Curtain Raiser

It’s All About Form Over Content, Colltalers

We’re living the age of the ‘very best,’ the ‘most talked about,’ and the ‘world’s biggest.’ The fact that such labels sound as hollow as the people who flood public debate with them, is unfortunately beside the point.
That’s why is not about what the leaks are about but who allowed them to happen. Not about the message but the messenger. Not whether it’s true and truly damaging, but who may profit from it.
When the Bush administration was steam-rolling opposition to its Iraq invasion, even a decorated secret service agent was thrown under the bus.
Few questioned whether that was happening because they could found no evidence justifying the war. Or whether such public exposure would cost lives in the field.
But when classified cables were leaked about the current campaign, there was a rush to found their source, regardless if they were about mostly gossip and banter among diplomats.
The core of the Army’s case against Pvt. Bradley Manning is that he may have been the source of the leaks and that may have caused harm to our combat forces.
Which is a claim that was never even questioned by the media, of course, and has been dropped from the news cycle ever since.
It’s a box-office mentality: what counts is not the relevance of a movie, but its potential ticket sales.
It was at full display last week yet again, when the big discussion was about who leaked the news about a infamous ‘kill list,’ planned for perceived enemies of the U.S. and not whether this nation should be in this business of secretly killing people.
It’s the same approach that allows, for example, a presidential candidate to lie through his teeth about his record on live television, without anyone checking that against the public record.
Why bother, when his jawline is so photogenic? Better counter that with another baseless claim, so to have an entertaining hour that would surely make it to the top of the ratings sweep.
It’s truly discouraging to even engage in such fluff that passes for news these days, and it’s no wonder so many of us simply don’t.
But if we’re to make of 2012 the year when substance finally tramples style, at least on the political front, we ought to drop these hyperbolic garbage.
Who cares who’s the ‘very best’ or who’s ‘most likely,’ and what it even means if there’s no attempt to compare that to the public record? Have a great one. WC



One thought on “Curtain Raiser

  1. I agree, well said “box-office mentality” for sure.


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