[Marxism] Finally, A Journalist We Can Look Up To!

Gulf Mann gulfmann at gmail.com
Tue Dec 16 23:16:49 MST 2008

Hey, and the guy has a great arm: he smoked 2 straight strikes in rapid
succession and no doubt under great stress--and shoes can't be as easy to
throw as a baseball. Looks like he already has Triple-A stuff. Sports agents
are prolly already trying to get through to him. Fidel should make him an
offer, too.

On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 7:18 AM, Greg McDonald <sabocat59 at mac.com> wrote:

> Finally, A Journalist We Can Look Up To!
> A Hero of Our Time: Muntadar al-Zaidi
> When Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi heaved his two shoes at the
> head of President George W. Bush during a press conference in
> Baghdad, he did something that the White House press corps should
> have done years ago.
> Al-Zaidi listened to Bush blather that the half-decade of war he had
> initiated with the illegal invasion of Iraq had been "necessary for
> US security, Iraqi stability (sic) and world peace" and something
> just snapped. The television correspondent, who had been kidnapped
> and held for a while last year by Shiite militants, pulled off a shoe
> and threw it at Bush—a serious insult in Iraqi culture—and shouted
> "This is a farewell kiss, you dog!"  When the first shoe missed its
> target, he grabbed a second shoe and heaved it too, causing the
> president to duck a second time as al-Zaidi shouted, "This is from
> the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq!"
> I'll admit, listening to Bush lie his way through eight years of
> press conferences, while pre-selected reporters played along and
> pretended to get his attention so they could ask questions which had
> been submitted and vetted in advance, I have felt like throwing my
> shoes at the television set.
> Al-Zaidi, who paid for his courageous act of protest by being
> brutally beaten by security guards, is a hero of the profession.  He
> stopped taking the president's BS and called him what he is: a
> murderer and a criminal, with the blood of perhaps upwards of a
> million Iraqis on his hands. Al-Zaidi used what was supposed to be a
> staged photo-op for the president as an opportunity to speak up for
> those whose lives have been ruined by this president—the ones our
> suck-up journalists routinely ignore.
> I'm not suggesting that journalists should routinely leave
> presidential press conferences in their stocking feet.  We have
> different ways of expressing our sentiments to people we feel have
> insulted our intelligence than throwing shoes at them, but it would
> be nice to see a journalist or two flip the president the bird when
> he lies so blatantly to them. Or they could all get up and just walk
> out, leaving him standing alone at the presidential lectern.
> It's time for the press corps to stop treating presidents like
> royalty.  If he accomplished anything at all in eight years in
> office, President Bush has demonstrated that, to the contrary, the
> president is a very ordinary—and in his case a rather less than
> ordinary—man. The office of president deserves no more respect than
> that of the mayor of Detroit, or of Wasilla.
> My suggestion is that the press corps use the remaining five weeks of
> the Bush administration to develop a new relationship with the
> presidency—one in which they drop all the phony propriety and
> tradition and start acting like boisterous newshounds of old, barking
> questions, laughing cruelly at inane answers, demanding follow-ups
> when they are given the run-around, and, where necessary, walking
> out, or perhaps tossing the occasional shoe.
>  The journalism profession was a full-blown disaster and an utter
> disgrace during the Bush administration, and with all the crises
> facing the country and the world, in part because of that failure on
> their part, we cannot afford to have them continue that failure into
> the Obama administration.
> With the Bush administration reduced to a running joke at this point,
> it gives the journalism profession a chance to redeem itself by using
> these few remaining weeks to establish a new tradition for
> presidential press conferences and photo-ops—one that can continue on
> into the new presidency.
> Meanwhile, I'm suggesting that my alma mater, the Columbia University
> Graduate School of Journalism, hire al=Zaidi to teach a class in
> press conference journalism techniques. They should make it a multi-
> year appointment, because if he left after just one year, his would
> be difficult shoes to fill.
> NOTE: Speaking of shoes and the White House, Skip Mendler of
> Honesdale, PA has a great idea. He suggests that everyone who is
> disgusted with the outgoing Bush/Cheney administration send a shoe to
> the White House. Just imagine a pile up of a million smelly old
> running shoes in the White House mailroom! I think he's got
> something. Spread the word!
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