Time on Their Hands

Perhaps there’s some significance to the fact that I just ran across Time Magazine’s November 24 article, “A Decade From Hell” on the morning of Black Friday, only to find that that discredited, desperate, and clueless publication blames the disastrous first decade of the 21st century on everything except the despicable media malpractice that made the whole debacle inevitable.  Seemingly driving the point home with its glacial download speeds that build false hopes for something more than a five-page pantload of utter bullshit, Time “rewards” the perversely patient reader with yet another dreary litany of the same conventional (lack of) wisdom that has made our mass media not just irrelevant to, but actively destructive of, democracy.  Time clearly put some effort into this covering up of its role in our national flameout, just about as effectively as a cat attempts bury a ripe turd in a shallow litter box.

You see, had you not drunk from the font of Time’s geyser of stupid, you might actually see a connection between rampant deregulation, skyrocketing inequality, military hubris, public disinvestment, exploding deficits, crazy people masquerading as statesmen, moral and financial collapse, and the glue that holds all these ill-fitting puzzle pieces together: a shrinking, narcissistic, and clueless media that actively promoted every one of these hare-brained and short-sighted impulses solely because they came, one and all, from the right.  And as a supposed bastion of the liberal media, Time is just doing what all its “liberal” media brethren do: treat right-wing created calamities as unhappy accidents, and prescribe right-wing “solutions” as the answer to them all. With enablers like Time, Karl Rove might as well put his “legacy project” to bed, safely tucked in with one of George Bush’s special pillows.  A more unnecessary endeavor could hardly be imagined, although with a bit more talent and introspection, even Time might have done a better job of it.

It’s quite common for those in the media, as they endlessly bemoan the shallowness of the public for paying undue attention to the garbage they put forth as news even as they  blanket the airwaves with that selfsame garbage, to look everywhere but the mirror for the cause of such universal nincompoopery, but they do it anyway because they can.  Like arsonists bemoaning the danger of fires, they blame the public for not understanding the facts they adamantly refuse to discuss, decry the abject ignorance they themselves quite convicningly feign, and, when it all inevitably comes crashing down, dismiss criticism by saying that they knew the truth all along, but no one was listening.  Except that they were, and such guilty knowledge produces claptrap like Time’s contemptuously misleading and inadequately ass-covering “article” like this one.

One wonders where Time was, actually, when banking deregulation, the Bush budget, the Iraq war, and the many other preventable idiocies of “the decade from Hell” were being concocted.  Looking back, Time sees all of these as being as unstoppable as Hurricane Katrina, and even as it takes a baby step toward belatedly blaming the Army Corps of Engineers for much of that catastrophe, it actively effaces its own acquiescence or outright cheerleading for these boneheaded notions.  Like the equally discredited Condi Rice, they boldly if mendaciously declare that “no one could have predicted” the entirely predictable results.  Why indeed would anyone expect a venerable news magazine, staffed by hundreds of people who presumably are more ardent news consumers than, say, Sarah Palin, to be capable of simple arithmetic, much less cognizant of the inevitable fate of such heedless hubris throughout history.  Thankfully, Time isn’t claiming to be smart, merely a shade less dumb than what’s left of its readership, a comfortingly modest goal that it nonetheless fails to achieve.

The cherry on top of this BS sundae, however, seems to lie in its prescription and hope for the future; that fortunately no liberal corrective will ever emerge from the cesspit of right-wing dominance that “accidentally” produced a mess so big that Time, naturally enough, sees the only possibility of salvation in, you guessed it, the harsh strictures of our national penury and the loud objections of the newly deficit-obsessed right.  And when the next, most likely worse, decade unfolds before the covered eyes of the dimwits at Time, again they’ll be looking to the right for more answers.  Force of habit, I guess.


  1. dirigo says:

    The latest from the Chilcot hearings on Iraq, now underway in London, has featured testimony from Jeremy Greenstock, the former UK ambassador to the UN. Greenstock said yesterday that the invasion of Iraq may have been legal but not legitimate politically, as a result of pressure from American leaders to go to Badgdad in 2003 without a second, more firm vote from the UN.

    Damn the torpedoes, W !!!

    Thanks for the memories …

  2. cocktailhag says:

    All this backward looking must be a peculiarity of the Brits, and even though tardy, still seems less than fully American to me.

    • dirigo says:

      Yes, it’s the long lost and (and in this country, at least) underrated quality of truly humble, human reflection, not calculated for political effect or the latest news cycle.

      “Hold the mirror up to nature … ”

      That’s un-American all right.

      • rmp says:

        Not every culture does human self/community reflection. Take the extremely controlling culture of Japan. The citizens for the first time ever just discovered that they can question how the government decides its budget.

        Japanese flock to first-ever open budget debate

        • dirigo says:

          I thought Gen. MacArthur taught the Japanese all they needed to know about town meetings way back in 1946.

          • rmp says:

            Gen. MacArthur was putty in the hands of the Japanese. He did pretty much everything they wanted so that the Japanese were always in full control and thus nothing regarding the culture changed. That is why the LDP through pay to play politics has been able to do whatever they have wanted without any serious competition.

  3. dirigo says:

    Maybe he learned more than he anticipated with geishas.

  4. nailheadtom says:

    “It’s quite common for those in the media, as they endlessly bemoan the shallowness of the public for paying undue attention to the garbage they put forth as news even as they blanket the airwaves with that selfsame garbage, to look everywhere but the mirror for the cause of such universal nincompoopery, but they do it anyway because they can.”

    No they don’t, you’re the one “bemoaning the shallowness of the public.” The media think that they’re doing a great job and are completely immune to any form of self-criticism.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Your second point is entirely correct, Tom, but the first one is:
      A) False. Before the news media turned into a celebrity circus, people were quite capable of making rational judgements about politicians and public policy, and routinely did so.
      B) Based on your usual compulsion to criticize me personally, even if such pronouncements are in direct conflict with what I’ve written, which was in this case that the public has been systematically under- and mis-informed by the preening cretins on TV.

  5. nailheadtom says:

    What Story? [Mark Steyn]

    Michael Gerson has lousy timing. In The Washington Post, in one of those now familiar elegies for old media, he writes:

    And the whole system is based on a kind of intellectual theft. Internet aggregators (who link to news they don’t produce) and bloggers would have little to collect or comment upon without the costly enterprise of newsgathering and investigative reporting. The old-media dinosaurs remain the basis for the entire media food chain.

    That’s laughably untrue in the Warmergate story. If you rely on the lavishly remunerated “climate correspondents” of the big newspapers and networks, you’ll know nothing about the Climate Research Unit scandals – just the business-as-usual drivel about Boston being underwater by 2011. Indeed, even when a prominent media warm-monger addresses the issue, the newspaper prefers to reprint a month-old column predating the scandal. If you follow online analysis from obscure websites on the fringes of the map, you’ll know what’s going on. If you go to the convenience store and buy today’s newspaper, you won’t. That’s the problem.

    If anyone needs newspapers, it ought to be for stories like this. If there were no impending ecopalypse, then “climate science” would be a relatively obscure field, as it was up to a generation ago. Now it produces celebrity scientists living high off the hog of billions in grants. They thus have a vested interest in maintaining the planet’s-gonna-fry line. So what do the media do? Instead of exposing the thesis to rigorous journalistic examination, they stage fluffy green stunts, run soft-focus “living green” features with Hollywood “activists”, and at a time of massive staff cutbacks in every other department create the positions of specialist “climate correspondent” and “environmental reporter” and fill them with sycophantic promoters of the Big Scare to the point that, as Dr Mann coos approvingly to The New York Times, “you’ve taken the words out of my mouth”.

    What Gerson writes ought to be true. Warmergate demonstrates why it is.

    I guess you’re right.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Why is it that all righties take the hook, line, and sinker approach to their beliefs? Just because you believe, say, that rich people are eleventy billion times more useful than everyone else, is it required that you also believe global warming is a myth? Do you also believe that Adam and Eve had dinosaurs as pets? Thought so.
      Anyway, this new thing the right is doing that they call “investigative journalism” is exactly the opposite. Just like with the faux ACORN stings, it’s done backwards. 1) Start with specious thesis that “supports” the latest Republican myth. 2) Get funding from secret source. 3) Scoop up massive load of material against imaginary foe. 4) Cherry pick unrepresentative snippets that “prove” false thesis. 4) Go on FOX or other partisan “news” source and show deceptively edited material. 5) Throw a tantrum that the MSM is “hiding” the story. 6) Repeat.
      It seems to have convinced you, but that’s a pretty low bar.

  6. nailheadtom says:

    So when the media is an enthusiastic accomplice of left-wing, statist, psuedo-scientific demagoguery, they’re OK. But should they fail to advance the socialist agenda, then they’re guilty of “despicable media malpractice”. You’re more predictable than the daily sunrise.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Your way fails every time, Tom, from Dubai to Dubuque. The “socialist agenda” is practiced by every civilized country on earth, including ours until recently, and you can see how that turned out. Please, show me one example of a country that has succeeded on your model. One.
      I can wait.