Thursday, September 11, 2008

Olbermann

What do you think about this video?

7 comments:

Jack (h2oetry) said...

I'll have to watch it again, but my initial impressions were that I loved many of the points he made, but maybe the end portion (about bin Laden) should have calmed down a bit. I do think that McCain made a mistake by saying the words that triggered Olbermann's tirade. I also think his earlier points were more solid, and he should have concentrated on those. But besides my unease with the last few paragraphs, I really liked the last 15 words he used to wrap it up.

Dave & Shandie said...

I have lost all desire to pay attention to any more political campaign news stories because it all makes me so sad to think that someone would be stupid enough to vote for McCain.

Grabloid said...

i would say that is an appropriate criticism...rather impassioned, and rightfully so. 9/11 has unfortunately (as olbermann points out) become a strategic talking/debating point that grants power to politicians and discredits others. it is also the main premise for the U.S. gov't engaging in undefinable, potentially unending war ('the war on terror'). very sad.

politicians love to use tragedy to their advantage, gaining trust and power based on fear created with scare tactics. 9/11 propaganda is so manipulative, because the wounds are deep (making people vulnerable, susceptible to being mislead) and the implications are unpredictably scary. people are now dehumanized, stripped of personal and cultural identity, and legally imprisoned/tortured as "enemy combatants" (prisoners of war) by simply slapping the label "terrorist" upon them. disallowing identity, disallowing a culture, a "terrorist" isn't just an opposing soldier with a national identity...it is any opposer...without the rights to habeas corpus, etc...without national/cultural identity and support to rely on... a shift in names..."terrorist" instead of 'subhuman' (as the nazis similarly dehumanized jews). the word terrorist is being applied more broadly - to anyone, any dissenter, any ardent/vocal opponent of 'the war on terror' or the patriot act, etc... this overt questioning of people's patriotism...what is and what is not 'american', etc. (all the rhetoric coming from the political right) if you are ardent enough and vocal enough, with unpopular beliefs, you become a terrorist. just ask those who were arrested at the RNC under charges with domestic terrorism under the patriot act ("The RNC Welcoming Committee")...for organizing, speaking out, having radical ideas, and protesting (peacefully might i add). or ask the journalists being charged for 'pc-riot', (probable-cause-riot), a felony charge...rioting...not far from, and not impossibly brought to, a domestic terrorism charge.

the popular american political left isn't as vocal and as impassioned about this kind of action and operation as the popular american political right, but they are buying into the same ideology (war on terror, preemptive war, the definition of terror/ism, etc.)

this reminds me of a very important documentary that I highly recommend, called "The Power of Nightmares". BBC produced it a few years ago, it is a 3 part series (an hour each part...i believe you can view it online somewhere). the main premise is that politicians used to offer up dreams/visions and policies for a better world, but now they make promises to protect us from nightmares...those with the darkest nightmares become most powerful because they are able to instill the most fear, thus are able to pitch that they can protect us best, and from the most sinister world imaginable. (Obama would be a recent exception to this...with his promising of change and his intellectual talk of american ideals...except for the fact that he is a vocal supporter of "the war on terror", the whole premise of which is preemptive, based preventing our deepest fears, and virtually indefineable/unfightable/unwinnable (as the enemy is a completely abstract term that can be arbitrarily placed on anyone, anywhere).

moving on...with the aforementioned information in mind, the bbc film/show proceeds to analyze the birth and rise to power of two highly influential/powerful groups: 1- the neo-conservatives (strauss, kristol, cheney, rumsfeld, wolfowitz, etc.), 2- radical/uber-fundamentalist Islamists (qutb, zawahari, bin laden, etc.) from here it tells the history of these groups, the tension between the two ideologies, the rise to power of both groups, the 9/11 attacks, the aftermath, the response of the bush administration (with neo-conservative ideology), the wars in afghanistan/iraq, etc...all focusing around these 2 groups and the idea of campaigning and governing by promising to prevent nightmares, rather than create a better future based on ideals...very fascinating...highly recommended...scarily close to home.

nell :: said...

I don't have the time to provide as thorough a comment as Grabs ::
BUT, I think it's absolutely ridiculous. I think it's just as sensational as anything the GOP or Fox News does for attention and I think it's ludicrous to believe that McCain would actually withhold intelligence on where bin Laden is just to further his political career.

Will said...

It's disgusting how 9/11 has been continually used by these GOP a-holes - and how the American public gave the Bush admin a blank check because of it. Olbermann's style is often as annoying as that of his conservative counterparts, but I agree with most of his points here.

Grabloid said...

response to nell:
i do agree that Olbermann's tone is a bit much...over the top I mean...like GOP/Fox...making things sound a bit out of proportion, which might be a bit polarizing and distasteful, but the man has the right to be impassioned.

However...

it seems to me that you misunderstood what Olbermann was really doing in his rant. I perceived that Olbermann was sort of using McCain's words and scenario against him, you know? like, with a little humor.
so, what i mean is...i don't think Olbermann really thinks McCain has that information, just pointing out that if he did have it (as McCain claims he does...that he can catch bin laden)...than why wouldn't he be doing it now (or presenting a plan for it), instead of when becoming president??? Olbermann effectively pointed out what a stupid and deceptive thing it was for McCain to say, not that he believes him and is trying to charge him with anything. and then, (what he should've done with more sarcasm) explored the reality of McCain withholding that kind of information, and what the consequences of that would be.

Olbermann was just pointing out further how McCain was using the 9/11 tragedy and the maverick style justice response to campaign on...

that's what i got from it...

Andrew James said...

Olbermann wasn't pointing out that McCain was withholding info on bin Laden. He was being facetious. He was showing the hypocrisy of the GOP. El, you are exactly right that its crazy for Olbermann to believe that McCain is withholding info on bin Laden. That's the point. As Travis pointed out, O was using McCain's words against him. I tend to agree with Mr. O and though he is a bit intense, is his intensity not warranted?