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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Exclusive interview exclusively here!

Hey folks!  It’s time for another Chávezian Airspace exclusive: I’ve landed an interview with the whole entire American mass media!  Here it is in real blog time.

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Chávezian Airspace: Good morning, American mass media!  Thanks for visiting my humble blog.

American Mass Media: Our pleasure to be here.

CA: I have to ask one thing at the outset—people say you’re huge and bloated, but you look quite trim in person.  Have you lost weight?

AMM: Why, thank you!  Yes, yes we have.  Like a lot of people, we’ve been cutting back in hard times, getting leaner ...

CA: But we hope not meaner!

AMM: Ha ha!  Yes, we still do the heartwarming inspirational piece now and then.  But we’ve gotten rid of a lot of investigative journalists and boring “international” correspondents, so you could say we’ve lost a lot of the “baby fat” of the industry.

CA: Well, whatever you’ve been doing, you look great.  To get serious for a moment, can you explain what’s going on with this crazy health care debate?

AMM: It is crazy, isn’t it?  So many people saying so many things, and so many issues to keep track of!  It kind of makes our heads spin.

CA: Uh, I was hoping you had some insight into why it’s gotten so crazy.  I mean, now we’ve got people showing up with firearms to Presidential town halls and people screaming “Heil Hitler” at Jews and ...

AMM: Yeah, isn’t that great?  Ratings are through the roof!  You can really feel the excitement.

CA: Pardon me?  People are threatening violence because a Democratic administration might be considering public health insurance?  That’s not exciting, that’s lunacy.  Why doesn’t anybody explain the “public option” to these nutcases?

AMM: With all due respect, Michael, that’s not really our job. 

CA: ...

AMM: No, really.  We’re not in the business of pushing some President’s agenda, unless it’s a war.  We’re in the business of reporting what people say.  And if some people say that Obama’s plan will feed your grandma to the wood chipper, and some people happen to disagree with that, then it’s our responsibility to report both sides fairly.  That’s all part of democratic debate, and we’re proud to play our part!

CA: So, so you’re actually saying it’s your job to report complete falsehoods without challenging them?

AMM: That’s basic journalistic ethics, yes.  Besides, even if it was our job to choose sides, which it isn’t, we’re just not well equipped to handle this kind of thing.  Health care involves very serious policy issues and complicated stuff about money, and everyone knows math is hard and policy is boring.  So we try to concentrate on what we do best.

CA: Which is?

AMM: Determining who won the week!  This week, we think it’s Chuck Grassley.  The big loser?  Anthony Weiner—or is it “whiner”?  That’s a joke.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!  But if you’re looking at the long term, then the person who definitely won the month is Sarah Palin, whose “death panels” remarks were a real game changer that really forced the Obama people to play defense.  That totally changed the game.

CA: You know, you’re reporting on serious national issues as if this were some kind of sport.  It’s all horse-race fun and games for you, isn’t it?

AMM: A horse race!  We didn’t even think of that.  We love a horse race.  We can see Kent Conrad in kelly green and gold, with Dick Armey closing on him in black and silver....

CA: Stop it!  Stop it right now!  You’re completely insane, you people. It’s infuriating even trying to talk to you.

AMM: Oh, calm down.  Here, have a Mad Bitch beer.  We hear that Hillary loves this stuff.

CA: See, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.  You really don’t have a single meaningful thing to say.  Not a single damn thing.

AMM: Well, that’s the kind of complaint we tend to get from the left of the left, so we’re not surprised that you feel this way.  The point remains, however, that conservative critics of the Democrats’ health care plans have good reason to worry.  Under the Obama plan, life-and-death decisions could be made by government bureaucrats trying to pull the plug on someone with an “advance directive,” all because of some “quality of life” consideration.  Even the phrase “advance directive” is scary!  It’s directive, and what’s more, it’s directive in advance.  That sounds very much like a death panel to us!

CA: Oh.  My.  God.  Didn’t you people learn anything from the Terri Schiavo case?

AMM: I’m sorry?

CA: Terri Schiavo.  You don’t remember Terri Schiavo?

AMM: She’s one of the desperate housewives?

CA: No, you numbskulls, Terri Schiavo was at the heart of a debate over the maintenance or withdrawal of health care for people with no reasonable hope of improvement.  She died four years ago after nearly a decade of legal wrangling between her birth family and her husband.  And believe it or not, most sane people would like to have some degree of self-determination when it comes to difficult end-of-life matters, so that they don’t wind up in a nasty tug-of-war between family members—or don’t wind up having their lives “sustained” for as long as some zealot demands.  That’s why it makes sense to encourage discussions about advance directives—so people can make their wishes clear to their own goddamn physicians.  I even wrote about advance directives back then, when the Schiavo mess was turning into a complete media circus…

AMM: Oh, yes, the Schiavo circus!  We remember that circus.  All the clowns came!  It was so much fun—we love clowns.  You could really feel the excitement!

CA: OK, this is a difficult decision, but ... it looks like you’re totally and completely brain-dead with no reasonable hope of improvement.  I think I’m going to have to convene a death panel after all.  I’ll be right back with our determination.

AMM: Happy happy clowns!

Posted by Michael on 08/20 at 06:39 AM
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