What do WOOF and Marshall McLuhan have in common? Why, we both spend a lot of time thinking about media, of course. Well, okay, not McLuhan so much anymore, he being dead and all, but we still do. And we would like to share these thoughts with you—but they are, as you might have supposed, agonizingly lengthy—so we decided to share them in portions. These will come in the form of “white paper” reports and will roll in from time to time, under the rubric A WOOF WHITE PAPER REPORT, because that will make them sound important. They will be serialized as installments of “Why All the News is Bad,” and focus on why the American news media today are so hopelessly moronic, yet simultaneously, and dedicatedly, seditious. This will require a bit of a romp through recent history—but let’s begin with some even more recent history, just to make an exordial point.
With Michele in New Hampshire
Remember when the beautiful and talented Michele Bachmann was running for the Republican nomination in 2011—and she committed that horrendous gaffe? No? If you ransack your memory you may recall that while speaking in New Hampshire, Congresswoman Bachmann told an assemblage of citizens that,”You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord.” Well, not exactly, right? Because the “shot heard ‘round the world” was fired in Massachusetts. (This would be impossible nowadays, of course, because nobody in Massachusetts could own a musket, but we digress.) The point is, the major networks plus CNN and MSNBC jabbered for a complete news cycle about the manifest ineligibility of any Republican female so dunderheaded as to publicly commit so horrendous a blooper! The viewers of this blood frenzy– given that they presumably had mush for brains to begin with as evidenced by their viewing preferences– came away believing that Bachmann was only slightly less ding-batty than Edith Bunker, and a thousandfold more dangerous, because she sought her party’s nomination despite demonstrating such appalling stupidity. And why are we reviewing this lapsus linguae on the part of the brilliant and beauteous Bachmann? For contrast, dear readers, for contrast! And thus we depart the sublime subject of the congresswoman from Minnesota and trudge into the vastly less enticing but equally necessary realm of Obama’s treatment by these self-same media outlets…let’s restrict ourselves for brevity’s sake to a single instance, however! (Those seeking further instances of presidential folly should click here!)
And now, herrrrrrre’s Barry!
On the night of August 6th, President Barack Obama, our beloved helmsman, appeared in one of his favorite news formats—an entertainment broadcast. He took a seat adjacent Jay Leno on NBC’s Tonight show and did so despite the fact that guests on the Tonight program are not permitted the use of teleprompters—they are, in fact, expected to speak extemporaneously. One might wonder what the president’s handlers were thinking given his established record of waxing incoherent when not reading from the aforementioned device; but why should they have fretted? A virtual avalanche of presidential ludicrosities emanated, as anyone might have predicted, from the president’s ungoverned lips, but the networks seemed oblivious of them—Shall we review? When asked about Benghazi, the president hastily elided into a separate issue, assuring Leno’s audience that, “the odds of people dying in a terrorist attack obviously are still a lot lower than in a car accident,” and then inexplicably adding, “Unfortunately.” But no anchor person at any Liberal Media outlet raised an eyebrow over this baffling adverbial choice–not a one!
Next, in an effort to explain Vladimir Putin’s “cold war mentality,” Obama pointed out that the Russian president had, after all, “headed up the KGB.” But this is baloney. Putin was in the foreign intelligence branch of that dastardly organization, but never made it higher than Lieutenant Colonel. Attending intelligence briefings might have helped clarify this for Barack, but might also have resulted in a missed golf game or two, one supposes. The difference between the summer and winter Olympics also befuddled the leader of the Free World. In lecturing the Russians (in case they were watching Leno, one gathers) on how to run their sports contests in a manner fair to homosexual athletes, the Bamster made recommendations regarding numerous summer games, apparently unaware that the Moscow games will be held in winter. And then, most embarrassingly, the topic of geography was broached. This is always an unsafe area for the man who thinks we have 58 states and believes that Austrians speak Austrian, but the president held forth bravely, declaring that the Panama Canal was being widened, so we should do likewise because “If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else.” Obviously, gentle readers, Charleston, Savannah, and Jacksonville are not Gulf ports. The president seemed to have mislaid the Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, the Panama Canal is in fact being widened, but the president could not have meant that the Gulf of Mexico should be widened, could he? The difference between increased depth and increased width eluded him in this regard—but enough of all this! The point is, none of the Liberal Media Establishment touched on any of these gaffes, except, to be fair, the Associated Press, which dutifully doctored the Gulf quote by adding language unspoken by Obama, so that he wouldn’t look like a total nincompoop. (They got caught, however, and looked like total nincompoops, finally issuing a predictably petulant apology in fine print.)
Look, the president appoints known communists like Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett, Cass Sunstein, and David Axelrod (to name a handful) to vital positions within his government, sets up Americans for execution via his domestic drone program, vanishes from duty during an eight-hour battle in Benghazi that burns down his consulate and kills his ambassador, and sets about unilaterally disarming the United States of America while Iran and North Korea are developing ICBMs. He blatantly and routinely lies about anything that seems convenient to lie about, from his health care policy to the economy to his energy program to the daft idea that he shoots skeet “all the time,” and the press cannot bring itself to carefully examine an iota of this—in fact, it attacks anybody who does—Yet when the President takes Tiger Woods golfing without allowing the press to traipse along lovingly in his footsteps, they howl like jilted lovers, agonizing for the first (and almost certainly the last) time ever over the shocking lack of transparency in the Obama Administration. Are they insane? Were they always like this? Why do we put up with these dolts? Well, that is what these white papers will concern themselves with! Beloved readers, WOOF realizes that many of you are young and cannot fathom a time when television was not crammed with blathering liberals trashing everything and everyone you believe in while waxing orgasmic over every left-of-center cause or radical jackanapes that appears on the scene. Some of you, on the other hand, recall a day long ago in which it was possible to watch the evening news without having to deprogram yourself afterwards– to cleanse your weary brain of the harmful effects of no-holds-barred left-wing propagandizing.
“Yes, and it’s all true, too!”
Back in the ‘80s an American law student named Logan Robinson published an absolutely hilarious bit of travel literature entitled “An American in Leningrad,” Robinson having been an exchange student in the Soviet Union during the Brezhnev era. Robinson describes a scene in which he watched a rehearsal for a major speech by Brezhnev in Red Square. The Soviet Army positioned several rows of soldiers directly behind the Russian Premiere’s podium. Their task was to shout in manly unison, “Yes, and it’s all true, too!” every time Brezhnev asserted a point. Nowadays it is almost impossible to watch the procession of painstakingly coiffured, elegantly attired media mouthpieces spouting exactly identical talking points in the wake of each new Obama-era travesty without bethinking oneself of the that Soviet Army chorus, greeting each of Brezhnev’s prevarications with a shouted reminder of, “Yes, and it’s all true, too,” just in case the masses harbored any doubts. This is precisely the function that the American televised media now serve. It is also descriptive of the vast majority of print media and the Entertainment Industry, but for the sake of brevity we will focus in this particular screed on the TV propagandists who haunt our small screens. Was it always like this? Was it ever this bad in the ‘old days’? Actually, no. It was always in a condition of becoming this way, and it was often nearly this bad—but we are now in an era of absolute, wall to wall, collectivist agitprop, and in order to best understand where we are, it is essential to first examine where we started!
As moviegoers who recall the scene from “Contact” are aware, the first ever TV broadcast was propagandistic in nature, starring, as it did, Hitler—making a speech at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. But if he was the first socialist totalitarian to turn the medium to his purpose, he was in no respect the last. In America, following World War II, television began to take hold and grew into a house-to-house phenomenon by the early ‘50s. Americans huddled in front of the flickering shades of grey on their cathode-ray-lit sets yukking it up with “Uncle Milty” or glued to the fights on the “Gillette Cavalcade of Sports,” or getting hep to Patti Page and Snooky Lanson on “Your Hit Parade” before the name Elvis was abroad in the land. And verily, one could watch all the entertainment programming of that era without any fear of being brainwashed by Communists. Brain deadened, perhaps, by cultural pabulum, but washed?—no! And the first newscasts of the day were pretty dull—just recitations of the day’s notable events, (imagine that!) plus sports scores and weather forecasts, all without the benefit of visual aids apart from the weather map and usually emanating from some carefully enunciated gent with a collection of clocks behind him on a soundproofed studio wall with a massive mike in his face bearing the network logo of ABC, CBS, or NBC. Once upon time, young Americans, those were our only choices! Call it an age of innocence if you like, but whether or not it was too good to last, it certainly didn’t!
Genial Uncle Dave
It will shock the young to discover that once a man named Dave Garroway hosted the NBC Today program, his main assistant a chimpanzee named J. Fred Muggs, but it is true—and equally true that since Dave Garroway left the Today program, it has not been worth looking at. In fact, a quick viewing of Matt Laur and team will suffice to persuade the unbiased observer that Today had more dignity and gravitas when it was co-hosted by a chimpanzee than it possesses nowadays. Dave Garroway finished last in his class at NBC Announcer’s school, and it showed. Instead of sounding like some stentorian stuffed shirt, he came across cool and casual—communicative and human. Heck, J. Fred Muggs seemed more human than the average network announcer of that era. In the ‘70s, this formula for early morning news programming was called “cope,” but when Garroway introduced it, the critics called it terrible and unprofessional, except for TV critic Richard F. Shepard who differed, writing, “He is pleasant, serious, scholarly…and not obtrusively convivial.”
Garroway knew TV was a “cool medium” before communications guru Marshall McLuhan so dubbed it—and he made it work wonderfully. He also closed each show with his palm raised in the cliché Indian “how!” position. These days, white liberals who never met an Indian would call it an insult to “Native Americans” (which presumably means all of us) and make short work of such insensitivity! In those days, hand aloft, Dave always intoned the single syllable, “Peace!” But he was just as relaxed and natural doing a remote from an airborne B-52 on a practice bombing run—and if he had a political; slant, he only told J. Fred Muggs. So was the Garroway persona widely emulated by up-and-coming TV reporters in 1952? Sadly, no—at least not for long. Because by 1953 a greater call to glory had been sounded, and by most perceptions (at least in New York), a great evil thereby disposed of—and about this we shall say more next time, when WOOF White Papers presents: Confronting the great evil! (Don’t miss it!)