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Thursday, May 07th

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Spectres & Spectacles, Part 2

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No, we won't be going down into the basement dungeon with these goons -- we've heard all about these gory, gut-wrenching, gut-slashing movies -- but we will walk down one or two stairs, shine the flashlight around, see if they've added any new chains to the wall.  Looks like it's all the same stuff down here -- except for the half-finished, half-hearted start on clasps with Idaho's state seal.

Most everything is still in place, here in the dungeon of the legal rape of women, a museum of GOP achievements, coming between women and their doctors.  Still legal to rape women in Texas with forced sonograms, under a law passed by 15 men and 2 women, all wielding black arts and books of spells. Virginia's waffling around, first plunging in probes, now retreating to on-and-around -- but, rape is still rape, no matter the degree, at least, by any definition of hell on this Earth.

There will be more copy-cat, piling-on later, you know how this works with inhumane humans, so eager to add to the list.  Formerly pseudo-sane places will be right along, like Pennsylvania -- home of the Santorum -- and Alabama, Georgia, and other viper pits of unabashedly stout religious fevers and fervors, snake-handler style, speaking in tongues, mostly forked.

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Where are the Grownups?

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We could buy Real Fireworks for the 4th of July because we lived near the Port Madison Indian Reservation in Washington state. No wimpy sparklers for us. None of that Safe N Sane garbage. These were definitely Unsafe and Insane. We could buy stuff that exploded. As SCTVs Billy Sol Hurock and Big Jim McBob used to say, It blowed up real good.

I was about to set off a rocket slightly smaller than a cruise missile when I noticed a warning on the box, Use under adult supervision.

Well I guess that would be me. A crazed adolescent in an aging body with an arsenal of dangerous, albeit colorful, explosives. I lit the fuse and ran. It shot up a couple of hundred feet and KA-WHAP. A pyrotechnic chrysanthemum lit up the sky over our house with a sonic boom that rattled our windows. Another successful 4th of July. Nothing caught on fire and everybody still had all their fingers. As we walked back into the house I realized I finally looked old enough to do all the stuff I couldnt possibly get away with as a teenager.

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Spectres & Spectacles, Part 1

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It could be that religious right-wingers have a point, in a manner of speaking -- and, no, we're not talking about the sharp, pointy one high atop each GOP member's head.  Settle down and think about this, now:  It is possible demonology offers one of the few avenues of exploration left that may give any satisfaction at all, when it comes to knowing the source for the sudden increases and rise in numbers of so many depraved demons living here among us, spouting such intolerant and unbelievable bile, cloaking it all as God-given, holier-than-thou speech.

Mass hallucination, panic, and hysteria have mostly been ruled out -- but not demon-possession -- as the cause for this sudden, over-the-top burst of sanctimonious, patronizing, priggish-male, little-boy, pig-headedness:  The idea that only aging white men, mostly below the old Mason-Dixon line, are the only possible arbiters left alive where women's health care is concerned.  Women have a right to be concerned about where this madness is headed, as so much of the lunatic GOP focus has been below women's waistlines, and above the hems of their skirts.

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Let Me Have That Again...

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Recapping now, see if this is set correctly in our minds:  Money is speech. Lying speech in the news is OK and legal, corporations are people, human beings are no longer Personnel if they are lucky enough to find work, but are instead, Resources, like something to be mined, chopped down, drained off, or drilled into -- which, come to think of it, explains why we keep getting turned on this huge screw, again and again, the screw blades attached to this long, painful shaft.

We're upset Syria tortures its people, even though this was among a few bloody handfuls of destinations, CIA-package drop zones for suspects we wanted "tuned-up" at the hands of very special-techniques investigators and interrogators?

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More Loud Noise from the Boys in Illinois

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The music is "Illinois Blues," by Skip James, or, maybe it's "Illinois," Dan Fogelberg's way.  The mood is very much indigo in some quarters, but Illinoisans know to move fast, clear the streets. Coming to town is the circus, a revival tent meeting with live snakes, a carnival, and a four-way shoot-out, all rolled into one!  And, as an added attraction, an escaped zoo of mainstream media chimps will come swooping and swamping on in, as high-profile distraction, caging townsfolk in all alleyways, getting up close and personal, pointing mics in faces, mining hard for snappy sound bites and local flavor.  Beware your favorite diners, next couple of days.

Best to make like a tumbleweed, just roll on, keep out of the way -- here comes more empty thunder raining down on you, rolling across everything, smashing into your towns:  It's the Dark Horse Riders of the Grandiose Oblivion Plague Party, and the runners-up Pinheaded Primary Parade!

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The Burro-Burrow Test: Too High a Hurdle?

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There is a great story about an editor at UPI long ago, back in the 1970s, who inserted advice to journalists in a foreword to that organization's style guide for writers:  A burro is an ass, a burrow is a hole in the ground:  you are expected to know the difference between the two.

What great advice for Republican candidates vying for their party's coronation!  These guys are already phenomenally low in wattage as illumination of any real issue goes, so, that simple advice should be hugely helpful to them, too!  Anyone claiming to be a journalist today should take a brush-up quiz on that one, too -- along with the mandate to keep opinion out of news, to just report the facts without endless analysis, rather than slip in personal notions, dressed up as The News.  But then again, that Fox case says mainstream media's free to lie, so, what's the big deal -- opinion is much easier to cover and generate, for sure.

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Playing the Odds

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We have no idea what oddsmakers in 'Vegas would say to the chances of the Holy See being seen in Gucci sunglasses, or spotted wearing Prada loafers to boot, and commissioning a new, top-secret cologne, as the papal nose knows quality, nay?  And yea, a lot has come to pass, in that pass of time.  In more than 2-thousand years of acquiring wealth and property of all kinds, it is likely his holiness can afford it, have a tiny reward on this Earth.

The Catholic Church's precise wealth is unknown -- their specialists, truly, are often quoted saying, "Only God knows" -- but it's likely on the far side of eternally vast:  One could safely bet on that, especially after the miracle of compounding kicked in, across all that immense slate of time.  The rest of us try to have our prayers answered in much smaller ways.  We have no special Prefecture for Economic Affairs to help us manage our holdings of liquid assets.  There's scarcely a need for such intricate super-infrastructure in managing our liquid wealth:  some juice, a little milk, a few pops, a couple beers.

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