Tuesday, September 06, 2005

On the bright side

I was listening to Al Franken this morning when he did a quick cut over to a Bush press conference. It only lasted for about 30 seconds but during that time Bush was droning on about how important education was and how important it was to get the schools working again in the region ravaged by Katrina.

What is it with Republicans and the "opening schools" theme? This is of a kidn with the "why don't they report on all the schools being opened in Iraq" talking point that the right likes to use when criticizing mainstream media coverage of Bush's little war. Their argument is that the media focuses to much on the bad stuff and doesn't leave the "balanced" perspective on the situation that would come from giving "equal time" to the good stuff. Bush supporters seem to be under the impression that good news balances out bad news and makes the latter not as important.

Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

If your country was suffering from almost daily suicide bomb attacks that were killed tens if not hundreds of your fellow citizens, do you think you would be cheered up by news of the opening of a new elementary school? Of course not! You'd want the bombings to stop first. Then maybe you could start thinking about your kids education.

Similarly, people in the ruins left behind by Katrina don't have time to think about getting their kids to school when their higher priority is getting them some fresh water to drink.

It's a simple rule: good news in times of crisis are defined by a eduction in bad news. If someone is beating me over the head with a lead pipe then stop them for God's sake! Don't stand around and prattle on about the great health care I am going to get once the beating stops (of course, in George Bush's American, I'm not likely to get that either).

Quit with the "on the bright side" talk. It just proves how clueless you are about what people are upset about.


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