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Friday, May 30, 2008

Regularly Scheduled Programming

The big news today is that the Rules Committee for the Democratic Convention will meet today and tomorrow and bang out a some sort of compromise on the delegates from Florida and Michigan.

Except, it's not.

In a completely unrelated and totally coincidental revelation that was probably not orchestrated at a very opportune time by Team Clinton, Barack Obama woke up to video of a Catholic Priest -- as a guest speaker at his church -- making fun of Hillary Clinton crying. I guess we're supposed to forget that pretty much every late night talk show host did the same thing. You'd think that Clinton comparing her own party to Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe would get some press, but the media doesn't play that way -- if they did, they'd have to get into this whole big, long thing about what's going on in Zimbabwe. That'd just take time that could be better used showing you video of Mariah Carey doing an awful job of throwing out the first pitch at a Tokyo baseball game. No one wants to miss that, Mariah looks too cute in those shorts and heels and floppity ponytail to pass up. Pretty gaijin lady pitches to the dirt -- how unfortunate.

For their part, the media's reaction the church video has been "Yay! A new pastor scandal!"

Except it's not Obama's pastor.

But that doesn't keep a news media -- who, I remind you, always assumes you're a freakin' moron -- from running the clip once every half hour.

Of course, there's been other news this week. Former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan wrote a "tell-all" book. While what Scottie wrote is being called a "revelation," it's really just a confirmation of what everyone already knows -- the Bush White House is a BS factory in what McClellan calls "permanent campaign" mode. The only real news there is that someone everyone assumed was a loyal Bushie wrote it.

Yeah, I'm ridiculing the television media. If you read me often, you're used to it. If you don't, get used to it. They're missing big stories to focus on stories that can't possibly have any lasting importance -- with the possible exception of the McClellan story, where they're downplaying their own part in that scandal. But one story they're missing hasn't happened yet. I guess we can give them time to catch the obvious, but I'm not holding my breath.

First, there was the news that Gen. David Petraeus foresees Iraq troop reductions coming in September. "My sense is I will be able to make a recommendation at that time for some further reductions," Petraeus said at the Senate held a confirmation hearing for his promotion to the head of US Central Command.

Now, the news comes out that another high-profile, big news event will also happen in September:

Miami Herald:

Defense lawyers for the alleged 9/11 conspirators on Thursday accused the Pentagon prosecutor of rushing to begin the complex Sept. 11, 2001, mass-murder trial in the height of the presidential campaign season.

The U.S. military attorneys included the claim in a 20-page brief asking the military judge to dismiss the capital charges against alleged al Qaeda kingpin Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other Guantánamo detainees.

The document includes an e-mail from a civilian member of the prosecution team proposing to set the trial date for Sept. 15, the Monday after the seventh anniversary of the suicide attacks.

Of course, like the timing of Obama's new "pastor," the timing of the troop reductions and a big time 9/11 conspirator trial are purely coincidental. The perfect combination of "Huzzah! We're winning in Iraq!" and "Holy crap! Terrorists!" would otherwise be so damned obvious to anyone with even a fraction of a brain that everyone from Wolf Blitzer to Katie Couric would bring it up. Clearly, there's not any sort of scheduling of news events going on, because the TV media would be right on top of that.

And the fact that the Republican National Convention is at the beginning of September is likewise completely coincidental. That Republican after Republican will be able to stand before a screaming crowd of 4,500 happy people in crazy hats and predict the great things that are in the works for the coming weeks is only serendipity. Stay the course. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Four more years, four more years. Yay Baghdad Johnny!

Nah, it'd be crazy to see some sort of connection there and even crazier to actually go and report it -- mostly because it would underscore how often the Bush administration manipulates a willfully gullible TV press. That story -- like McClellan's criticism of a lazy and far too complacent media -- would be a little uncomfortable, to say the least. So it's better just to report the stories and let you draw any conclusions you might from the obvious scheduling of events.

So it's going to be the GOP convention, where the story will be that good things are just around the corner. Then a small percentage of troops will come home and Khalid Sheik Mohammed will be brought into a courtroom in chains and the story will be, "Golly, will you look at that? Good things were just around the corner. Who knew?"

And then Jessica Simpson will trip and fall into a briar patch or Barack Obama's former paperboy will call John McCain a pasty-faced cracker. Having established that the speakers at the Republican National Convention were absolutely right about everything, the short attention-span media will wander off in search of shiny baubles.

So never mind that the GOP and the Bush administration are obviously and blatantly coordinating historical events beforehand, Racheal Ray's wearing a terrorist scarf.

Except she's not.


Technorati tags: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; There's a lot of stories scheduled for , but the one that won't be reported is that there are a lot of news stories scheduled for September