2010 P.U.-litzer Prizes
-- posted on January 7, 2011
Not much else needs to be said as Fair does it for you. :yes:
--Prosecute the Messenger Award: Diane Sawyer (ABC News)
On October 22, ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer introduced a report on WikiLeaks' exposure of thousands of classified documents from the Iraq War. ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz summarized the contents of the WikiLeaks files: "Deadly U.S. helicopter assaults on insurgents trying to surrender.... The Iraqi civilian death toll far higher than the U.S. has acknowledged.... Graphic detail about torture of detainees by the Iraqi military." After Raddatz's report, Sawyer offered this followup: "I know there's a lot of outrage about this again tonight, Martha. But tell me, anything more about prosecuting the WikiLeaks group?"
What a dummy and hack journalist.
--New Excuses for Bombing Iran Award: David Broder (Washington Post)
In his October 31 column, the Washington Post's David Broder offered one way for Barack Obama to demonstrate leadership after the midterms--a war with Iran. He wrote:
With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran's ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.
I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran's nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.
Broder is "not suggesting" inciting a war with Iran. He was merely saying it would bring the country together, fix the economy and make Obama one of the greatest presidents of all time.
And this is funny because war doesn't improve the economy it destroys it see Bush and Iraq.
--The Quarter-Million-Dollar Middle Award: Kiran Chetry (CNN)
CNN anchor Kiran Chetry (American Morning, 2/1/10) interviewing White House budget director Peter Orszag: "You also talk about letting taxes expire for families that make over $250,000. Some would argue that in some parts of the country that is middle class."
Back in reality, more than 98 percent of U.S. households make less than $250,000.
--Disappearing Palestinians Award: New York Times
On the New York Times op-ed page (8/27/10), Martin Indyk of the Brookings Institution gave one reason to be hopeful about peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority: "First, violence is down considerably in the region." What he meant was that Israeli deaths were down. Completely unmentioned were the roughly 1,500 Palestinians that have been killed since the Israeli assault on Gaza in December 2008--the vast majority of whom were minors or noncombatant adults, according to the Israel human rights group B'Tselem. This oversight wasn't just confined to the op-ed page: a Week in Review article by Ethan Bronner (11/21/10) reported "that the Palestinian/Israeli conflict has been largely drained of deadly violence in the past few years."
Hundreds of dead Palestinians are what is meant by "drained of violence."
--New Low in Wartime Propaganda Award: Time magazine
In the wake of a release of damning WikiLeaks documents about the state of the Afghan War, Time magazine's August 9 cover sought to turn the debate over the war around. The photo was of an Afghan woman's maimed face, headlined "What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan." The implication couldn't be clearer: The Taliban will commit similar atrocities without the presence of U.S. forces. The fact that this particularly atrocity--whose connection to the Taliban has been questioned--happened with U.S. troops staying in Afghanistan complicates Time's argument. Time's Rick Stengel defended the cover story by explaining that "bad things do happen to people, and it is part of our job to confront and explain them.... I would rather confront readers with the Taliban's treatment of women than ignore it. I would rather people know that reality as they make up their minds about what the U.S. and its allies should do in Afghanistan."
We're still waiting for a Time cover that confronts readers with the bad things that happen to Afghans--including women and children--who are hit with U.S. bombs.
--Pay Cuts for Everyone (Except Me!) Award: Steven Pearlstein (Washington Post)
Under the headline "Wage Cuts Hurt, but They May Be the Only Way to Get Americans Back to Work" (10/13/10), Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein argued that "structural adjustments"--that is, lower pay--"are necessary if the U.S. economy is to find a new equilibrium." But he made clear that a 20 percent pay cut isn't for everyone--it's not for people like him, for example:
I'm sure many of you are reading this and thinking that if anyone is forced to take a pay cut to rebalance the economy, surely it ought to be overpaid investment bankers, corporate executives and newspaper columnists. That's how things would work in a socialist paradise, but not in market economies, which are much better at producing efficiency than fairness.
While it's hard to see investment bankers, whose industry survives because of a massive government bailout, as paragons of free-market efficiency, his inclusion of newspaper columnists is even less convincing: It's clearly inefficient for the Post to pay Pearlstein when people would write columns of a similar caliber for a lot, lot less.