American Newspeak

Advanced War Spinning

By Wayne Grytting

Objectivity in the News Dept.

Faced with the bewildering hatred of America in the Middle East and the need to solidify support for the Crusade at home, the Wall Street Journal posed the following question to a panel of distinguished advertising executives: "Should we try new national advertising in a time of crisis?" Among the few who answered in the negative was Cheryl Berman, chief creative officer for Leo Burnett USA. "I wouldn't try it," she argued. "The news stations are already doing that for us." (WSJ 9/21/01)

"Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You..."

The new willingness of lobbyists to serve their country was in evidence as Kenneth J. Kies, one of Washington's top corporate lobbyists, declared it would have been not only irresponsible, but unpatriotic for him to have refrained from seeking repeal of the corporate minimum income tax. "I wouldn't be doing the job," he said, "not necessarily for my clients -- but for my country if I wasn't being helpful in terms of offering ideas that can be helpful in stimulating the economy." His patriotic ideas -- $1.4 billion for IBM, $832 million for General Motors... (WP 11/11/01)

Lawyer Math

What is the value of any of the lives lost on September 11th? As the New York Times put it, "In measuring the value of a lost life, lawyers often say that dollars are inadequate..." Then they reach for their calculators. Compensation to the families of the 5,000 victims will be based partially on estimates off pain and suffering. But the crucial factor is loss of potential income. According to attorneys James Kreindler and Alan Fuchsberg, the family of a married 28-year-old sales executive with one child, making $500,000 a year, could expect about $25 million. But the family of an unmarried 42-year-old firefighter who went to rescue such a sales executive could expect about $100,000. We might call it "Operation Infinite Justice." (NYT 11/11/01)

Joe McCarthy Look-alike Contest

Lynne Cheney, wife to the Vice-President, heads an organization called the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, that has entered the forefront of groups defending the security of our nation with the publication of a study aptly called "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America..." The study reports that historically, "when a nation's intellectuals are unwilling to defend its civilization, they give comfort to its adversaries." Citing the names of forty academics who've been inadequately patriotic, the study concluded that, "college and university faculty have been the weak link in America's response to the attack." It's actually kind of an honor. I'm betting most history professors have had no clue how important their writings are to America's security. (

Advanced Numbing

Clear Channel Communications, owners of 1,200 radio stations nationwide, responded to the September 11th tragedy by "graylisting" 150 songs labeled "lyrically questionable." In what management described as a "grassroots movement," the nation's largest radio chain suggested to disc jockeys they not play songs that failed to " support a high level of patriotism."

From that list, here are the Top Ten worst offenders: 1. ''Imagine'' by John Lennon, 2. ''Peace Train'' by Cat Stevens, 3. Louis Armstrong's ''What a Wonderful World,'' 4. ''Bridge Over Troubled Water'' by Simon and Garfunkel, 5. Neil Diamond's ''America,'' 6. ''Ticket to Ride'' by the Beatles, 7. ''On Broadway'' by the Drifters, 8. ''American Pie'' by Don McLean, 9. "Get Together," by The Youngbloods, 10. All songs by Rage Against the Machine.

This puts us in the Guiness Book of World Records as the world's first society ever to concieve the possibility of censoring Neil Diamond. (NYT 9/19/01)

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