Monday, August 30, 2010

Useless News

I was stunned that all this weekend, many (left-wing) political blogs reported obsessively on Glenn Beck's rally, as if they were salivating at the spectacle. But why devote multiple stories, pictures, and videos to this one topic? Why not have room to cover the 5th anniversary of Katrina as well, or the current Pakistan floods? Why wasn't Daily Kos doing any damn fundraising like they did for Haiti or any other disaster? It's like they only care about their own "pie fights" among themselves and with their enemies.

So I went searching on Huffington Post for anything of substance, and they had an article on Sanjay Gupta wondering if the lack of donations to Pakistan was due to Americans viewing the Pakistan government as corrupt and treacherous; regarding the whole country as an enemy rather than an ally. The comments to the article were particularly hateful, saying that Pakistan should help itself out. Blaming the innocent, poverty-stricken people for what radical terrorists do, instead of viewing the civilians like Katrina victims. Only now and then did I read any reasonable, sane people among the vitriol. Since when do we put conditions of political and religious agreement on disaster relief efforts? Did we say we'd not help China after its earthquakes, despite all of China's human rights abuses? Did we ask such things in the wake of the tsunami years ago, when many victims also were Muslims, Buddhists, etc.? It's so disgusting and depressing.

My local TV news reported principally on the Emmys and the Katrina anniversary this weekend. They too ignored the Pakistan floods even though George Clooney had the grace to mention Pakistan and other crises during his acceptance speech for his Bob Hope Humanitarian award. I thought, my God, is Texas really that insular that it's only gonna focus on its local stories and no national news other than Katrina? I mean I can understand that some people do want to read about the fluff that is the Emmys, but isn't some portion of the news supposed to be serious and hard-hitting?

Juan Cole observes in his most recent post that he's had cable TV news on all day and not heard about Pakistan either. I mean, fuck, cable news has to fill 24 hours with news, and they can't spare any time for Pakistan either? It's not just Texas but the whole US that doesn't give a damn about the world outside?

Thank God for Juan Cole who posts news about many international topics; sometimes he also features insightful guest posts from others as well. If not for him, I wouldn't hear a damn thing about the Israeli-Palestinian talks either. I suppose from now on, I won't bother to turn on the TV news anymore. They're no better than the dead print media.

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