Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The demise of CNN News.

CNN recently announced that it might be having a reality show on their network.
You know about reality shows. They are when you get actors who are great at improv, to provide conflict over every inane idea for an hour. Whether it is entertainment is debatable. Whether it is fit for CNN is another thing.  Keeping Up With the Kardashians being a perfect example but these no-brainer reality shows now include all those Picker and Auction sites, Hog Catchers in the backwoods, and even the Food Networks are now fighting over how to boil water! Julia Childs please don't cry. They also include The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser and Jersey Shore! And now we even have Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Don't laugh, it is all part of the dumbing down of the American public. (and that's a whole nuther conspiracy theory)
Is this sad or what?

Didn't we all rush to our TVs and tune in CNN when important events had breaking news? We watched live, the demise of the Soviet Union. The fall of the Berlin Wall. Knocking down Saddam's statue. The miner rescues in Chile. And a hundred other happening events that were full of drama and excitement and truthful images. And a reality so full of excitement no script could ever match it!

Not anymore. I recently saw Wolf Blitzer making an argument for his point of view about Libya last week, while frustratingly interrupting the input of his guest, who finally irritatedly announced that Wolfe could argue the point all he wanted to, but his opinion didn't alter the facts of what was actually happening on the ground.
Alas, the days of Peter Arnett and Bernard Shaw reporting objectively from the heart of the battle are gone. Who can forget that eerie green footage of combat? And of course we don't know what is happening 'on the ground' anywhere now because we no longer have reports from the action. Or any battlefield or city of turmoil. The whole event is now stage managed. Film clips, sound bites and photo ops.

A friend on the weekend suggested it was Piers Morgan who started the slide of CNN into news gathering oblivion. I think not. But his background as a tabloid editor did not enhance the CNN aura for hard news.
I believe it is the US Government who forced the demise of real reporting when the Pentagon came up with the idea of 'embedded' reporters.

Embedded reporters are those who travel with a war unit into armed conflicts. They are controlled totally on what they can show on camera, where they are allowed to go, and what they can say in that contrived report that flashes to their TV Station for the 6 oclock news. Of course the Army tells them they need to be 'protected' for their own safety. Sort of in the way YOU are being protected by those drones flying overhead and watching everything you do .... for your own safety. Sure.

The 1991 Gulf War was influential in the implementation of controlling reporters. And Reuters News and other legitimate news agencies had many free ranging reporters in Iraq. At my last count there have been about 130 independent reporters mysteriously killed by 'friendly fire.' Not hard to do when a firefight is happening and paid mercenaries are shooting at anything you tell them to. 
Sort of like Vietnam and 'fragging' your own lieutenant.
In those days the news was 'adjusted' through every step up from the combat private who thought he might have killed one Viet Cong to the General who sent a dispatch to President Johnson announcing the death of 500 enemy and one wounded Marine! All the same story.

During the Iraq war in 2003, there were almost 800 embedded journalists! These reporters actually sign contracts with the military on what they will divulge. I did see a woman reporter a while ago. Broadcasting from a battlefield. There was a stone wall she was behind, and she sort of winced at any loud noises, as if being under attack. They even had two Afghans behind her, peering into the distance from behind that wall. Trouble was they were chatting and laughing and playing with their Kalashnikovs while she did some pretty good acting. She was an embedded reporter.

No way they want free style reporters wandering around in the theater of war digging out news. Or the truth of what is actually happening. It is all theater now. That's why you no longer see Michael Ware on CNN, and not much of Nic Robertson. Some reporters even had their credentials and ability to travel freely curtailed because they showed a Humvee riddled with bullet-holes! No way they want the American public to know that the enemy can target and hit our guys too!

So with real news being totally manipulated and spoon fed to the masses. There is no need to see what really happened. It's good enough to know that the good guys are winning.

What is CNN to do? So why not have reality shows on CNN? After all it is about making money isn't it? It's TV, even fake is reality.
Is the demise of CNN the demise of news and truth?

Ted Turner moved on, I guess we have to too.

Details at eleven. We're creating them now.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What's up?

Canada has closed and shuttered it's embassy in Tehran. And then expelled all Iranian diplomats from Canada, under the premise that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism. The Federal Government has issued a travel warning to Canadians, urging them to stay away from that country.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird made the moves Friday morning, declaring Iran "the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today."

Have you noticed unusual happenings related to Iran lately? I mean unusual within the constant turmoil of these countries? Nor have I, except the regular ongoing condemnation by the West of suspicious nuclear research. 
So it leads me to wonder, why right now?

Is this the result of CSIS having some evidence of ex-pat Iranians up to spying activities in Canada? Usually those kinds of mole discoveries result in expelling a certain few 'diplomats' from a country, never actually closing an embassy in the other country. And they are mostly accompanied by lots of publicity, showing off the prowess of our protective spy agencies.
So what's up?

Or could Canada have received some information from the US CIA that is a precursor of an action that could harm Canadians? Perhaps a military strike is imminent? A bombing raid that could put Canadians at risk? And if the USA wants Canada's support wouldn't they subtly advise us to get the hell out so we have nothing to bitch about? 
The US has had no embassy in Tehran since 1981. After their hostage situation and the Canadian embassy smuggling Americans out. Britain closed theirs last November.
They didn't have the credibility of Canada and many other cool thinking countries in the Iraq war. But that was a war of personal vengeance by George Bush. They should be able to twist a new Iran war into a more noble cause: nuclear proliferation and global peace. 

Or did the Israeli Mossad, after many disagreements with the US over the imminent danger, decide to go it alone and so warn the Canadians?

Or is it about oil? As are so many furtive movements and motives in the Middle East?

Israeli Air Force F16ls
The Israelis have been itching to be let go to send in a couple of planes to put Iran out of the nuclear bomb business. They did it before, in 1981 and 2007. They are ready willing and able but they do want USA support. And wouldn't the US and Israel like to have a little muscle flexing in the area because Egypt seems to be getting a bit fresh and impudent?
And to do an action against Iran in the immediate future, would mean they have all those troops already stationed in Iraq, on the verge of leaving for home. To redeploy a threat force later would be costly. So why not go now?

There is no telling exactly how close Iran is to testing a real nuclear bomb. Once that is done, the newest member of the Destruction Club only needs to screw one onto the tip of a missile capable of hitting Tel Aviv. Presto, new war.
And Iran is accused of helping Syria right now. When the West is trying to neutralize threats to vulnerable Iraq so they can leave with some sense of accomplishment. (One can't help thinking that if they had left Saddam Hussein in place none of this would be necessary.)

President Obama, in his nomination acceptance speech, said the USA was still committed to a free Israel. Is the US getting ready for a preemptive strike? Why is Canada taking this action now? 

Somebody knows something.
What's up?