With the Occupation surging through our society, more and more people are becoming aware of the emerging paradigm. New millennium citizens must anticipate having new roles and responsibilities.
One of those new responsibilities must be becoming better critical thinkers. We must build a new information stream that will serve us going forward as we discard the shoddy, myopic, agendized corporate media we have outgrown.
I used to love The Young Turks, which I saw as an independent, progressive, new-media source that did not pull its punches. I looked forward to their new clips each day, went into the archives and watched old shows sometimes. However certain editorial weak points became so abundantly clear, so chronic and extreme, that I had to completely withdraw my support. Namely:
1. Sexism – both in personnel practices and editorial content
2. Bad journalism – incorrect facts, failure to research
3. Sensationalism – $owing di$cord with fir$t re$ponder$ for rating$
The clip below is a perfect example, three for three. Failures detailed sequentially following the clip.
1. Clip opens, Ana Kasparian: “Someone donated copies of O’Reilly’s books…” O’Reilly said he’d be sending them, so signs point to his publishers. Doesn’t seem that difficult a fact to check. Do they not have a phone number for Fox? She goes on to say it was probably O’Reilly, but her statement is very muddled because none of them have thought this through at all.
In and of itself this is not a deadly sin, using 100 words when 10 will do. However, it shows how little effort they put into journalistic integrity. A good journalist would say, “O’Reilly’s producers could neither confirm nor deny,” or whatever. They made no attempt. They just don’t bother with facts if it will mean 5 minutes of internet searches and phone calls. And that does need to be called out.
2. At 0:35 Cenk Uygur opines that burning a book is wrong, but using it as toilet paper is not. Ideological consistency fail. Kasparian catches this. Jesus Godoy and Jayar Jackson confirm the fail. Uygur still not convinced.
3. At 1:45 Cenk Uygur: “I wouldn’t burn the books, but throw them in the garbage.” Fail on two points: First, lack of research. All trash is burned at the FOB. So they did throw it in the garbage.
More importantly, it shows that Uygur has zero understanding of military life. None of these people know any soldiers, that is obvious. (They know one, Wes Clark, Jr., but apparently felt no need to consult him. Lost his cell number? Just don’t care? I’m going with the latter.)
Everything is shared while downrange. You only need to send one book, they’ll share it. If you’re sending a case, go for variety, something for everyone. None of these progressive populists have ever sent a care package. Stupid and busted being all talk, no action both at the same time. Had they ever walked the walk of support, they’d know that excess would have to be destroyed in this scenario.
4. At 2:50 Ana Kasparian: “I don’t think that the troops really thought that far into it.” This is projection, pure and simple. Kasparian is the vanguard of critical thinking fail on The Young Turks, and has projected her lack of intellectual curiosity onto deployed military personnel. It’s offensive. She figures soldiers aren’t very bright, apparently.
I’ve known soldiers who were doctors, others who had degrees in chemistry and architecture, and spoke 3 or more languages. Just because Kasparian doesn’t scratch too deep below the surface doesn’t mean military personnel don’t.
5. At 2:55 Ana Kasparian: “They’re just annoyed that they didn’t get porn.”
If Kasparian had ever had any real interaction with military people she would know that US personnel are not permitted to have items that offend host countries; in Moslem countries that means alcohol and porn. The trend of “Robitrippin,” or taking enough cough medicine to get high, originated with US military personnel deployed in Moslem countries. They used to be able to receive such things in care packages (until leadership caught on to this potentially fatal practice).
I have sent numerous care packages, and been advised they were not allowed to receive Maxim or even body building magazines showing shirtless men, much less porn. They do occasionally receive porn care packages, but it’s situation-dependent and has to be supported by their leadership — not all of whom will take the same stance on this issue. Porn care packages are the treasured exception, not the rule, especially in Afghanistan.
The original soldier’s statement would have cleared a lot of this up, had they bothered to read it, which they didn’t. It’s not just a failure to research, it’s another example of The Young Turks’ pattern. They use the lives of Americans in uniform to advance their egotistical agenda while completely excluding them in the discourse.
On that note, without further ado, the original statement from the actual soldier himself, which took less than 90 seconds to retrieve via the Googles. From the Hollywood Reporter:
“A Tumbler post dated Oct. 17 says 20 of the books were burned on command because they were not needed at the outpost. Everqueer writes, “
‘Some jerk sent us two boxes of this awful book (SPOILER ALERT: George Washington – Patriot; George Soros – Pinhead) instead of anything soldiers at a remote outpost in Afghanistan might need, like, say, food or soap.’
The soldier concludes, ‘Just burned the whole lot of them on my Commander’s orders.’”
And his clarification, post-media furor:
“I’ve read people’s squeamishness about setting books ablaze. I hear you. The motivation behind the order to burn them was not political. As mentioned in the original post, we are in an extraordinarily remote location. We don’t have a post office here, so sending them back wasn’t an option.
Extra space is scarce and alternatives that a few mentioned, like recycling, are nonexistent. All waste is burned on the base and in town; wood and paper goes in that barrel. I was getting rid of a bunch of cardboard boxes and the books were in the burn pile. There were 20 of them. I saved one for the bookshelf. I’m aware of the historical implications of book-burning. I won’t say I didn’t take pleasure in removing a few copies of this bigoted twerp’s writings from circulation, but the reason for doing so was military necessity.”
I note how much more articulate and clever this soldier is than Ms. Kasparian.
Since The Young Turks completely buried the lead, below is the lead in sound-byte format, broken down by someone from forums.military.com (who is apparently a decent sort, though a Duke fan):
“Narcissism: Sending copies of one’s own book to soldiers in a war zone instead of things those soldiers actually want or need.”
If The Young Turks gave a damn for a minute about military personnel — which they clearly don’t — they might put in the time and effort to put up a page where soldiers can request needed items or desired books and put their APO addresses, so viewers could support them effectively.
I send diaper wipes and Fluffernutter, usually. That’s what my people asked for. It’s always best to ask them, because the military is notorious for indiscriminate distribution. For example, I knew a soldier in a Special Forces unit (all male) that received a toiletries care package with a case of tampons in it. They used them for bullet wounds. Meanwhile female soldiers in other units did without. I don’t have any loved ones deployed at the moment, but I suspect Tenga products would be a crowd pleaser (no pun intended).
This is why we need to include others in the discourse. Not doing so is a hallmark of the old paradigm; self-centered arrogance is a large part of what is sinking our ship. The Young Turks is not a public-serving show, it’s a self-serving one, so they won’t do a care package liaison or any other support of deployed human beings. They’re an old paradigm outlet waving an Occupation flag.
Lastly, it is ironic that Ana Kasparian is the one who mentions porn. The question I continue to ask about her returns: Would she have this job if she were homely and flat chested? I will refrain from further comment here.
As our new paradigm world takes form, we need to learn to Occupy the Media. We have to aggregate information and do our own critical thinking. Having seen how limited TYT’s understanding of public safety and military issues are, I must take everything they say with a block of salt, including political and economic analysis — which I used to believe was their strong suit.
In this writer’s opinion, The Young Turks is no more a credible source of information than Fox and should not be considered friendly among new paradigm people, despite stated support for the Occupation. Let’s take a “how credible is this reporting, and who is served by it?” approach to ALL media.