The Shoe Heard ‘Round The World
I don’t pretend to hold any grasp of full cultural understanding in any culture outside my own, but I think it is safe to say that other cultures outside of America have their own versions of “flipping the bird” as we enjoy so well here in American society. The degree of the insult or how to avoid committing such an egregious insult in a foreign land is outside my ability to comment on, but there is no doubt that these gestures are both insult-oriented.
The shoe thrown at President Bush by a member of the Iraqi press-corps was a physical embodiment of the sentiment of millions across many nations and many peoples given flight. Expressed clearly, and with due consequence, so that there can be no doubt.
I commend President Bush for taking the situation light-heartedly and openly discussing the incident without an interruption for security considerations.
Were it another politician, I would write that claiming they did not know the motivations behind the outburst was an outright lie. In the case of President George W. Bush, I believe he was being truthful in his comment. I tend to believe that he has no idea that his actions in office, in their majority, have served to do lasting harm to this country that he and I both love.
I wish to add a Democratic voice into giving the Bush White House commendation for all efforts of humanitarian aid in Africa and all other humanitarian aid provided under their supervision. Were the Bush White House not instrumental in altering US military policy regarding torture, a war that is now admittedly started on suspect intelligence and the loss of privacy granted within the Patriot Act I would be able to give further favorable remarks to a President in his final days of office. If evidence were to come before me that Bush had prevented a major American terrorist incident then I would, first and foremost, commend his office in this operation.
I would be happy to write even more favorable commendations for a political figure, and a man, with whom I share very little common ideological ground but ultimately we both are doing what we believe it best for our nation. This sentiment is the foundation of bipartisanship and almost entirely devoid not only in our mass media machine but also within the national radio machine and the political internet machine. Literature and the wisdom of trusted elders being the only recourse left to the youth of America in this sad state of affairs.
I don’t subscribe to the Bush-hatred that spawned a shoe in the air and the ‘flipping of birds’ on the streets of America but I certainly didn’t vote for him, at any point. I was very critical, by recollection, of my peers in 2000 after Bush was elected (I feel the need to say legitimately) that he should fail horribly so he would be removed quickly.
I reminded them that wishing for the President to fail was the same as wishing for the country to fail. We all share in the consequences as Americans. On November 5th 2008, Rush Limbaugh put forth the sentiment to his audience that President-elect Obama held nothing of his support and wished him to fail horribly so he would be ousted from office in a matter of months or years. Ushering in a new conservative age in government.
Rush Limbaugh and similar counter-parts on television & radio by no means represent the conservative movement as a whole. Just as the Bush-haters, 9-11 Truth groups, atheist-agenda activists and a member of a foreign press agency do not represent as a whole the liberal movement, but these events and statements become more and more widespread under bad government and bad media in all their many forms.
George W. Bush has been the butt of many of my comedic efforts so for the sake of showing where my motivations lie I will say these words on Barack Obama:
Our, uh, rightfuly elected, President-elect, uh, sure, uh, likes to, think real, uh, hard, while the cameras are, uh, rolling. I, uh, sure, uh, hope that, he, doesn’t, uh, do that, in, uh, foreign negotiation. That would, uh, be, uh, annoying.
Take notice I didn’t use their titles and referred to them as men. Try to remember that intelligent men and women say unintelligent things and if they didn’t the comedians of the world would not have anything to joke about. Does anybody really think the cast of SNL was mainly a conservative cast in the Clinton years and switched to a liberal ideology when Bush came to office?
It is one thing to poke fun at the members of high office and another to spread falsehoods or misrepresentations of the character and ideals of real people. No side can claim innocence of these affronts to the voting American public. No matter what they tell you about being “the place for politics” or “fair and balanced” I just don’t think the idea of bipartisanship in politics is selling right now. Making bad media ever more popular.
Let’s talk solutions before anyone calls me a “doomsayer.”
The consumer solution is not to reject all alternative media but rather to not support the products and private promoters of the shows that resound the most negative influence in their broadcast. Boycotts are unadvised but never be afraid to tell a station owner or business owner of your choices and tell any interested friends why are doing it. Also don’t be afraid to support a host and their sponsors who you find wishes to be bipartisan, in as much as is possible, or seeks to bring more voices into political discussion.
Your views on exactly who those people are might include Rush Limbaugh but I still remain in my central point of this being a consumer solution to whatever you believe to be bad media.
The federal or state solution in a non-starter. There is already a law requiring on-air balance in campaign messages over the radio. The pro-Fairness Doctrine arguments I hear usually lack the perspective of history by not recognizing that the Mayflower Doctrine also exists in possible retro-active policy. That doctrine would ban editorializing of any form on the radio. Both doctrines only serve to crush free speech via microphone and remove the choice of the people from the radio formats.
The network solution is more handled than most people seem to think. Most the reason we do not see Democrats on FOX and Republicans on MSNBC is because they won’t go on. Not for lack for trying by any means on the part of the networks. Same with what I can see of hiring practices in all the major networks. They all have different people of different political stripes walking around those studios and offices. I have not and never plan to work any news network and I find it funny how many people in the media today seem to think they are fit to tell us about these issues. An example of asking a used car salesman or a mechanic about the quality of lot car’s engine comes to mind.
The burden falls to the nation to be more discerning in their media consumption.