Give Me Symbolism, Damn It! The New “Drama-News” Business
People are getting very frustrated with the oil spill that continues to gush into the gulf. It sickens me and its unbelievable to me that they ever let oil rigs off-shore – especially if they didn’t have a tested plan to fix a problem like this. Rachel Maddow had a great review of news footage from years past. This isn’t new, they have never had any good plans to fix this type of problem. It is posted below, watch it if you want some context to the situation. Of course the media never seems to give any context, they treat everything as a new phenomenon, they re-invent the wheel repeatedly.
I’ve heard both James Carville and Harry Shearer screaming and attacking the president, both Louisiana natives who are especially upset that this mess hasn’t been fixed yet. They have every right to feel that way. But I think they are both letting their emotions overwhelm them and have slipped into irrationality. Their anger is misdirected, very much like someone who is helpless and has to lash out at someone. I think they have chosen the wrong people, to even imagine that the President doesn’t take this seriously is just fucking stupid. Both Shearer and Carville are screaming for symbolism, they admitted it in their rants. They want style over substance, damn it. I want visuals, photo ops…maybe President Obama should move the Oval office to Louisiana until this problem is fixed….what, 20 fucking years from now? It’s not like there is anything else the president has to worry about, and I think Barack Obama got his undergraduate degree in petroleum engineering, right?
These cries for a superhuman response, they want Obama to swoop in and fix the problem like magic, are very irrational and like a said, very much a scream for help from someone who feels they have no control, no options. The response from Carville and Shearer and I would add Howard Fineman, is really kind of childish. This situation isn’t cut and dry, there isn’t a magic answer that just isn’t getting done. The experts in this area HAVE been assembled in Houston for many weeks, a combination of experts tapped by the administration, BP experts and experts from other oil companies too. They are weighing all the science, testing, experimenting and they are working with urgency, we may not have a live feed of their work, but it is happening.
The American media and the public in general are very much like a recovering alcoholic (and there sure are plenty of actual alcoholics and recovering alcoholics in our country). They want to blame someone, they want to take their rage out on someone. There is no acceptance of the problem – someone must be blamed, blood must be let. And I think that anger should be directed towards these big oil (and other) companies. It should be channeled into electing democrats who support putting controls on big businesses like the oil industry, the health care industry and all the other profit driven industries who really put the bottom line ahead of worker safety, public safety and the environment. That anger should become a movement to solve problems and prevent future problems that result from the greed of these ivory tower fuckers.
Directing it at a president who really is trying to change direction and fix some of these systemic problems is stupid, in the face of the most partisan resistance in the history of our country combined with a few loud voices on the left who are sore losers. How fucking stupid is it to weaken the person in the drivers seat, an administration that has the chance to make real change with a senate and house that is the most favorable we Democrats are going to get, possibly ever. What sense does it make to shift the anger from the real culprits, BP, Cheney and the whole culture of the Bush Whitehouse that did EVERYTHING it could to help business get away everything they wanted. The regulators took 8 years off…..and the bastards and bitches got paid for it too. They went in every day to their offices and didn’t do a goddamn thing. In fact, they reversed a whole lot of regulations, didn’t enforce them and in fact changed regulations to actually help them fuck us some more.
Political folks like Howard Fineman, who I respect a lot, are trying to turn this into a political issue for the president…their frustration always turns to the political blame game. Instead of doing good journalism, examining how we got to this point, what happened in the last 10 years plus that allowed this to happen with no contingency plans. They should go out and do their damn jobs and find out why this happened so that it may not happen again. Some certainly are, go Rachel Maddow. Rachel is one of the only journalists out their that really digs deep, she has an awesome staff of researchers and she’s no slouch either.
Now Keith Olbermann has bought into the Drama-news themes, he loves his dramatic over-the-top comments where he laces it with emotion, anger, outrage and really is usually dead on. But couching it in the drama turns it into a spectacle which then clouds his actual points, he becomes the story instead of the facts. I miss the days when journalists saw their role as presenting hard facts and evidence, reliable information, confirmed information, instead of the crap that passes for journalism today. Fucking tweats by celebrities and politicians become news, pure opinion, no fact checking and even when there is fact checking done, they still present it as just another side of the issue. Journalism has become laughable for the most part.
I heard Chris Matthews, another liberal journalist who loves him some drama say something like “Will president Obama be a casualty of the oil spill?” or something like that. So let me get this right, a British corporation who was very cozy with Cheney (Haliburton built the damn thing, right) and the Mineral Management Service basically was out to lunch, smoking crystal meth during the Bush years, seriously and a few individuals at BP fucked up and then covered it up – now how does that equate to the president being a casualty? How are they going to make the connection? When the book is written on this disaster, I know that it will show that the Obama administration did all that they could considering they haven’t set up the Department of Miracles yet. I’m sure the Republicans will support a new government agency to solve all public and private problems, become experts on every technology and industry in the country from coal mines to oil wells to auto manufacturers (Toyota reference) to the chemical industry…etc. Maybe it should be called The Department of Symbolism, because so much of what people are screaming for is just a good mother-fucking photo-op. They just want to FEEL like the president is doing something, they want comfort, they want a shoulder to cry on.
The last thing I will rant on is the call for the federal government to take over the problem. What everyone is saying is that if that happens, they own the problem in many ways including being accountable for paying out to the the people effected by it. It lets BP off the hook to some extent and shifts it to the American taxpayers. Hmmmm, that sounds like a great idea, turn it over to the non-experts who Republicans continuously claim can’t do anything right and then send the bill to the American people, another great fucking idea.