Friday, January 18, 2008

Irony Alert #2

The day before yesterday, I was helping Son Two proofread his English assignment. Choose an important figure in American history whom you admire, his teacher said, And write a biography. His subject (and I swear to you, I had nothing to do with this)?

Tom Paine.

He's eleven. See? There is hope.

Anyway--irony on top of irony--when I was doing a bit of my own digging around, I found this wonderful post, entitled Fuck You, Tom Paine, by Driftglass. I had excerpted it (in comments) in response to Ankush's Irony Alert and at Lisa's behest, I am now posting it here and on the Cogblog proper. Because Drifty truly calls it like it is, and everyone ought to read it:

I mean, here we have an article in which a gen-u-ine professor takes time out of his busy day to inveigh against The!Direst!Threats!to Journalissimo, and yet when I go to search it, I can’t find the word "Fox" mentioned anywhere.

Couldn’t find "Hume" either.

Or “O'Reilly".

Or "Broder".

Or "Friedman".

Or “Limbaugh”.

Or “Savage”.

Or "Matthews".

Or “Russert”.

Or “The collapse of ‘Nightline’”.

Or “Roger Fucking Ailes”.

Or “The shuttering of foreign bureaus”.

Or “The Rise of Corporate Media”.

Or “The Firing of Phil Donahue”.

Or “Media Consolidation”.

Or “The killing of the Fairness Doctrine”.

Or “Tony Snow”.

Or “Charles Krauthammer”.

Neither “Joe Klein” nor “Joke Line”.

No “Jonah Goldberg”.

No “Karl Rove getting his journo card punched by Newsweek”.

No “Jeff Gannon” or “James Guckert”.

No “Michele Malkin”.

No “Lou Dobbs”.

Judith Miller was nowhere to be found.

Bob Novak? MIA.

No “David Gregory”.

No mention of “Downing Street” or “Macaca” or “Justice Department Political Purges” or any other of a dozen stories broken or kept in the public eye by citizen journalists because The Villagers did not want them in the store window of the MSM Outlet Mall.

No mention of “The Gaggle”.

Or “Rolling over for Tony Snow”.

Or “Rolling over for Scott McClellan”.

Or “Rolling over for Ari Fleischer”.

Or “Hardball”.

Or “Cross Fire”.

No “Chris Wallace”.

No “Bill Kristol”.

No “Neil Cavuto”.

Didn't find a-one of 'em mentioned; just the perils of letting the Great Unwashed paw at Lady Media's Fun Bags without a J-school degree and a moist towelette.

Which is odd, because frankly, Professor Hazinski, if Journalomysticism had not failed the citizens of the United States so utterly, callously, completely, conspicuously and spectacularly over the last 30 years – if your profession had not deserted its post and let a great, rotting, pin-head-infested abyss take over the sacred real estate once tenanted by a robust and fearless American Journalism – then maybe there would not be so many Smelly Citizen Journalists, desperately tossing their little torches into the Vast Darkness your colleagues and owners left behind when they turned tail and ran away.

So I assumed you must be fucking kidding.

And from Paine himself:

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.


Also at Cogitamus.

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