So today, Apple will be heaving a dead goat off a truck for the vultures of the technology press to swoop in and feast on. And oh, how they will feast: ripping the meat from the bones with sharp-witted beaks. Page views — and more importantly, unique visitors — will come rolling in, enough to fill all of our bellies and sate our appetites for the month.
Once we’ve had our fill of Apple’s blood and organs and muscle and marrow we’ll crap out opinions all over the grassy fields of the Web, fertilizing its pastures with clever bon mots and biting critiques.
We’ll look up with greasy chins and compare the performance of Tim Cook to Steve Jobs’ most famous appearances. And if we are disappointed, or unhappy with what is announced, we will drag out Jobs’ bloody toga and parade it in front of the mob.
Some will immediately dismiss the thing Apple rolls out as a failure. They will note Apple already reached its high water mark, and that this thing, whatever it is, is not as good as what Google or Microsoft or Sony has to offer. They will note the feature set on the others is much greater than that on the New Apple Thing. “The others all have four ports and it only has three!”
Everyone else will note that these people are idiots.
Jared Lee Loughner allegedly tried to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at a meeting with constituents in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday. In the wake of the attack, the 22-year-old Loughner has been called everything from “crazed” to “unhinged.” What he’s not been called, however, at least by the media, is a terrorist.
According to the United States Law Code, terrorism is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” New evidence alleges that Loughner possibly planned for years to assassinate Giffords, a prominent politician. Sounds a lot like terrorism to me. But a whole host of major media outlets seem to disagree.
The Wall Street Journal today says Loughner “raged against the government” and “discussed terrorism,” which, when you actually think about it, is a vague, nearly meaningless sentence (who hasn’t discussed terrorism in the past decade?).
In the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the main story is that Loughner was denied entry into the military because he failed a drug test, while the only talk of terrorism comes in a confusing quote from a blog posting from Loughner himself: “If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is ad hominem.” And, in the Los Angeles Times’ lead story on Loughner today, the word “terror” doesn’t appear once.
Compare this nebulous coverage to that on Nidal Hasan in November 2009. If you’ll remember, Hasan is the only suspect in the Fort Hood shooting in Texas that left 13 people dead and 30 more wounded. Hasan is also Muslim, a fact every news outlet won’t let you forget, while also speculating about his terrorist ties.
Four days after the attack on Fort Hood, the Wall Street Journal published two stories suggesting that Hasan was a terrorist, one of which included the assertion that it was a terrorist act because Hasan spoke Arabic while he shot. The Los Angeles Times spoke to counterterrorism experts for this piece on Hasan. And, in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, blogger Kyle Wingfield actually gave credence to a Forbes argument claiming that Hasan “went Muslim.”
Some will argue that Hasan’s terrorist intentions were proved by communications he had with radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki, but, in fact, experts who reviewed the pair’s e-mail exchange deemed it totally innocuous.
It should be noted that the FBI Director Robert Mueller has said he’s not ruling out terrorism charges against Loughner, but nothing’s certain yet. And today in Dubai, Hillary Clinton called Loughner an “extremist,” though, like the media, she stopped short of calling him a terrorist.
From the sidelines, the message this sends is pretty obvious and very insidious:
When a white man executes a political attack, he’s likely crazy; when it’s a Muslim doing the shooting, he’s likely a terrorist.
Get withing 65 feet? That’s now a Class-D felony, with the possibility of 1-5 years in a federal PMITA prison.
Following excerpt from article by Georgianne Nienaber:
The United States Coast Guard considers me a felon now, because I “willfully” want to obtain more photos like these to show you the utter devastation occurring in Barataria Bay, Louisiana as a result of the BP oil catastrophe. If the Coast Guard has its way, all media, not just independent writers and photographers like myself and Jerry Moran, will be fined $40,000 and receive Class D felony convictions for providing the truth about oiled birds and dolphins, in addition to broken, filthy, unmanned boom material that is trapping oil in the marshlands and estuaries. We don’t have $40,000 to spare, and have had to scrape the bottoms of our checkbooks as is to hire boats to take us to the devastation the Coast Guard, under the direction of BP, does not want you to see.
Reuters reported that Israel was holding hundreds of activists incommunicado in and around the port city of Ashdod, refusing to permit journalists access to witnesses who might contradict Israel’s version of events.
What is Israel afraid of? In two words, the truth.