Monday, August 6, 2012

Editorialist Weighs Value Of Open Secrecy

    Sunday’s online New York Times edition ran editorialist BILL KELLER’s essay The Leak Police, which didn’t appear in the print version that some New Yorkers still hold dear enough to give their attention. Writing – In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, this newspaper famously published a number of stories regurgitating the Bush administration hype about Saddam Hussein’s supposed arsenal of mass destruction. A few journalists elsewhere — notably Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel, then of the Knight Ridder newspapers — dug deeper, discovered contrary intelligence, and challenged the official line. Later, The Times also published some excellent work on how an administration eager to justify its decision to go to war cherry-picked the intelligence to make its case.
  Mr. Keller’s case is that the journalists who got it right, got it from government officials, with access to classified information, who risked their jobs to confide the truth to journalists. Critics call these “leaks,” although such stories hardly ever spill out unbidden, and they are painstakingly assembled by teasing out bits of information, triangulating, correcting, testing, confirming. I’d call them a public service.
  Then Mr. Keller keeps stepping on toes. He writes – Washington is currently going a little nuts on the subject of leaks. The Obama administration has already surpassed all previous administrations in its prosecution of leakers. Congress has mandated surveillance systems that make it easier to identify leakers and prevent unauthorized downloads of classified material.
  He asks – Is this latest outbreak of leak panic just another mood swing? Or is something else going on? Mr. Keller theorizes more secrets are spilling these days, in part, because so much material is automatically, needlessly classified that officials tend not to take classification as seriously. He suspects another factor is the enthusiasm with which senior officials contribute their notes and self-serving recollections for behind-the-scenes books, setting a permissive example for those farther down the official ladder. Assuring top officials their place in history while the juniors are prosecuted.
  And then Mr. Keller points out how this is the game as usual. “Presidents make ‘secret’ decisions only to reveal them for the purposes of frightening an adversary nation, wooing a friendly electorate, protecting their reputations. Military services conduct ‘secret’ research in weaponry only to reveal it for the purpose of enhancing their budgets, appearing superior or inferior to a foreign army, gaining the vote of a congressman or the favor of a contractor. The Navy uses secret information to run down the weaponry of the Air Force. The Army passes on secret information to prove its superiority to the Marine Corps. High officials of the government reveal secrets in the search for support of their policies, or to help sabotage the plans and policies of rival departments. Middle-rank officials of government reveal secrets so as to attract the attention of their superiors or to lobby against the orders of those superiors.”
  Mr. Keller is quoting Max Frankel, the then Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, in a 1971 deposition defending the paper’s publication of the secret Vietnam War history called the Pentagon Papers. Frankel acknowledged the self-serving nature of these transactions on both sides, but concluded that this “cooperative, competitive, antagonistic and arcane relationship,” as he called it, was essential to the working of democracy. Without this trafficking in secrets, he said, “there could be no adequate diplomatic, military and political reporting of the kind our people take for granted, either abroad or in Washington, and there could be no mature system of communication between the government and the people.”
  Which should leave us wondering about this era’s leaking Internet celebrity(ies), care of that medium that has changed the nature of privacy, secrecy, fame and obscurity. Where anyone becomes a star. Well not quite. Did you know the notorious scourge of government secrecy Julian Assange has his own Julian Assange Show broadcast by Russian government financed English language broadcaster Russia Today? That picked the U.S. apart calling us the America Surveillance Society. And interviewed our own government’s leaker, Thomas Andrews Drake, who went public on 60 MINUTES after spending years defending his American right to speak freely about the covering up of bureaucratic mistakes. Still, it’s hard to not feel the government shouldn’t give up on holding Mr. Assange responsible, while wishing him well avoiding the federation’s clutches. Because government boundaries, by the people for the people, make sense only when the truth comes out.
8/6/2012
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George W. Bush Please Simply Help and Apologize Clock
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September 18 - ..., 2018
Editorialist Weighs Value Of Open Secrecy
8/6/2102 concluded: Which should leave us wondering about this era’s leaking Internet celebrity(ies), care of that medium that has changed the nature of privacy, secrecy, fame and obscurity. Where anyone becomes a star. Well not quite. Did you know the notorious scourge of government secrecy Julian Assange has his own Julian Assange Show broadcast by Russian government financed English language broadcaster Russia Today? That picked the U.S. apart calling us the America Surveillance Society. And interviewed our own government’s leaker, Thomas Andrews Drake, who went public on 60 MINUTES after spending years defending his American right to speak freely about the covering up of bureaucratic mistakes. Still, it’s hard to not feel the government shouldn’t give up on holding Mr. Assange responsible, while wishing him well avoiding the federation’s clutches. Because government boundaries, by the people for the people, make sense only when the truth comes out.
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Freedom of the Press, Yes
  This view greeted my arrival for work the last few weeks before Murphy Brown's Premier.
  Replaced by a beer ad October 1st. 
  I even succumbed to photographing the front of one of those many MTA buses staring New Yorkers down in the streets. That Stephen Colbert brought up in Ms. Bergen's interview (3:59) the Wednesday before Thursday's premier. 
  And no simple humongous bus-length broadside the stars' celebrants are drawn into trailing. Just Candice Bergen, as Murphy Brown, baronially styled, staring at your watching her channelling the male association with an imagining of Walter Cronkite's reincarnation in a woman's suit? Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Connie Chung, Sue Simmons, all wore versions of women's male business attire to blend with the patriarchical standard of forthright respectability. Long overduedashikis on The News? 
The New Murphy Brown's PRESS EXPOSURE included the Washington Post headline, 
'Murphy Brown' once sparked a feud with Dan Quayle. 
Now the reboot is courting one with President Trump
CBS Sunday Morning
"activism in a sitcom" - "expecting backlash"
Huh. Seems this is happening in LA.
  American politics taken seriously in a comedy will either be seen, or enough of us will hold perceptions dear enough that the point's not worth wanting realized. Another commercial enterprise bites the dust happens all the time. Why it's a luxury to spread daily press coverage out so as to always be a major conveyor of -, ..., "fake news." How real's the fabrication is all too often what's gone on and explanations become just talk. And endless talk breeds embellishment. Chanting to a president? Where could humility possibly lie in today's politically charged public atmosphere? 
  My 1998 essay, The Unsinkable Murphy Brown, concluded by paraphrasing the character Jim Dial's - "You'll" still "get em, Slugger," without knowledge there'd be others. Point being, Murphy Brown's independent women's voice was worth carrying on and CBS, premier week, advertised that role of the original show. 
  Advertising "now's the time," as the Established Press echoed, this Murphy Brown's not just a remake. By embarking on that fortuitous, but tortuous, goal courting public relevance, a brand new bold statement's being made. Betting the franchise's legacy? You betcha. Murphy even mentions that in Episode 1. Promising to not just be another Murphy Brown 2, the time-lapse was just an hiatus and the country had the long vacation? 
  So now, in this one programming instance, in this vastness that's all media. The ever more distracted and told how to think public canvas will convey much about American obsessions with imagery however narrowly twisted. Again Murphy'll highlight what the country senses is worth knowing. Maybe become more acutely aware of where unreasonableness lies? And hopefully, finally, despite any disappointments, the answer that Eldin painted an Industrial Revolution theme, on the ceiling, develops as more than just nostalgic in meaning, and, remembering Marion Seldes' character, Murphy's Aunt Brooke, a window is visualized through which our critical mass of entertained discrepancies are analyzed political sport? 
  Because possibly, in response, something derogatory could have been said about liberal icons to flippantly toss around in that arrogantly self-righteous archaic tone of indifference to this country's complete economic and political evolution? Roy Cohn dart repellent's not a bargain at any price? Too cryptic a description of the manipulation of an aspect public sentiment?
  The Washington Post article's thrust was that the president wouldn't appreciate the gist of the new Murphy Brown show. Possibly just whitewash some anti-religious fervor across her brow while, of course, shrugging off the rest as if insight were worthless without marketing punch directed at a punch drunk American Electorate? Hooray? Because by not facing all that's reality, because the word treason's been so loosely thrown around, is sitting on our hands. Disloyal Americans in the eyes of  some people consumed by their self-righteousness? The Soapbox View as well's been reduced to abandoning a middle  ground and openly taking offense at all the willy-nilly liberties taken in disregarding upright morality's perversion in the face of common sense. Embellishment's abuse is a real question. Serial Waffling
  I wrote May 1998's The Unsinkable Murphy Brown after seeing an Entertainment Tonight announcement that the original Murphy Brown was concluding alongside the mobile throne enthusiast, and closeted biker, Seinfeld. And though the production studio's nearby, all the necessary extra insight for this page was had hearing Ms. English at NYC's Museum of Television History in 1993.
 
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The
September 27, 2018 Premier
  Pursuit of truth's often muddled. Thursday, 9:30 PM EST, Murphy Brown premiered. While that same day a woman testified, before the US Senate Judiciary Committee, symbolizing the country's partisan divide more than the country's waking to an improved civility.  As per usual weighing logic's difficult. But the game of toying with public perception's fairly clear when Senators Ted Cruz and Graham are incensed. Colbert on Kavanaugh Hearing
  Republicans For Merrick Garland! 
  So I watched at 9:30, without verbatimly recalling back when Diane English personally reprimanded me online for my accusation one of her shows used a laugh track. My brief experience before on-line's being split open by the Internet's World Wide Web, led me to want out because of the unencumbered nature of participants' dialogues that clearly pushed boundaries less easily crossed face-to-face. However hooked up is what's happening. And Murphy Brown's back because of her obligation to never give up on the hopes and dreams of all women for everyone.
What's New
  The show started, as advertised, direct and, throughout, wasn't wishy-washy about its' political sympathies. But however received, that first episode, "Fake News," spoke volumes of the value of a writer's vision. Not just another TV show, Murphy Brown put her foot down.    
  It was fun to again watch the writer's covered bases. Corky "totally wore the wrong shoes" to a demonstration. Times march shows a daughter answering her mother's awed delight with, "Who's Murphy Brown?" And Murphy used that, not yet forgotten, expressionist noun, saying, "I'm going back on the air." Maybe not fascinating, but there must be people who don't know air meant medium, except in reference to hot air?
The show's best lines were Frank's, answering Murphy's referring to disheveled producer Miles' bundle of nerves, making uncomfortable sense. "A facility. What like public storage?"
  Sounding dear to the heart Murphy In The Morning is supposed to be, as Frank expressed, "talk about politics without treating it like a sporting event." 
  (... arrogantly flippant ... deliriously self-promotional ... hazard-ly boisterous ... self-reverential ... Free news is the best advertising's been proven time, after time, and time again. ...)
  Episode II's over-the-top plot's sentimental conclusion almost covers up the confrontational highlighted word - lies. Shadowing probably not as effective as the tawdriness covering the newest Supreme Court Justice's political partisan role. If only figures of supreme leadership, raking in adulation, solved anything. Off point, but relevant plea. Bear the rough parts, and the episode I (Don't) Heart Huckabee is a tickler. And, after all, it seems time for more antidotes to sycophantism? 
  Episode III? I need to think a little more. The schlocky sitcom manner didn't knock me for a loop, but has me wondering what I do want to say. Unlike the first two, I'll have to watch again. I want to say what I should and not go on and on just soaking a celebrity topic. Not a fan of that, but this ... Need to think.
  Was Ms. Brown's, first episode, Twitter altercation with President Trump's Twitter Feed a questionable tactic? Fictionalizing the real President of the United States? Still, facing the issues symbolism's priceless. Though literary license probably cut off celebritized oxygen the president could have supplied. Once the real-time dialogue's idea occurred, it obviously had to be thought out and applied. However, as we're easily reminded, literary license doesn't necessarily open the jar's can of worms. And so it goes. Your return's so very welcome, Slugger. 
  How difficult is it perceiving a Stalinesque aura's cult of personality sycophantism's considered politically loyal? Aaaaaaagh! 
The Soapbox View pursues the ornery Legacies of Murphy BrownAndy Rooney 
and I.F. Stone.

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