Tuesday, April 05, 2011


By Ivan G. Goldman

The civil war in Libya is particularly attractive to the media because thanks to the simple terrain there, the conflict is very much like a football game. The two sides advance and retreat on a level that’s easy to digest. The situation is nothing like the one in Afghanistan, with its tangled zones of control and where Americans are routinely crippled and killed in a war no one wants to think about anymore and no one in power has the guts to end.

With the owners’ lockout threatening the next NFL season, Libyan developments are viewed as a particularly apt filler. The fact that Khadafy is a maniac makes the story that much better.

And speaking of crazy tyrants, Donald Trump has learned that if he occasionally hints he might run for president, he reaps tremendous publicity for his reality TV show, and it’s all free. But now that he’s joined the birther crowd he’s going to have a hard time out-sensationalizing his most recent pronouncements. Maybe he’ll have to publicly consider opting for a sex change. He’ll just have to decide whether he’s more interested in running for president or ratings, although these days the two missions are remarkably similar. Look for Charlie to decide he wants to be somebody’s running mate so he can lead us from chaos.

We’re also being told that Sheen’s traveling one-man tantrum show is somehow improving. But no one asks just who are the people making these pronouncements? If they’re dumb enough to purchase a ticket to one of these hideous events they’re probably about as sensible as snails in heat.

As stupid stories maintain their position at center stage, America quietly returns to Hoover economics, along with the UK and other panicked countries operated by floundering politicians trying to explain why they’re plunging us into deeper mud without admitting that they’re basically just doing what global corporations tell them to do.

At least we’re not stuck with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who, following Hoover’s program to a T, is fiercely digging a deep, deep grave for his nation’s economy with the help of the “Liberal” Nick Clegg. The program is to cut government spending wherever it threatens to pull the country out of the morass. So Cameron/Clegg cripple public education as they prop up the immensely wealthy in hopes they’ll buy an apple from the makeshift corner stands set up by desperate citizens that have no serious education to fall back on.

Allow me to mention down here at the bottom of this column that the Republicans in Congress have introduced a measure to kill Medicare. In ten years’ time their program would dole out some small sum to the elderly that they could present as a sort of coupon to private insurance companies. It’s rather an important story, don’t you think? So the news media gatekeepers don’t know what to do with it because Libya, football, and Charlie Sheen beat the hell out of it ratings-wise.