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
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
6) Letterman’s "Top Ten Signs Michael Bloomberg
Doesn't Like Being Mayor."
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.)
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
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
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
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?" Student Dan
Blackman responded: "I was freaked about free speech. I was really
bothered by all that. I’m much more scared of losing a lot of those
civil rights than I was."
Bunn to the
two high school girls: "What about you guys?"
complained: "Well, I remember, like, one of the things that was just
like most difficult to accept for me was seeing the like T-shirts that
said like, like ‘bomb them’ or like ‘kill the,’ like I don’t
know, all this like hate speech that like seemed really just unnecessary
in such like a difficult time for everyone."
"You don’t understand the anger that people would feel?"
"I don’t know like, I definitely could understand anger, but they
just like, like my friend told me that she was walking down the street and
she saw a guy with like a screen-printed jacket that said on it like
‘Nuke the Arabs.’ And it was just like what are you talking about?
Like that’s not what this is about. This is about like remembering the
people who died and like."
MSNBC cut to
student Alexandra Rosenberg: "There were two things that really
bugged me about what happened after. One, when I was watching the State of
the Union address and all Bush would talk about, President Bush, would
talk about was the military and taking all this money and giving it to the
Bush in State
of the Union: "My budget includes the largest increase in defense
spending in two decades. [edit jump] Whatever it costs to defend our
country we will pay."
show Rosenberg’s second point, jumping instead back to Blackman: "I
think by the end the thing that bugged me about Bush’s State of the
Union also after was God, I couldn’t stand that. And everything, it was
like, yes ‘God, the Judeo-Christian God Bless America.’ You know,
we’re now going to quote from the Judeo-Christian Bible. And that
[unintelligible, could be "annoyed me"] so much because we’re
having this war, we’re having this ideology conflict that we’re in
some degree tracing to Islam, we’re saying it’s a religion thing, but
yet now 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
got in her second lament: "The really false sense of patriotism that
exists. People waving flags all of a sudden because they think that’s
what they’re supposed to do. And I remember for the two weeks after
September 11th until four in the morning, these guys would stand on the
overpass that went over the Long Island Expressway, and they were drinking
beer and holding flags and signs that say, that said, ‘honk if you hate
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.
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
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
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?"
"Well Al Gore is the living example of how not to do this. Al Gore
made it into a liability because he seemed so uncomfortable about Clinton.
He never talked about peace and prosperity, never talked about the record
of the eight years and as a result he seemed devious and he seemed
constricted. I think that the way to handle any political problem is try
to seem natural and comfortable and maybe a little humor helps too."
"You have said that it’s Clintonian that many of these people are
running, that they have Clinton-like chutzpah."
"Almost everything associated with Bill Clinton is larger than life
and the notion that so many people would choose to run, so many people who
have had no political experience -- at least Rahm is starting at a
reasonable stage -- those who are running for Governor and United States
Senator who have never run for anything before, you got to figure it’s
kind of excessive."
"Almost all of them, without exception, would say this isn’t about
Bill Clinton, this is about my record. Are they right? Can they avoid the
shadow of Bill Clinton?"
"No way they can avoid him. It’s about their records, but can’t
avoid it. I mean, you know, Bill Clinton in some ways is the ultimate test
of their humanity. The public is going to look at them and it’s going to
see how they respond to this problem, this huge elephant, or maybe huge
donkey, lurking behind their campaign. And the way they deal with that is
going to tell the public a lot about what kind of people they are."
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?"
enthused: "Well Clinton changed the way Democrats looked at social
policy, moving it from bureaucracy toward the use of tax credits, and did
it very, very successfully, very substantively...."
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.
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.
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
JAG airs Tuesdays at 8pm EST/PST, 7pm CST/MST.
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!"
9. Demanded a recount to see if maybe Mark Green won after all
8. He's gobbling Prozac like M&Ms
7. Missed most recent city council meeting to watch "Baby Bob"
6. Asked advisors, "How many interns would I have to sleep with to
5. Heard muttering, "I spent $70 million for this?"
4. Wants to move mayor's office to the Bahamas
3. Keeps asking, "Is it 2006 yet?"
2. Called Knicks' coach offering to swap jobs
1. Answers every policy question with, "Why are you bothering me with
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.