Posts Tagged ‘media’
Arlington, Virginia, August 2 (AP) – Federal investigators have unearthed a plot to keep internet users from visiting your blog, FBI spokesman Shelby Cummin-Rounthmountain announced at a press conference today.
In February, the FBI’s Online Investigative Division received an informant’s tip to the effect that a shadowy group of conspirators had, for at least six months, if not much longer, diverted potential visitors to your blog, and continues to do so. The investigation is still in progress, but Cummin-Rounthmountain said they were nevertheless allowed to offer certain specifics to the news media, including the fact that most of the members of this alleged cabal operate from overseas.
The Bureau was prompted to recruit an informant after you observed repeatedly that by all rights, your blog should enjoy significantly higher levels of popularity and acclaim, given the manifest quality of your work. However, despite significant time and emotion invested in this project, traffic to your blog has never exceeded 633 page views in a single day, and that figure represents an outlier. The median number of visits per day is actually 28, with only six days in the last three years in which your blog attracted more than 100 views.
FBI Director Roberst S. Mueller III immediately ordered an investigation. According to the rudimentary details offered to the press, agents have documented hundreds of cases in which your posts were removed from display on the relevant category pages within minutes. Your efforts at finding the right blend of category tags to help users navigate toward your urbane useful, and well-presented material proved for naught, as this group of online pirates forcibly pushed your posts off the front page by stuffing those sites with a barrage of inane, meandering, badly-written posts by other users.
The FBI is exploring the possibility that these blog-stuffing posts were written by bots programmed to detect when you posted. This would serve to explain why so little of the traffic your site does attract comes from the users of the same blogging platform. In addition, fellow users who have actually subscribed to your blog seldom actually see your posts unless they make an effort to do so, which deprives you of the page views you so clearly deserve, no doubt about it. One possible angle of investigation of this issue involves collusion with these criminals from within the blogging platform enterprise itself, who for some unfathomable reason will not allow you to realize your dreams of becoming a blogging superstar. Perhaps jealousy is the motive, the FBI suggests.
However, says Cummin-Rounthmountain, the activities of this conspiracy extend beyond the boundaries of WordPress or Blogger, or whatever stupid platform you use. When you – or, on those all-too-rare occasions, someone else – shares a post of yours on other social media such as Facebook or Twitter, it still goes all but ignored. This, the FBI asserts, suggests a much broader effort to silence you and frustrate your ambitions. It simply cannot be, they reason, that there is so much other compelling material on the internet that yours would go effectively ignored.
This is not the first time that the FBI has investigated crimes of this nature. The case remains open on who exactly is behind the popularity of certain TV shows with no recognizable merit whatsoever, such as The Kardashians. Similarly, several dozen soft drink industry executives face federal felony charges for defrauding the public by convincing them that there is actually an appreciable difference between Pepsi and Coca Cola.
New York, NY (AP) – In yet another blow to the ailing credibility of the news media, a new survey by The New York Times and CBS News reveals that more than 100% of Americans think the news media make errors with disturbing frequency.
The poll, conducted online and by telephone with more than 3,000 adults of all major demographic groups, found that 213%, or just over three quarters, of respondents find they must take figures that the media uses in news stories with a grain of salt until some other source can corroborate the data. The margin of error in the poll was completely misunderstood by everyone including the researchers who collated the data.
The 213% represents an increase of 19% over the figure from last year at the same time. Last May, the same poll found that almost nobody understands the difference between a 19% increase and an increase by 19 percentage points, a cohort that includes most reporters outside the Business and Science sections of most major news outlets. A further 92% of respondents had no idea what was meant by “cohort” in the previous sentence, but they conceded that it sounded like a word a statistician might use.
The figure of 213% is by far the highest such figure in the global media marketplace. China, for example, touts its state-run press as achieving 100% accuracy 100% of the time, along with 100% agreement from 100% of the population on that point. Similar statistics emerge from Iran, where the Islamic Republic regularly canvasses citizens for feedback on such crucial media issues as the tightness of their shackles and the degree to which Israel is responsible for every ill that has ever plagued humanity, plus several more.
The findings also represent a continuing trend in American journalism away from reliance on established, credible news organizations, in favor of sources that uphold the viewer or reader’s preconceived notions about the world. As a natural consequence, says Stanley Spidowski, a consultant with U62 Media, a trade group, they mistrust any outlet other than their preferred biased source.
“The major players have been struggling for years with a shrinking market for objective reporting,” he said in response to the data. “The only major American outlet that has really managed to ride this wave is Fox, which has never relied as heavily as the other organizations on facts.”
Foreign media did not fare well in the survey either, though only 20% of respondents were aware that such outlets exist. Only 15%, or barely a third of respondents, knew that the BBC existed in the first place, let alone that the initials stand for British Broad-abuse Coverups. Iran’s Press TV can boast even less penetration of the American market, at -12% awareness. Among overseas organizations, only Al-Jazeera was identified by a significant number of respondents, though more than 80% of them thought the Qatari network was made up by Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart.
Conservative commentators, even some typically loyal to the network, have lashed out at the news team for resorting to a complete picture instead of using half-truths in an effort to paint Democrats as immoral.
“Its a disgrace,” said Ann Coulter. “This is not what we’ve come to expect from FOX, and they’d better get their act together if they want to hold onto their conservative credentials.”
Glenn Beck, a former FOX host, concurred. “Facts are things you get from networks beneath contempt, such as CNN,” he said. “The cause of right-wing conservatism is badly served when the flagship network of the movement resorts to techniques and content unbecoming of its viewership and reputation.” He said the network could reestablish itself as independent of factual accuracy if it made a concerted effort, but only time would tell if it could sustain that effort.
In this case, a FOX reporter mentioned reputable medical statistics on gunshot injuries and deaths, statistics that unmistakably frame gun control as a public health issue worthy of consideration. After angry reactions from the National Rifle Association and from Merle and Lydia Guntherspoon of Texarkana, Arkansas, the network retracted the report.
Other news media organizations have also been accused of factual accuracy, and responded in various ways. Al Jazeera, for example, has found itself trying, often unsuccessfully, to negotiate the boundary between journalistic plausibility and anti-Israel bias.
Some outlets have developed strict policies to forestall such criticism. The British Broadcasting Corporation, though recently mired in an ethics scandal, has only rarely let facts get in the way of its reporting, most notably in the Middle East, thanks to a rigid policy of always portraying one side in a conflict as wrong, facts notwithstanding. It remains unclear whether FOX will tighten its guidelines – or at least the enforcement of existing ones, if any – or will simply let the incident slide and assume the prevailing corporate culture will prevent a recurrence.
“I can see them going either way, really,” said media analyst Leis Daly. “FOX wants to maintain its reputation, so they might work hard to keep the facts from intruding on their work. On the other hand, the demographic that gave rise to FOX’s success, and from which it draws its ethics, embodies a conservatism so powerful that actually doing anything to effect change runs counter to everything it holds dear.”
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Washington, DC (AP) – FOX News reported this morning that several years prior to his election as President, Barack Obama fathered two children with a black woman.
“You won’t hear about this scandal from the fawning liberals over at CNN,” intoned the FOX anchor. “It takes reporters who are willing to go after the truth, not ignore everything bad there is about Obama.”
According to the report, Obama fathered the first child in 1998 with a black woman named Michelle, whom he had met while both were employed at the same Chicago law firm. The two continued their affair, producing another black child in 2001. Both children were born while Obama was serving in the Illinois State Senate. The FOX report noted that not a single major media outlet picked up on the scandal at the time, and that, said the anchorwoman, has only emboldened Obama as he continues to associate openly with the mother of those children, even bringing her with him to official state functions.
“The flagrancy with which Obama thrusts this black lover of his upon the eyes of America is just plain shocking,” said FOX personality Bill O’Reilly. “Strom Thurmond may have fathered a black child once upon a time, but at least he had the decency not to acknowledge it publicly.” Thurmond, who died in 2003, was for decades a staunch South Carolina segregationist, and never addressed the black daughter he fathered as related to him; he did, however, support her financially.
“But Obama is just blatant about it,” continued O’Reilly, “and that’s just the problem with liberals. They have no respect for boundaries. Certainly not the US-Mexico boundary,” he added, referring to immigration policies that Republicans have maintained are not restrictive enough.
“It’s more than immoral – it’s also cynical,” said former Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a frequent Obama critic. “Those children will probably grow up to vote Democrat, to boot. And the country is paying for their posh accommodations, in the White House no less! Imagine! Black children in the White House! If this scandal isn’t worth an impeachment proceeding or two, I don’t know what is!”
Obama is not the first president to maintain an intimate relationship with a black woman and to father children through her. Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s third chief executive, has dozens of black descendants through his slave Sally Hemming. But according to Palin, since Hemming and her immediate descendants knew their proper place and never got “uppity,” in her words, American society was willing to tolerate the indiscretion.
“But Obama’s shoving it in our faces - and making us pay for it!” said Palin. The black woman and her daughters enjoy Secret Service protection, while their housing and transportation are covered with taxpayer funds. “Even their dog is black!” she remarked, referring to Obama’s Portuguese Water Dog Bo. “We have to take back America!” concluded Palin.
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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Obama faked a fiery death in a crash of the Marine-One military helicopter this afternoon, the latest step in an increasingly chaotic and media-hyped reelection campaign.
After pretending to board the aircraft on the White House’s South Lawn, the President and First Lady actually descended into a trap door beneath the helicopter, which then took off and flew toward Andrews Air Force Base. About halfway there, the U.S. Marine crew reported engine trouble, and witnesses reported that the chopper crashed in a wooded area just outside Bradbury Heights on the Virginia-Maryland border.
Rescue teams dispatched to the site reported finding no bodies, whereupon the Obamas appeared on live national television to reveal the hoax. Alongside them were the helicopter crew, who had bailed out before sending the distress signal.
“Let’s make America exciting again,” said the President. “Let’s make sure the opportunities for adventure and suspense reach all Americans.”
In the thirty-five minutes between the initial reports of the crash and the televised announcement, the internet and broadcast media were haywire with coverage and commentary, a testament to the robust attention that the Obama campaign has generated. Despite lagging behind Republican Mitt Romney in fundraising over the last two months, the Obama campaign has managed to press its advantage in the default attention that a sitting president receives.
A telephone poll by CBS News in the aftermath of the incident revealed that as a result of the stunt, Obama’s approval rating had jumped to 88% from 61%, and that his lead over Romney had grown, to 79% from 58%. If the election were held today, Obama would win in a landslide, the first victory in a presidential election by such a decisive margin since Ronald Reagan’s reelection over Walter Mondale in 1984.
The Romney campaign responded quickly, denouncing the incident as a “cheap stunt, and yet another way in which Obama is wasting taxpayer dollars.” The Romney press release also promised a much more impressive hoax, on par with the victory of George W. Bush over Al Gore in the 2000 election.
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Yesterday the Associated Press reported that a Romanian dictionary publisher had finally acquiesced to demands that an anti-Semitic slur be labeled as offensive. But the AP declined to mention the epithet in question, as if the English-speaking world would suddenly adopt a Romanian slur when so many good, workable anti-Jew names are already available in English, and when it’s unlikely a native speaker of English would pronounce the thing properly anyway. Read the piece yourself and take note.
In related news, a Tennessee jury convicted George Norton, 36, of Memphis, for a crime. This was considered a coup for the local district attorney, who managed to convince the panel to convict without ever specifying the nature of the crime. Experts anticipate a tougher time for the prosecution when the sentencing phase of the trial begins next week, as juries use the heinousness of a crime as a factor in sentencing. Court sources report that the unspecified crime calls for a mandated legal minimum of six months behind bars of some sort, but is vague on the details.
In sports, a team from the East Coast beat a team from the West Coast in a game involving an object propelled by one side or the other in an attempt to score in some way, but the reporters at the scene couldn’t be bothered to mention the sport, the arena or the identities of the participants. There were apparently some advertisements involving athletic gear companies and beer, and some cheering took place at some point.
The Environmental Protection Agency cited four companies for violating government regulations, but would not disclose which companies, their locations or the nature of their violations. An EPA spokesman refused to comment when asked whether the companies themselves were aware of the enforcement effort.
President Barack Obama vetoed some legislation without bothering to check what it was, and Congressional leaders themselves were not certain, either, as none had actually checked what it was they had sent to the White House. Congressional records are vague on the matter, as the stenographers and other record-keeping functionaries had used generic and non-specific terminology in logging the proceedings surrounding the legislation.
Finally, Italian renaissance artist and sculptor Leonardo da Vinci has been credited with a newly discovered work. The thing, made of some material and about the size of some other things, will undoubtedly shed new light on whatever it is art history experts spend their time talking about, but frankly, if the reporters were diligent about doing their work, we might be able to offer more than some ambiguous notion of seemingly important events.
Oh, and in Romania, many media pundits blamed the Jidan for the hubbub.
The Boston Red Sox
|Financial return on investment||Ties of questionable taste for Father’s Day||Ticket stubs; memorabilia of questionable taste|
|Reward for continued faith||Another pierced body part||Bill Buckner; Aaron Boone|
|Insurmountable obstacles that eventually, somehow, become manageable once they’re over||Toilet training; abstinence from homework; adolescence; your own hopeless parental dorkitude||October|
|Associated simple pleasures||Dr. Suess; Sandra Boynton; the kid’s cognitive and intellectual milestones||Watching the Yankees get beaten by other teams; reminding Yankee fans of 2004|
|Notable milestones||Graduation; wedding; grandchildren||Snagging tickets; following a bunch of millionaires you will never meet, whose collective athletic achievements in Boston somehow have some bearing on your life merely by virtue of your wanting the Sox to win|
|Methods of reminiscing with/about||Beer; old photos||Beer; old photos|
|Evidence of your dedication to their proper development||Harsh words when necessary||Harsh words on radio call-in shows|
|Advice you’ve given repeatedly, only to have them ignore, with predictably disastrous results||“If you keep eating so much candy you’ll get cavities”||“Take Pedro out! Go to the bullpen! Take Pedro out! GODDAMNIT! TAKE PEDRO OUT!” ”AAAAAAAAAGH! WHAT DID I TELL YOU?!”|
|Reaction to substance abuse||“You’d better get yourself into rehab, kid.”||“Blah blah blah A-rod blah blah blah.”|
|Derek Jeter||Now there’s a role model.||Jeter sucks!|
|When achievement or behavior deteriorates||Show loving concern, support; provide help||“Trade the worthless son of a bitch.”|
|Effect of missed opportunities||Maturity; character development||Constant revisiting of Babe Ruth deal|
|Reasons to keep investing emotionally||Profound sense of giving; satisfaction from nurturing a person and relationship of eternal value||Because the faceless corporation that is a Major League Baseball team really gives a crap for you, the individual fan, beyond the dollar value you represent.|
Mom, how can I hope to be socially aware if I don’t spend all my waking hours watching TV?
It’s not like it was when you were young, Ma. In those days there were only a few shows that everybody watched. But today, there are so many not-to-be-missed programs that I don’t really have a choice. I must sit here and watch. My future as a functioning member of society depends on it.
You don’t understand. It’s not like the nineties, when all you needed to know well was Seinfeld, The Sopranos and Friends, maybe with a smattering of The Simpsons thrown in. That’s not how things are anymore. I need to know everything there is to know about Jersey Shore, American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Breaking Bad, Family Guy, South Park, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Letterman, Leno, Conan, Jimmy Fallon, and whatever might be on ESPN. There’s just not much time left over for chores, homework, or spending time with the rest of the family. I’m a busy guy.
It’s different for you. You have an established social circle, longtime friends and a community that you don’t need to spend so much time nurturing. You’ve done that already – and what’s more, since they’re mostly your contemporaries, they don’t expect you to be there for them at the drop of a hat – they also grew up in a time that wasn’t so focused on getting everything done this instant. So you have time to read. You can actually sort and fold laundry. You had time to learn how to cook, and you know how to prepare something other than takeout. My generation is different.
We have so much to know we can’t be bothered with learning many of the skills that used to be so central. But since I can conduct three or four conversations at once without leaving my chair, clean laundry and hygiene aren’t as crucial for me. And I’m fine with a bag of chips and a jar of store-bought salsa – who needs to fiddle in the kitchen? Seriously, I’ve got my priorities, and they’re just different from yours. You don’t mind not being With It. For me, it’s like life or death. You don’t get it, since you were a teenager such a long time ago, and it was probably a lot easier for you, with so much less to know in order to be hip or popular. We have it so much harder than you did.
So lay off, Mom. I’m doing important things here. Baseball Tonight is on.
You might consider yourself unworthy of the attention – and I would wholeheartedly agree – but you still might be at risk of having your phone hacked. So here are some tips for keeping your voice mail secure, even if you think the DVD drive is just a fancier cup holder than a CD drive:
1. Ditch your phone entirely and communicate only by telegram or bicycle messenger service.
2. Strike first by hacking your own phone, with an implement such as a meat cleaver or hatchet.
3. Record an intolerably long and grating outgoing message so that no one will have the patience to leave you any voice mail.
4. If you suspect someone has been hacking into your voice mail, just keep telling anyone who will listen, rather than contacting your provider or the authorities. It’s so much more satisfying to have something to complain about than to actually do anything about it.
5. Have your phone answered by a secretary instead of a machine or software. To avoid having your secretary hacked, stand over your secretary with a mallet, using it to wipe the secretary’s memory after each message is taken.
6. Use your phone to make threatening calls to prominent figures in organized crime. Openly mock their ability to track you down. Voice mail will no longer be your problem.
7. Use one of those old-fashioned rotary mobile phones that don’t come equipped with voice mail.
8. If you send me $1,500 by PayPal, I will magically make your voice mail hack-proof.
9. An all-prune-juice diet will help you focus on aspects of your life more fundamental than some silly electronic message system.
10. Anything more technologically advanced than the typewriter is an affront to the Lord. You flagrant sinners deserve all the trouble you get.
Look, I’m as bat-guano insane as the next rabid antisemite, but this (as brought by the New York Times) is going too far:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s government-linked media has claimed that foreign Jewish groups might try to meddle in this Muslim-majority country by supporting an opposition-backed push to reform electoral laws.
Political activists who recently staged a huge demonstration say the accusation is an irresponsible attempt to discredit them through appeals to religious prejudice.
The Malay-language Utusan Malaysia newspaper said in an editorial Monday that Malaysians “cannot allow anyone, especially the Jews, to interfere secretly in this country’s business.” It offered no evidence and named no specific group.
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration cracked down July 9 on at least 20,000 demonstrators who marched in Kuala Lumpur demanding more transparency in electoral laws.
Those sneaky Jews. If they’re not poisoning wells or controlling banks and media, they’re meddling in the affairs of backwater countries in South Asia that most Jews have never heard of. Or would want to.
Seriously, does the Malaysian leadership really think Jews give a kosher damn about them? (Mental note: look up “kosher” and determine whether a “damn” can be so). It’s one thing to control the economy of, say, Germany, or even the United States. If you’re a nefarious race hell-bent on world domination, you go where the action is. You don’t go mucking around where a tsunami might hit you right in the punim. And for what? Supremacy in the lucrative industry of dying from dengue fever?
I’m with the opposition on this one. I mean, seriously – you toe the Protocols line about Jews controlling the media, then turn around and have the media report that Jews are behind the political upheaval? Well, make up your mind, dude: either the story is suspect because the main media outlets are compromised, or one of the central tenets of your weltanschauung is false.
Ah, but those clever, sly Jews – they want you to get complacent about their control of the media, so they have such reports appear in their media outlets, thereby deflecting accusations that they control it all! You have to respect such deviousness, such craft! We must remain vigilant! The Jew is everywhere!
Everywhere, my tuchus (that’s Yiddish for “Malaysia”). The Jew couldn’t care less about your fart-infested little country. He has bigger gefilte fish to fry. You know, like deciding whether to buy the pink toilet paper or the blue. Or weighing the merits of Norwegian smoked salmon vs. Canadian. On the Jew’s list of priorities, these and other crucial considerations far outrank anything remotely connected to Malaysia, except maybe trying to remember the name of that actor who played the British soldier caught behind Japanese lines in Malaysia during WWII. No, that other guy. Maybe he was American.
So let’s be frank, Utusan Malaysia: the Jews couldn’t be behind the political opposition because it’s just not worth their time. Quit pretending your country is important enough for Jews to want to undermine your government.
You’re doing a fine job of it yourself, actually.
Somebody in a blue suit stood behind a podium with an official logo and made some sort of announcement, reported people who were gathered there for some reason. Also present were camera crews and a number of security personnel, whose presence emphasized the apparent importance of the announcement and the person making it.
The person making the announcement also took several questions from some of the assembled people following his scripted remarks. The questions were meant to elicit further details related to the subject of the announcement. Following the series of questions, the official thanked those present and left the room.
The announcement came after days of speculation on the part of serious-looking people on TV that such an announcement might take place, and if it did, what its effect would be. The speculation itself stemmed from a previous announcement several weeks earlier by a different official standing behind a podium with a different logo. The earlier announcement was deemed important enough by certain TV networks that its broadcast interrupted the previously scheduled showing of a program about grown men running into each other while wearing padding and helmets.
In the aftermath of the first announcement, well-dressed and well-groomed people were shown frowning with concern or speaking with authority on the subject of the announcement. In response to that announcement, a group of people gathered near a government building and held up hand-drawn signs. Many also shouted rhyming couplets with content related to whatever it was the announcement announced.
Experts remain divided on the significance of the latest announcement. “I’m not sure we’re seeing anything new here,” said a man in a blue suit and gray tie, who seems to have a reason to know about this. “My agency has been saying for weeks that we should expect this development.”
However, a different person, this one a woman in a gray pantsuit, glasses and a maroon scarf, said that the latest announcement portended a change in something she regarded as important. “What we’re seeing is nothing less than a complete reformulation of policy,” she insisted, although it remained unclear why her opinion carries more weight than yours or mine, or why anyone should care.
In the subsequent hours, TV shows again featured people talking about the topic of the announcement, and the amount of media coverage implied that it would have a major effect on society. Aside from the experts appearing on TV, however, few people exhibited awareness that such an announcement had taken place, let alone what impact the announcement would exert on their lives.
“What the hell is your problem?” said a large, bearded man in a flannel shirt, when asked what he thought of the announcement. The other assembled people echoed his sentiment and attempted to focus on a large screen at the end of the room, which was showing vehicles moving at dangerous speeds around an oval track.
At press time, it remained unclear whether there would be more announcements by people behind podiums with logos, but some people appeared on TV loudly demanding that other people renounce the announcement.
It’s shaping up to be a great summer for a war.
All the pieces – and I don’t just mean artillery pieces – are coming into place: military buildup, militant rhetoric, crescendoing tensions between longtime foes. It doesn’t get any better than this. The pundits will pontificate; the analysts will anal; and the media will frenz. Some people might also die, and that will make for excellent human interest stories during lulls in the fighting, to help keep everyone interested.
There’s a good reason to wait for the late spring or early summer to start an offensive: the spring thaw often makes transportation of heavy equipment difficult, so this time of year has historically been the best season for mounting a campaign. And with clear weather on the horizon for the next several months, you can anticipate massing troops and armaments in numbers that would make Napoleon drool. No wonder there’s so much excitement in the air – people are anxious for the adventure to begin already!
Napoleon, after all, learned a hard lesson about fighting in the winter, and would approve of this timing. He would also salivate, as I’m sure you all do, at the sophisticated weapons systems of which he could never dream: fighter jets; cluster bombs; cruise missiles; main battle tanks. Even the lowly (har!) antipersonnel land mine would give Clausewitz the jollies.
But it’s not just the technology that gets people excited: nowadays people are consumed by the thought of collateral damage, which means that the soldiers are not the only ones involved in the action. Not so long ago, before air power and rockets, only the combatants at the front came into contact with danger or got a chance to kill and maim. A civilian with ambitions to do the same had to get trapped in the thick of the battle, or at least to be caught by the pillaging enemy in its aftermath. Not anymore: a modern stray projectile can destroy homes and lives hundreds of miles from any battlefield – or better yet, make the entire home front a theater of operations in itself. And even those civilians ensconced far away can monitor the proceedings in real time, thanks to the internet and social media.
Let us celebrate, then, that the world can soon become a global pillage.
Time to let the cat out of the bag: the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is meant to divert the world’s attention from developments in the Air France crash investigation.
Let’s put on our thinking caps and connect a few dots, shall we? He’s a Frenchman in a position of power, and his name was constantly mentioned as the leading candidate for the presidency in the next election. Naturally, this makes him a ripe target for scandal, whether true or manufactured. And there’s the fact that he’s Jewish – you couldn’t pick a better target for the public to latch onto: banker, predator, Christ-killer. He’s a ready-made attention grabber. So why now, exactly? What took the authorities so long, unless they were waiting to overshadow other important news affecting France? Two dots, connected.
Remember,this is Flight 447 we’re talking about – and as we all know, 447 is the numerical value of Strauss-Kahn’s initials in Hebrew plus the word “MiG” in Hebrew – which points to theories that a Soviet-made fighter jet intercepted the Airbus and shot it down. Another dot joined, and a picture begins to emerge.
All this could be attributed to bizarre coincidence, but for the additional reports – still unconfirmed but nonetheless tantalizing – that the USS Carl Vinson, which dumped Osama bin Laden’s body into the sea, was actually using the sea burial as a cover for the far more sinister activity of removing materials from the sea, namely important physical evidence of flight 447′s fate. It must be more than coincidence that Carl is merely a form of Charles, the first king of France – and Vinson is related to vines – i.e. wine – that quintessentially French beverage. This was an Air France flight, remember.
And then we must consider the US government’s refusal to show photographs or video of Osama bin Laden’s corpse or the operation that supposedly resulted in his death. What greater evidence of a cover up do you want? “Osama bin Laden” has the same number of syllables as “Rio de Janeiro,” where flight 447 originated!
So you sheeple can swallow the official story, hook, line and sinker. We critical thinkers, who look skeptically at everything the lazy mainstream media throws out, know the truth, because we refuse to let the Goebbels-wannabes run the show.
And don’t get me started on all those carcinogens in name-brand underwear.
I’m sorry. I’ll try not to do it again. It was a stupid idea.
You see, I went a long time without checking my spam folder. Upon clicking on that long-neglected link, I came face-to-screen with the realization that I had missed out on months’ worth of fabulous offers. Some were even in languages I didn’t know existed. And some were quite possibly English, but not necessarily. I mean, they used real English words, mostly spelled correctly, but put them together in ways no speaker of English ever would. Those mostly came from Nigeria. I didn’t know there were so many Africans with oh-so-tantalizingly close access to millions of dollars. No wonder the continent is in trouble: all that useful cash, locked away from the public. If everyone wrote back to those Nigerian widows today, we could solve the AIDS crisis, a couple of wars and food distribution problems from the Sahara southward.
Now, I do not, currently, have a need for a certain pill, the name of which will prompt some filters to regard this post as spam, but it features a phonetic rhyme with a set of waterfalls shared by the U.S. and Canada. That pill promises to eliminate certain performance issues in men. Oodles of messages offering it end up in my spambox everyday. But should I save all those messages, in case, when I reach a certain stage of middle age, I might need said med? The more sources I consult, the more likely I am to find to a competitive price – and as I understand, the going rate for this particular non-chewable tablet is something like twenty bucks per dose. I’d better set up a filter to override the spam-detector and file those messages away for safekeeping. In fact, if you’re looking to get rid of yours, I’ll take your leftover messages in that vein, as well.
Now, I do wish I could understand Russian, because a good number of the messages in there are in that language. How the hell am I supposed to know what they’re telling me? What am I supposed to do about this? What if it’s some really crucial information that my English-speaking sources have missed? The same goes for what I guess is Chinese. I need help, but I can’t deal with all that gibberish on my own!
Then there are the offers to increase one’s physical endowment. I do not, thank you very much, require enhancement of my bust, least of all through what appear to be thoroughly unscientific means, but if I were, I would wonder how you knew, since I certainly wouldn’t be going around telling everybody I was considering it. So I suspect I’ve been getting these messages in error, and they are intended for someone else with a similar address. As for roughly analogous offers directed at males, thank you, but I believe those were received in error, as well; I’m quite unlikely to broadcast, uh, shortcomings in that region, so even if it were relevant, I wouldn’t trust my anatomy to people with no sense of discretion.
Of course I could occasionally make use of access to pharmaceuticals with a diminutive price tag – available only with a physician’s endorsement – so should I save those messages, as well, and refer to them again next time the little ones need some amoxycillin? This sure is getting complicated. There are so many helpful people out there, waiting to provide assistance where it might be needed – and here I sat, losing faith in humanity. Well, from here on in I resolve to pay more attention to the wrong side of the incoming e-mail tracks. Those neglected messages would appreciate it, and it’s the least I can do for them.
Now, would you like to see that for-sure authentic video of Bin Laden’s death?
By Jay Walker
NEW YORK, April 30 – Responding to a decades-long trend in newspaper marketing, the New York Times announced today that as of June 30 it would change its classic broadsheet layout to tabloid format. The decision follows months of studies commissioned by the Times management and comparisons with the fates of other newspapers in both the broadsheet and tabloid formats.
Long associated with higher-quality journalism, the broadsheet format has fallen out of favor with purchasers of newspapers over the last thirty years. Although tabloid newspapers have suffered declining sales during the same period, the tabloid format has proved somewhat more resilient, as it remains more conducive to compelling or dramatic photos and headlines that help attract readers.
Although the impending switch took some industry analysts by surprise, many print media experts saw the newsprint on the walls ages ago, says Harold Perlmutter, Associate Professor of Media at George Mason University. “The Times took the revolutionary step – at least by its own conservative standards – and introduced color photography to its front page in the 1990′s,” he said, “but in recent years even the stodgy folks at the Times realized that they needed a wholesale makeover, not some cosmetic touch-ups here and there.”
The announcement garnered mixed reactions among media consumers. According to a CBS poll, 48% of respondents expected the change not to affect sales to any significant degree, while 38% expressed excitement at seeing the paper of record feature front-page headlines such as, “Guv: Feds Too Nosy” and “Cops Nab Pair in Mob Hit”. The other 14% expressed no opinion on the matter. The poll’s margin of error was four percentage points.
Alison Morgan, 38, of New Hyde Park, NY, has had a subscription to the NY Times for seven years, and welcomes the change. “I know it’s supposed to be the best paper and all, but I just can’t wade through everything I need to in the little time I have. It’s great to know the Times will now be on the same level as the Daily News and the New York Post.”
Others are not so keen on the switch. Maureen Baker, 52, of Brooklyn Heights, plans to cancel her subscription once the change takes effect. “I can’t believe they’re selling out,” she said.
Beyond the announcement itself in a press release today, the Times has remained unusually silent on the matter. The press release said, in its entirety, “As of June 30, 2011, The New York Times will switch from broadsheet to tabloid format, in keeping with worldwide trends in print journalism. We anticipate that the change will attract new readers, and we will work to retain our current demanding readership by demonstrating that the format of the paper will not affect the kwality of the publication they have come to expect.”
I should apologize. I know that the (consults fingers of one hand, counting silently) several of you screaming, diehard fans of this blog have been positively apopleptic with bewildered rage at my seeming disappearance from the online realm. Fear not, dear idiots, for I had noble and good reasons for taking a well-deserved break. I didn’t use them, though; I just vegged out with a few good books and had the same tired old arguments with my wife and kids.
This might not suit the more demanding reader, I know. Sometimes one gets so attached to, so dependent on, a source of mirth that one cannot fathom functioning in its absence. To which I say: get a grip, loser. You view this blog as a source of mirth? Good grief. Someone needs to call a humor detector repair dude, and pronto. Mirth, indeed. Sounds like a Teutonic god of bad breath or something (little known historical fact I just made up: Richard Wagner had such halitosis that he was known as the Teutonic god of bad breath).
I do suppose a bit of updating is in order, in light of the lack of new posts in recent days. Or at least such updating would be in order if there were anything new to report. But after a brief foray into the bowels of the news media (it’s dark in there), I can safely say that little has changed: the Mets suck, Libya is a steaming pile of unrest, the US State Department favors a tougher stance toward Israel, Donald Trump is a blithering egomaniac, and the emerging roster of 2012 Republican presidential candidates looks about as inspiring as a bowl of spoiled banana pudding.
The things that have changed are not likely to garner notice, nor are they likely to be worth noticing: we managed to keep the house clean for almost two hours the other day, a new record; our middle son exhibited his ability to use a barf bag properly today (as well as to prompt his older brother to offer to show the contents to everyone); and we ‘re running out of the hard-to-find laundry detergent that we favor. These are the momentous tidings you have been lacking.
I would promise to reestablish my pattern of daily posts, but nobody likes empty threats. So you’ll have to settle for the few bones I throw your way. My aim is terrible, you should know; I’m more likely to hit that old lady over there, and she’ll probably blame you, so be prepared.
I don’t know if you’re as troubled as I am about this, but it seems Justin Timberlake has not been in the headlines enough recently. At least I think that’s whom I mean. I always confuse him with Brad Pitt. Or what’s his name, the guy from that one movie. With the horses.
Listen, I know you’ve had your hands full with developments in the lives of Charlie Sheen and Prince William, but I’m sure the two of them will live happily ever after together no matter what. This Timberlake fellow, however, needs your attention to survive. I’m sure of that. Relatively. I could mean Al Pacino, or Senator Barbara Boxer. Isn’t that an awesome name? Senator Barbara Boxer of California. Is she still a senator? What about Henry Cabot Lodge? If you see him, relay my regards from my college course in WWI-era American foreign policy. He might not remember me, because that was way back in 1996. Also, Lodge was already dead. Unlike Justin Timberlake. I think.
Yeah, he’s seen better days. Everyone recalls the “wardrobe malfunction” with Tina Turner. Wait, Janet Jackson? Wil Wheaton? Somebody who was big back in the 80′s. Maybe it was Max Headroom. But still, don’t you think Mr. Timberlake deserves more from us? Assuming that’s who it is.
I know I sound like I don’t know what I’m talking about. That’s nothing new, you should know; I’ve lots of practice, ever since all those studies came out about a college education not really making a difference in a person’s potential employment. I figure I can wangle a job as a politician, all of whom seem to do what I do fairly well and get power, money and fame as a result. Or maybe that’s meteorologists. Except for the power part. Or the money. Or fame. I do remember Mr. G., or whatever his name was. Is he still around?
I know Justin Timberlake is still around. I just haven’t heard his name in a while. And I know he hasn’t become a meteorologist; that would have been earth-shattering news, more urgent that the nuclear stuff in Japan and the emerging quagmire in Libya. Or maybe it’s Yemen. Did Goldstone find that Timberlake intentionally targeted Bahraini civilians? Probably not. Meteorologists don’t tend to hit their targets anyway.
OK, so there was that escaped cobra in the Bronx Zoo; I understand that sometimes the media’s attention is required elsewhere for a few moments. But Justin Timberlake has had a Twitter feed like, forever, unlike that upstart reptile, who probably doesn’t do his own tweets. Well, to be fair, Timberlake probably doesn’t either, but I’m not in a position to know. You think maybe Timberlake was doing the tweeting for the snake? That would be cool.
Yeah, I think the media dropped the ball on this one. As far as I can tell. Maybe it wasn’t the media at all, but a cabal of corrupt Russian oligarchs intent on controlling the weather. Damn, we could use a good meteorologist. Anybody know one?