Saturday, September 12, 2009

All right, that's enough

Editors at AP member papers, pls consider yourselves empowered to kill this lede on sight and to call the AP suggesting a rewrite:

Tens of thousands of protesters fed up with government spending marched to the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, showing their disdain for the president's health care plan with slogans such as "Obamacare makes me sick" and "I'm not your ATM."

Sorry, no. I think the AP's naivete is bordering on the delusional here. Was this written on the same planet as the fourth graf?

Other signs — reflecting the growing intensity of the health care debate — depicted President Barack Obama with the signature mustache of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Many referred to Obama as a socialist or communist, and another imposed his face on that of the villainous Joker from "Batman."

Given a face-to-face encounter with the people who can't tell Nazis from commies, the AP insists on believing it's all about the spending? I'd be cheesed off about my membership fee too.

September -- like every month -- is a month of many anniversaries: the Tories selling out Czechoslovakia, for example, with the Tory press more or less telling the Czechs to lie back and think of England.* See if you can guess which major party in the United States agreed that those decadent Europeans ought to be left to whatever mercies Berlin might grant.** When their moral descendants flash the Nazi card and paint themselves as the freedom fighters of the modern age, "objective" journalism really has a moral obligation to call bullshit.

Funny, that's the sort of thing the Fournier-era AP claimed as its new mission. Would it care to account for this apparent contradiction?

*I'm paraphrasing Bill Shirer here, because I left him at the office while putting together the reading list. But Berlin Diary should definitely be on the bedside table if you're interested in media performance in conflicts.
** With the concurrence of the largest papers in Washington, New York and Chicago. This actually isn't a joke, in case you think the United States has a tradition of "liberal media."



Blogger John Cowan said...

There are actually many nutjobs who claim that Hitler was a commie, on the strength of his party being officially the "National Socialist German Worker's Party". Sure, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a democracy.

Of course, in actual history, after the Nazis came to power, the KPD (German Communist Party) was banned and its leaders sent to prison.

11:23 AM, September 13, 2009  

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