Thursday, May 17, 2007

Brief Crack In The Matrix

Why reactionaries hate CNN -- the Communist News Network -- still baffles me. Yes, many if not most reactionaries live in a world all their own, surrounded by enemies both foreign and especially domestic (no end there), so they are constantly on guard, muttering to themselves as their eyes dart back and forth. Perhaps it's CNN's tolerance for tactical divisions that stresses them so. But when it comes to the Big Issues, indeed, the Holy Script itself, CNN is just as servile to the military state as is Fox, or any other broadcast outlet. Disagreements about how US imperialism is best employed is one thing, but questioning imperialism and its negative, destructive effects is quite, oh so quite, another thing.

I've seen this for over 20 years now, and personally experienced it myself when I appeared on CNN during the early days of the first Gulf War. Not only was there incredulity and hostility to my rather tame views about the lead up to that imperial assault, I got grief before I was out of make-up. The woman who applied pancake to my face seemed gentle and sweet at first. She was small, thin, had beautiful long blondish hair and wide, almond-like eyes. But when she asked me what I was going to say on-air, I made the mistake of stating my case in full. Turned out that she was very much in favor of bombing Iraq, and punctuated her pro-war feelings by stabbing my face with the pancake sponge. "I-think-what-we're-doing-is-i-m-p-o-r-t-a-n-t!!" she said briskly, tap-tap-tapping my skin in time with her remarks. I was happy to learn that CNN's anchor was in Atlanta, since I was in New York, for if this was the tone at the network's make-up level, who knew what I would physically encounter once the red light flashed on?

But that was long ago, and whatever startling insights I was able to express before being cut-off, they're lost in deep space by now.

I wonder if Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul had any problems with make-up before his recent appearance on CNN. Judging from Wolf Blitzer's hostile reaction to Paul's genuinely conservative, non-controversial (to sane people) take on 9/11, I hope he skipped the pancake treatment and went straight to air.

If my dear, always up-beat pal Jon Schwarz hadn't posted this clip at his joint, I would've missed it, as I rarely watch the cable news nets, especially when sober. In a way, I wish I had missed this bullshit -- not that I'm shocked to see that the propaganda system is still in fine, running order, but who really needs this kind of obvious reminder? There are those who believe that over two decades of media criticism have toughened my skin and hardened my heart, and to a degree this is true. But I've never claimed to be Vulcan, and watching Blitzer give Paul the standard "You're blaming America!" treatment saddened me. Paul responded well, but he too conforms somewhat to the accepted narrative about America's unique greatness. Just once I would like to see someone respond to Blitzer's baiting with "You're goddamned right I'm blaming America! We don't get blamed enough! Most of us live in a fantasy world!"

Now that would be true Reality TV. Think of the YouTube hits!