3:27 a.m., Pacific Standard Time.
Author sits sorting Korean War documents in the full brunt of the Fox News broadcast glow: exposure is thus achieved to the tail end of Glenn Beck, most of O’Reilly.
No techno music or cello arpeggios to drown down the magnetism.
Beck pastiche: Patriotic men profess attachment to no political party, stirring the masses toward a Christian nation. Texan preachers near cotton fields demand return to founding father’s principals. Old men demand an end to the communistic thought of people in power. A veteran in D.C. for a “tea party” bellows into a microphone that he fought for the freedom of the people in South Vietnam. The young man with slightly gay spectacles and a microphone asks “Are you an angry mob?” before being tossed back to the studio. Correspondents in the field speak openly of their rage. No specific aspect of the legislation in Congress is discussed. Beck urges peaceful change, laughs at the normalcy of protesters, then finally hates on misuse of the flag for political purposes. The last moment actually endears. He hates his own logo! Ah yes, change is on the way, via the cherubic apostle of Ephesians.
O’Reilly impressions: I realize that Obama is a poor advocate of his own plan when O’Reilly becomes the first voice to articulate the benefits of covering everyone (e.g., much less expenditure on expensive emergency care for the uninsured). Maybe O’Reilly is really an independent as he professes? The non-partisan veneer quickly falls off like a mask of peace from MacArthur in a North Korean cartoon.
George Stephanopulous quickly gets manhandled and sandwiched, after which an angry author demands that we remember the horror and anger and leaping bodies of 9-11. (Right, what a great idea — maybe a tatoo of people jumping out of a burning building in a city I love to my core would prove my Americanness? Suddenly I am sympathetic to Japanese who want to forget the war.) And that Obama’s surge in Afghanistan doesn’t impress him in the least.
O’Reilly reminds us that he will be paired with angry 9-11 book man in a special 9-11 twin-billing editorial in the New York Post. (At the mention of this rag, I suddenly miss it, feeling the rattle and tug of the N train to Queens, smelling the black ink of the Post, and I long for a Dunkin’ Donuts crumbling down the chute amid the acrid mixture of all things New York.)
Then things get really interesting. Up until now we have had points of view, but now the broadcast veers into propaganda. O’Reilly cuts to video (having used as “outro tease” material three times now) of two Fox actors posing as a pimp and prostitute in an ACORN office in Baltimore. Not suprisingly, their fake premise resulted in footage of a black woman talking about prostitution which ends up on Fox. Since the actors were posing as sex workers looking to buy a house and evade taxes, it seems awfully strange to be accusing ACORN rather than FOX of impropriety, but then again the purpose was served. The equation remains. ACORN=scofflaw blacks; and someone on a subsequent Van Jones/William Ayers broadcast will close the loop on ACORN=Obama=Chicago corruption.
Fortunately Fox decides not examine what actually happens in BALTIMORE, which is, I am sad to say, basically a very deep shithole of a city with serious and systematic problems. I was there as a shocked boy at age 12, shuttled between the vast and endless ghetto and Baltimore Symphony music director David Zinman’s mansion. And then we sang Mahler’s 3 Symphony in Meyerhoff hall and regained our Viennese-style boyhood.
As for Fox and the ACORN story: at least O’Reilly and Obama are on the same page here, e.g., don’t talk about heroin, crack, or foreclosures in Baltimore. That would be unpleasant.
Then platinum blond anchor/editorialist Megan Kelly shows up to pump more life into the ACORN story, asking “Why wouldn’t every newscast in the country be showing this?” Uh, because it’s two FOX news ACTORS posing as a pimp and a prostitute? And we should be shocked and surprised when the ACORN worker tries her best to take them seriously IN BALTIMORE? Completely absent from the story are basic things like, say, statistics about average income in black neighborhoods in Baltimore or prostitution (and its connection to income and/or drug addiction in that city).
Statistical breakdown of females on the broadcast: (4) blonde caucasian female commentators, each employed by FOX, indignant with militant patriotism and assumed to be credible; (1) black female, employed by ACORN and assumed to be in league with prostitutes, drug dealers, and the (communist) President of the United States.
Why does the FOX-ACORN propaganda war remind me so much of the CCP-FALUN GONG propaganda war? Because it does.
Although I start to have a droozy flashback to Bigger Thomas in Native Son (where we have real white bourgeois Marxists trying to help out a benighted black man in 1930s Chicago), FOX just keeps on rolling, preventing me from forming a complete thought. The show after O’Reilly delves even deeper into the pimp/prostitute ACORN video from Baltimore! Investigative non-reporting at its best. Then the story becomes about ACORN’s accusations of “lies and distortions” coming from FOX.
My Falun Gong hypothesis holds.
This morning the American HLN channel, an affiliate of CNN, reported on Chinese espionage conducted against the United States, particularly in the area of cyber-warfare. This report, while not yet online, indicates a slow build in similar reports, including this summer’s allegations in Los Angeles of a Chinese-born Boeing engineer for passing some 300,000 sensitive aerospace documents to the Chinese government.
Chinese media has been spending quite a bit of energy tamping down such fears, in part by pointing to inflated fears in the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on China’s military strength. While they could just quote the relevant sections of Thomas Bartlett’s Barnett’s brilliant book The Pentagon’s New Map or site this pithy Slate editorial on the Pentagon’s unjustified paranoia over the Chinese military, the Chinese media chooses to issue a few editorials about increased transparency.
Here is a relevant excerpt from Xinhua’s point of view:
The US Pentagon released its annual report…turning a blind eye to China’s long-held peaceful defense policy and ever increasing military openness.
In the largely subjective report with distorted facts and groundless speculations, the Pentagon alleged that “China continues to promulgate incomplete defense expenditure figures and engage in actions that appear inconsistent with its declaratory policies.” etc.
Read the rest here.
For those of us with strong memories of the Cox Report and the anti-Chinese upswing in the United States in 1999 (including the blistering Wen Ho Lee case), these trends aren’t good. Although Wu Bangguo is in town to meet with Obama and Hillary, and the State Department has been incredibly pliant toward Chinese imperatives (deferring to colleagues at Treasury), it seems that military competition, rather than cooperation, with China is in the cards.
And just wait until the PLA marches past Tiananmen, showing off Mao’s portrait and the newest missiles. Such displays are in part intended to intimidate regional rivals like India, the country about which China Daily recently raised the prospect of a Sino-Indian border war, then almost farcically tried to placate by stating that “a section of the Chinese media has also been found lacking in ethics” in coverage of India. And given that the Dalai Lama is planning to moving through Arunachal Pradech, an Indian state he normally stays out of, a state which happens to have border conflict with China, they have their reasons. And yet, although other audiences are intended for the missiles (including the recalcitrant DPRK), there is no doubt that the militarized elements of the October 1 celebration in Beijing will amp up apprehension toward China in the United States.
It doesn’t matter that China absorbed almost 40% of the net job loss of the global downturn or that its economy is a huge reason why the global economy is afloat: get ready for a resurgence of anti-China sentiment of multiple angles — with economic, military, and human-rights prongs — in the United States.
And lest you believe the U.S. is going it alone, it may bear repeating that Canadian papers like the Ottawa Citizen are running front page stories on Chinese spying there. (The stories are based on a forthcoming book “authored by former intelligence officer Michel Juneau-Katsuya and Montreal investigative journalist Fabrice de Pierrebourg,” reports the Ottawa paper.) Yet in literally the same breath, Canadian thinkers are contemplating decoupling further from U.S. influence and reaching out further to China if only out of economic necessity.
One final, disturbing thought from the Ottawa Citizen, acting as a giant leadup to the forthcoming investigative book by de Pierrebourg and his colleague:
They reveal the hidden hand of Chinese intelligence in getting the House of Commons in 2007 to shame China’s old enemy Japan for its treatment of foreign women during the Second World War…
The Chinese agents…cultivate legislators at every level, according to the book.
In November 2007, the [Canadian House of] Commons unanimously passed a motion calling on Japan to apologize to foreign women forced into military brothels during the Second World War.
The authors say an “official investigation,” presumably by CSIS or the RCMP, revealed that a Chinese intelligence service — the United Front Work Department — orchestrated and financed the Chinese-Canadian group that lobbied parliamentarians for the motion.
“Japan is China’s principal competitor on the Asian subcontinent, and so it was in China’s interest to create a chill in Canada-Japan relations. The ‘atrocities’ were the handiest available tool. Canadian legislators … none of them asked for CSIS’s opinion on what was going on.” ‘Silencing’ dissident voices So-called “foreign interference” has a much more sinister side.