The Taming Of The Truth

Posted on June 24, 2012. Filed under: KBR | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

7th in the series The Great Cluster Fu...   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices.

Your words for the day

  • milieu = surrounding environment              
  • WAG = wild ass guess (your acronym for the day)

Two quick notes here:

  1. I really hate to paint the following picture for you, but it has to be done.
  2. I was saving this for toasts in later posts, but, go ahead and get out that bottle of Georgia wine (from the country, not the state) and have that glass handy.  Use as needed like Tums or Alka-Seltzer to settle your stomach.

Okay.  Here we go —

Super Dan standing on the high ground, wide stance, knuckles turned against hips, elbows out, red cape gently billowing in the breeze.  Shoulders back, chin jutted forward in fearless challenge, eyes panning the landscape with a steely gaze (like a photo op for Superman, himself…  ?   Oh, no!  That will never do.  Instead of those blue tights, let’s make that a medium blue 3-piece suit.  If he insists, he can wear red boxers — just not on the outside.)  he assesses the playing field.  To his right, at his feet, an at-the-ready milking stool;  to his left, an upscale leather brief case dubbed “the bag of tricks.”  Ear buds firmly in place, iPod securely clipped to his belt, he listens to a chorus of adding machines singing out a soothing string of numbers punctuated here and there with dollar signs, and, way down there to the right, a decimal point.  Mightily, he wants this to happen.

Meanwhile, back on Earth…

  • His client is an ill soldier (WAG) who, ostensibly, contracted his malady as a result of his duty assignment during US combat operations.  He belongs to the military;  can’t sue them.
  • His client was working in close proximity to civilians on a project ordered by the US military in a war zone.  No money in suing individuals.
  • Those civilians were contracted by a US corporation…   a very large corporation.  It’s just that blasted “acts of war” thing, like garlic to a vampire (a competing blood-sucker) that keeps Danny Boy’s grasping fingers just out of reach.

But, what if…?  If only he could get that corporation relocated to an unprotected non-war zone, there might be possibilities for hooking up the old milk machine.  Bring ’em back to the good ol’ Litigation Nation where the juries really like to see the big ones fall.  Danny Boy perked right up;  the game is afoot!

Danny Boy’s salt shakers trembled with anticipation.  He realized he didn’t really need to relocate the mark corporation.  Consider the old drama class in high school — maybe college.  Like a theater production, the actors hold their places on stage while the stage hands drop a different scene behind them.  The script remains unchanged, but, the new background changes the context of the actions and dialogue.

EXISTING SCENE:  A shooting war in which events are a chess game between opposing military commanders who move their forces (troops, equipment, and civilian personnel) into places and situations based on operational requirements bound to operational time lines NOT predicated on CAREFULLY RESEARCHED SAFETY FACTORS AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDIES.  These forces report resistance from, and other impediments to, the targeted objectives TO SPECIFIED COMMANDERS (i.e., they follow the chain of command).  In military operations, first ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVE!  THEN report casualties and other loses.  Such is war.

THE DREAM SCENE:    What war?

Wow!  I repeat, WOW!   Danny Boy has some really big salt shakers.

Next up:  Truth.  Beauty.  Mud.  It’s in the eye

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, litigator, sued, cluster, deposition, hexavalent chromium

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“The People Have A Right To Know”

Posted on May 4, 2012. Filed under: Constitution, Journalism, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

In the movies, the justification given by our character of sleaze as to why he/she felt compelled to publish a personally harmful/embarrassing story (usually in the tabloid venue) with no societal relevance, is:  “The people have a right to know.”  I’ll have to take the movies’ lead on this since I have never had the opportunity to confront a gossip monger and demand to know why she/he felt compelled to print such harmful material.

But, rights are spelled out in the Constitution.  Nowhere did I see an open-ended clause saying, “The People have a right to know.”  It does say the People have a right to blab what they know, but, nowhere does it command that The People be informed of anything.  Do I really have to know that Councilman Big Shot had a bed-wetting problem when he was a child…  or NOW, for that matter?  In the pursuit of my alleged “right to know,” is it right for me or anyone else to snoop around in people’s private lives looking for embarrassing anecdotes?

Would The People also have a right NOT to know?  Oh…   yeah!  You just change the channel or don’t buy the offending publication.  But, the purveyors of sleaze (a.k.a., The Press) know what The People will buy, and the popularity and profitability of their product attest to that acuity.  People like to see others as less than themselves.  By golly, we just need someone to pick on.  It is especially satisfying to see persons from a higher moral, social, or economic plane get a little mud on their halos, evening gowns, and tax returns.  And, if we join others in the ridicule of some hapless (preferably defenseless) target, we have a common bond in the cowardly persecution of another…   we belong to something bigger than ourselves.  It isn’t right (read “moral”), but, it is legal.  And, it is an indigent part of the uglier side of human nature.

Pandering to humanity’s darker side does produce larger audiences (read “big bucks”).  Going native (cheap and petty) now and then seems to bring in the customers for even the “classier” media, possibly more so for broadcast than the legitimate press.  How much mileage did media of all kind get out of flaying the psyche of that young entertainer caught in the wallow of sudden fame?  Paparazzi, tabloids, entertainment media, main stream news media, all joining to publicly ridicule a lone soul derailed by the suddenness and scope of celebrity status.  Did you people get a real thrill out of beating up on a kid?

Her every move documented, her every misstep ridiculed.  Why, you even pretended to be concerned with the “Well, she’s in rehab…   again!  (Wink)  (Wink)”  news lead-in.  As a matter of speculation, how  much did negative and malicious press contribute to her troubles?

But, all of you (and , this includes the morning DJs who feel compelled to deliver a good-morning laugh at someone else’s expense, have sure as hell made it to my piss ant list.  Which list, under MY freedom of expression, I have the right to maintain.  And, I have no legal obligation to leave you OFF the list.  To restate your own mantra, “Pandering media has the right to know that they are piss ants.”

Next up:  Yellow journalism is alive and well

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