February 23, 2005


I only got to turn on the news briefly tonight, and frankly, not the best I've seen.

Fox's Brit Hume mentioned Saddam's rape rooms at least three times in a segment where he all but sneered at a recent Amnesty International report on the treatment of Iraqi women. He then made goo-goo eyes at a foreign correspondent who beamed back images of antique, small-town Belgians who were really happy to have been liberated from the Nazis over 50 years ago. This last was in a segment with a 'what Bush is up against' (answer: "America bashing," straight from the correspondents lips) lead in, and it closed after the Nazi comment with an encouragement to tune in later when they queried modern day Germans on their opinions of the president.

CNN Headline News was going on about the Oscars, with commentators weighing in on both sides of the all important question of whether or not Chris Rock should host it. This puffery was the reason we were watching Fox at all, and when we'd had it with Brit Hume, we headed back. They were *still* talking about the Oscars.

But thank the deity that it was almost time for the Daily Show. Seriousness isn't about how much your studio space costs.

Aside, the first: If you heard Bush's radio address this last weekend, you'd know that after opening with this, "Tomorrow I leave on a trip to Europe, where I will reaffirm the importance of our transatlantic relationship with our European friends and allies...", he then said this, "I will make clear that one of my top priorities is to reduce the remaining European barriers to U.S. agricultural goods."

If you weren't aware that food supply safety issues, and the protection of small, local farms that produce the specialty foods Europeans are very fond of, were some of the biggest bones of contention in US-EU relations, well, it's never too late. Americans who don't read about other countries will see how 'hard' the president is trying, Europeans will see a sugary, GMO-flavored wrecking ball aimed straight at one of the foundations of their culture.

Aside, the second: Other reports currently up on the Amnesty International website cover the humanitarian issues in both Sudan and Nepal, Iran's continuance of juvenile executions, Vietnam's release of political prisoners, and expresses concern over the safety of an acquitted man in India. They also write to the Council of Europe requesting better protection for victims of human trafficking, and one to the Gulf Cooperation Council requesting that the Gulf states enact and enforce laws to protect women from violence.

I mention that because I've heard it suggested that groups like Amnesty International exists solely to bedevil the US, and even heard it said that they turn a blind eye to human rights abuses where there isn't any US involvement.

Posted by natasha at February 23, 2005 12:37 AM | Media | Technorati links |