A Brit's "God Bless America"; Clintonite Candidates Celebrated; Global Warming Blamed; On JAG a Reporter Ruins a Secret Mission
1) The Oscar Awards lasted four hours and twenty-three minutes, but just one participant proclaimed "Good Bless America." And he's not even an American. Julian Fellowes: "I think you must be the most generous nation on Earth. So thank you very much and God Bless America." He worked on Gosford Park with Robert Altman, who recently went on an anti-U.S. rant.
2) MSNBC showcased Stuyvesant High School students who are angered by "hate speech" as epitomized by T-shirts proclaiming "bomb them," and are disgusted at how "we're taking our God, and it's not my God, and we're sticking it over the United States and...I didn't like seeing huge billboards which said 'God Bless America.'" Plus, they oppose more military spending and are disturbed by "the really false sense of patriotism that exists" with "people waving flags all of a sudden."
3) ABC's This Week celebrated the victory of former Clinton aide Rahm Emanuel in an Illinois congressional primary as Claire Shipman tossed softball questions to him and to pro-Clinton author Joe Klein who came aboard to discuss the several Clintonites running for office. Klein assured Shipman: "Bill Clinton in some ways is the ultimate test of their humanity."
4) How can global warming be responsible for something in 2002 when the same thing occurred 29 years ago? Don't ask ABC's Peter Jennings who expressed that convoluted logic in a short item he read Friday night.
5) CBS's JAG takes on whether reporters are Americans first or journalists first when a "ZNN" reporter forces a commando operation in Afghanistan to be aborted. A promo for Tuesday's episode asks: "Did this combat reporter cause a front line ambush?"
ABC ended the longest Oscar Awards show ever at 12:53am EST, four hours and twenty-three minutes after it began, but in all the talk and tributes, what struck me when it occurred about three hours into the show is that viewers only heard one "God Bless America." And that came from someone who is not even American.
The producers of the annual Hollywood extravaganza certainly did not ignore what happened six months ago. A few acceptors made passing remarks about their appreciation for artistic freedom in America, Woody Allen was brought out to showcase movies filmed in New York City, Kevin Spacey asked the audience to observe a moment of silence for all those killed on September 11th and host Whoopi Goldberg concluded the show by turning around to display logos on her back of the New York City Fire Department and the police departments of New York City and the Port Authority.
Accepting the Oscar for the "Best Original Screenplay" for the movie Gosford Park, Julian Fellowes, who I assume is British, ended his thank you remarks: "Finally, I want to thank the Academy and all of you for your tradition of kindness to foreigners like myself. I think you must be the most generous nation on Earth. So thank you very much and God Bless America."
Ironically, the director of Gosford Park,
Robert Altman, just two months ago denounced the United States. Altman
charged in a Times of London interview: "When I see an American flag
flying, it's a joke." As for moving to London permanently, the
Kansas City-born Altman declared: "There's nothing in America that
I would miss at all." He added: "This present government in
America I just find disgusting, the idea that George Bush could run a
baseball team successfully -- he can't even speak! I just find him an
embarrassment." For details:
(I should note that I'm pretty confident that only Fellowes said "God Bless America," or anything close to that, but the over four-hour-long program did not fully hold my attention and so I was flipping around to other shows, though I'm pretty confident I caught all the relevant portions of the awards show.)
Maybe New York City really isn't like the rest of the country. After 9-11 a lot people said, "we're all New Yorkers now" as those in the heartland who had suspected the values of Manhattanites found new reason respect New Yorkers for how they reacted with patriotism after the terrorists attacks.
Well, in a probably little-watched story which aired Saturday afternoon, MSNBC showcased the side of New York City we haven't seen too much of, its Blame America First leftism.
Just before 3pm EST on March 23, in a package which probably also aired at other times, MSNBC ran a taped interview with three students from Stuyvesant High School who are upset by supposed limits on "free speech," angered by "hate speech" as epitomized by T-shirts proclaiming "bomb them," and disgusted at how "we're taking our God, and it's not my God, and we're sticking it over the United States and that annoyed me and I didn't like seeing huge billboards which said 'God Bless America' and nothing else." Plus, President Bush's push for more military spending. Oh, and "the really false sense of patriotism that exists" with "people waving flags all of a sudden because they think that's what they're supposed to do," especially guys "drinking beer and holding flags and signs that say, that said, 'honk if you hate Afghanistan.'"
The MSNBC anchor set up the taped piece by explaining that the students at the high school just a few blocks form Ground Zero have seen "disrespectful behavior around the viewing platform." But the segment didn't seem to match the set up and throughout it MSNBC ran this across the bottom of the screen: "Tired of Tourists?"
MSNBC's Jim Bunn began the segment, with him
sitting across from three students in chairs, one male and two female, by
wondering: "What is it that you guys see, what is it that's
happened since and people's reaction to it that bugs you?"
Makes you fondly recall the slogan, "I love New York." Maybe not.
As students at one of New York City's premiere high schools, like these could be, like, the future journalists of, like, America.
Let's hope these students are in the minority with their hostility to pro-American patriotism and their lack of understanding that military might is needed to win this war and that saying "God Bless America" isn't anything embarrassed by.
Stuyvesant High School's Web page: http://www.stuy.edu
++ Watch the whining students highlighted by MSNBC. When this CyberAlert is posted, the MRC's Mez Djouadi will include a RealPlayer clip of a portion of the above-quoted exchanges. Check: http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020325.asp#2
ABC's This Week celebrated the victory in an Illinois congressional primary of former Clinton White House domestic policy advisor Rahm Emanuel as the show featured a friendly interview with him followed by a discussion with pro-Clinton author Joe Klein about Clintonites running for office.
Amongst those cited at the top of the segment: Bill Richardson for Governor of New Mexico, Janet Reno going for Governor of Florida, Steve Grossman and Robert Reich running for Governor of Massachusetts and Erskine Bowles as a candidate for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina.
Claire Shipman, the expected replacement for Cokie Roberts this fall, handled the segment. Shipman's first question to Emanuel: "Do you owe your primary victory to Bill Clinton?" She soon let him prattle on about "the health care crisis."
Shipman moved on to Klein, a former Newsweek reporter who is the author of The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton. Klein assured her: "Bill Clinton in some ways is the ultimate test of their humanity." Shipman oozed in her first: "You wrote recently about this phenomenon. All of the Clintonites on the stump. How are they doing? Could any of them be called a 'natural'?"
Klein said none are as good as Clinton.
Shipman next set up Klein to outline the
advantages of being tied to Clinton and how Gore blew it: "A lot of
people are still arguing whether Clinton was an asset or a liability for
Al Gore. What do ties to Clinton do for these candidates?"
Shipman's last question: "If a few of
them win, will they carry on the Clinton legacy in office and what is,
aside from scandal, the Clinton legacy?"
They won't have to address their connections to Clinton's scandals if the rest of the media take the fawning approach followed by Shipman.
How can global warming be responsible for something in 2002 when the same thing occurred 29 years ago? Don't ask ABC's Peter Jennings who expressed that convoluted logic in a short item he read Friday night.
On the March 22 World News Tonight, Jennings announced: "In Japan today the cherry blossoms are blooming and they are two weeks ahead of schedule. The last time they flowered this early was in 1973 and scientists are suggesting global warming."
I guess we had 29 years of less warming.
Tuesday night's episode of JAG: Judge Advocate General, the CBS show about Navy lawyers, takes on the hot media issue of whether reporters are Americans first or journalists first when a reporter forces a commando operation in Afghanistan to be aborted.
In promo CBS is now running, the announcer asks: "Did this combat reporter cause a front line ambush?" The "ZNN" reporter threatens: "Never attack the guy with microphone. He always gets the last word."
Maybe not on a prime time entertainment show.
"ZNN," an obvious play off of CNN, is the network news operation regularly featured on TVs in the background of scenes on JAG.
CBS's JAG Web site offers this plot summary for the March 26 episode: "When Harm and Mac are called in to investigate an aborted SEAL operation in Afghanistan, Harm accuses a television news reporter accompanying the SEALs for disobeying orders and causing the error."
To watch a video of the promo for the show, go to: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/jag/
JAG airs Tuesdays at 8pm EST/PST, 7pm CST/MST.
From the March 20 Late Show with David Letterman (http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/), the "Top Ten Signs Michael Bloomberg Doesn't Like Being Mayor."
10. Often begins press conferences by saying, "Holy crap did I
make a mistake!"
I'd add, "He's realized he's the Mayor for the ungrateful students at Stuyvesant High School."
While I'm citing a late night show, I'd note that Janet Reno is scheduled to appear Tuesday night on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno. -- Brent Baker
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