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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Media Watch World Mar 24: Faux News, Philip Jones Griffiths, Shusha Guppy, Shekhar Kapur, Obama, Five Years of Iraq Lies

With suicide bombings and rising prices there is some good news for consumers. The car parking rates have sky dived at Torkham. The hourly parking rates for loaded trucks is even lower than a car's hourly rate. Just felt like sharing this little bit of good news from Pakistan.

The folks over at NewsHounds have been watching their Fox News Channel quarry dither over Senator Barack Obama's associations with pastor Jeremiah Wright, and noted Fox's own Sean Hannity getting himself tripped up in the guilt-by-association tango. Seems that one of Hannity's former close chums is a neo-Nazi named Hal Turner who used to be a radio host, is apparently the top man in Bergen, NJ white-supremacist circles, and probably spends a lot of his time in his basement with Star Wars action figures acting out Holocaust-denier versions of The Return of the Jedi. In short, just the sort of person with whom you'd imagine Sean Hannity spends a lot of formational time with. Sean Hannity Confronted Over His Relationship With Neo-Nazi Hal Turner - Jason Linkins

This past Tuesday when Barack Obama stepped out of the political morass and wiped the mud from his suit, when every one of the chattering news networks quieted down to watch him speak, I cringed, convinced the gifted orator couldn't be that gifted. He was doing himself in. Yet there he was addressing racism, of all things, with wisdom and grace and care and forgiveness. Accepting that it was, in part, a calculated move by a campaign, and no matter its effect (or lack thereof) on the election, it was the most remarkable speech I've witnessed in my lifetime. Poems About Racism - John Lundburg

Philip Jones Griffiths, who has died aged 72 of cancer, was the most impassioned and clear-headed of anti-war war photographers. From 1966 to 1968, and again in 1970, he lived the Vietnam war from the inside, sharing the conditions of soldiers and civilians, putting himself at immense personal risk. In 1971 he assembled his reportage into a book, with his own scathing captions, entitled Vietnam Inc, which played a key role in changing public perceptions of the conflict, especially in the United States. Philip Jones Griffiths Amanda Hopkinson

Shusha Guppy, who has died aged 72, was one of the most talented women of her generation - a writer, singer and composer of songs, who moved freely among intellectual elites and made a home for herself in three radically different cultures. Born in Tehran, she was the daughter of Mohammad Kazem Assar, the distinguished Shia theologian and philosopher, who held the chair of philosophy at Tehran University, and who remained a model to Shusha throughout her life. She shared her father's love of Persian classical literature and, like him, was drawn to Sufism, and to the Sufi vision of the immanence of the God of love. Although Assar enjoyed the title of Grand Ayatollah, and was in all probability a direct descendant of Muhammad, he had absorbed the open-minded philosophy of the Sufi masters, was an admirer of western civilisation, and sent his children to the French lycée for their education. Shusha Guppy - Roger Scruton

Transcript: Talk Asia Live with Shekhar Kapur

A prominent supporter of Barack Obama has said it is time for rival Hillary Clinton to concede the Democratic presidential nomination race. Bill Richardson, the governor of the US state of New Mexico, said on American television that "the reality is that proportionately, numerically, I don't think Senator Obama's lead can be overtaken." Obama Camp Urges Clinton to Concede

Each year of George W. Bush's war in Iraq has been represented by a thematic falsehood. That Iraq is now calm or more stable is only the latest in a series of such whoppers, which the mainstream press eagerly repeats. The fifth anniversary of Bush's invasion of Iraq will be the last he presides over. Sen. John McCain, in turn, has now taken to dangling the bait of total victory before the American public, and some opinion polls suggest that Americans are swallowing it, hook, line and sinker. Five years of Iraq lies - Juan Cole

He works at it. Cohen donates unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material – like his old student passport – to the Finnish accountant who runs a popular Leonard Cohen fan site on the Web. "This is his way to show some appreciation maybe, of all his loyal and longtime fans," says Jarkko Arjatsalo, founder of The Cult of Leonard Cohen - Francine Kopun

Despite his many lapses and limitations — above all, his tendency to see any other viewpoint as a product of cowardice, stupidity, venality or insufficient loyalty to the United States — Michael Scheuer made significant contributions to the post-9/11 debate with his first two books. In “Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror,” which he wrote anonymously while still serving as a C.I.A. officer, Scheuer anatomized Al Qaeda and the threat it posed. His earlier book, “Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America,” was more of a harangue. Nonetheless, it offered insights into bin Laden’s motivations as well as the context of the Islamic world in which he operated. The Wrong War - David Rief

How hard should a poet strive to regale an audience? Not at all, said the late William Stafford, a modest man unwilling to dramatize either himself or his work. Talking with an interviewer years ago, Stafford recognized that in some countries a reading is a piece of polished oratory. He recalled hearing Voznesensky, and he didn't resent the Russian's flamboyant delivery: "When he gives a reading it is a great performance." And Stafford had kind feelings for Vachel Lindsay, who wrote poems to be performed, such as "the boomlay boomlay poem." As for himself, however, Stafford preferred to tell an audience, "I'll say you a poem," not "I'll perform you a poem." Then he added in these especially revealing words:

Most of the poets I know would feel a little guilty about an effective job of reading their poems… It feels fakery enough to be up there reading something as though you were reading it for the first time. And to say it well is just too fakey. So you just throw it away.
Pleasure or Punishment: Hearing a Poet Read by X.J. Kennedy (thanks zestpoets for the link)

In politics, and in much of the rest of life, being held responsible for your own words comes with the territory. Once you’ve opened your big mouth, others have a perfect right to ask, “Do you really mean that?” or “What did you mean by that?” or “If you say that, would you also say…?” (a question that usually has you frantically disassociating yourself from Hitler). But why should you be held responsible for words spoken by someone else, even if that someone else is a person you work with or share a bed with? I frequently say things that make my wife cringe, but whatever blame attaches to my utterances certainly should not be extended to her, and it would be entirely inappropriate to ask her to denounce me or to fault her if she didn’t. Think Again - Stanley Fish (thanks NF)


Blogger Moses Gunner said...

Sean Hannity is a Hypocrite! I recently found this article - The SEAN HANNITY AND LAURA INGRAHAM HYPOCRISY.
Very Interesting take on the Right's attack on Obama and his Reverend.

March 25, 2008 5:04 PM  

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