The continuation of Skiing Uphill and Boregasm, Zug is 'the little blog that could.'

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Name: Ed Waldo
Location: of The West,

I am a fictional construct originally conceived as a pen name for articles in the Los Angeles FREE PRESS at the 2000 Democratic Convention. The plume relating to the nom in question rests in the left hand of Hart Williams, about whom, the less said, the better. Officially "SMEARED" by the Howie Rich Gang . GIT'CHER ZUG SWAG HERE!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Turn My Face From The East

Irregular readers of this little blog might not know that a big part of what this is all about is MEDIA. I've been in and around it at all levels ever since I walked that hand-written letter over to TCU'S DAILY SKIFF office and shoved the envelope under the door, after hours.

I cover it because no one else seems to, and because the media are even MORE hypnotized by the media than those hypnotized by the media are -- which is to say, everybody else. Now, let's dip into the fever dream and I'll tell you the source of the infection.

Imus again. All bloody day long, from the 5 AM CNN radio news to the 10 PM Daily Show and again on the Colbert Report. Literally dawn to dusk, after starting with Bill Press out of Washington, D.C. at 4 AM PDT.

On Randi Rhodes and Stephanie Miller. On ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and the rest.

The feeding frenzy became truly astonishing in its entirety, and I still couldn't figure out WHY this was news.

The Women's Basketball Team of Rutgers gave a midday press conference, attended by all media, and some even broke into coverage, like this was a bombing at an Iraqi market. Or the downing of a US helicopter in Afghanistan. Or an attack on a Nuclear carrier in the Persian Gulf.

One half expected Faux Nooz and CNN to mint logos and license theme music: IMUS - THE APOLOGY,


Either I've been sneakily dosed with LSD by the CIA or by Owsley himself, or else something DAMNED, well, WEIRD is going on.

And then it hits me.

New York.

Do you remember 9/11? Do you recall that the 'round the clock self-absorbed pity-party centered on New York City to the exclusion of all else? That the bombing of the Pentagon -- by running an AIRPLANE into it, too -- vanished in the obsessional self-absorption of the Big Apple Media?

That's right: For many years, New York has been the (self) center of US media, and it concentrates news and commentary back in on itself in a manner that is ... well, you be the judge.

Don Imus has been a radio mainstay of New York City for years -- long before national syndication, and certainly before MSNBC (that most watched of cable channels at that peak viewership moment here in the West of 4 AM) commanded the Television Ratings of a lonely nation.

And at last I understand: The conversation is by New Yorkers to New Yorkers about New Yorkers discussing New York culture, and I've felt all day like I used to feel as a kid in Laramie, Wyoming when TV actors would break into Yiddish.


Not only don't I know, but couldn't possibly be expected TO know. How would a cub scout in Laramie know the Yiddish slang of the Vaudeville stage? How can I, a Westerner, be expected to care about those arrogant (albeit innocently) New Yorkers?

But it is not so innocent, after all:

THAT is the mentality that sent undercover NYPD officers to infiltrate groups in MY state, and, doubtless in MY town, prior to the 2004 GOP convention in New York City -- as reported by the New York TIMES on March 25th.

[NOTE: You, who have read the story already might not have seen this correction appended to the pay-for-play archived article:

Correction: March 26, 2007, Monday A picture caption yesterday with the continuation of a front-page article about broad spying by the New York City police on people expected to protest in the city during the 2004 Republican National Convention referred incorrectly in some copies to the disposition of the property of one protester, Joshua Kinberg, who devised a bicycle equipped with cellphone, laptop and tubes that could spray the ground with messages in chalk. The spraying apparatus -- not the bicycle -- was held for more than a year before being returned; Mr. Kinberg says the authorities have still not returned his bicycle.]
And it's also why, not coincidentally, the reaction TO that story has been almost non-existent in the "national" media.

And that's when we've crossed the line from a weird aberration -- that all national news is filtered through the lens of 8th and Lexington, say, in Manhattan, instead of St. Louis, Fort Worth, Omaha, Kansas City, Boulder, Santa Fe, Hollywood, Cheyenne, San Diego, Portland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Memphis, Chicago, Indianapolis, Pittsburg, Boston, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Newport, Newport News, Manchester, Pierre, Boise, Seattle ... you get the idea.

WE have our reality, too, and this idea that we're all satellites of New York City USED to be queer but tolerable. Now, it's damned dangerous.

How DARE they send their Gestapo to my town?

This is our "national" media having a tiff over their Manhattan bubble.

Ask yourself this: If those planes had flown into the Sears Tower in Chicago and killed 10,000 people, would it have been such a big deal? Or, if the Oklahoma City bombing had happened in Manhattan, don't you think it would have been MUCH bigger than it was? We'd have had a thousand Day Care Workers and FBI agents in Madison Square Garden. They'd have memorialized it during half time of the Super Bowl.

There is a dangerous concentration of the media in this country when what is, in essence, a Manhattan controversy involving a well-known Manhattan radio personality reverberates all over Turtle Island, itself, and is broadcast 'round the world -- in a strange sort of media colonialization. I haven't checked, but I wouldn't doubt that the Chinese English Language News Service, and the Australian newspapers are carrying the story.

The danger is the lack of proportionality. The idea that Don Imus' language is the MOST important story in the land is absurd and offensive -- language so horrificially offensive, I might note, that virtually every nose-wrinkling New York (City) talking head was able to repeat the "controversial" remarks verbatim with no fears of bleeping or FCC smackdown.

It's as if we were those boys, men, husbands and boyfriends who had been taken to the women's underwear section of the store, while our wife/girlfriend/mom/aunt tried on whatevers and we non-New Yorkers have to stand uncomfortably, NOT shopping in a part of the store that we have no personal stake in.

The traditional response is, note, to look at one's watch, look sheepishly and say, "I'm waiting for my wife." I don't know what the media equivalent would be.

Er ... we're waiting for New York to finish it's seizure. Fulmination, spastic fit, foaming at the mouth, howling at the moon, whatever.

Maybe when they get over whatever it is that New York City is wrestling with, they'll be good enough to go back to telling us what's happening in the rest of the world.

You know, like the other big story that broke today: The other guy in the paternity suit turns out to be the father of dead Anna Nicole Smith's new kid. And they can send more New York City Police Department undercover officers far and wide to see if there are any threats to New York City. Maybe they'll even send some here.

On second thought, I think I'll just go back to the "CIA dosed me with LSD" theory. It seems a more likely explanation. Occam's Razor and all that.



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