Friday, April 01, 2005

Koppel Retires

I actually had a celebrity siting of Ted Koppel a couple months ago at a Cosi (fastfood chain) near work. He is shorter than I expected, and he looks more wrinkled in person than on TV - he looks like one of the Chinese dogs that sort of look like bulldogs (a chinchila?).

Anyway, Ted will leave me with the lasting memory of fulfilling what he regards as the most important duty of a journalist - to remind people of the costs of war, which he did when he spent an entire Nightline episode reading off the names of the soldiers who had died in Iraq and Afganistan. Gee, and I thought journalists were just supposed to provide information - newsworthy information that is. Little did I know that the names of a thousand odd strangers who died in combat - which for all anyone would know could have been entirely made up - is newsworthy information.

I think that what he meant to say is that the most important duty of a journalist is maudlin sanctimonious display. Until he read the names, apparently the benighted public was incapable of grasping the fact that people - fathers, sons, brothers, mothers, daughters, etc. - die in war. Prior to that episode, most of us were under the mistaken impression that we have an army of robots. And when he said that the duty was to remind the public, clearly he didn't mean all of the public - those in his set probably all experience a stigmata when a soldier in Iraq gets a hangnail - no, he wished to inform certain reckless red-staters who really don't understand the costs of war.

My bet, given the distribution of military forts and the cultural leanings of the red-staters, is that the red-staters know well enough the costs of war because they'd be the ones more likely to recognize a name or two on Ted's list. They know it at a personal level. Koppel's theatrics treated these people as victims who died for nothing, and if they were alive, my bet is that most would have been deeply offended by how he used them and reduced their deaths to mere senselessness.

Thanks for the reminder Koppel - maybe you can sign off by reading the names of everyone who has ever died of malaria in countries where environmentalists have successfully eliminated the use of DDT - that might take a few years of half hour broadcasts, but at least you'd truly be informing the public about senseless deaths.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you must hate the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.

It's amazing that all you Iraq War proponents act so violently to any mention of the actual costs of this war.

Me thinks ye doth protest too much.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Incredible Dirigible said...

There is a Huge difference between the Vietnam War Memorial & Koppel's list. If Koppel had read off his list After the war was Over, the tribute aspect would be much clearer. But to do it DURING the war seems like he's trying to undermine the war effort.

We don't know if "it" was worth it until we know what "it" is. If "it" is the removal of a dictator, free elections in Iraq, & the dismantling of a major terrorist enabler, then our soldiers did not die in vain.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fear not Hatcher for I AM building an army of robots to fight in wars ( The mainstream journalists (who no one listens to or watches anymore anyway), will have even less to report...unless of course Michael Jackson is set free again.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous hansirr said...

I have an idea - how about HONORING those who serve(d) their country in a traveling museum exhibit -

10:37 AM  
Blogger Hatcher said...

"act so violently"? OK, so I did throw my salad at him when I saw him, but I didn't disclose that in the post! And there is only one way you would have known that - Clearly anonymous is only a psuedonym, Koppel, you shriveled up SOB!

1:47 PM  

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