Dropping science…

You guys dropped some science after I vented about MLB. But now, I’m going to vent some more: today is opening day in Boston, and it took my bus 45 minutes to travel about 8 blocks. That sucks a duck. It’s drizzling outside, but the Fenway faithful are on their way out to challenge pneumonia together, or even better, find a nice big place to exchange SARS….

Brandon, I fully agree with you about the media coverage. In fact, you put it better than I could have when I challenged half my volleyball team to convince me that the war coverage was actually beneficial. I found the first day or two of coverage embarassing:

“Wolf, I’m hearing sirens outside my hotel room again… I heard these sirens earlier today, and I can’t say exactly what they are for…. WAIT! The sirens seem to have stopped, Wolf…. I can’t tell you why they have stopped, but it is silent in Qatar right now. No, the sirens are starting up again….. and they seem to have stopped, again. Wolf, I think the sirens were just turned on for a moment there, I can’t tell you why. These seem to be the same sirens I heard earlier today. I’m going to turn around and look off my balcony here….. I hear another siren, and it seems to be coming from a police car or ambulance, but I can’t see it. I can’t tell you what this could mean, Wolf. What’s that? Ummm, I can put my gas mask on in about 30 seconds.”

After that, it didn’t get much better with the minute-by-minute accounts from several “embedded” journalists. This added very little to me. My friends were trying to convince me that it was “so real” or “you’re watching life and death when you watch their coverage.” Really? I felt like I was watching a movie or some journalist try to catch a bullet to make a name for himself. The sheer number and amount of front-line reports made it impossible to stop for a minute and talk about WHY we were at war. After 9 days of reading “Troops approach Baghdad,” I felt like the media was trying to distract me from something.

I hadn’t even heard a thing about the “United Nations” until today. Did they go on recess during the war? What did the European governments have to say? What about the extent of war protests? The “phantom ship” that left Iraq just before we invaded? Nope, too busy hearing about friendly fire, or the guy that shot himself in his sleep, or making a mockery of the Iraqi information officer. My friends are laughing at this guy, and it sounds ridiculous, but how do you KNOW what’s really happening there? By looking at the pictures Geraldo draws in the sand? Geraldo could have done that from Palm Beach, and we’d never know…

And so much for privacy and respect for the dead. The camera crews are at the family’s home within an hour of publicizing their names. Who wants to watch these people try to reconcile their loss with some asshole reporter trying to get some tears on tape.

It’s not life and death that they are showing us. It’s bonus sweeps week in a special ratings battle. (Which, by the way I hear NBC is winning. Who needs Seinfeld, right?)

OK. End rant. I need to do some work.

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