Friday, August 29, 2014

Where Is MIA Obama ISIS Strategy? How Do Misleading News Producers Impose Perceptions?

A masked Islamic State British militant holding a knife speaks next to man purported to be U.S. journalist James Foley at an unknown location /REUTERS

From Denny:  You sure can tell this is the mean political season.  Republican strategists sure don't mind how reckless are their strategies if they can get in a barrage of attacks against President Obama and the Democrats just to score points with their rabid base.  Nothing infuriates me more than cavalier politics - no matter which political party, geared to win no matter the costs to someone else's family: especially hostages held and tortured by terrorist groups like ISIS.

The Republicans and the No Brain Media (think:  Fox News and mainstream media that report what Fox is saying not realizing how bad they look to the public) just don't stop and think about the consequences of their actions.  We can definitely blame a lot of what is going on in the mainstream media news shows on immature, cavalier, downright intellectually and emotionally tone deaf news producers who are clueless as to what the public wants to know and how to deliver it.  Real journalists should complain and start demanding better quality content...

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These clueless news producers actually believe the Millennials are finally going to watch TV if they provide Sexed Up Stupid when everyone knows the youngest generation doesn't pay much attention to mainstream TV, going for cable and sites like Hulu and NetFlix for programming.  Their lives are extremely busy with school, launching their careers, two job households and raising children so they don't have the time for these long shows.  So, instead, today's news producers chase off the older generations who have been watching mainstream media as loyal viewers.  Eventually, the heads of these networks are going to wake up and toss out these wrong news producers.  But how long will that take?

For example, NBC News anchor Brian Williams, a favorite at our house.  He's a wonderful man and an excellent very serious journalist.  Down here in Louisiana and on the Gulf Coast we really appreciated his constant coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Crisis.  He really knew how to get the word out of all that was truly happening, not allowing misleading reporting or inaccurate perceptions.

Yet to see him reduced now to what he currently dishes out on his Nightly News?  It's really boring and downright lame.  He skims the headlines with generalities on serious issues that require more depth of coverage and then spends the rest of his time with sweet feel good stories he repeats for several nights in a row, finishing with a dog story.  OK, I am partial to the dog stories. :)  I even enjoy the occasional feel good stories as we all like to see positive news - but must they be constantly repeated, recycled without true updates other than with yet another titillation line, and too many in one news cast?  And the news producers think no one is noticing and are just plain stupid?  Come on, seriously?!  Quit underestimating the American public and insulting our intelligence.

Note to NBC tech:  Whew! Thanks for improving the news site.  At least you can now navigate at a reasonable speed in a much shorter span of time.  What were you thinking previously?  A glossy photography site that takes an hour to display?  That just doesn't work with rapidly changing news content and busy people.

And then there's (now former) ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer.  You can "thank" her for introducing Gossip News Masquerading as Real News spun off from what is actually an entertainment show, Fox News.   Listening to her was like listening to these awful national Republican political ads with the condescending gossipy female voice as their trademark. Well, at least ABC News made a superb choice in David Muir as the new anchor.  He's another wonderful man and a serious journalist.  Hopefully, he can keep at bay the lame childish news producers.  I quit watching ABC News years ago when Diane Sawyer changed to the gossipy format, only checking in with David Muir on the weekends.

Note to ABC tech guys:  stop with the lousy web site display in all browsers for secure content.  That's obnoxious to force people to lower their security just for profit.  If you want any of your news links listed in any of my posts or on my blogs then fix this.  Yeah, that's really telling them - like it's going to change their online business model that stinks...

How is CBS?  Much improved with Scott Pelley after Katie Couric drowned as an anchor and finally left.  CBS News actually does serious news on their morning show with Charlie Rose and it's refreshing to actually not have to sit through 20 minutes of banter to find out the developing stories missed during the night that might be pressing international issues that can affect our economy and political season.

It's past due time media outlets do a blood letting of these lame news producers and get some grown-ups in the chairs.  Well, at least the hosts of Morning Joe, Joe and Mika, complained about some of the really awful stories their news producers demanded they cover.  And I definitely turned the channel when that news producer was covering the antics of idiot Justin Bieber and the other story of the police mug shot of a "good looking felon" that stupid women were apparently swooning over.  And what has that got to do with national and international politics and serious issues?  Morning Joe has some soul searching to do:  get rid of those ridiculous news producers.  I can put up with Joe's occasional bizarre soap box rants and sometimes off kilter obnoxious opinions because at least he's authentic, and is basically a very decent guy. He still has some serious growing up to do but he's coming along nicely. :)

It's a Media War of Depraved Indifference.  Is it any wonder the public is turning away from most media outlets searching desperately for authentic voices?  The public has figured out they are being delivered lies, skewed perceptions, rants masquerading as news and generalized headlines that are nothing but pablum coupled with silly stunts.  The problem with these generalized headlines masquerading as an actual news story is that often they are very misleading, leaving out serious pivot points that really give the entire view of an issue.

It's amazing how many key facts are left out of TV news shows today.  I spend endless hours watching way too early news shows, surfing the web at a variety of news sites, check in with afternoon news shows just to find out what the nightly news shows are leaving out of their broadcasts.  That's ridiculous.  Do these news producers and heads of news outlets really expect the public to do what I am doing (as a journalist) to get the full news picture?  These media outlets are all guilty of under serving the public for news content.

But hey, let's not forget the forced banter of morning shows to look like "we are all having a party on the set."  If it's spontaneous let it be spontaneous.  Other than that quit allowing an entire time slot for it.  Some of us have to go to work or get the kids ready for school.  Our time is precious, so quit disrespecting it.  The American public wants to know what happened today, why, who it is, what are the dynamics of how this situation arose and what are Congress and this White House going to do about said issues.  It's called journalism.

Here's a shameless plug for some serious people doing a great job:  Speaking of good journalism that's serious about helping you deal with subjects like privacy concerns, tech security, health and more, check out the Pro Publica site.  Insightful articles which spend more time going into depth - and they do investigations.  These people are refreshing for those of us who use our brains daily.

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So, now you know who is influencing the news you do find and miserably falling down on the job.  What about President Obama and his decided strategy to combat the latest terrorism outbreak:  ISIS in Syria and Iraq?  I'm so glad you asked.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I don't easily jump up and defend this White House: OK, rarely.  But all this twitter and scream about how this President is doing nothing significant on combating ISIS is just not true and you all sound stupid saying it.

Here are the questions you should be asking:  Why is President Obama not announcing a formal policy regarding the ISIS terrorism?  Can it be this President has finally figured out that telegraphing his every thought is irresponsible to international allies, international enemies and terror groups?  Why give your enemy a working plan of how to out maneuver your efforts?

Yet, to hear the Republicans scream it, they would prefer Obama give away every military plan for public consumption so the terrorists can win more battles.  How stupid is that?  Remember:  it was Sen. John McCain and Rep. Mike Rogers who wanted to arm ISIS in Syria because they were too clueless to understand (or care) that the so-called Syrian rebels were taken over by the more brutal next generation of al-Qaeda:  ISIS.  Yeah, that's the war profiteer's plan:  arm the terrorists so the U. S. can spend more blood and treasure to combat them later.  How twisted are the Republican war profiteers' strategies anyway?  Of course, there are some Democrat war profiteers too:  think Sen. Diane Feinstein.  War profiteers are a national disgrace.

Now why else would President Obama not publicly explain his ISIS strategy?  Well, there are U. S. hostages being held by various terrorist groups.  Don't you think it would be most unwise to arm the terrorists' propaganda machine with more political ammunition to recruit more psychotic volunteers on social media?  Don't you think a political statement from this President would harm the negotiations and chances of release for those hostages?

For the moment, this President has responded appropriately by bombing the hell out of ISIS in Iraq.  He is currently mulling over a decision to chase after ISIS inside Syria.  Well, if he does decide to bomb ISIS inside Syria, please be sure to take out a few of President Assad's military bases.  "Oops, my bad!"  Please be sure to paint a Louisiana baseball bat on to one of those bombs.

The American public is fine with air strikes in Iraq (and probably Syria) to combat the ISIS brutal style of terrorism.  What this President is acutely aware of is that the American public is not fine with boots on the ground and yet another long war to satisfy war profiteers.

What should President Obama do if the air strikes do not prove to kill off enough of ISIS?  Well, first of all, those air strikes will kill off and intimidate most of ISIS.  Just ask anyone who has lived through a bombing raid from any war time and they will tell you it is more than effective to destroy morale and instill long lasting fear, causing people to look over their shoulders for decades after.

You have to be realistic and understand you may not fully eradicate this current terrorism.  It pops up in every generation as the disenfranchised and psychotic take up weapons thinking that is the way to personal power.  In the end it never works for long.  In regard to the U. S., all ISIS did was anger us to action.  The more brutal they are the more it motivates the U. S. to respond harshly and quickly.

But what can President Obama do beyond the bombing raids to chase, contain and reduce the ranks of this latest terrorist group?  Well, he can do what he is already doing:  enlisting the aid of international partners, most notably those in the Middle East and Europe.

The smartest solution:  put tremendous pressure on Saudi Arabia as well as other Middle Eastern states.  This terrorism garbage begins and ends with them.  It was Saudi Arabia in particular, along with Iran, that encouraged and funded anti-American attitudes long before the Gulf War, Iraq War and Afghanistan War.  It was Saudi Arabia that has trashed and manipulated U. S. leaders for over 70 years, lying to us, claiming to cooperation while undermining our best efforts.  This kind of international duplicity cannot continue without the backlash of dire consequences.  

Saudi Arabia stirred up, organized and funded these particular terrorist psychopaths so it's up to them to invest in dismantling these groups like ISIS.  Saudi Arabia can trace their own funding as well as that of other terrorist investment groups to dry it up as barren as a desert.  Of course, ISIS has countered with stealing from Iraqi banks but that money will only last for a time.  As an army of the disenfranchised grows so do the expenses and difficulty of managing them.

Saudi Arabia can get their lazy butts out into the battlefield and fight for their country instead of expecting U. S. troops to do it for them as proxies.  They can supply intelligence and broker real deals with other Middle Eastern nations to combat global terrorism, not just making deals to protect themselves.  It's time Saudi Arabia quit playing deadly international games, working to get even with real or imagined slights from the West.  What Saudi Arabia has brought about is possibly the very downfall of its own county.  When you work that hard to destroy others you really end up destroying yourself.  Saudi Arabia just may become the very example of that in our century.

Meanwhile, President Obama is doing the right thing to investigate the full situation, choose more bombing targets, find U. S. citizens who became traitors to fight with terrorism groups so they don't return to the U. S. to create mayhem, revoking their passports.  Obama can broker international agreements to create plans for dealing with globally roaming terrorists, share international intelligence to locate them and work the financial networks to shut down easy money for these criminals.

What more could you want?  A perfect world where everyone respects each other and behaves well?  We all know that sure isn't going to happen any time soon.  In the absence of the best case scenario for humanity let's get serious about dealing with the destructive crazies in the short term.

In the long term?  Let us decide to come together with the same urgency to understand the roots of these uprisings and take measures to deal with global poverty and the search for personal power.  Why not teach people how to be authentic and build personal power in a more constructive manner?

All solutions begin at home and in each country.  The Middle Eastern countries should do some serious soul searching about how badly they have been treating their people for generations, making quality course corrections for the public good as much as for their governments.  Then, and only then, might the world enjoy Peace in our life time.  It all begins at home.

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