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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

No News Again 

With each passing day I am further struck by the similarity between our media and that TV show The Prisoner. I can remember when it came out, and it seemed a bit of a stretch after the success of the conventional Dangerman (or Secret Agent). I couldn't figure out how the balloon thing was capturing escapees, or why the hero couldn't get away from this dull Welsh town by hopping on a dull Welsh train.

Most people go on about Number Six and the whole plot thing, but what I had to admire was the view of the townspeople as happy lotus-eaters having a good time and wearing thoses stupid hats and leotards, even though they were prisoners. Presumably they were happy to be taken care of, safe from the depredations of the world outside the village.

Of course you can now see the same story limned in the newspapers, but I doubt it will be as successful.

From the BBC:

Police have apologised for the "hurt" they caused to two brothers arrested on suspicion of terrorism - one of whom was shot during the raid on their home.

Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, and Abul Koyair, 20, were arrested in the 2 June raid on their home in Forest Gate, east London, involving 250 officers.

250 officers, to arrest two men, and they still had to shoot one of them? I think the purpose of these tactics is to convince people that they're lucky to be in the village, as terrorists are everywhere, but it won't work unless they employ the big balloon to swallow suspects whole. News media, however, seem reluctant to do anything but publish bare snippets of government communiqués as they are served up. It would be nice to know a bit more about this story, or about the Toronto Men's and Boys' Fertilizer Club, or about the betrayal of Valerie Plame by a bunch of people, but journalists aren't knocking themselves out trying to get the facts.

It could be that I have just watched too many movies where intrepid reporters work their sources and then run to the nearest payphone with their "scoop". But you'd think common curiosity demands a bit more: Doesn't that seem odd? Don't you think we need to know more about this? And, of course, without more information these stories make no sense and shouldn't be published at all. They are what used to be known as "bosh".


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Watching TV is a good way to tear yourself away from the computer.