Pimp My Tragedy

Perhaps we should change the name of the nightly news to “Pimp My Tragedy.”

It’s that time of the year again where the news catches Paul Revere syndrome and starts screaming, “The terrorists are coming” to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11. This year ABC News is squeezing more fear juice out of the turnip by reporting Al-Qaeda is planning to attack our public utilities, according to “intelligence.”

Maybe I missed something but isn’t “intelligence” not supposed to be shared with the public? What am I supposed to do with this knowledge?

Should I stay inside and cower in fear? Or should I keep my eyes out for “suspicious” people? If anyone remembers 9/11, they’d recall that Mossad agents, who are supposed to be our allies, were staying next door to the hijackers. If they couldn’t figure it out I don’t have much hope for the average American citizen.

There’s really no use for this information other than to scare us into doing what we’re told.

With today’s ever vigilant American public, the tactic seems to work. Most of the “intelligence” comes from anonymous sources who leak press releases disguised as stories to the same cast of reporters.

While the idea of not revealing a source for safety and journalistic integrity makes sense, we don’t demand any evidence whatsoever.

For example, there were recent reports Al-Qaeda was trying to surgically implant bombs in its members to get past security. As per usual this came from an anonymous source with no way to verify it. In the journalism world, this would be classified as a rumor but the news media repeatedly ran the story without questioning the validity of the evidence or lack thereof.

It seems as if the American public will believe anything as long as it sounds scary enough.

At what point do we demand some burden of proof? Is it not bad enough that faulty “intelligence” led us to an illegal war in Iraq or the extraordinary renditions of countless innocent men, women and children? What about the bombings of such dangerous threats as Libyan preschools for children with down syndrome or nine Afghan boys going to collect firewood?

We’re so isolated from these events that it doesn’t phase the us. Even the Orwellian reach of the Patriot Act and the ever emerging stories of FBI sponsored (otherwise known as entrapment) terror plots domestically have not aroused any ire in the American public because they supposedly target the “enemy.”

What about a universal American experience like going to the airport?

Flying currently come with the chance of getting cancer from a body scanner or a complimentary groping (can we get a happy ending for the sake of courtesy?) from a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent. It’s gotten so excessive that a black woman in Seattle had her hair searched because the policy was to investigate anything that “poofs” from the body.

The mistakes made on 9/11 were a result of faulty intelligence, not lack of reach arounds at the airport.

Nonetheless, we keep hearing, “The terrorists are coming” and allow gross human rights violations overseas while relinquishing civil liberties at home.

Once upon a time Patrick Henry said,  “Give me liberty or give me death.” We had a revolution demanding no taxation without representation.

Now our tax dollars are used to create enemies and fondle us. Simply questioning the ghost stories used to put us to sleep is considered unpatriotic.

In a democracy the media is supposed to hold power to account. Instead we have talking heads convincing us flying should feel like a field trip to the Catholic Church. Isn’t it time to demand better?

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2 Responses to “Pimp My Tragedy”

  1. I believe you have noted some very interesting points , thankyou for the post.

  2. Great review! This is exactly the type of post that should be shared around the web. Sad on the Yahoo for not ranking this blog post higher!

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