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It's The Accountability, Stupid! (updated)
Billmon in “Pest Control” we think has it right
about the corporate “synergy” impetus behind the ABC/Disney 9/11 movie car wreck. No different than the slipstream programming Fox does to promote and benefit from its Talk Radio anchors, etc.
In our debased times, such a marketing move ordinarily would get accolades for “smart programming”. It is Disney's shame, however, that they elected to do so covertly and tamper with a national trauma on the date of its anniversary. That Disney knowingly did this mere weeks from a pivotal election compounds Disney's deserved scorn.
Via Atrios, this review from Chicago Sun Times, which says of the ABC movie
Controversy could boost viewership, except “Path” is the dullest, worst-shot TV movie since ABC's disastrous “Ten Commandments” remake. It substitutes shaky handheld cameras and dumb dialogue for craftsmanship. It could not be more amateurish or poorly constructed unless someone had forgotten to light the sets.
he HP illegal surveillance scandal
continues to widen. Dunn's tenure as non-executive Chairman of the firm appears doomed. HP's initial efforts to deny there was a scandal and Dunn's bizarre Captain Queeg-like actions are textbook examples of how not to run an organization. Her initiating a secret surveillance program and refusing to brief the rest of the board about it poisons the entire organization. Her resort to illegal furtive actions speaks loudest about her insecurity with the rest of the Board and her unsuitability to remain as their Chairman.
You should note that Dunn does continue to get one deferential treatment from the media: they keep calling what HP did “pretexting” — i.e., pretending to be someone else to get by misrepresentation their records and information. This is, in fact, simple fraud.
If any of you, Dear Reader, were to call HP and pretend to be Pat Dunn and order computers and the like using her name and social security number, etc. no one would give you the polite blandishment of engaging in “pretexting”. HP would be screaming fraud from the rooftops. So, too, in this case.
Unfortunately for the Dunns of the world, the California Attorney General has now confirmed unambiguously that crimes were committed and charges likely will be brought. He said “It's unclear exactly who is liable and how severe it is and who had specific knowledge.” The NY Times is confirming that HP spied on at least 9 reporters and the spying began before the alleged January 2006 leak, including its own John Markoff, as well as reporters from the WSJ, CNet and elsewhere. Groklaw has a terrific roundup
We hope that AT&T, the newspapers and the individual reporters spied upon and any others subjected to this fraudulent activity supplement the criminal proceedings with civil lawsuits. HP must pay the stiffest possible price for its illegal activities.
If there is a silver lining to this corpo-evesdropping scandal it is that people as inflential as these HP Directors are not used to being on the receiving end such disrespectful treatment. This might cause them ro talk among themselves about rhe larger implications of these types of things. People on the lower end of the totem pole have roughly equivalent violations against their privacy - and much worse - done to them all the time in modern corporate America.
“Pretezting” definitately sounds like one of those fake terms that Bush admin officials and the ideologues use with practiced insouciance, so as to seem as if it were a normal term.
Have you noticed the times when you see a WH official or a pundit discuss something with a practiced faux-sincerity - complete with a manufactured sense of bewilderment at those in the media who demur?
Now - you can easily imagine those same chaps casually using a word like 'pretexting' - pretending that it's a standard well understood and commom term.
Creating 'intelligence' to support a pre-existing policy is now widely acknowledged , by all factions, to be something the WH does - with it's post 9/11 mindset.
This is often falsely described as 'new' or 'novel' by both enemies and adherents.
Actually - this is an old practice - It used to be called 'making stuff up' or 'lying.'
But - what is new is that a formal sounding methodolgy has been attached to the practice.
This is similar to the way 'fraud' can be a deviancy defined down by calling it 'pretexting.'
Sample focus group questions:
1. Do you think fraud is justifiable under certain instances to protect Corporate officers ?
2. Do you think 'pretexting' is justified at times when it is the only means of protecting a valuable asset that seems to be threatened?
Think of the re-engineering of the word “tools” as a substitute for the less popolar word “torture.”
“Tools,” in this sense, is related to “pretexting.” It is a torturous linguistic fraud designed to perpetuate the fraud that torture is a tool that works and a measure of 'pretexting' must be used with the public to maintain its support.
Ex: From yesterday's NYTIMES:
“ John Yoo, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who as a Justice Department official helped develop the administration's early legal response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, said the bill would provide people on the front lines with important *tools*. ”
When you're fighting a *new kind of war* against an enemy we haven't faced before,“ he said, ”our system needs to give flexibility to people to respond to those challenges.“
In June, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a provision of the Geneva conventions concerning the humane treatment of prisoners applied to all aspects of the conflict with Al Qaeda. The new bill would keep the courts from that kind of meddling, Yoo said.
”There is a rejection of what the court did in Hamdan,“ he said, ”which is to try to judicially enforce the Geneva conventions, which no court had ever tried to do before.“
The proposed legislation takes pains to try to ensure that the Supreme Court will not have a second opportunity. ”The act makes clear,“ it says in its introductory findings, ”that the Geneva conventions are not a source of judicially enforceable individual rights."
Yoo said this is a rejection of the court's ahistorical attempt to “judicially enforce the Geneva conventions ....”
Doesn't Yoo know about the Congessionally passed and Presidentially signed War Crimes Act of 1996????
Also- Wasn't Geneva passed by Congress and signed by the President?
What does Yoo think aboout Article 6 of the US Constit???
Did you watch that show om ABC? We heard about it, but passed - knowing it was a waste of angst, but a disgrace nonetheless.
Comments has no problem with pointed partisan drama, but why be so disrespectful with such a raw topic.
Comments does not believe anymore those who claime to be sincere when they say this is how they honestly saw events that day or how the interpret events. Rather - we think it is a well thought out alternative revistionist history that they themselves don't truly believe, but they think pretending to believe will have a benificient echo chamber effect - by creating wedges and either/or splits to marginalize their domestic foes.
Some conservatives may regret their enthusiasm for the 9-11 ABC movie.
Comments did not see the “Path to 9-11” but we regret that - because we are fascinated by this stuff - they way people try to create a narrative - In this case, the way conservatives, after smarting for years over liberal Hollywood meme domination , began to try to change the rules of the game.
Unfortunately, they chose a raw topic - one that is still raw and is still affecting people we know in all sorts of ways, so it's hard to be philosophical about what the right is doing , in this respect.
But they will lose this contest - “The Path To 9-11” - widely considered a rightest revisionist hatchet job - will lead to the greenlighting of liberal versions of 9-11 that would not have been greenlighted otherwise.
Now, the studios and producers will be able to cast versions that are more anti Bush as part of a general national conversation/ debate.
Too bad it has to be over this topic - normally we would be amused by a few cinematic cheapshots at the expense of the Albright (another ironic Dickens-esque sounding name) and the others
One other irony - Conservative who defended this movie (which we never saw) would bring up 'liberal' movies like Farenheit 9-11, and others , etc.
But - wait a second . Those were not made by broadcast networks - to be put on the public airwaves.
They were made privately - pure capitalism.
What happened to the conservatives? They think propaganda (they privately know Bush was weaker than the movie is said to portray him) is ok on public airwaves, but privately financed partisan polemics are not - so long is they tweak the Leader?