James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Christmas killers, foreign & domestic: More proof the world looks better from a distance

Posted by James McPherson on December 28, 2008

The second-most popular CNN story right now is actually a series of photos taken of the Earth by NASA. They include photos of a hurricane, damaged Gulf Coast wetlands, disintegration of a massive ice shelf, flooding in the Midwest, wildfires in California, clearcutting of forests in Bolivia, and irrigated fields in Sudan.

The most-popular story? “Santa shooter carried secret guilt, attorney says.” Not guilt about dressing up as Santa and killing nine people on Christmas Eve, but over how his ineptitude as a parent left his son (a son that until recently he kept secret from his now-murdered ex-wife) a paraplegic.

In the meantime, Israel continues to celebrate the Christmas season by defying the United Nations–keeping with its long tradition of ignoring the UN and recognizing that sanctions only matter when those sanctions are violated by countries the United States want to invade–and waging war against Palestinians.

Israel knew, of course, that it would have the full support of the U.S., even as Bush Administration continues to contribute to a potential polar ice cap-like meltdown of the Middle East.

The New York Times leads with a story about the Israeli bombings entering their second day, but its lead sidebar is headlined, “Israeli Foreign Minister Says Hamas Is to Blame.” Now there’s a shock. The next story is more important, in the long run: “Across Mideast, Thousands Protest Israeli Assault.”

As a more positive offering marking the end of the Christmas season and the hopes for a better New Year,  I’ll end today’s post with a Christmas version of “From a Distance”:

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27 Responses to “Christmas killers, foreign & domestic: More proof the world looks better from a distance”

  1. Ken K. said

    I think the Palestinians consider the Jewish people as invaders, and they may be right. I plan on doing some research on how this situation started. No matter what, it is not right to kill women and children. The U.S. cannot say too much considering how many women and children we killed in Irac the last eight years for no good reason. There is much corruption in the world.

  2. Gabrielle said

    The saddest part of the Santa story was how an eight year old ran to open the door for ‘Santa,’ only to be shot through the face. Last I heard she was recovering in a hospital…physically anyway.

  3. Jane said

    Boy is CNN’s Josh whatever his name is, is playing the MSM propaganda machine by claiming the tunnels in Egyptian sides was to smuggle weapons. What does he think a country is not allowed to defend it’s self. Is he that stupid we cannot see through his puppet speech. My views are not sold for a salary thank god. CNN is making false reports against the Palentinian children who were killed! Shame on CNN. Turned the channel and will not see it again. Back to HDnet, PBS and my non-mind-controlling blogs, radio and tv stations. No excuse to starve a people and prevent them from receiving medical aid. Shame on Israel! Stop the funding they are committing genocide.

  4. WB said

    Where’s all the self-righteous, human right crying reporters from CNN?
    It is a sad fact that military might and propaganda machines dictate what constitute human right in today’s crazy world.

  5. JackOfHeart said

    No doubt, the Gaza Holocausts have proved how unhumain Israelis are. How can innocent women and Children be terrorists? THis only shows the untimate racistm ans selfishness in the jewish faith when everyone but jews considered sub-human. America is to be blamed for this Israeli reckless Holocausts as America is still pretending not seeing anything when the wrong-doers are jews. Its not the USA anymore, but its the “Jew-SA.” If America truely wants peace, then throw ALL foreign-Interest lobbies(AIPAC) out of D.C. This is America, not Israel.

  6. Jeff said

    “Israel continues to celebrate the Christmas season by defying the United Nations–keeping with its long tradition of ignoring the UN and recognizing that sanctions only matter when those sanctions are violated by countries the United States want to invade–and waging war against Palestinians.”

    Where is Justice? Israel is still occupied Palestinians Land and expanding
    the building new community because US government closed eyes.
    Israel has innocent Palestinian people living in a hell. Our real GOD will punish
    Israel for killing people.

  7. JackOfHeart said

    Yeah, and I have one question; After supporting Israel for many years until it drained our economy and our leadership in the world, would Israel return the favor and help us in our economic crises? I don’t think so…… Its an uneven “leaching” relationship that only deserves another shoe in your face, Mr. BUSH. DEPORT BUSH TO ISRAEL..

  8. April said

    The United States will never stop funding Israel.

    Obama will continue the U.S. support for Israel and their murderous rampages. He can’t be bothered to comment on this situation because 1) he’s too busy shopping with his kids in Hawaii, and 2) according to his handlers, “America only has one President at a time and right now that’s George Bush”. Surely he has an opinion. Let’s hear it!! He can talk about the economy and everything else under the sun. Yet he can’t speak about people being slaughtered? Why? Because he might hurt Israel/US relations? Or is it because he thinks Israel is right and justified in their slaughtering of innocent people?

    And why would we stop Israel? We do the same thing to anyone we want. We don’t care. We don’t expect consequences for our actions, and if anyone attempts to rebuke us or hold us accountable we try to justify it with SELF DEFENSE!! We accuse others of hatred for us, or claim they’re being anti-American.

    Sound familiar?

  9. JOlie said

    End. Times.

  10. Josh said

    Come on people.
    I can’t believe no one here even thinks about the Israeli point of view in this situation.
    The only one you should blame for the death of Palestinian Civilians (It was reported by the Palestinian Authority that 90% of those killed were Hamas militants, not innocent women and children…..) is……(drum role please) HAMAS!
    Wow, no surprise here.
    But, I bet most of the people reading this are all pro Palestine…right? Maybe many of you are Muslim Arabs and you could hear all the logic in the world and still think I’m full of crap.
    I know. I’m not expecting anyone here to be convinced. But I had to say something.
    Hamas is causing all this mess. Why shouldn’t Israel want to defend itself against CONSTANT rocket attacks? Suicide Bombers? Why should Israel allow People in that just want to kill them? Can anyone here give my one solid argument? I don’t think you can.
    I think everyone here needs to take a long deep breath and look at him/herself in the mirror and really ask yourself, am I full of shit?

  11. Hareega said

    The Palestinians shot a few rockets on ISrael that did not kill anyone. Israel is responding by destroying the whole city and will soon be invading it. 304 people died, just like 1000 (mostly civilians) died in Lebanon before. Americans should realize that criticizing ISrael and calling it with its real name -a terror state- is not an anti-semite statement, and the ISraeli actions should be strongly condemned because they are against humanity. It’s the ultimate hypocricy calling suicide killings acts of terror while throwing bombs on houses stacked with innocent people is called acts of self-defence.

  12. JackOfHeart said

    This is what Israel is; the highest form of terrorism directed at children and innocent people. Would you ever believe that those who claim to be victims of the terrible holocausts are now doing it to other people?????!!!! THis only proves one thing…..that Hitler knew more about jews than we did. I only wish the ovens were bigger! Yes the end is very near and Jesus is comming….only to cast those Israelis (Anti-Christ) and those that follow them and support them in the hell fire.

  13. xtina said

    God help those people in Gaza, if the *astard Israelis allowed supply to get through they could at least treat their injured and get food and warming fuel in to civilians. But they are denying that too. I am not an anti Semite, but Israel’s cause lost me a long time ago. The Likud has grabbed the country by the short hairs and they are on the road to imminent disaster – much like what has happened to us here in the US. How they quail at the thought of the US leaving Iraq! Cry for the children – they are the ones paying for this mess.

  14. George Vreeland Hill said

    Arabs are scum.
    I hope Israel blows every last one of them off the face of the earth.
    HamASS fires rockets in Israel, kills people, and protests.
    What is Israel to do?
    Israel is right.
    Gaza needs to be cleaned out of the scum that hides there.
    9/11 and all other attacks by Allah’s scum will be dealt with by the United States, Israel, and all peace loving nations.
    Go to hell Islam.

    George Vreeland Hill

  15. Bentley said

    I was riding home a few weeks ago and saw a small demonstration of Orthodox Jews for Palestine. I found that heartening. And then yesterday, we were going shopping and passed what we later discovered to be the lower end of a demonstration of Palestinians in front of the Israeli consulate. In the news report, they showed a great gathering of Palestinians and their supporters on one side of the road, and a small crowd of supporters of Israel on the other. Invectives hurtled from one side of the road to the other while passions mounted. Finally, the Palestinians surged en mass across Bloor to the Israelis and …

    And nothing, really. Continued to debate, continued to argue, continued to hurl invectives, but didn’t clash, didn’t fight; no blood was shed. It might just be something they put in the water here, but I found it striking that the angry mobs could act with more civility than the governments they support.

    JackOffHeart ought to come here to Toronto; he might learn something about tolerance and how to voice dissent.
    At least let me offer him some water. It’d be the Christian thing to do.

  16. Elijah said

    God protects Israel: if not His protection thousands of Palestinian rockets fired into Israel from Gaza for the last 6 years would have killed thousands of people.
    Jews were punished already by God during the Holocaust. Ever since then Jews had favor from God. But also Jews were the first people God has chosen to reveal Himself to and the fact they survived since then shows that God has a special place in His heart for Jews. Those who hate Jews in their hearts like JackOfHeart are posessed by Devil and are blinded by him so they can’t see the truth. Those who hate Jews are real Anti-Christ. The Bible says Jesus was born a Jew and lived as a Jew. He came to save Jews and non-Jews but first he came to the Jews. He will never betray his people when he’ll come again. Merry Christmas!

  17. OpenEye said

    JackofHeart, I am astonished at your comments and generalizations. I’m not Jewish, but even I understand that NOT ALL JEWS are murdering people right now, and those that are, aren’t truly Jewish. Nor are all Jews responsible for the death of Jesus. It’s intolerance like yours that makes the world a sad, angry place.

    I assume you never heard of the Crusades? Ongoing bloodbaths, they were, all in the name of Christianity.

    Fundamentalists on all sides give religion a bad name, but one ought not to extrapolate from these whacked out fundamentalists that all in such a religion are representative of them.

  18. Paul R said

    I am terrified more and more when I read these posts, the dumbing down of America has been expanded to the dumbing down of the entire world. I hear one person stating non-mind controling news like PBS (my mouthful of coffee has painted the wall in front of me a slight coffee color) are you serious? Propaganda is their mainstay. And then when people condemn Israel for defending themselves from rockets raining down on them form Hamas they are supposed to be wrong? They are supposed to wait for what the UN (anti semetic) to stop Hamas from killing their people? Heck no, bomb on I say. You are the same mind set that did not stop the murder of my people in America (Native Americans) but sure did enjoy the fruits of those murders and supression of us.

  19. James McPherson said

    Thanks for the comments, folks, even those apparent racists among you who manage to weaken your arguments with such ignorant invectives as “Hitler knew more about the Jews than we did. I only wish the ovens were bigger!” or “Arabs are scum. … Go to hell Islam.”

    It’s good for the rest of us on both sides to be reminded that you’re walking among us, further complicating any efforts toward peace.

  20. justplainbill said

    1. Q’Ran 8:12-15 “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers; smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.” Colloquially: Behead and maim them.

    2. Q’Ran 2:191 “And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out … such is the reward of those who suppress faith.” In context, Allah gave the world to The Faithful, everywhere that Islam is not, is where Islam has been “turned out.”

    3. For your reference library I suggest: MacMillan “Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World”; Klocek “The Heartland Plan: federal government for the taxpayer, by the taxpayer and of the taxpayer”; Gutzman “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the U.S. Constitution”; Bartlett “Wrong on Race”; Mapp “Thomas Jefferson; the Enigma”; Hamilton “The Federalist Papers”; and Ketcham “The Anti-Federalist Papers.” You may consider adding Safire’s “Political Dictionary” as well.

    4. In “The Heartland Plan” at appendix A a copy of “The Cryer Memorandum” is included. It is the legal proof that taxation of personal income by the federal government under the 1787 constitution is both illegal and unconstitutional; appendix C has a summation of and quotes with citations from “The Q’Ran” which include Allah’s commands to kill all Jews and Christians, that Jews and Christians are the sworn enemies of Islam, that slavery, rape and murder of Infidels are among Allah’s highest commands.

  21. justplainbill said

    5. For more, visit: http://www.justplainbill.wordpress.com

  22. Gabrielle said

    Oh my God. That parent who stopped by and threw a hissy fit about Jim’s supposedly hateful blogging needs to stop by and read the comments. THIS BLOG IS NOT HATEFUL. “Hitler knew more about the Jews than we did. I only wish the ovens were bigger!” – IS!

  23. James McPherson said

    Thanks, Gabrielle. Being a big believer in free expression, I’ve never blocked anything other than spam–but a few of the folks commenting here the past couple of days (typically anonymously, of course) are pushing the limits and may force me to change my position on that. For some folks, apparently invective substitutes for insight.

  24. April said

    I’ll have a serious debate with the pro-Israel side on the day that you stop proclaiming people to be anti-Semites if they criticize Israel. I’ll have a serious debate with the pro-Israel side on the day that you stop throwing the Holocaust out there whenever someone criticizes Israel. We’re not talking about the Holocaust!! We’re talking about the here and now!!

    The fact of the matter is that what Israel is doing is not self defense. It’s called murder. It’s called slaughter. It’s called genocide. It’s not self defense when a government knowingly and willingly denies even a single person medicine, food, water, and other supplies necessary for survival. It’s not self defense when a government murders innocent people while FALSELY proclaiming to make every effort to avoid civilian deaths. It’s BS, and everyone knows it.

    The day Israel accepts responsibility for its ILLEGAL and IMMORAL actions is the day that hell freezes over. It will never happen because 1) Israel never has and never will accept responsibility for anything it does, 2) Israel never believes it is wrong, 3) Israel believes that it is above any international laws, 4) Israel will always have the United States kissing its ass, and 5) the United States will continue to fund and support Israel’s crimes because the United States behaves the same way.

  25. Don’t change that policy, Jim! This could potentially be a great learning opportunity for Whitworth students. As you said, it’s good for us to know that this kind of horrific, wild-eyed, fixated mindset is still rampant.

    This is an encouragement to question the perspectives we’re instructed to take – especially in Core classes 🙂

  26. […] Christmas killers, foreign & domestic: More proof the world looks better from a distance […]

  27. […] Christmas killers, foreign & domestic: More proof the world looks better from a distance […]

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