Friday, May 27, 2005

Chung-Chung!



Well, let there be no doubt about who's responsible for the multiple messes the world is in. First we found out that the ongoing FUBAR SNAFU in Iraq and surrounding regions was Newsweek's fault. (Whew! Finally, somebody set the record straight! It's so helpful to have the Bushies and their ilk to show us where to direct our mindless rage.)

Now Tom DeLay makes it clear that the real bad guys in all this judge-killin' weren't the psychopaths who pulled the various triggers, and certainly weren't the ones calling in coded language for the judges to be killed (like him).

Nope, the real bad guys are the media.

From Reuters:


"DELAY CLASHES WITH NBC OVER 'LAW & ORDER'
"By Steve Gorman, Reuters

"LOS ANGELES (May 26) - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay accused NBC on Thursday of slurring his name by including an unflattering reference to him on the NBC police drama 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent.'

"DeLay's name surfaced on Wednesday night on the show's season finale, which centered on the fictional slayings of two judges by suspected right-wing extremists.

"In the episode, police are frustrated by a lack of clues, leading one officer to quip, 'Maybe we should put out an APB (all-points-bulletin) for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt.'

"In a letter to NBC Universal Television Group President Jeff Zucker, DeLay wrote: 'This manipulation of my name and trivialization of the sensitive issue of judicial security represents a reckless disregard for the suffering initiated by recent tragedies and a great disservice to public discourse.'

"The Texas Republican went on to suggest the 'slur' against him was intended as a jab at comments he had made about 'the need for Congress to closely monitor the federal judiciary.'

"NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly responded in a statement that the dialogue in question 'was neither a political comment nor an accusation.'

"'The script line involved an exasperated detective bedeviled by a lack of clues, making a sarcastic comment about the futility of looking for a suspect when no specific description existed,' Reilly said.

"He added: 'It's not unusual for "Law & Order" to mention real names in its fictional stories. We're confident in our viewers' ability to distinguish between the two.'

"The show, which frequently incorporates stories and themes ripped from the headlines, aired weeks after a white supremacist was sentenced to 40 years in prison for plotting to assassinate a federal judge whose husband and elderly mother were later slain by another man angry at the judge.

"That judge, Joan Lefkow, appeared earlier this month before the Senate Judiciary Committee to rebuke politicians and other public figures who have used inflammatory language to criticize judicial decisions they disagreed with. She said such rhetoric encouraged violence against judges.

"Some leading Republicans used harsh terms to condemn judges earlier this year after courts failed to intervene to save the life of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman who died after her feeding tube was removed at her husband's request but against her parents' wishes.

"At the time, DeLay said, 'The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior.'

Producer Dick Wolf, creator of the 'Law & Order' franchise, took a swipe at DeLay in his own statement on Thursday, saying, 'I ... congratulate Congressman DeLay for switching the spotlight from his own problems to an episode of a TV show.'

"The flap came as ethics questions swirling around DeLay mounted with a Texas judge ruling on Thursday that a political action committee formed by the congressman violated state law by failing to disclose $600,000 in mostly corporate donations.

"The show's season finale drew 14.5 million viewers, but DeLay wasn't one of them. An aide said he heard about the show through his wife, who learned of it from someone else who saw the episode."


(Check out the big lip on Dick Wolf! And I do believe he's a Republican to boot. Just goes to show, "Republican" and "fundamentally insane" don't have to go together like Scott McClellan and James Guckert.)

Now, notwithstanding that I do work in the quote-unquote entertainment industry, kids, I'm no media apologist. I think the state of broadcast TV in general (and broadcast news in particular) is such that every network exec and soi-disant TV journalist in America ought to be walking around with a paper bag over his/her head in shame. (Which also explains why The Daily Show, which is first and foremost a satirical chronicler of said shameful media hackitude, is not only the best but the most profoundly urgent TV show since The Simpsons.)

Having said that, I gotta hand it to DeLay. Even in a party known for surviving scandals by simply being brazenly unapologetic about the dastardly shite they've been caught red-handed at, DeLay sets a new standard. The man is simply unparalleled in his willingness to shift the spotlight onto somebody - anybody - else. If he was discovered in a Capitol Hill washroom in a heavy-petting three-way with McClellan and Guckert, I have no doubt he'd blame it all on the woman who planted the severed finger in the chili at Wendy's.

And he'd get away with it, too. 'Cause the media would lick that chili up.

; ; ; ;

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