Monday, February 06, 2012

Madonna and national security

Madonna's Super Bowl halftime performance was so awful it did more damage to our country's international reputation than Abu Graib and Guantanamo put together. We already knew Madonna couldn't sing or dance and that she had a tendency to, well, over-production. (Over-production, the American vice, though, with their Olympics show the Chinese are serious challengers, with North Korea coming up fast. Imagine what North Korea could have done with all the money Madonna wasted!) Sunday's half-time show was  a combination of bad singing, songs that all sounded alike, and dance routines that were so over-coreographed that Busby Berkeley would have been embarrassed. All those flashing lights, I thought I was tuned in to SportsCenter by mistake.

The NFL needs to step up on this issue. The Madonna performance is bad for their brand and bad for football, not to mention American interests around the world. Al Qaeda and the Taliban will point to this performance and say, Do you really want these people to rule the world?


The NY Times and the U.N. high-speed rail plot

Wu Hong/European Pressphoto Agency

As I've pointed out before, editors at the NY Times support high-speed rail in spite of the work on the issue by their own reporters. Their pro-HSR bias leaked into a front-page story last Friday:

In Maine, the Tea Party-backed Republican governor canceled a project to ease congestion along the Route 1 corridor after protesters complained it was part of the United Nations plot. Similar opposition helped doom a high-speed train line in Florida.

The governor of Florida rejected federal money for high-speed rail not because he was worried about a U.N. conspiracy, but because he understood that the taxpayers of his state would have been responsible for the inevitable cost-overruns in building the system and to pay to operate it once it was built. Unfortunately, the Governor of California doesn't seem to understand that. 

The Times linked a backgrounder that refers to that reality:

The year before, newly elected Republican governors in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin turned down federal money their Democratic predecessors had won for new rail routes, lest their states have to cover most of the costs for trains that would draw few riders.

Careless in allowing its bias to contaminate news stories, the Times is famous for being fussy about trivia with its copy editing: In a story yesterday ("The 2016 Election, Already Upon Us"), the Senator from Massachusetts was pedantically called "Scott P. Brown," and we were reminded that "John A. Boehner" is the speaker of the House. Get the big things wrong but be sure to include those middle initials!

And why the comma after "Election" in the title? Not to mention the clunky "Upon" instead of plain old "on."

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