NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams (or, as we affectionately refer to him, "BriWi") was ruthlessly mocked online this week, after a war story he told turned out to be a complete fabrication. Our headline today refers to the funniest mockery we've yet seen on the subject, titled "That one live shot I did from the moon," for no other reason than it makes a funny headline. We really have no news to report from the moon, although (as usual) there are quite a few bits of lunacy to report from the political world. As for BriWi, well, we'll see what happens next. Perhaps it's time to give Lester Holt a shot at the big chair? It's a little hard to feel too sorry for BriWi, since he reportedly rakes in $10 million a year to read the news to America every night. Nice work if you can get it, eh? Or hold onto it, for that matter.
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As you can tell from that title, today's column is going to be nothing short of nit-pickery. But then my original plan (due to lots of offline stuff that needed doing today) was just to re-run an old column, so at least this way you get to read something new, even if it is nothing more than an extended tangential semantic complaint. But I feel the complaint is a valid one, or to put it another way, I feel this nit needs picking.
We've got a lot to get to in our weekly roundup of politics this week, it seems.
But what really worries me about the new rules for corporations and unions is what could happen out of sight of the voting public. I can foresee two ways for such invisible influence to happen, although there may be others I have not thought of as well, I admit.
I've always been confused why the media goes berserk about rating a president's "first 100 days," but then just stops counting after the first milestone. This, to a statistician, would be known as a "zero dimensional data array" -- one data point, to be exact. If you don't re-test the sample on a regular schedule, how are you supposed to compare it to anything?
Tomorrow marks the end of analog television in the United States. All analog broadcasting signals will go permanently dark some time tomorrow (times vary by station). But while others are hailing the dawn of the digital television age, I have to say that this is the end of a long road which ultimately led nowhere. The opportunity lost was a big one, too -- nothing more than a complete and far-reaching reform of the way we conduct political campaigns in this country. This was a bipartisan failure, I should add -- Democrats and Republicans both bear the blame for caving to the media conglomerates' interests over the public interest.
Because (are you sitting down), Krauthammer's big bugaboo, his big boogeyman spectre designed to send us all screaming out into the night... is "fairness." America being "fair" is such an awful, frightening, downright terrifying future for our country, that all good citizens should rise up against it. To the barricades! To fight for Unfairness For All!
And, by those definitions, the turkeys were flying fast and thick last week. First up was the decision to let Senator Joe Lieberman (CT - Ego Party) remain as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the Senate (see definition (a), above). Only 13 Democratic senators voted against Joe, who blackmailed the party by saying if they didn't give him his chairmanship back he would not only bolt to the Republican Party but also vote against Democratic proposals every chance he got. Way to demean your vote, Joe! Nothing like selling your vote in order to prop up your own ego!
Rest In Peace, Mr. Carlin. You leave behind you a void that will be hard to fill. Because, unfortunately, silliness is still rampant in America.
Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have, of late, been inserting Populist themes into their speeches, in an effort to (depending on who you listen to) win votes in Ohio and Pennsylvania, or court John Edwards' endorsement. Since this may be the last time I will address talking points to both campaigns, I thought I'd run through a few handy Neo-Populist positions for either Hillary or Barack to insert into their speeches.