Thursday, March 04, 2010

Hatemongering is the real cancer in America

There's a great line in the movie The American President that goes something like, "Why is it that people who claim to love America spend so much time hating Americans?"

I noticed that the boobs in Congress are trying to ban al-Jazeera from satellite providers for "anti-Americanism." Al-Jazeera, or at least its English service, is an excellent news organization that truly does fulfill a mission to broadcast and reflect a wide variety of viewpoints. It's a refreshing change from the elitist US model of primarily airing "slightly left of center" establishment insider views and "slightly right of center" establishment insider views.

The BBC (World TV and World Service radio) is much better than American broadcasters and does excellent in-depth reporting. But the BBC is heavily centered on the US and Western Europe and on addressing governmental issues and politics. Al-Jazeera's breadth is much better, as it often delves deeper into broader social issues, rather than having a heavy focus on presidents, cabinet ministers and opposition leaders. Al-Jazeera also goes into more depth in covering the Arab world and Africa . But the two are both good and compliment each other.

The "anti-Americanism" Congress refers to is just another way of saying al-Jazeera sometimes airs views critical of US foreign policy and sometimes shows the actual effects of said policy on real human beings. Or perhaps more to the point, al-Jazeera's crime is that it treats non-Americans as full-fledged human beings.

This is completely unacceptable to American broadcasters who treat war as merely a video game. The only people portrayed sympathetically are American soldiers and their families. The only people that matter are these well-armed and -protected members of the occupation force.

People indigenous to the countries US soldiers are fighting in are mere background noise; you'd have no idea that it's, you know, THEIR COUNTRY. You'd have no idea that exponentially more Afghans and Iraqi nationals have been killed that American or coalition soldiers. They've lost relatives, friends, property, livelihood. Of course, it's "blame America first" or "political correctness" if you mention any of this.

Was all this caused by US troops? Of course not. But the US invasions unleashed a series of chaotic and entirely foreseeable consequences that Iraqis and Afghans, not Americans, are bearing the brunt of. Al-Jazeera's "anti-Americanism" is that its reporting reflects this broader human truth, rather than just the very narrow American nationalistic truth.

And yet Glenn Beck's call for the "eradication" of progressivism or Rush Limbaugh's calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a terrorist are not at all anti-American... because in their eyes progressives and Pelosi aren't real Americans. Yeah, a good foreign news organization is the real threat to a civilized America. (wink)

Although this is a stark reversal of their contention of only a few years ago that criticism of the president constituted treason.

Does that mean airing "anti-American" views of others will be illegal, but hating Americans yourself is okay? Or does it mean it's okay wish ill on Americans who disagree with you politically, just so long as you don't hate all Americans?

Part of me wants to move to Canada to get away from this filth but that would mean Glenn Beck and the other American-haters would win. And I guess I love America too much to let that happen.


semi234 said...

If Congress really wanted to screw over al-Jazerra's popularity amongst the Arab demographic, they'd embrace them w/ open arms. Afterall, if the US gov't supports it, it must be bad.

Luke said...

There's a movement afoot to ban al-Jazeera from the US? Why does the government feel as though it is entitled to control the press? This would be a travesty.