT OF THE matter is the liberal biased media, creates a false image and is anti American.

    Liberals are anti American, it is conservatives who built this country, CHRISTIAN conservatives, like GEORGE WASHINGTON, and it is the heartland that will continue to save this country.

    Big cities are a drain on the economy and the country. Most welfare receipeients are in big cities and slums. Section 8 housing is almost exclusively big city.

    Illegals are almost all in big cities.

    Big cities are liberal bastions, if SF sank, US would be better off, If the heartland was flooded and became unusable, we would have severe food shortages. What would we have shortages of if SF slipped into the ocean?

    :gay: :gay: :gay:

    Gay parades? Homeless people? (who congregate there cuz the immortally stupid Willie Brown made the city "homeless friendly" in his great compassion, yet now the problem is so severe, SF is now coming up with more stringent anti pan handling laws than say, CONSERVATIVE SAN DIEGO)

    Condoms?

    Porn shops?

    Bathhouses?

    AIDS?

    :gay: :gay: :gay: :gay:
     
  6. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Wow. A hit piece on Fox News from a leftie. How original. :yawn: :sleep:
     
  7. The ClayTaurus
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    The ClayTaurus Senior Member

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    We'd be short an Amoeba record store... I love that place.
     
  8. LuvRPgrl
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    LuvRPgrl Senior Member

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    Is that what it was? Shoot, I thought it was a geo political, socio economic, racist survery and study on irrelevant tendencies of astro masculated individuals with neumatic progrmistilictic tendencies towards homo sapiennationalistiction dreams. And its current application to raising boys without fathers..........
     
  9. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Yeah, me too! :laugh:
     
  10. theim
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    theim Senior Member

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    This author has obviously read some of my High School essays, as he liberally employs the use of a writing tool me and my friends refer to as "fluffing" or "BSing".

    "BSing" is the fine art of writing a whole lot while saying as little as possible. Very useful for writing that term paper on the English book which you only read half of. I was quite good at it, if I do say so myself, but this author tops even me. For even though he constantly charges that Fox is as fake as wrestling, he never provides any evidence except...come on man, its Fox. It's biased and fake. It just is.

    EDIT: And "Outfoxed" is as much a crockumentery as anything Micheal Moore has put out.
     

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