Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Tom Brokaw is not the only shallow and ignorant US journalist. Of course not. But he is bothering me with his "Greatest Generation" industry. Why? Is this not the generation of lynching, segregation, Jim Crow, white supremacy, homophobia, Strom Thurmond, and blatant and violent sexism? And are the Germans or Russians who fought fiercely in WWII also part of the "Greatest Generation"? The record of the US in WWII (Dresden and Hiroshima are only two example plus the one night of bombing over Tokyo which killed 100000 civilians) is not that glorious, not to mention FDR's inaction during the Holocaust when he knew what was happening. Read the book War without Mercy: it talks about US soldiers making letter openers and key chains from ears and bones of Japanese. I became acquainted with NBC News back in the late 1980s when I served as a Middle East consultant. Once after a bomb exploded in a TWA flying over Athens, the big-wigs at NBC called me on a conference call to ask for my opinion. They wanted to know the identity of the culprits. Sitting in my apartment in Arlington, VA: I said I have no idea. They pressed me to speculate. Only after insistence, I said: "If I were to speculate, I think that it may be group X..." Lo and behold, I was watching NBC News that evening, to see Brokaw begins the newscast with a visual of exclusive and explosion and Beirut. And the newscast began as follows: (I kid you not): An exclusive Lebanon sources has confirmed to NBC News that the group behind the TWA bombing was group x: and followed that with a 3 minute report over the content of my phone conversation. Thus was my lesson in the world of respected US TV News.