Well, I've already written two letters to On the Media and I'm still put off by each new story, so I'm putting it here.
Here's the lineup:
1. Rupert Murdoch is a threat to freedom and he's getting bigger. I'm so afraid.
2. Is the coverage of the war in Iraq too patriotic? You mean we're not supposed to root for the good guys?
3. The U.S. is doing its own broadcasting in the Middle East. Isn't that, er, evil? If the alternative is to wait for Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV to broadcast specials on the Founding Fathers, I'd have to say . . . no.
4. Eason's Agony - Franklin Foer's critique of journalists who sell their souls to dictators is vindicated. Bigtime.
5. Kosovo Nightmares - Matthew McAllester "admits that he may have jeopardized the safety of the very people who were helping him report. Bob talks to McAllester about the reporter's guilt." Not enough guilt, apparently, to refrain from writing a book about it, and promoting it on OTM.
6. All War, All the Time - another meta-report, interviewing a guy who is afraid of a War Channel in the Future. Whoops. Brooke points out that we already have the History Channel. As for her concerns that we will be watching people dying on TV, she should go back and read Shakespeare and the Greek playwrights, and watch what's on now. Last night I watched a program called Secrets of the Colisseum" on the new Discovery/NYtimes Channel. She should watch that. Entertainment has been about watching people die for a long long time. It's a little late to agonize over it now.
7. Patient Channel -- Hospitals get their own cable channel. Must be a slow meta-news week.
8. Four Star General (Motors) - Newsflash! Bob Garfield hates SUVs. Having just spent three days in Moab, Utah on the run up to its Easter Jeep Safari, I can tell Bob that a HUMVEE is not an SUV. It's an ueber-truck. It was, like the Jeep, created for the military as an all-terrain vehicle. You don't need it in the city, but from my experience with three-quarter ton pickups with four-wheel drive, it would sure be fun out in the desert, has would a Mercedes UNIMOG. It's all about ground clearance. Why anybody would buy one and drive it to work in New York or on an L.A. freeway is beyond me, but what does he have against freedom?
They should just not complain when they drive high-center-of-gravity vehicles like passenger cars and roll them.