Media Matters found this gem on the Fox News Channel yesterday. Aside from the comments themselves, which are unreal…the story highlights in such a dramatic way the bizarre commentator/newcaster role the Fox people play. I assume this was in the role as purveyor of the news:
KILMEADE: And he [British Prime Minister Tony Blair] made the statement, clearly shaken, but clearly determined. This is his second address in the last hour. First to the people of London, and now at the G8 summit, where their topic Number 1 –believe it or not– was global warming, the second was African aid. And that was the first time since 9-11 when they should know, and they do know now, that terrorism should be Number 1. But it’s important for them all to be together. I think that works to our advantage, in the Western world’s advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened.
VARNEY: It puts the Number 1 issue right back on the front burner right at the point where all these world leaders are meeting. It takes global warming off the front burner. It takes African aid off the front burner. It sticks terrorism and the fight on the war on terror, right up front all over again.
Rarely do conservatives so nakedly admit the benefits of terrorist attacks, but Kilmeade’s analysis is right on point. It does benefit the Bush Administration (presumably the “our” of the quotation) when a terrorist attack happens. It serves all kinds of purposes–diverting attention from other concerns, threatening liberals, and demonizing the enemy, to name a few. No rational person–no matter what the Fauxcasters would have us believe–feels anything but sorrow for the people of London who suffered in this attack, but we must fight against the politicians who would exploit their deaths just as surely as the terrorists who committed the acts.
Terrorism is not the number one issue, no matter how often Bush and Fox say it is. When Varney uses the story to justify not talking about “minor” issues like African aid and global warming, it demonstrates the self-centered, circular logic of terror talk. The more fear we create, the more important it becomes, and the more power it has over us. By pushing terrorism to the forefront of the agenda, rather than the 500,000 children who die in Ethiopia because of preventable disease and malnutrition, we make ourselves unable to see a world where that can be prevented. We make ourselves unable to see a world without violence and conflict at the forefront. We make ourselves constant victims of a terror that is largely self-created.
So when the G8 agrees to what sounds like an enormous aid package for Africa, we must remember that our limited vision keeps it from being enough. Our focus on military solutions and securitization, rather than affirmation of the importance of all life on this globe, has consequences. Oxfam’s Joe Leadbetter contextualizes the limits on thisG8 assistance package, demonstrating how much more could be done–if we choose.
The G-8’s aid increase could save the lives of 5 million children by 2010 – but 50 million children’s lives will still be lost because the G-8 didn’t go as far as they should have done.
July 8th Google News Tally:
“Shasta Groene”: 3,560
“Natalee Holloway”: 11,500
Karl Rove Plame:808