Reflections In The Shallow End Of The Pool

Few things I would like to touch on today, with no rhyme and reasonable, as they say.

Khaled Meshaal is a big name in the news, but not someone you’ve been informed of in the aftermath of Prince Osama marrying Kate Middleton.  Pivotal, in fact.  Hamas and the Palestinian Authority yesterday reached an agreement.  With Reuters calling it a reconciliation deal and The Washington Post dubbing it a unity accord (do note the Post spells Meshaal with one A), Egypt brokered a deal bringing the feuding factions together.  I highly suggest you read up on it for yourself, because I’m not reporting on the topic.  I’m a cryptojournalist, I do no real reporting.  C’mon folks, you should know this by now.

BUT…..there is a lot of cryptojournalist grist to mill from this story, especially the lack of coverage.  While the world has marveled at Saudi British royalty marrying a commoner and the grizzly aftermath in the old colony of Pakistan, real news is happening.  Christ, I’m as guilty as anyone even substantiating two people I’ll never know getting married.

Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal coming together practically begins to line the whole Eastern basin of the Mediterranean, Turkey aside, against Israel.  Problem.  I have a cousin who married an Israeli and moved there.  Which, on an altogether tangential note, I’ve always found slightly crazy.  We’re in the midst of a bank holiday over the last week’s antics, and the world keeps moving.  Which leads me to a major flaw in the contemporary presentation of news and information.

“Khaled Meshaal” is not a popular phrase.  It’s priority is low on search engines.  Thus, it is not news.  Sure, news is reported on him by a few intrepid news bureaus.  In fact, the whole Palestinian deal is more an archival piece.  Because it’s not news.  A priority it is not.  Egypt brokering peace between Abbas’ government and Hamas is actually important.  Yes those are italics.  There will be consequences.  Major power shifts with consequences are usually news.  Now?  Not if it doesn’t buzz search engines.

Hell, we’d be lucky to get Channel Six to do a feature.  Maybe send Arnie Pye, he is the eye in the sky.

If only American journalists had their integrity

On another note, I came across this article from Newsday, Long Island pre-eminent newspaper (WOOF).  Reporting on a young dude from the Island getting jail time for his part in the 2011 Albany Kegs and Eggs Riots Melee Ruckus.  I prefer the term ruckus, because drunk college students do not have the wherewithal or huevos to muster a real riot.  The French riot.  Egyptians and Tunisians riot.  Boozed out collegiates failing to flip a car is no more than a ruckus.  Isn’t even an NFL team winning the Super Bowl.  But the local tabloid in Albany believes it a riot.  Reported as much.  So did the Boston Fox outlet.  Big whoop.

The Keep Albany Boring website does a tidy job of collecting most of the relevant YouTube clips from this epic riot of righteous indignation.  Drunk antics, barely amounting to shenanigans.  Hell, two of the featured clips from this escapade are dudes (the technical term for inebriated college aged men) smashing up a couple of imports.  They didn’t even flip them, a moderate indicator of riot potential.  Some of the Ghandiesque quotes from this exercise in civil disobedience.

“Glad it’s not my car”

“This is amazing”

“Dude that’s so fucked up”

That multiple outlets would substantiate these imbecilic acts as riotous is silly.  When Newsday refuses to call it a riot, that’s the cake taking five.  It’s a small town making big news out of small potatoes.  If anything, the legacy will be more overtime for the police department next year.  News?  Only when you try really hard to make it news.

Like plenty of these posts, I hope the 6 or 7 people reading this realize one thing: think critically.  Just because your local paper frames something as a riot, does not mean there was a riot.  Words, like everything else, are subjective.

One more point on the subjectivity of words, real quick, then you can get back to something vital, like finding a good recipe for Cinco de Mayo margaritas.  My personal hero and the harbinger of the American dream, Jeff Immelt, has been in the news recently.  Bloomberg had a short article covering his stepping down as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  You know, cause he was already president of General Electric at the time.  Oh, and he was also in charge of Barack Obama’s “President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.”

Giving an “increased demands” quote as the reason, and not that the trifecta is the sort of corporatism to make Benito Mussolini proud, is glossing over the asinine nature of things these days.  I certainly did not know Jeffrey Immelt was a president of a Federal Reserve branch.  Let alone he was for a moment while also cavorting around the nation as whatever the head of a council on jobs and competitiveness is while heading GE.  Absolutely crazy.  Wildly conflicted.  Only in America.  When Kent Brockman and Arnie Pye are the torch bearers for honest, grounded, credible news, well, what do you expect?  If it’s not a priority, it’s not news.  And too often, priority information does not make it through the maze of search engine optimization.  Almost makes finding good information a lost cause.

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