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wedgeA
06-29-2002, 06:51 PM
Anyone catch the last episode? I didn't always agree with Bill Maher, but at least the show was a work of substance in the vapid intellectual watseland of television. Now we are in store for Jimmy Kimmel and more Bachelors, American Idols, etc. God forbid something should actually porvoke and challenge the viewer.

2-1B
06-29-2002, 06:54 PM
Bill Maher is great! I haven't watched the show in many years, just a scheduling thing I guess.

QLD
06-29-2002, 06:58 PM
I used to watch it on comedy central. When it moved to the networks, I lost touch with it. Kind of like Craig Kilborn. I don't really like Bill Mahr (not because of his viewpoints, I just don't like him), but I loved the idea behind the show. I think they lost a lot of their "edge" when they left, and also lost part of their audience as well.

Jek Porky 2002
06-29-2002, 07:19 PM
I didnt see it.

MikeAndTheBots
06-29-2002, 07:50 PM
That was a great show. That's what you get for disagreeing with and not caring mainstream America at times...

Jedi Juice
06-29-2002, 11:47 PM
Speaking of political incorrectness, don't understand why the Disney movie "Song of the South" is banned in the US. I had to order a British copy from ebay so I could enjoy Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit's shananigans. Oh well.

TeeEye7
06-30-2002, 08:30 AM
Bill M:Pirate: walked the plank? It's about time!

Exhaust Port
06-30-2002, 10:08 AM
After his "the terrorists were brave for what they did on 9/11 and not cowardly like our military style of fighting" that he should have been shot. What an ***$.

I always had a problem with the fact that he was less of a moderator and more of an antagonist (sp?). He always came across as pompous idiot who was more concerned about being right than anything else. I for one am glad to see him gone.

stillakid
06-30-2002, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by Exhaust Port
After his "the terrorists were brave for what they did on 9/11 and not cowardly like our military style of fighting" that he should have been shot. What an ***$.

I always had a problem with the fact that he was less of a moderator and more of an antagonist (sp?). He always came across as pompous idiot who was more concerned about being right than anything else. I for one am glad to see him gone.






posted by http://www.millionflagmarch.com/bill/quick.htm

What Happened: The Very Quick Version

Bill Maher is being unfairly condemned for remarks he made on Politically Incorrect -- remarks that many have erroneously interpreted as praising the terrorists and denigrating the bravery of the U.S. military. Sears and FedEx have pulled their advertising, several affiliates have dropped the show, and Disney (ABC's parent company) is reportedly considering canceling the show. The problem is, Maher didn't say the things he was accused of saying. And, he has even apologized for any vagueness that might have led to the misinterpretation. But yet, he is still being vilified and punished for it. Our nation is in the midst of a crisis, and we must stand together. But we've got too many real enemies to start creating false ones. If you agree, please sign our petition in support of Bill Maher.

What Happened: The Somewhat Quick Version
We encourage you to read the transcript and accompanying articles, and make your own judgment as to what happened, and whether it was fair. But if you want the quick version of what happened, here it is:

For those not familiar with Bill Maher, he is the host of a late-night TV on ABC show called Politically Incorrect. The show features a mixture of political and celebrity guests discussing issues of the day, usually in a quick, animated, combative fashion.

On Monday, September 17th, Maher and his guests were discussing the attack on the World Trade Center -- primarily, what could be done to prevent further attacks. Part of this discussion included the following exchange between Maher and conservative writer/commentator Dinesh D'Souza:

Dinesh: Bill, there's another piece of political correctness I want to mention. And, although I think Bush has been doing a great job, one of the themes we hear constantly is that the people who did this are cowards.

Bill: Not true.

Dinesh: Not true. Look at what they did. First of all, you have a whole bunch of guys who are willing to give their life. None of 'em backed out. All of them slammed themselves into pieces of concrete.

Bill: Exactly.

Dinesh: These are warriors. And we have to realize that the principles of our way of life are in conflict with people in the world. And so -- I mean, I'm all for understanding the sociological causes of this, but we should not blame the victim. Americans shouldn't blame themselves because other people want to bomb them.

Bill: But also, we should -- we have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly. You're right.

Now, for those who had watched the whole show and knew Maher's past work, the meaning was pretty clear. He wasn't praising the terrorists, merely making the logical point that if we are going to fight an enemy, we shouldn't underestimate them. These terrorists should be called evil, fanatic, and many other things not appropriate for print. But if we pretend they are cowards, we're not being realistic, and the strategies we design to oppose them will be far less likely to succeed. And, regarding the line that "we" are cowardly, the "we" was pretty clearly in line with his past statements criticizing the politicians, not the military.

And indeed, Maher himself clarified the remarks 2 days later, and apologized for being vague:

"In no way was I intending to say, nor have I ever thought, that the men and women who defend our nation in uniform are anything but courageous and valiant, and I offer my apologies to anyone who took it wrong.

My criticism was meant for politicians who, fearing public reaction, have not allowed our military to do the job they are obviously ready, willing and able to do, and who now will, I'm certain, as they always have, get it done."

Taken in context, Maher's points were clear. Unfortunately, out-of-context misinterpretations of them spread like wildfire -- ones which erroneously implied that Maher was praising the terrorists and denigrating the U.S. military. Some of these were spread innocently by people who'd heard the remarks second or third hand. Some appeared to have been spread deliberately. But the end result was the same -- huge numbers of people believed that Maher said something he didn't.

And huge numbers of people vilified him for it. Several ABC affiliates dropped the show. And, sponsors FedEx and Sears pulled their advertising, with the latter claiming:

"Sears took this action after reviewing a transcript of the September 17 conversation among Maher and his guests in which the U.S. military was described as cowardly."

Even after Maher's explanation that he was not talking about the military, and even after prominent figures from across the political spectrum backed Maher up, Sears did not reverse its decision. Worse yet, over a week after the incident, the NY Post reported that executives with Disney (parent company of ABC) were still considering canceling the show.

So what's wrong with this picture? And why should we care about a TV show when our nation faces so many larger problems right now?

What's wrong with this picture is that a man's reputation and career is being destroyed for something he didn't say, for an out-of-context misinterpretation blown out of proportion by the winds of hysteria. And that's a dangerous path for our nation to start going down. No one in their right minds could swear under oath that they truly believe Maher was praising the terrorists -- and yet he's still being punished as if he did. In the heat of the moment, it was understandable how this happened. Our nation is in a crisis, and every one of us is angry, frustrated, and devastated. And, Maher became the vehicle for many to vent all those feelings. But it's time to step back, take a breath, and stop punishing a man for something he didn't do.

So why should we care? Don't we have bigger priorities? Of course. We all realize that helping the victims and defending our nation comes first. But we also must realize that what is happening to Maher is setting a very disturbing precedent. If advertisers choose to not sponsor Maher because they don't like his show or his opinions, that's their choice. And if affiliates choose not to run him for the same reason, that's their choice as well.

What is worrisome, however, is that advertisers and affiliates are dropping him not for what he actually said, but because they are giving into hysteria fueled by false rumors of what he said. And if Americans stand by and let this happen, we're sending a clear signal that it is okay to suppress the speech of those deemed to have controversial opinions -- even if the evidence isn't there. Does it mean that renewed McCartyism is right around the corner? No. After all, it's just a TV show. And that's why we need to protest this -- to make sure that this trend never goes further... than "just a TV show."

Our nation is in the midst of a crisis, and we must stand together. But we've got too many real enemies to start creating false ones. Please sign our petition, and tell your friends to do the same.

stillakid
06-30-2002, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by Jedi Juice
Speaking of political incorrectness, don't understand why the Disney movie "Song of the South" is banned in the US. I had to order a British copy from ebay so I could enjoy Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit's shananigans. Oh well.



http://www.bannedfilms.com

Walt Disneyís 1946 classic Song of the South is one of the few exceptions to the adage the book is better than the movie. This is because dialect is so difficult to read, but it is readily understood verbally. The book that the film is based on is called Uncle Remus, His Songs and Sayings, written by Joel Chandler Harris in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Tales about animals, resembling Aesops Fables are told by a kindly old slave named Remus. The main character of many of the tales is the stealthy and cunning and many times violent Brer Rabbit. Folklorists have demonstrated that the tales are authentic slave tales that were passed on orally on the plantations of the Old South. Many, they believe, have African origins. Harris himself confessed that he did not add or subtract anything from the slave tales, as they were transmitted to him by old slaves during his youth. To the enslaved African-American hearers of Uncle Remusí tales, the rabbit provided an acceptable outlet for the overwhelming hostility which would lead to self destruction if openly expressed. By the same token, it was impossible for Brer Rabbit tales to be printed or told publicly in the South until after emancipation .

Brer Rabbit is black from his head to his tale. His tales document one revolutionary turn of events after another. The world of superior force is undermined, but so is the notion that the meek shall inherit the earth; cunning often results in victory, but the trickster can also be tricked. Brer Rabbit exhibits the revolutionary consciousness that is necessary to survive in an oppressive system. He suggests that no order can be depended on for very long, that there are no certainties that goodness may win this week and power the next. What is certain is the need to improvise, hang loose, stay cool, avoid sticky situations, avoid rigid interpretations of events. Brer Rabbit shows that anarchy undermines all systems which mask reality. His lessons inculcate a revolutionary consciousness because they teach that no one ever needs to accept limitations on the self. While Brer Rabbit may hate, he does not hate life. In fact he glories in its manifold possibilities and its possibilities for reversal.

All of this was made acceptable to the white Southern audiences of the 1870ís and the 1940ís by the fact that while Brer Rabbit is often violent and hateful, his narrator, Uncle Remus the slave, is always loving, kind and docile. This is the very reason that Song of the South was banned in the 1960ís. It was no longer acceptable to portray a kindly docile darkey. Audiences of such sensibilities would do well to remember that Brer Rabbit is bigger than his narrator.

The Brer Rabbit tales are essentially an outlet of slave society that needed a way of overturning the antihuman structure of the slave system. They also possess a universal quality in that they offer a release for all of us who from time to time feel oppressed and that there are limits placed upon us. In reconstruction America, the closest analogy to slavery was children surrounded by an adult world of unrelenting authority, thus the popularity of Uncle Remus among white children. His tales were in Mark Twainís words the oracle of the nationís nurseries. After 35 years of immense popularity among American children, President Theodore Roosevelt remarked to Joel Chandler Harris Presidents may come and presidents may go, but Uncle Remus stays put!

Unfortunately, since the 1960ís, Song of the South has not stayed put. We have in many ways come full circle. We have returned to the days when Brer Rabbit tales may not be told. Since the mid-1960ís Song of the South has been suppressed by the shrill unthinking voices whose knee jerk reactions of suppression are, more often than not, based on their own prejudices rather than some actual racist theme in the film that they suppress. Now, due to the democratic nature of the internet, you will be able to view clips from this 1946 classic on your personal computer, even though the Motion Picture Association of America will not allow you to own it.




http://www.snopes2.com/disney/films/sots.htm
Claim: The film Song of the South has never been released on home video in the USA.

Status: True.

Origins: Song of the South, a 1946 Disney film mixing animation and live action, was based on the "Uncle Remus" stories of Joel Chandler Harris. Harris, who had grown up in Georgia during the Civil War, spent a lifetime compiling and publishing the tales told to him by former slaves. These stories -- many of which Harris learned from an old Black man he called "Uncle George" -- were first published as columns in The Atlanta Constitution and were later syndicated nationwide and published in book form. Harris's Uncle Remus was a fictitious old slave and philosopher who told entertaining fables about Br'er Rabbit and other woodland creatures in a Southern Black dialect.

Song of the South consists of animated sequences featuring Uncle Remus characters such as Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear, framed by live-action portions in which Uncle Remus (portrayed by actor James Baskett, who won a special Oscar for his efforts) tells the stories to a little white boy upset over his parents' impending divorce. Although some Blacks have always been uneasy about the minstrel tradition of the Uncle Remus stories, the major objections to Song of the South had to do with the live action portions. The film has been criticized both for "making slavery appear pleasant" and "pretending slavery didn't exist", even though the film (like Harris' original collection of stories) is set after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Still, as folklorist Patricia A. Turner writes:

Disney's 20th century re-creation of Harris's frame story is much more heinous than the original. The days on the plantation located in "the United States of Georgia" begin and end with unsupervised Blacks singing songs about their wonderful home as they march to and from the fields. Disney and company made no attempt to to render the music in the style of the spirituals and work songs that would have been sung during this era. They provided no indication regarding the status of the Blacks on the plantation. Joel Chandler Harris set his stories in the post-slavery era, but Disney's version seems to take place during a surreal time when Blacks lived on slave quarters on a plantation, worked diligently for no visible reward and considered Atlanta a viable place for an old Black man to set out for.
Kind old Uncle Remus caters to the needs of the young white boy whose father has inexplicably left him and his mother at the plantation. An obviously ill-kept Black child of the same age named Toby is assigned to look after the white boy, Johnny. Although Toby makes one reference to his "ma," his parents are nowhere to be seen. The African-American adults in the film pay attention to him only when he neglects his responsibilities as Johnny's playmate-keeper. He is up before Johnny in the morning in order to bring his white charge water to wash with and keep him entertained.

The boys befriend a little blond girl, Ginny, whose family clearly represents the neighborhood's white trash. Although Johnny coaxes his mother into inviting Ginny to his fancy birthday party at the big house, Toby is curiously absent from the party scenes. Toby is good enough to catch frogs with, but not good enough to have birthday cake with. When Toby and Johnny are with Uncle Remus, the gray-haired Black man directs most of his attention to the white child. Thus Blacks on the plantation are seen as willingly subservient to the whites to the extent that they overlook the needs of their own children. When Johnny's mother threatens to keep her son away from the old gentleman's cabin, Uncle Remus is so hurt that he starts to run away. In the world that Disney made, the Blacks sublimate their own lives in order to be better servants to the white family. If Disney had truly understood the message of the tales he animated so delightfully, he would have realized the extent of distortion of the frame story.

The NAACP acknowledged "the remarkable artistic merit" of the film when it was first released, but decried "the impression it gives of an idyllic master-slave relationship". Disney re-released the film in 1956, but then kept it out of circulation all throughout the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s. In 1970 Disney announced in Variety that Song of the South had been "permanently" retired, but the studio eventually changed its mind and re-released the film in 1972, 1981, and again in 1986 for a fortieth anniversary celebration. Although the film has only been released to the home video market in various European and Asian countries, Disney's reluctance to market it in the USA is not a reaction to an alleged threat by the NAACP to boycott Disney products. The NAACP fielded objections to Song of the South when it premiered, but it has no current position on the movie.

Perhaps lost in all the controversy over the film is the fact that James Baskett, a Black man, was the very first live actor ever hired by Disney. Allegedly, though, Baskett was unable to attend the film's premiere in Atlanta because no hotel would give him a room.

Last updated: 12 July 1997

2-1B
06-30-2002, 11:27 AM
Many thanks to stillakid for offering clarity on the PI matter. :)
I am unsettled by the "lynch Bill Maher" reactions that occurred . . . :(

Exhaust Port
06-30-2002, 12:38 PM
Yeah, I've read the transcript and seen the show. He and his supports cry about out-of-context misinterpritations. Bill followed up his show with out-of-context REinterpretations of what he said. Continued back peddling trying to "explain" what he really meant.

Bill: But also, we should -- we have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly. You're right.

"Even after Maher's explanation that he was not talking about the military..."

I don't know anyother branch/group of our country "lobbing cruise missiles." We the viewer knew what he was talking about, so did the people on the panel that night and the people in the studio audience knew what he was talking about.

stillakid, this groups quoted statement here says that we as a public misinterpreted what he meant (he sure didn't try to clarify himself that night, only when his job was on the line), that we should spend more time concentrating on bigger issues (a public figure making such a ignorant public statement shouldn't be ignored. what if this same statement was made by a foreign broadcaster?), the sponsers should let him say what he wants (it's a sponsers right to support what they want, just as a program can specify what sponsers support them) and that this is a supression of free speech (the battle cry of the cancelled or unsupported).

I can only imagine what his response would have been to the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor. Of course that was a military installation (and not even a US State) against a military population. These "non-coward" folks hijacked a public airliner filled with non-military/non-armed passengers and attacked the private population of America.

I don't care what justification he or anyone else came up with after his little show, he's still an ***$.

stillakid
06-30-2002, 03:02 PM
coward n. One showing ignoble fear in the face of danger or pain.

cowardice n. Lack of courage or resoluteness.

cowardly adj. Ignobly lacking in courage

antonym: brave, courageous


However heinous, a guy driving an airplane into concrete resulting in certain death isn't the act of a coward. Misguided passion, yes. Cowardly act, no. Those losers weren't afraid of death or apparently much of anything.

Was the US government or it's agent, the military, being "brave" when it hurled missiles into tents from 1000 miles away?

While you may not like the guy or his position, the definitions speak for themselves. He wasn't out of line in defining the "players" in the way that he did at that time.

And the show was called "Politically Incorrect." The very idea was to run against the grain of a tamed and content populace with ideas counter to the mainstream "company line." The importance of such a forum grows stronger as a society becomes complacent with the status quo.

derek
06-30-2002, 06:28 PM
the funny thing is, it was mostly republicans who were upset by bill mahr's comments. but listening to talk radio as i always do, most of them never even saw his show, but were basing their outrage on comments a houston talk show host, who read a transcript of the show and mahr's comments out of context.

the most ironic thing is that bill mahr was actually being critical of bill clinton, who as commander in chief, was the one who gave the OK to "lob" cruise missles from 1000 miles away because he was too cowardly to actually engage the enemy, all the while trying to deflect the media spotlight away from his affair with monica lewinsky.

Exhaust Port
06-30-2002, 06:45 PM
Any action the US has taken against a foreign country, such as Afganistan or Iraq has been against the military and it's support system. The US doesn't condone the act of attacking innocent civilians. Terrorist on the other hand attack civilians on the majority.

By attacking an unarmed civilian population is cowardly in my book. If you feel differently and see it as a brave act then you are one sick person. A stupid person doesn't understand the pain and doesn't show fear. Are all stupid people not cowards just by the fact that they don't fit the definition?

What pain is there in flying an aircraft into a building at 400 mph? Not much. It's been said that most of the hijackers involved weren't even aware of the plan to drive the aircraft into the Towers. If they weren't cowards than why did they have to trick their co-workers into joining? Again, they attack/attacked unarmed men, women and children. Cowards in my book.

Is the military brave for hurling missles 1000 miles at enemy targets? In my book that is considered smart. Again, our military doesn't go around blowing up civilians on purpose. How many tons of relief supplies have we dropped into Afganistan? Cowards? How many of our country men and women have died defending the freedoms of other countries? Cowards? Why did bombers in WWII drop bombs from 5 miles up? Brave men would have dived their aircraft into the local town chapel filled with civilians to stop the German army? Go to the beaches of Normandy or visit the Vietnam memorial in DC and tell them that they were cowards for not driving a car full of explosives into the parking lot of a day care center.

I think it was a forum that had a good run for awhile but there are grounds that you don't tread on. Somethings are just not right and can't be justified. Bill and others just don't seem to understand that a public forum isn't the place for such comments.

SWAFMAN
06-30-2002, 07:44 PM
right or wrong, brave or cowardly, fair or unfair, in the end what happened to Maher was simply free market economics and democracy in action.

consumers complained to sponsors.

sponsors complained to Maher's bosses at the network, and some pulled their sponsorship $ entirely.

ABC decided they would rather have the money from happy sponsors than have Maher.

Maher was fired.

There were other peripheral reasons, like Maher making comments insulting other influential people previous to 9/11, which contributed to ABC not being too sad about sacking him, but it was the coward comment (or more accurately the controversy over the comment) that did him in.

Again, regardless of the true context of his comments, people who were offended by what they believed he meant voted with their pocketbooks and successfully influenced the network.

There is a deeply valuable lesson in that.

Average people, when acting with others who share their values, CAN influence the bias in media. The key is, as it is (like it or not) in almost everything these days, Money.

If enough people vote with their pocketbook by having the will and strength of character to not only threaten sponsoring companies but to sincerely go through with the threat and honestly NOT spend $ on the products from companies who sponsor programming they don't want, then sponsors will move their $ to programming which the money-spending consumers want.

And don't go crying violation of 1st amendment, or any religious-right trying to control the media bullcrap, either. I'm not advocating supression of anything. Anyone can say whatever they want.

I just believe that the main reason so much liberal bias goes unchecked in the mainstream media is not because those values are reflected in the beliefs of the majority of people, but only because the vast majority of consumers are too lazy to exercise the influence they have.

I have very seriously considered posting on my website the names of every product advertised on the news & editorial programming featured on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX NEWS, and CNN, as a sort of clearing house for consumers who wished to exercise economic activism by buying or boycotting sponsors.

The only reason I haven't done it is my lack of faith in the resolve of the average person. I think the Maher issue was an exception. I honestly don't think enough people are willing to accept the inconvenience, or are intellectually honest enough with themselves to give up their favorite soda-pop or steak sauce because the manufacturer of that item paid for the airtime Dan Rather was on TV telling the voters in the Florida panhandle that Gore had already won the state.

[another rant-a-thon courtesy of your friendly neighborhood swafman :) ]

Jedi Juice
06-30-2002, 07:55 PM
Hey thanks for posting that info about Brer Rabbit and "Song of the South."

stillakid
06-30-2002, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by Exhaust Port
Any action the US has taken against a foreign country, such as Afganistan or Iraq has been against the military and it's support system. The US doesn't condone the act of attacking innocent civilians. Terrorist on the other hand attack civilians on the majority.

By attacking an unarmed civilian population is cowardly in my book. If you feel differently and see it as a brave act then you are one sick person. A stupid person doesn't understand the pain and doesn't show fear. Are all stupid people not cowards just by the fact that they don't fit the definition?

What pain is there in flying an aircraft into a building at 400 mph? Not much. It's been said that most of the hijackers involved weren't even aware of the plan to drive the aircraft into the Towers. If they weren't cowards than why did they have to trick their co-workers into joining? Again, they attack/attacked unarmed men, women and children. Cowards in my book.

Is the military brave for hurling missles 1000 miles at enemy targets? In my book that is considered smart. Again, our military doesn't go around blowing up civilians on purpose. How many tons of relief supplies have we dropped into Afganistan? Cowards? How many of our country men and women have died defending the freedoms of other countries? Cowards? Why did bombers in WWII drop bombs from 5 miles up? Brave men would have dived their aircraft into the local town chapel filled with civilians to stop the German army? Go to the beaches of Normandy or visit the Vietnam memorial in DC and tell them that they were cowards for not driving a car full of explosives into the parking lot of a day care center.

I think it was a forum that had a good run for awhile but there are grounds that you don't tread on. Somethings are just not right and can't be justified. Bill and others just don't seem to understand that a public forum isn't the place for such comments.

I'll wholeheartedly agree with you that lobbing missiles from a distance is smarter than going face to face with an enemy. I'm not interested in getting killed if there are other options. But that is simply an "intelligent" military move in terms of self-preservation, not necessarily a brave act by any stretch of the definition.

The terrorists, as f'd up as they are/were, (albeit, without the means of hurling death from a distance) strapped on some cojones and did "what they had to do" (or at least what they felt was necessary to further their cause). True, maybe it was only the pilots that knew the big picture, but that only goes to prove that there aren't a lot of people in the world "brave" enough to sacrifice their lives in a suicide mission for what they believe in (no matter how whacked their reasoning). For "humanitarian" reasons, we here in the U.S. have come to prefer a "cleaner" battle, devoid of human risk whenever we can manage it. Again, I'll be the first one to step up and advocate that method of fighting, but brave it is not.

But I think you're missing the point. A suicide mission is not being equated with bravery in the sense that your using it. Hell, yes, it is a brave thing to do, to sacrifice your life for your cause. But the absence of "sacrificing" your life doesn't automatically mean that you're not brave. That's not implied at all. All those guys who put themselves in the line of fire, whether on the ground or from 5 miles up are still at great risk. Sitting here an ocean away and being able to spread destruction with the touch of a button doesn't count as "bravery." Just convenience in the name of self-preservation.

And it is vitally important to take these particular terrorist's motivations into consideration. They're not at war with just our government and our military. They're at war with "us." Our debauchery. Our sinfulness. Our extravagance. They blame our way of life for the squalid conditions that the poor of their "people" live in. "WE" are the enemy thus making "innocent civilians" just as culpable in their eyes as the military or the government. Maybe more so. Why else take out The World Trade Center? They could have concentrated 4 airplanes on the Pentagon and White House and done some serious damage to the military complex. But no. Their first target had to do with international commerce and everyone involved with that. WE are the enemy. All of us. So, in their eyes, we are not "innocent civilians" as defined by previous wars. So defining the terrorists as cowards based on a WWII mindset is no longer applicable.

2-1B
07-01-2002, 12:50 AM
Exhaust Port: Any action the US has taken against a foreign country, such as Afganistan or Iraq has been against the military and it's support system.

And their pharmaceutical companies. ( ;) at derek and Rush )

Is the military brave for hurling missles 1000 miles at enemy targets? In my book that is considered smart.

Yes, I very much agree that it is smart . . . are you saying that you are not able to define it as brave? You answered your question of "is it brave?" with "it is smart." :confused:
It's not a bad thing to do things the smart way . . .

Bill and others just don't seem to understand that a public forum isn't the place for such comments.

Huh? It wasn't on C-Span, it was on the television program bearing his name. The point is to be thought provoking, otherwise why even bother having guests with differing viewpoints? :confused:

How many of our country men and women have died defending the freedoms of other countries? Cowards? Why did bombers in WWII drop bombs from 5 miles up? Brave men would have dived their aircraft into the local town chapel filled with civilians to stop the German army? Go to the beaches of Normandy or visit the Vietnam memorial in DC and tell them that they were cowards for not driving a car full of explosives into the parking lot of a day care center.

How can you honestly throw the term "coward" around in situations like that? How are any of those instances remotely similar to bombing from the relative safety of the distance of 1000 miles? :confused:

Examples of Normandy, Vietnam veterans, and all people who died for this country :( are PERFECT examples of bravery. It's dishonest to suggest that someone like Maher or anyone posting in this thread would be so disrespectful of people who have put their lives at risk and died for our freedoms. :mad:


Swaffy: Very good post, one I don't disagree with factually. But I still have a few comments. :D

consumers complained to sponsors.

sponsors complained to Maher's bosses at the network, and some pulled their sponsorship $ entirely.

ABC decided they would rather have the money from happy sponsors than have Maher.

What a group of morons some consumers can be! :rolleyes:
You stated precisely what happened, I just don't like the way it works. Maher makes waves from time to time, culminating with the "coward" comment. People freak out, including many who don't even watch the show (as noted by derek ;) ) and they set about boycotting sponsors. Sponsors of a show they don't even watch.

If enough of Maher's viewers were disgusted by what he said, it is BY THEIR DESIGN that he should have been pulled off the air. If enough PI viewers quit watching the show, the ratings would drop, and THEN the sponsorship would fade because there would not be the demographics of viewers to advertise to.

There is a deeply valuable lesson in that.

Yes, a lesson that sponsors can be manipulated by people who don't even watch the shows they sponsor.
As a consumer, I should be buying a product because I find value in it. At the same time, I don't need to be NOT buying something because I don't like the fact they advertise on Lifetime. :D
I just won't watch Lifetime, and if they can't reach enough people like me, then they will go elsewhere. And Lifetime will disappear from the airwaves. :happy:

Stillakid: But I think you're missing the point. A suicide mission is not being equated with bravery in the sense that your using it. Hell, yes, it is a brave thing to do, to sacrifice your life for your cause. But the absence of "sacrificing" your life doesn't automatically mean that you're not brave. That's not implied at all. All those guys who put themselves in the line of fire, whether on the ground or from 5 miles up are still at great risk. Sitting here an ocean away and being able to spread destruction with the touch of a button doesn't count as "bravery." Just convenience in the name of self-preservation.

Well said - again, bravery does not equal justice. We usually use it in conjunction with patriotic and heroic acts, and those are all cases where it applies. PLEASE do not misinterpret a sound understanding of Maher's context as being somehow sympathetic to those murderous fiends OR as being somehow unsympathetic to the victims of the attacks or our military. :(

WE are the enemy. All of us. So, in their eyes, we are not "innocent civilians" as defined by previous wars.

Yes, and that's scary as hell. :cry: I don't like the fact that stillakid, Exhaust Port, myself, and everyone else would be killed immediately just because we are American citizens. We are targets. :(

SWAFMAN
07-01-2002, 01:36 AM
caesar: re: As a consumer, I should be buying a product because I find value in it. At the same time, I don't need to be NOT buying something because I don't like the fact they advertise on Lifetime

That's a tough call for me. If I found out that Chrysler was sponsoring the Osama Bin Laden Propaganda Hour every Thursday night at 8:00 PM on Al-Jazeera TV, I think I'd be selling my minivan regardless of the fact that I think it's the most practical vehicle I've ever owned, and I doubt the new models would exactly be flying off the lots at the local dealership, either.

Sure, the Osama bit is an extreme I used to make my point. But to be honest, some of what's being pushed on us by the mainstream entertainment and "news" industry is even more pernicious for its subtle, incremental attempts to erode our values and boundaries of what is acceptable in society. As examples, I'd cite how so many TV shows feature children totally disrespecting their parents & elders. It is now the rule rather than the exception, and it has been a factor in how real kids view and treat their parents and elders. And this was not a matter of these shows reflecting what was already happening.
Also, adults (particularly males) are frequently made to appear as complete dolts, and easy, deserving targets for their kids to take adavntage of.

The 'Lifetime" analogy is not exactly what I meant. I was not advocating boycotting any sponsor who buys TV ads on an entire Network, but only ones that pay for ad time on the specific shows that air content I dislike.

It really is not too far removed from simply not watching shows you don't like, and letting the nielsen ratings, or whatever, decide the show's fate based on the collective will of enough viewers. Being activist in showing the advertisers that you can effect their financial bottom-line just adds the strength of Money to making our voices heard.

DarthBrandon
07-01-2002, 01:53 AM
I never liked the show from the beginning, and he never should of got on that topic period, it was way way way too early for American's to hear that kind of stuff after such a horrible act was commited against their people. I know if it happen to us and he got on that topic, I would be extemely P.O. Should never have been brought up at all. When you pi** off the amount of influential people that he did, it's no wonder he got booted off the air. I would have had him kicked off too, if I were in charge.

stillakid
07-01-2002, 02:53 AM
Originally posted by SWAFMAN
As examples, I'd cite how so many TV shows feature children totally disrespecting their parents & elders. It is now the rule rather than the exception, and it has been a factor in how real kids view and treat their parents and elders. And this was not a matter of these shows reflecting what was already happening.

I'll go ahead and assume that you're referring to The Osbournes. It's a faulty argument, I'm afraid. Every family show, from Ozzie and Harriet to the Brady Bunch to The Cosby Show featured children disrespecting their parents in one way or another. That's exactly what creates "drama" in an entertainment medium. The difference is in the sugar-coating that has been gradually removed to present something that actually resembles real life, as opposed to a non-existent utopia where everybody is downright happy at the end of the hour.

The media isn't at fault for "creating" the reality of "disfunctional" families. If anything, it's been at fault for creating the "illusion" of a saccharine white-bread Wally and Beav America that never existed and that Right Wing idealists would have you believe is being corrupted. It's hard to corrupt a reality that never existed in the first place. Perhaps the believability of a Puritan society is being eroded. In that case we should all praise "the media" for re-educating a naive world and opening our eyes to the bitter realities of the disaffected. That's what a show like Politically Incorrect was all about. It's disturbing to hear:


Exhaust Port
Bill and others just don't seem to understand that a public forum isn't the place for such comments.

How long can our society keep it's eyes shut so tightly and remain so detached from the harsh truths of a world in crisis?

2-1B
07-01-2002, 05:02 AM
Cool! For more Osbournes talk, head here (http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4940) :)



Originally posted by SWAFMAN
caesar: re: As a consumer, I should be buying a product because I find value in it. At the same time, I don't need to be NOT buying something because I don't like the fact they advertise on Lifetime

That's a tough call for me. If I found out that Chrysler was sponsoring the Osama Bin Laden Propaganda Hour every Thursday night at 8:00 PM on Al-Jazeera TV, I think I'd be selling my minivan regardless of the fact that I think it's the most practical vehicle I've ever owned, and I doubt the new models would exactly be flying off the lots at the local dealership, either.

Sure, the Osama bit is an extreme I used to make my point.

Hmmm, I think the example is too extreme to make that point! :D
Propaganda Hour vs. an American TV show that offers a variety of opinions hosted by a comedian ?


But to be honest, some of what's being pushed on us by the mainstream entertainment and "news" industry is even more pernicious for its subtle, incremental attempts to erode our values and boundaries of what is acceptable in society. As examples, I'd cite how so many TV shows feature children totally disrespecting their parents & elders. It is now the rule rather than the exception, and it has been a factor in how real kids view and treat their parents and elders. And this was not a matter of these shows reflecting what was already happening.Also, adults (particularly males) are frequently made to appear as complete dolts, and easy, deserving targets for their kids to take adavntage of.

Curious, I don't watch much network television, so I'd be interested to hear what shows do this . . . how far back are we looking?
I'm 24, and grew up on plenty of "garbage". In general, I blame parents for the majority of bad kids. I've watched adults behave in the most shameful of ways since I was a kid, I could have easily learned to be a thug from them, but I had parenting that kept me on a fairly decent path.
Sometimes I'll watch TVLand and see Ward and June practicing their false little act, or Andy Griffith being the superdad . . . and if people bought into that at the time, I can't say for certain - but it does indeed feel pretty sugarcoated to me.
Speaking of TVLand, I love watching All in the Family. THAT'S good television. American dysfunction at its lowest, displaying and spoofing so many different cariacatures.
I honestly feel bad for Norman Lear and Caroll O'Connor that so many of the same people they sought to lampoon for their narrow-mindedness responded with fondness for a character like Archie that represented themselves. :(
Sorry for rambling. :crazed:

Let me throw this out there: have you ever heard Rush Limbaugh go off on Clinton because of how his Monica affair led kids to dabble extensively in certain "non-president like" acts? :sur:
It's kind of how I take the T.V. issue . . . . I'd hate to be the one to tell Rush that kids were being mischievous long before Clinton pulled his stunts, and yes, even long before Rush married a member of his audience :rolleyes: :D

Back to the topic -


The 'Lifetime" analogy is not exactly what I meant. I was not advocating boycotting any sponsor who buys TV ads on an entire Network, but only ones that pay for ad time on the specific shows that air content I dislike.
It really is not too far removed from simply not watching shows you don't like, and letting the nielsen ratings, or whatever, decide the show's fate based on the collective will of enough viewers. Being activist in showing the advertisers that you can effect their financial bottom-line just adds the strength of Money to making our voices heard.

Honestly, I don't dispute that we have every right to do that. :)
And it clearly works! :D
I just don't think it's warranted in this situation. The Maher backlash was "knee jerk." When I first heard about it I was fired up, but then I actually took a look at the situation and understood what he was saying and the context in which it was said. I guess people need to be smarter about what they boycott.

wedgeA
07-01-2002, 05:25 AM
I agree that PI getting booted is a result of the free market, as viewers and sponsors have used their clout, and Maher is not a victim of some corporate cadre. However, the negative aspect of this is that to me, it exemplfies how people only want comfortable and safe programming, which has made television a medium for the mildly retarded. I prefer shows like PI, O'Reilly, John Stossel's reports because at times they either advocate or report on something that bothers or at time, furiates me. That stuff challenges me on some level, especially if I don't agree with what the hosts are saying. The average American does not want that anymore, they just want to "veg" in front of the screen and its pathetic.

Exhaust Port
07-01-2002, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by stillakid
How long can our society keep it's eyes shut so tightly and remain so detached from the harsh truths of a world in crisis?

The problem lies in the fact that less than a week after this country lost 3000+ lives in 2 hours and military alertness was at it's highest point every domestically Bill Mahrer fires off his mouth. He gives praise to the terrorists and dishonor to the men and women of the military. Bad move. You don't laugh at someones funeral and high-5 the killer. This has less to do with supression of free speech or hiding from the harsh truths of the world and more to do with saying something incredibly stupid. Again, he did little clarify his statement on his show only when threatened with cancellation did he start his carpet dance.

What's the difference if it's 1000 miles or 10 miles? What is implied by that statement is that unless you're perceived to be in danger you are not brave. How can those on a battleship lobbing shells 20 miles towards shore be considered brave? I think a lot of people in the military, with friends/family in the military or other supporters of them took offense to his statement. I can't think of one military action EVER that didn't involve our men and women being on the front line. Even though, Bill made an ignorant statement implying that our military personnel aren't brave when measured against terrorists.

I think that right there is the heart of the issue for many (including me).


I do enjoy open forums of discussion (such as this) even if the topic treads on controversial. There is nothing wrong with that and it's healthy to talk issues through. What a lot of these forums seem to forget or not realize in time is that what is said is unscripted and often unsubstansiated. A moderator or panel guest can get away with saying anything they want in the moment even if it's untrue. A lot of times those statements are taken as fact. Several times I felt Bill Mahrer had been very misleading and sometimes outright wrong with his facts or other information. But again, there is no one there to correct him or others that state false information.

It might be said that "well, it's their opinion and they're welcome to it." If those opinions are based on wrong or misleading information than those opinons are wrong. It has nothing to do with free speech but proper journalism. When discussing very sensitive topics extra care must be taken to get the facts right the first time. For that reason I think a show discussing 9/11 less than a week after was a bit premature. It was months later that we found out some of the details.

Jedi Juice
07-01-2002, 10:29 PM
This is a very deep thread topic.... but very interesting on the intellectual viewpoint.

SWAFMAN
07-01-2002, 10:40 PM
Stillakid, I am not in favor of "saccharine-white" phony portrayals of family lives. There is a middle ground between "Leave it to Beaver" and "The Osbournes."
Shows like "The Cosby Show" and "Roseanne" are two examples.

The Cosby Show was certainly the more sugar-coated of my two examples, but the kids in that show had their share of times they violated their parents trust, but the show did not portray the parents as idiots who were unable to help their kids learn from their actions.

Roseanne was one of the first shows to fairly realistically portray a dysfunctional family. The kids did disrespect their parents, and the parents did sometimes act irresponsibly. But again, the kids never fully lost respect for their parents, and the parents pretty much always ended up making sure the kids examined their actions and developed a strong sense of right and wrong.

Compare that to a show like "Married with Children" or "The Simpsons" (shows I like, but would not allow my young kids to watch).

Listen, I know this isn't going to make anyone like stillakid think any differently about the fact that, along with their first amendment rights to air whatever content the public and the FCC will let them get away with, the network broadcasting industry also has a responsibility to help foster positive values in our youth who spend more and more time in front of the tube. And I'm not even saying I think broadcasters should change and air programming I think is responsible. I'm just stating my opinions. I thought that was the purpose for a fourm.

If you think that's a puritanical or right-wing, or un-educated point of view, that's your privilege. I've certainly done my share of labeling others for their liberal POVs. But one great thing about my discussions with some on this forum is that I've come to learn that many people don't fit into such convenient labels. Some people are a lot more complex than others would so quickly leap to brand them.

Caesar, your comment about Rush is a good one. I can only pick up one radio station on my radio in the shower, and it's the station with Limbaugh. Today I heard him say something about how it was maybe wrong to wish that the air force had shot down the 9/11 passenger jet that hit the pentagon, because there was always a chance that the jet could've been intending to fly into the Capitol and wipe out the (democrat-controlled) Senate.

That is WAY over the line for anyone to say in a forum with the reach and influence that Rush's show has. I see it as nearly identical to what Maher said. And I hope the same thing happens to Limbaugh for saying it. But I know it won't.

Limbaugh started as a fairly pure conservative, but has since become a hindrance to true Conservatism; a caricature and a mouthpiece for big business. As soon as he became ultra-rich, he sold out. His pomposity is infuriating, too.

vulcantouch
07-02-2002, 12:27 PM
last fall when this controv erupted i articulated my mixed-but-mostly-positive opinion & defense of maher here (http://sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1085&perpage=40&pagenumber=1). meanwhile:

kiddo: "What's wrong with this picture is that a man's reputation and career is being destroyed for something he didn't say"
-destroyed? i'd say it's been enhanced. before all this i considered him & his show entertaining & occasionally incisive. i got more respect for him after he weathered the fire. he fulfilled his potential, what he set out to do: to be truly politically incorrect sooner or later one's gonna have to pay a price. but he'll also reap the honorable rewards as a result.
i speak from experience: my notoriety on galoob.com's buzzboard only grew after i was banned there :evil:

derek: "listening to talk radio as i always do, most of them never even saw his show"
-indeed; a perfect illustration for why i call talk radio "the beast with a million mouths, all sharing half a brain" ;) you're a regular listener? you must be tougher than me, i find it much too depressing :dead:

swaffy: "what happened to Maher was simply free market economics. . ."
-not quite. to the end, maher's ratings remained competitive with leno & letterman. sponsors that pooped their pants were replaced by others. the show continued to yield an acceptable profit for abc. so what really happened? the same thing that happened to snl weekend update host norm macdonald: he told one too many oj jokes for the liking of nbc president/"comedy connoissuer" don ohlmeyer (a personal friend of oj), who suddenly decided norm "wasn't funny" and fired him.
abc & disney execs had long taken offense to maher, before & after 9-11. they refused to come to his defense & used the controversy to get rid of him.

". . .and democracy in action"
-to whatever extent this is true, it doesn't speak well of democracy & the butt-ignorant masses who drive it, does it?

"The only reason I haven't done it is my lack of faith in the resolve of the average person"
-my lack of faith is not in their resolve but in their preference to get fired-up rather than learn the facts & exercise nuanced judgment. the maher incident is a perfect example.

"this was not a matter of these shows reflecting what was already happening"
-it needn't be just reflecting Or influencing; why couldn't it be Both? :) maybe comedy, like other artforms, should sometimes be age-restricted.
"bilko was no role-model for drill-sergeants; lucy was no role-model for housewives. their imperfections were what fueled their comedy and color, and had those imperfections been sanded off to Make them role-models the way some people demand of our show they wouldn't be the classics they are"- Simpsons' harry shearer :cool:

"That is WAY over the line for anyone to say in a forum with the reach and influence that Rush's show has"
-personally i think that's a damn funny, nervy quip; thanx for sharin :D

brandon: "it was way way way too early. . . Should never have been brought up at all"
-gee, glad you're here to decide these things For us :(

ep: "he was less of a moderator and more of an antagonist"
-i thought he was the right amount of each, which at its best helped make his show very american: that is, tumultuous, provocative, potent, & packed w/celebs ;)

"Bill followed up his show with out-of-context REinterpretations of what he said"
-if so, i spose one More "out-of-context reinterpretation of what he said" won't hurt: to illustrate how removed america's rhetoric was from the reality of our enemies' mettle, maher was contrasting the relative "cowardliness" of terrorists who determine & personally carry out their own mandates, against the "bravery" of the american political-military bureaucracy, in which the tenth-removed leadership ordering long-distance missile strikes never meets or even talks to the guy who actually pushes the button.
his unpolished remark, made off-the-cuff in the heat of the moment, certainly requires interpretation. even so, his meaning was clear to anyone but fearful, patriotically-correct hyperliteralists going out of their way to find offense and scapegoat same.

"attacking an unarmed civilian population is cowardly in my book"
-your Book rests complacently on the convenient privilege of distinctions (http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=805&pagenumber=1) (as you'll see, i beat maher by almost a week ;) ) only rich, militarized nations can afford to draw, namely "innocent civilians"- which is yet another reason our enemies hate us.

"What pain is there in flying an aircraft into a building at 400 mph? Not much"
-try it sometime & get back to me.

"If they weren't cowards than why did they have to trick their co-workers into joining?"
-as if any strike force waited til the last minute to disseminate operational details for security reasons?
they were all aware what their flight training would eventually be used for. the only thing they Didn't all know was the date of attack. and when they were told, None of them backed out.

"Is the military brave for hurling missles 1000 miles at enemy targets? In my book that is considered smart"
-your evasion of the question you pose does indeed get at something; "brave" doesn't necessarily enter into it. so if We get to be smart when we conduct our wars, how come They don't get to be?

"Go to the beaches of Normandy or visit the Vietnam memorial in DC and tell them that they were cowards"
-the only one being a coward right now is You, in your cheap use of this emotionally-loaded ploy to obscure the issue.

"there are grounds that you don't tread on. . . a public forum isn't the place for such comments"
-it isn't? i thought this was america. i thought the show in question Was called Politically Incorrect.

"He gives praise to the terrorists and dishonor to the men and women of the military. Bad move. You don't laugh at someones funeral and high-5 the killer"
-a perfect example of, as maher would put it, "the triumph of sensitivity over truth". meaning, soothing hurt feelings matter so much to you that you'll resort to demonizing with the above misleading characterizations rather than actually Deal with what was said.
again, the show was called PI. rough edges and unpolished hip-shooting are a necessary part of its m.o. for it to fall as a consequence of staying true to that m.o speaks more badly about the context in which it operates (the post-911 landscape of american discourse) than the show itself-
vt

Exhaust Port
07-02-2002, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by vulcantouch

"What pain is there in flying an aircraft into a building at 400 mph? Not much"
-try it sometime & get back to me.

I've seen plenty of things at 400+ mph and trust me you wouldn't have time to feel pain.



"Go to the beaches of Normandy or visit the Vietnam memorial in DC and tell them that they were cowards"
-the only one being a coward right now is You, in your cheap use of this emotionally-loaded ploy to obscure the issue.

My intent wasn't to pull the emotions card. I just find it odd how time has deluted the feelings of the American public when it comes to it's military past. No one I know today would dare speak poorly of the men and women that served in wars past. Yet, at the time many have rallied during each military action echoing many of the same things we hear today in regards to Afganistan. The methods have changed little over the years but people definition of brave or coward constantly shift usually at the expense of those on the front line.


"there are grounds that you don't tread on. . . a public forum isn't the place for such comments"
-it sin't? i thought this was america. i thought the show in question Was called Politically Incorrect.

Why is it that people assume that since this is America that there is no limit to what they can get away with. Why are there speed limits? You want all the freedom in the world until someone treads on yours. There are limits and yes, somethings can't be said. Try yelling "fire" in a theater or "bomb" in an airport. I would hate to limit your limitless American rights but it happens at times.

If you want to start your own television station up you'll be free to make whatever statements you wish. Bill Mahrer doesn't own a network so he couldn't get away with what he said.


again, the show was called PI. rough edges and unpolished hip-shooting are a necessary part of its m.o. for it to fall as a consequence of staying true to that m.o speaks more badly about the context in which it operates (the landscape of american discourse) than the show itself-
vt

This and other "professional" news providers have a tendency to shoot from the hip a little to often. Say whatever you want NOW and pick up the pieces later no matter what damage is done in the process.


I don't understand how those who were taken aback by his statements were wrong? You and others state that it was taken out of context. It's the first outcry of a Bill Mahrer supporter/fan. I saw the show and read the transcripts and wasn't too happy with his statement. I watched his show fairly regularly and am quite aware of his m.o. I watched and read it in context but it's seems that I can't be right in your mind since we're in disagreement.

We'll congradulations on your early remarks in the 9/11 tragedy I guess. I'm suprised that you don't feel that there are innocent civilians in this or other countries.

innocent: Not guilty of of a specific crime

How were the people in the Twin Towers or passengers on the aircraft not innocent? Somehow we are responsible for each and every action of our gov't or people and therefor not innocent? That's no better than saying all Arabs are terrorists should be handled equally. I think as a people we are better than that. It's not the rich and powerful that make that distinction. What of the families of the wedding party that met with the business end of an AC-130 in Afganistain. That country and this are shocked at the loss of innocent (that's right innocent) lives. People not involved or responsible for the actions of the Taliban.

vulcantouch
07-03-2002, 11:46 AM
-they were wrong both in their stubborn or ignorant misinterpretations of what was said and in the severity of their reactions.

"Say whatever you want NOW and pick up the pieces later no matter what damage is done in the process"
-you've yet to get specific re this "damage" maher's comments supposedly caused.

"Try yelling "fire" in a theater or "bomb" in an airport. . . Why are there speed limits?"
-because the statistical incidence of accidents rises when they are exceeded. in other words, speed limits exist for an Actual reason.
meanwhile the speciousness of your analogy, in comparing what maher said to speeding or yelling fire in a theater, speaks for itself :rolleyes:

"'professional' news providers have a tendency to shoot from the hip a little to often"
-first of all, maher never claimed to be or presented himself as a "professional news provider"; but i understand what you're getting at. similar criticism has been made from time to time re the recent trend of opinion-mongering blowhards (maher, chris matthews, bill o'reilly, dr. laura etc), the inference being that these people often substitute volume & rude pyrotechnics for erudition.
i'm of two minds re this issue. at times i think the inference is accurate. on the other hand, the criticism often strikes me as genteel elitists' attempts to shape the arena of discourse to favor their personal styles. for example, charlie rose engages his eclectic guests with great personableness but no wild lightning bolts of inspiration. david brinkley may have been droll & dapper but he was also sleep-inducing. george will & bill buckley command rarified vagaries of proper english but they're so taken with their cocktail-party-honed turns-of-phrase they rarely opine directly enough or on a sufficiently relevant topic to attract or warrant much notice from the public at large. whatever else may be said of them, the recent wave of bumptious commentators -maher included- has certainly provided an antidote for all those shortcomings, so i say there's room for them too :)

"time has deluted the feelings of the American public when it comes to it's military past"
-not in my neckothewoods it hasn't: unless you count the treatment they've often gotten at va hospitals, vets are almost the one universally-acknowledged aristocracy in our supposedly classless society. this harkens back to ancient rome, where the warrior class had more status than ordinary citizens. and to some extent it may be justified, since it's based on actions rather than accident of birth. but let's not kid ourselves about what it means. people spitting on returning 'nam vets was anamolous in our history. the norm is tom brokaw's "greatest generation" kissup-a-thon. what may sometimes be lacking in veterans day & memorial day parade attendances is more than made up for in other areas of american life, even before 9-11: over a year ago i drove my oldest friend's grampa to a coupla doctor appointments, as his vision had deteriorated too much for driving. we used his car- an olds with purple heart plates (a hunk of ww2 shrapnel remains lodged in his skull). even while waiting for him outside in the driver's seat, i could Feel the unwarranted respect passersby beamed at Me- even though i was just the "chauffeur" :rolleyes:
which is why you'll often find two kinds of vets, including in my own family: those who get off on the subtle perks & deference people pay them when they wear things in their everyday lives which trumpet their veteran status; and those who value america's egalitarian ideals enough to shun that temptation & dress like any other civilian :)

"No one I know today would dare speak poorly of the men and women that served in wars past"
-no one, perhaps, except other veterans; a perfect example of this "aristocracy" i posit. of course, even most Vets wouldn't dare; others, however, would rather talk straight and admit that they're imperfect humans like the rest of us, not icons of nobility.

"It's not the rich and powerful that make that distinction"
-actually i said it's the rich & powerful that can Afford to make the "innocent civilian" distinction. any other political force who makes it remains impotent and ignored. and if remaining impotent and ignored isn't good enough for you & i, why should we expect anyone else to feel differently?

"innocent: Not guilty of of a specific crime"
-that's one definition. here's another: "never having lived".
we All must kill and steal in order to live, even if it's just microbes or mother's milk at first. and in this world of finite resources, plenty of killing and stealing is done on our behalf. our moral ambivalence starts right from the beginning of our lives. a non-selfish baby is a dead baby. no living being is a saint. the best we can do is pick our battles, pick the lesser of multiple evils.

"How were the people in the Twin Towers or passengers on the aircraft not innocent?"
-the same way None of us in this world are innocent; i trust you read through above links?

"Somehow we are responsible for each and every action of our gov't or people and therefor not innocent?"
-in the end, yes. either that, or democracy is a lie. take your pick.

"That's no better than saying all Arabs are terrorists (&) should be handled equally"
-aren't we kinda saying that already, and necessarily so? many in the islamic world who aren't terrorists themselves certainly support and sympathize with them. "osama" is currently the most popular baby name in the muslim world. thus afghan civilian casualties, while lamentable, were also inevitable and understandable. war is messy, and if they really cared about avoiding american-military-caused casualties they woulda overthrown their own taliban gov't so we wouldn't have to.

"That country and this are shocked at the loss of innocent (that's right innocent) lives"
-shocked or not, we accept such a consequence as a necessary risk of military action, and rightly so. as such, americans being "shocked" doesn't do the afghani people much good, does it?

"trust me you wouldn't have time to feel pain"
-i should think it clear enough that my point is that "time or lack thereof to feel pain" is not The litmus test for bravery.

"it's seems that I can't be right in your mind since we're in disagreement"
-which makes me different from you How, exactly?
vt

Exhaust Port
07-03-2002, 12:59 PM
Whew, this was fun but I think I reached my end for discussing Mahrer. This would have made a good show for PI, just do it with out any comedians or washed up actors. :)

stillakid
07-03-2002, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by Exhaust Port
Whew, this was fun but I think I reached my end for discussing Mahrer. This would have made a good show for PI, just do it with out any comedians or washed up actors. :)

You may be confusing it with Hollywood Squares. ;)

vulcantouch
07-03-2002, 11:52 PM
oh well, i guess washed-up comedic actor vt wins again- circle gits the skware ;) :D