Thursday, August 26, 2010

Randi Rhodes: War TV

The Navy has OK’d a reality television show about the military bomb squads risking their lives defusing explosive devices. Well that’s one way to make those “Ice Road Truckers” and crab fishermen look like wusses. The show is called “Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan.” I guess it sounds better than “I Enlisted for the College Tuition, Get Me Out of Here!” The show will be on the G4 Network. The problem of course is that this could easily be handled in a tasteless and exploitative manner, or as TV networks call it “business as usual.” The first indications from the G4 Network don’t look good. Their promo material stresses that the soldiers’ patrols “could put an EOD tech wearing a 70-pound protective bomb suit in direct contact with a potentially deadly IED.” At least they’re not calling the show “Survivor: Kandahar.” The problem is that they’re teasing it with the possibility that some of those involved may not survive. This is an abomination. Why don’t they just call this show “Pimp My Military”? Besides, if I want to see an explosion on reality TV, I’ll just watch Teresa on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Reality can be ugly, especially when it involves Glenn Beck. This weekend is Glenn Beck’s big “Restoring Honor” rally. Glenn Beck restoring honor? That’s like using Mel Gibson to restore civility. Beck is taking over the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech there. If Martin Luther King were still around, this would make him wake up screaming. The rally headliners are Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. It’s kind of like a Woodstock for conservatives, but I’m sure this one will feature a lot more mud. As far as I’m concerned, the mere presence of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin at the Lincoln Memorial qualifies as vandalism to a national monument. Glenn Beck says “we will reclaim the civil rights movement….” Reclaim? I didn’t know conservatives claimed it in the first place. Is that what you were doing with the water cannons and police dogs? Glenn Beck is completely rewriting history for the sake of a bunch of old people—the kind of people who didn’t like that history back when they were forced to live it. These are people who spent their lives hating the legacy of the Civil Rights movement. Now Glenn Beck is telling them they don’t have to hate it—they can co-opt and distort it. The bottom line is clear: Glenn Beck comes not to praise the Civil Rights movement, but to bury it.
Today’s Homework Discuss
The Muslim NYC cab driver describes the horrifying knife attack:

Thom's blog
Libertarian Paradise of Somalia
In some big triumphs this year, the tea party movement has had successful wins against long-time Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT), Tea Partier Trey Gowdy won over "reasonable Republican" Rep. Bob Inglis (SC), and now it looks like Senate candidate Joe Miller (R-AK) will beat current Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in one of the biggest political upsets of the year. As President Bush's former speechwriter Michael Gerson points out today, the Republican party now faces an uphill struggle to rein in the "untested ideology" of these new candidates that is "clearly incompatible with some conservative and Republican beliefs" and may prove "toxic to the GOP." Today on ABC's Top Line, RNC spokesman Doug Heye embraced the radical far right views of GOP candidates like Miller saying, "we embrace whatever candidate needs to do to win." While Bush's speech writer Michael Gerson calls the libertarian tea party concepts of eliminating social security and other social safety net program as untested, in fact the tea party ideology has been tested. If you'd like to check it out, just move to the libertarian paradise of Somalia. No pesky big government bureaucrats, very low taxes, and everyone is free to own all the guns they want.

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