Thursday, November 12, 2009

Swine flu and other mess-clearing events

IN A WORLD with so much gloom and doom it is sometimes too easy to overlook those who are still going to work every day to make it a better life for all of us. That is the story of the Italian inventor who, according to reports, has found a way to "avoid sacrificing your soul for your health." To demonstrate that the creativity of Leonardo DeVinci didn't die with his model flying machines, this fellow invented an automatic holy water dispenser that will lessen the threat of flu germs in Milan. The idea won't rank with Brunelleschi's dome or gelato, but it does demonstrate that with a great Italian cathedral, there is always a way to provide safe passage through the flu season, if not the berserk drivers on Italy's congested streets.

ONCE WE HAVE recovered from the shock, we can all be happily thankful for Sean Hannity's mea culpa about cooking the video on the latest Tea Parties in Washington. In Fox's laboratory of fiction, the video of an earlier and much larger protest was used to highlight a much smaller Tea Party crowd. And once again, it was Jon Stewart - not the national media - who nailed the Hannity program with the profound observation that, Hey, folks!, the trees were still pre-autumnal green in the video of the larger event whose turnout was much more persuasive for Hannity's tale. But Hannity, with no room at all to wiggle, did apologize to Stewart, thusly:
"He was correct. We screwed up. We aired some video of a rally in September, along with video from the actual event. It was an inadvertent mistake. But a mistake nonetheless."
Right, inadvertent until a late-night comedian-amateur botanist began wondering about the color of autumn leaves.

THE FUN AND PAGEANTRY of Mardi Gras is arriving earlier than usual way down yonder in New Orleans as Louisiana Sen. David Vitter is being challenged by a hot porn star, Stormy Daniels, who claims that unlike Vitter, she has nothing to hide. Vitter is one of Capitol Hill's holier-than- holy morality activists who found a place of honor on a D.C. madam's telephone list. He also was a prominant member of the birthers' demands that Obama's birthplace be verified again and again. But give him credit for accepting a little shame for his sexual misdeeds. He apologized and said he would never do it again.

FINALLY, WHAT was it I said in a recent blog about the scoop-happy national media? Now comes another example, this one regarding an ABC report by the network's Brian Ross that Maj. Nidal Hasan was in league with al-Qaeda, sending terrorist chills across the land. Not true, says the FBI, on the Crooks and Liars blog. The Feds said this:
The FBI determined that the e-mails [to an American-Islamic radical cleric] did not warrant an investigation...Investigators said Hasan's e-mails were consistent with the topic of his academic research and involved some social chatter and religious discourse.
Wiggled Ross in defending his shattered scoop: "That was how it was initially described to me." At this rate, ABC will get around to finally determining that according to its sources the Phillies won the World Series.

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