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Mislabeled Motives

It wasn’t until I actually got them home, that I realized I’d purchased ‘home style’ dog biscuits, for my dog. I recognize that this is a sales gimmick, but I must admit being confused.

I know of nobody who makes their own dog treats. Logically, one could ask the question; What, exactly constitutes ‘home style’ dog biscuits? I asked my dog, but it appears to be as secret as the location of Saddam’s WMD, or of Bush’s Baked Beans recipe, she’s not telling.

Then again, this is a beast that given the option, would drink out of the toilet, so perhaps trusting her judgments on what constitutes home-style food is not the most productive of paths.

Another offhanded example of saying it simply because it sells:

The other day I saw a Chevy… a fairly new Malibu, as it happened, not unlike one I traded in for an SUV just a few months ago. Apparently, they’re now calling the model the “Malibu Classic”. Now, as I say, I owned a ’98, and completely enjoyed that car. It’s a fine one and one that should be at the top of the buyer’s list, if handling, quickness and durability are at or near the top of your list; I put 80,000 miles on that car, and enjoyed every one of them. But “classic”? I don’t think so. On looking at that newer car with the ‘classic’ sticker on it, I can only shake my head in wonder. I suppose the value of the word ‘classic’ has changed.

My own thought about what constitutes a ‘classic Malibu’ runs a lot closer to the pavement scorcher I drove in my outrageously mis-spent youth…  One looking very much like this one, though I should say mine was a pale green 70, not this red ’72. About the only comparison between the currently labeled “Malibu Classic” and the earlier version of the car is that they both burn gas, go fast and wear bowties. Past that… (sigh) What do you suppose the chances are of Chevy turning out current versions of the 72 Malibu, eh?

In any event, so much of what goes on in America anymore is what happens to be what someone thinks will sell. Some things that will sell, are just stupid, some are amusing. Some are annoying, and some are downright destructive.

One of the things someone thought would sell, was a reading of the names of the soldiers who have died in Iraq, on ABC’s NIGHTLINE, which was ‘sold’ to us as ‘honoring the dead’. A classic case of mislabeling which I consider destructive, though the reasons may not be obvious to you at first glance.  I would ask, in this case, “What constitutes ‘honoring the dead”?

Of course just what it is they’re selling with this action, seems an issue. Sinclair, assuming the worst motives on the part of Koppel, (and given ABC’s well documented history, who can blame them, really?) Sinclair pre-empted the ABC feed on it’s 8 stations. Said Sinclair:

“The ABC Television network announced on Tuesday that the Friday, April 30th edition of “Nightline” will consist entirely of Ted Koppel reading aloud the names of U.S. servicemen and women killed in action in Iraq. Despite the denials by a spokeswoman for the show the action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq.

While the Sinclair Broadcast Group honors the memory of the brave members of the military who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country, we do not believe such political statements should be disguised as news content. As a result, we have decided to preempt the broadcast of “Nightline” this Friday on each of our stations which air ABC programming.

We understand that our decision in this matter may be questioned by some. Before you judge our decision, however, we would ask that you first question Mr. Koppel as to why he chose to read the names of the 523 troops killed in combat in Iraq, rather than the names of the thousands of private citizens killed in terrorists attacks since and including the events of September 11, 2001. In his answer, you will find the real motivation behind his action scheduled for this Friday.”

Koppel, in response asks the question:

“Why, in heaven’s name, should one not be able to look at the faces and hear the names and see the ages of those young people who are not coming back alive and feel somehow ennobled by the fact that they were willing to give up their lives for something that is in the national interest of all of us?”

Oh…. how noble. Oh…. how worthy…… Oh, poop.

How utterly TRANSPARENT.

Sinclair Group’s questioning of this being only about Iraq and not the others as well, is yet another valid point.  Koppel likes to claim this is a way to honor the dead. But why is honoring the dead thought by ABC and by Koppel, simply mourning their loss, and not honoring the values they placed above their own lives, as a matter of choice?

So what are Koppel’s motivations, here? What are his intentions as regards the effect of his broadcast? I don’t expect that the discussion over that point will ever end. Frankly, I have my doubts about his statements on the subject, myself.

Was it honoring the dead ABC has in mind? I doubt it, even ignoring the ABC network’s long history of left-leaning, and muck-raking. This dual pronged approach has left the American people wary of so-called mainline news for years now and ABC is among the worst of the offenders. Let’s take these dual prongs one at a time:

Even Koppel himself has suggested that Memorial Day might be a better time to honor these people, and their service. Yet he does it now, and not then. Perhaps it’s just an interesting matter of random chance that this occurs during sweeps week, and Memorial day doesn’t fall into those parameters, I guess. I guess it is just another coincidence that Memorial day is traditionally abysmally low in terms of viewer numbers. People tend to be out of doors on that weekend.

All these factors coming together is just random chance, right? I mean, it couldn’t be that doing this in the fashion it’s done and in the time frame it was done in, just couldn’t be merchandising of the war dead for commercial gain, could it?

As to the other prong; their left-leaning… What of the values these people died for? Is that story being told as well? No, it’s not.

I would point to what I said last week, about our service men and women; Indeed, what I said last week was written partially in fear of exactly the chain of events that Koppel started; that the loss would be foremost, not what was accomplished as a result of the actions that incurred those losses, that what was accomplished would be overwhelmed, that the image being taken away was it was all for naught.  Those who fight don’t think so.  I said at the time:

“They’re all worthy of the very same respect, living or dead. Not because of their having lived or died, …. but because of their respect and understanding of the ideals that uniform represents. Ideals they hold highest. … It is those ideals we should be holding high, as they did. We respect them not because they lived or died as a result of their service to our country, but because of the higher ideals they served.  We should hold them, ALL who serve us true, in our hearts.”

How can we honor the dead without honoring what they have with their sacrifice, accomplished?  We cannot, in short, do so, because it was for those accomplishments that they gave their all. They considered those goals higher than that sense of self import we all carry around with us.

Further, consider this from the opposite side of the fence; Let’s say we have a news cast willing to actually list the many accomplishments of the men and women serving in Iraq, including those who have died. Would this be considered pro-war bias? Then how can listing those who have died, without listing their accomplishments, be NOT considered as Anti-war bias? Along with the associated political biases based of the various candidates support or non-support for our actions, there, of course.

This is a point raised by FNC’s Chris Wallace last Sunday, and it’s a proper question to ask. I gather that Wallace will be answering that question, by showing us a list of those accomplishments on his show next week. I, for one, plan to be watching.