Tuesday, March 6, 2007

False Messengers

NBC has appointed a new boss for their evening Newscast.

They are in deep shock since losing a ratings week to ABC.

As usual, they've missed the point entirely.

Aside from the fact that so many former viewers are too busy to sit down at 6pm every week night, and so many former viewers, regardless of age, are getting their news from dozens of alternate sources on the web, the problem isn't the Wizards of Oz behind the curtain.

In this case, the problem is the anchor, Brian Williams.

Has there ever in the history of broadcast been a more manufactured construct than this robotic impersonator of a news anchor?
Last night, Mr. Williams was in Iraq. Perhaps he was "imbedded." I couldn't tell, because he wasn't in his nighties or his pj's. Instead, looking exactly like a glossy magazine spread for L.L. Bean, Mr. Williams was wearing a positively gorgeous buff New England-Maine-Vermont jacket and a fabulous half-zippered dark sweater/shirt underneath. The only thing that was missing was Mr. Whathisface from Seinfeld describing his trek through the Malaysian jungles and concluding with the price, "$179.99 in half sizes."
Mr. Williams has a nervous tic. He's had it from Day One. His head lops over to one side or the other all the time. He should see a doctor. Except that this is an affectation, a design. And it's bullshit. We're supposed to be drawn into his "casual sincerity and deep concern." Except that we are not, because we are either wondering about his clothing account or when he will see his chiropractor.
No doubt "News Anchor Idol" is the coming big hit.

The Emperor Never Says, "I'm Sorry."

You've heard, by now, of people being "in denial." Of course, you have. It's been the stuff of late night comedians for decades.

Well, meet Shinzo Abe, the recently elected Prime Minister of Japan.

There are those poor benighted souls wandering the darker corners of the earth who would have us believe that the Nazi Holocaust is a fiction, a dream, a fabulous P.R. campaign devised by those wily Jews who, by the way, control all the banks and all the money in the world.

Well, they've got nothing on good old Shinzo Abe.

In spite of the overwhelming files of evidence and thousands upon thousands of personal testimonials documenting the enforced prostitution of Korean and Chinese women by Japan during WWII, the Prime Minister is not only unwilling to offer some token apology, but he denies that any of this happened at all!

This is happening before our disbelieving eyes in a modern society ruled apparently by intelligent, elected representatives.
The shame of the "comfort women" is bad enough. To multiply it by pretending this is mere narrative is to rub enormous towers of salt into deep - and real - wounds.
Wake up, Japan. Find a new captain to steer the ship.