Slog: News & Arts

RSS icon Comments on "Here Are Our Guests."


Interesting. Fortunately this sort of thing won't happen here in the US of A. Too much money is at stake to upset the flow.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | November 7, 2007 5:09 PM

Well, now I feel like a dick for whining about abstinence education and Pat Robertson all day.

Posted by Dan Savage | November 7, 2007 5:23 PM

I find myself wondering what, say, Dan Lewis and Kathy Goertzen would do in such a situation.

Posted by Seth Kolloen | November 7, 2007 6:03 PM


Ask most TV reporters and they'll probably tell you it's already too late for the U.S.; thanks to media deregulation during the 1980's, and subsequent consolidation, the teeth have already effectively been extracted from television news journalism.

Were the kind of political disturbances that are currently occuring in places like Georgia and Myanmar ever to happen in this country, there would be liitle need for the government to send in special forces to shut down TV news bureaus; station management will already be standing by ready to flip the "off" switch at a moment's notice.

Posted by COMTE | November 7, 2007 6:10 PM

Could y'all provide a link to the embedded video so I can cross post it please.

Posted by K X One | November 7, 2007 7:00 PM

wow. chilling is the right word. very V for Vendetta. but real.

Posted by konstantConsumer | November 7, 2007 7:01 PM

I knew I wouldn't have to wait long for a Naomi Klein style "it's happening here now" comment or a Noam Chomsky style "the capitalist-media complex has already made this happen here" comment, and Comte didn't disappoint.

News flash to leftists whose world-view is threatend by anything that suggests that the U.S. is not the most evil thing ever: you aren't convincing anybody. The U.S. has many faults, but ruthless government supression of political dissent is not one of them. I'd glad to see that Dan Savage still has enough hard-boiled journalist in him to keep his perspective on this.

Posted by David Wright | November 7, 2007 7:04 PM

@5: You can click within any YouTube video to get to the original page, which contains the embed code.

Posted by Sam M. | November 7, 2007 7:04 PM

Bloody hell.

Posted by Michigan Matt | November 7, 2007 7:26 PM

So much for the article in Monday's NYT where a spokesman for Sakashvili referred to the protests as a healthy part of democracy.

Posted by Gitai | November 7, 2007 7:44 PM

David @7: although I agree that we are lucky that we don't face anything like the people of Georgia, Comte has a point. We may never see this kind of overt supression of political dissent, but as media outlets are consolidated, it becomes easier for the government to use backdoor methods of controlling the information we receive. Moyer's documentary "Selling the War" did a good job of highlighting how that's possible.

On the other hand, I'd love to see how Jim Foreman would handle something like this,

Posted by Bridgette | November 7, 2007 8:08 PM

Yes, thank you David for your expert analysis. Next time I need to check the pulse of the current state of the news media, I'll be sure not to ask people who, like, you know, actually work in the industry - I'll just wait for you to impart your obviously superior knowledge on the rest of us.

And you DO understand that positing a hypothetical situation, as I did, isn't at all the same thing as saying it's actually going to occur, right?

No, for actual examples of the suppression of political speech in this country, one only needs to ask a few people:

- Ask Jeff and Nicole Rank whether the suppression of political speech exists in this country.

- Ask the members of dozens of law-abiding organizations who were put under covert surveillance by the NYPD prior to the 2004 Republican Convention whether law enforcement agencies in this country ever attempt to suppress political speech.

- Ask the tens of thousands of law-abiding protestors who have been herded into "free speech zones", not because they posed a physical threat to anyone, but because they posed a political threat, whether this administration has ever attempted to suppress political speech.

- Ask the UC Santa Cruz students who ended up on a Pentagon "credible threat list" for peacefully demonstrating against army recruitment on their own campus, whether the military has ever attempted to suppress political speech in this country.

- Ask the Morton West High School students who just a couple of days ago were suspended, and may be expelled, for peacefully protesting military recruiters on their own campus, whether people in authority ever attempt to suppress political speech in this country.

I could go on-and-on, but maybe you're starting to get the point.

Sure, none of these incidents involved being forced to the ground with a gun to anyone's head, but that doesn't make the attempts on the part of the people in power any less ruthless.

But then, I suppose it all depends on what your definition of "ruthless" is, right?


Posted by COMTE | November 7, 2007 8:35 PM

If thats the case then Kieth Olbermann is a Bush stooge who they let just go on and on how effed up president and his gang are. Wheres the parallel

Posted by suflex | November 7, 2007 9:11 PM

I haven't finished watching the video so I don't mean to sound like a dick, but my first impression is that the set at the one station with the bright orange paper is HOT TO DEATH. I could look at that for hours. Also: so is the male newscaster.

Posted by chermo | November 7, 2007 9:37 PM

It is happening here! Comte refers to the Ranks who were arrested by the Secret Service for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts at an event where President Cretin was due to snicker and snort and drool.

Needless to say, the Commander-in-Criminal-Chicanery only appears before pre-sanitized audiences: the Lock-Steppers, the 29%ers and palsied clutches of Scared Straight American White Men.

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | November 7, 2007 9:56 PM

No ruthless government here, huh?

I invite anyone who thinks that to come and meet me out for a few drinks some night so they can tell that to my scarred face.

Posted by Packratt | November 7, 2007 10:34 PM

@ 8 thanks!

Those videos are chilling.

Posted by K X One | November 8, 2007 12:23 AM

Comte: Is that really you at 12 or is that someone trying to make you look the fool?

Posted by David Wright | November 8, 2007 1:41 AM

Comte: Is that really you at 12 or is that someone trying to make you look the fool?

Your evidence for ruthless supression of political opposition are some high school students that weren't allowed to hold a protest in the halls of their school and some people who were wrongly asked to leave by some dumb, over-eager secret service agents and later got an $80K settlement from the government for their trouble? Oh, and "free speech zones" are not a creation of "this administration". They date back at least to the Clinton administration and are employed primarily by the municipal governemnts of such right-leaning cities as New York, Seattle, and San Francisco.

And then you imply that these incidents should be classified as "ruthless supression" by any reasonable definition of the term. Oh yeah, and then you call me an "Assberg", whatever that is.

Yes, that post is clearly the work of an impostor trying to make you look bad.

Posted by David Wright | November 8, 2007 1:51 AM

Yah, I *think* the trouble is really in Georgia here folks. Why does the world have to revolve around the United States in everything we think and do even when here, the REAL situation and tragedy is in another country. Let's feel sorry for the folks in Georgia for okay, can we do it? 5 seconds before making this into an argument about the United States? A little respect people.

Posted by Kristin Bell | November 8, 2007 2:14 AM
Why does the world have to revolve around the United States in everything we think and do even when here, the REAL situation and tragedy is in another country. Let's feel sorry for the folks in Georgia for okay, can we do it?

Yes, let's all feel sorry for the Georgians. That will help.

Or, let's take a minute to consider that the evolving situation in former Eastern Bloc nations has the potential to result in direct conflicts with Western European border nations. We might also consider that, having bankrupted ourselves with a massive trade imbalance and a war that is essentially a giant giveaway to the remnants of our Cold War military industrial complex, the United States might actually be incapable -- materially incapable -- of intervening in such a conflict.

I guess that's the part that kind of concerns me.

Posted by Judah | November 8, 2007 6:50 AM

Would Ken Schramm have the fortitude to step up and give them a Schrammie?

Posted by RonK, Seattle | November 8, 2007 9:57 AM

"Ruthless, adj. Without pity or compassion."

You were the one who attempted to frame the debate in terms of that word, not me. Please review examples cited, and get back to me when you can refute that any of them (or the scores of other examples out there that could have been used in their place) DON'T fit that definition.

If you wanted to frame the debate in terms of say, violent suppression of political expression in this country, well there are likewise plenty of examples from which to choose, but let's just pick some of the highlights: the Bay View Massacre, The Haymarket Riots, The Chehalis and Everett Massacres, the Seattle General Strike, the Ludlow Massacre, Kent State, The 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention riots, the murder by federal agents of Blank Panther Party members Mark Clark and Fred Hampton, the seige of Wounded Knee SD by federal agents in 1973, the firebombing of Operation MOVE HQ in Philadelphia in 1985 - and oh, a little thing we here like to call "the battle in Seattle" - just for starters - does any of THAT ring a bell?

Anyone who makes the absurd assertion that agencies of local, state and the federal government haven't engaged in violent suppression of political speech in this country really ought to take a refresher course in U.S. History.

Or, maybe you just go back to peddling LaRouche screeds in front of the QFC.

Posted by COMTE | November 8, 2007 11:20 AM

Government: A body of people

It always amuses (ironic use) that people refer to ruthless "government." Government is just a body of people that constructs an identity. The events you refer to, Comte, while terrible result from TONS of different situations that involve the government (ie a body of people) but aren't influenced only by them. The hysteria around the Haymarket Riots wasn't a result of just the corrupt government of the time, but also the common person's fear of labor unions, a whole new body of people. Unless you hold to the conspiracy that the "Government" set off the bombs in order to kill the policemen so they could frame the anarcists?

Posted by Marty | November 8, 2007 12:58 PM

I'm not at all convinced the Chicago authorities had anything to do with the Haymarket bombing per-se, but clearly the enormous level of violence inflicted on strikers, unionists, and their supporters by police and state militias during the previous year, and leading up to the May 1886 riots was unquestionably a contributing factor.

Posted by COMTE | November 8, 2007 1:45 PM

Sure, but you can blame the private security groups hired by businesses as much as the government... after all, Washington was loathe to send soldiers in until the violence had esculated to the point where only trained soldiers could knock it down. And the strikers weren't innocent of violence, either. If anything, I've always made the assumption that our government is violent because we as a people are pretty violent.

Posted by Marty | November 9, 2007 6:44 AM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).