Monday, October 23, 2006

Ain't No Valley Low Enough

The RNC attacks Harold Ford. It's an emerging strategy. The RNC or similar committees release ads that are so offensive, so salacious, so ridiculous that the media covers the ads, gives them free air time. The media then has two talking heads on and tries to present the ads as a balanced news story. With one person arguing for logic, decency and truth and the other simply saying, "Well, it makes you wonder what kind of a person, so and so is." Then the reporter says, "Well, I guess it'll be up to the voter's to decide. And now for a check on your local commute..."

I wonder what it would be like if other news were covered like this.

REPORTER: A recent claim by Mr Williamson that what many call his "dog" is really a 140 million year old Apatosaurus has certainly inspired some lively discussion and worried the town of Oak Grove. Here to debate this matter are two experts. First Ellen Anderson, a person with eyes and an IQ capable of processing the information transmitted by their functioning rods and cones, and formulating into coherent mostly-syntactically correct English the observations they inspire. And on the other side a potted plant. However it should be noted the potted plant does have a Post-It note with the words, "sure it is, I mean look at him," written in crayon.

REPORTER: Ms. Anderson you claim that Mr. Williamson's pet, is a "dog." While he maintains that it is in point of fact an ancient dinosaur. What evidence can you muster to prove him wrong?

SANE PERSON: Well, let's see. Um, I looked at the dog. And it sure looks like a dog. In fact it looks exactly like a standard poodle. Oh, and I know that when I went to school we learned that the dinosaurs were extinct. And then just to be sure I wasn't misremembering I went online and looked up information about dinosaurs and sure enough, yup extinct. I did however learn that it's now an Apatosaurus and not a Brontosaurus, but either way, his dog isn't really what you'd call a dinosaur. It's more an eye-sore.

REPORTER: Interesting, and yet, Mr. Williamson has made the claim. And we've done some research about it. According to The Center for Being Clinically and Irredeemably Bat-Shit-Howl-at-the-Moon-Crazy, "Six out of toenail claims of dog-dinosaur transubstantiations are real by both objective and reactive as well as subtractive measures and additionally a still larger popcorn out of fishing lure percent of people who fail to see dinosaurs do so because they lack the unicorn gene which allows them to see in an extra dimension. Now to our other expert, a potted plant.

PLANT: (silence)

REPORTER: Let me see if I understand, you're saying, or rather sporting a Post-It that says, "sure it is, I mean look at him." Well clearly it's an assertion that has both sides very excited. I guess we'll have to leave it up to you to decide. There's just no way for us as a news organization to ever identify and publish objective truth. It's only through a back and forth debate between two opponents given equal credit and creedence that truth can ever surface.

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