Donnerstag, September 21, 2006

Drinking the Kool-Aid or Why Can't We Have Journalists Worth The Name?


Even though he actually knows better, Nigel Andrews, the Film Critic of the Financial Times, gets it wrong factually on the following counts:

I f I were an opinionated madman licensed to be oracular – and I ignore retorts of "why say 'if'?" – I would aver this: the greatest disaster in the western world in the 21st century to date has been the victory of George W. Bush over Al Gore. Greater than 9/11? Yes, because it incorporated 9/11. It engendered it. Would terrorists have struck a Gore-led US? Since al-Qaeda's stated aim was to avenge the desecration of Saudi Arabian soil by foreign troops in the first Gulf war, wasn't Bush paying for Bush, the son for the father?

I remove my madman's hat: this is all speculation. Yet An Inconvenient Truth, Davis Guggenheim's documentary featuring the roadshow lecture about global warming that Al Gore has taken around the world, is a Tantalus glimpse of what America might have been with a president who cared about the planet, its people and its peace.

Now, first of all: he really shouldn't ignore those retorts, the voices are trying to tell him something.

Second of all: this kind of "reporting" is part and parcel of the problem that journalists have. They think, smugly, that they are so smart and so much cleverer than The Common Man and can entertain this sort of silly sophomoric writing. And don't realize that this is the tone that leads to Chavez stating that Bush is the Devil and waving a book by Chomsky at the UN.

Nigel, grow up. You're bad attempt at ingratiating yourself to your red-hipped readership shows how simplistic and ignorant your thinking is. What makes you, first of all, so certain that President Bush doesn't care about the planet, its (sic) people and its (sic) peace? Can't even punctuate properly these days, eh?

But these are mere opinions: Nigel is entitled to them.

What he is not entitled to are his own facts.

It is romantic to suppose we would all now have hydrogen cars and solar-powered homes. As surely as the screening I saw was preceded by ads for gas- guzzling roadsters, a Gore White House would still drive limos and fly executive jets. It would still need to placate the oil lobby and control the individual delinquencies of 53 states. But at least Kyoto would have been signed. At least lip-service would be paid to eco-crisis. At least we wouldn't have Anthropithecus Dubya incanting: "What problem? What pollution?"

Idiot. Complete and total idiot. Nigel Andrews, that is.

Bill Clinton signed Kyoto. Even before he did that, the Senate voted 99-0 that they though Kyoto was a Really Bad Idea and that if he signed it, it would not be ratified .

But he signed it anyway.

Know why?

Because Clinton didn't care whether the Kyoto Accord would actually become the law: all he cared about was being able to say "I signed the Kyoto Accord". He didn't care that the Senate, who under the US Constitution is there to make sure that dick-brained politicians - and Clinton is certainly by far the best example of this probably since the beginning of the 20th century - don't sign something that they don't understand and are too stupid to realize is a Really Bad Idea.

But hey, Nigel says that lip service would be paid to eco-crisis.

In other words, don't actually do anything: let's jsut say we do and pretend that it's not a problem.

In other words, Nigel and his red-hipped friends are doing exactly what they claim Bush is doing.


The good lines come quick and thick. In the despair column of the ledger: "Within the decade there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro." In the hope column: "Political will is a renew-able resource." We can all do something if we try. Away from the lecture halls the folksiness is laid on with a pitchfork. Gore recalls his childhood, repines over the parental tobacco business – given up when Gore's cigarette smoking sister died of lung cancer – and sighs away the pain of that lost election. He now seems fitter, if fatter. There is always 2008. And An Inconvenient Truth, full of wit and wisdom, is a good campaigning ad. I hope it was meant as something more, although in politics scepticism is a renewable resource.

Nigel, the reason that there won't be snow on Kilimanjaro is not because of "global warming", but rather because deforestation around Kilimanjaro means that there is no water vapor rising from the jungle (which isn't there anymore) and because the missing water vapor doesn't form clouds that move upwards when they approach Kilimanjaro there is no snow that falls from them.

That's why the snow is disappearing on Kilimanjaro.

Idiot. Nigel Andrews, that is.

Gore also didn't give up the tobacco business when his sister died, but rather first when he realized that he was going to be lambasted as a hypocrite for pulling out the story of his sister dying AND continue to have a working tobacco farm (leased out) in the family.

Unfortunately, in journalism stupidity is also a renewable resource.

Even at the FT. Sad.

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