CSotD: West Side Stories

Cartoonists are focusing on a few major stories and therefore everything today could be a Juxtaposition. For instance, Michael Ramirez mocks the notion that Israel is being urged not to set off a major war in the Middle East by responding to Iran’s launching of missiles and drones.

Added to some similar expressions from other cartoonists, it would seem there is strong conservative sentiment for war, and the obvious answer from the anti-war side of things would be to point out that Tehran was responding to Israel’s targeting of the Iranian diplomatic mission in Syria.

The response to that being that “They began it” makes lovely lyrics for West Side Story, but the point of the song there is that both sides make the claim and that things go back so far that it really doesn’t much matter who hit who first.

By the same token, neither side is innocent, and if I were God (or Yahweh or Allah) I would threaten to turn this universe around and go back home if they didn’t all stop it right now.

Which, if you like to believe in divine justice, makes climate change a reason to start gathering two of very kind of animal, because the water sure is rising.

Another side of the argument is voiced by Patrick Chappatte, who acknowledges the US plea for Israel to play it cool, boy, real cool, which, if you remember the play, didn’t stop things from boiling over.

“But, Riff, the UN is neutral territory” gets answered with “I’m gonna make nice. I’m only gonna challenge him.”

Gandhi famously said that an eye for an eye leads to the whole world going blind, which seems an ironic bit of wisdom considering how he ended up and what’s at stake in India’s upcoming elections.

Howsoever, Chappatte is correct that Biden cannot simply order a halt to what’s going on in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Iran seems intent on proving that continuing to supply Israel with weapons is reasonable, though it would be nice if we could impose greater control over how they are used. Rob Rogers (TinyView) points out that supporting Israel’s right to exist tangles us up in supporting some other, less defensible policies.

And Bill Bramhall notes that we seem to be able to help Israel avoid aerial attacks but for some reason are unwilling to offer assistance to Ukraine to do the same.

Matt Davies blames the Freedom Forum and Mike Johnson for our sudden lack of support for Ukraine, though Johnson seems only to be acting this way because he’s scared of Moscow Marge, who hates being called Moscow Marge but won’t change her views to avoid making the nickname fit.

And while Davies is correct that the Russia branch of Congress is sitting back while Ukraine plunges to its doom, I disagree with his symbolism because Ukraine didn’t jump.

They were pushed, and, Moscow Marge’s view of things notwithstanding, the idea that Russia simply wants a little piece of Donbas, a little piece of Crimea, (That’s not from West Side Story) is both ahistorical and utterly asinine.

In the end, Sharon Murdoch may have the best viewpoint on all this, because the realities of international relations have bound us to Israel, which in turn has bound us to Netanyahu, and however that came about, here we are, being dragged willy-nilly over the brink.

The term comes from “will he or nil he,” which translates as “whether it was his intention or he opposed it.” Lovely expression.

Let’s move on to a more domestic disaster, and this one can be cast as a

Juxtaposition of the Day

Steve Breen — Creators

Scott Stantis

The issue requires a little digging if you want to understand it, but for those who hate NPR, understanding Uri Berliner’s long, involved attack on his employer is not simply optional but would ruin a good chance to dig in against them.

The internal response initially was mostly stunned silence, though CEO Katharine Maher managed to send out a flabby internal memo reminding everyone that things remain hunky-dory, if you believe that, as the Pointed Man told Oblio, a point in every direction is the same as no point at all.

NPR does have a spot on the political spectrum, unlike, say, the NY Post, which is doggedly neutral.

Fortunately for those who are trying to find out WTF it’s all about, some more serious responses have emerged, including David Folkenflik’s internal reporting on the matter, Steve Inskeep’s reflections on how it’s actually going down within NPR’s hallways and this unflattering but more disinterested view from the trenches.

It basically adds up to Berliner being a known whiner, and perhaps one whose voice was ignored because it was so constant, even when he had a good point. We’ve all worked with someone like that, and you need those dissenting voices.

But you need them to STFU until they’ve got a genuine point to make rather than piping up every time they feel a pea under a dozen mattresses.

Click those links, including his, and consider the sources.

Bedtime for Bozo

Barry Blitt wins some kind of prize for not only coming up with a funny commentary on Trump’s first day in court but for accurately predicting his second, since it was reported that he did, indeed, doze off again.

His spokesmodel/attorney explained that the problem is that jury selection is boring, but I’ve seen too many movies where the prisoner is kept up all night by the sound of a gallows being assembled in the courtyard, and, if he’s bored, she hasn’t explained his situation to him.

Dave Granlund is hardly the only observer to note the connection between Trump’s nickname for Biden and his own behavior, but he had the best graphic expression of the irony.

Still, it’s possible to be funny and observant and make a serious point: Guy Body notes the blind loyalty of the MAGAts, who are also sleeping through the trial.

Though on the topic of journalistic ethics, I wasn’t blown away by Jordan Klepper’s interviews with MAGA screwballs outside the trial. It’s like going to St. Peter’s Square to ask tourists if they like the Pope.

Who else would you expect to find there? (And did he edit out any intelligent answers?)

10 thoughts on “CSotD: West Side Stories

  1. I’m not sure Uri even listens to his own network. There isn’t a day that goes by where their news shows don’t go on a Cletus Safari, or give a platform to rightwing mouthpieces known for spouting debunked falsehoods — all in the name of being fair and balanced.

    Perhaps Berliner objects to npr’s reporters not letting disinformation go unaddressed during the interviews. Followup questions being so woke and all.

    1. good point. I remember when, during a story on immigration, the anti side was presented by a spokesperson from FAIR, which has a long, sordid history of ties to white supremacist organizations.

      Generally, when the RW whines about “liberal bias,” they mean the story was factual.

  2. I find the Israel-Iran dust-up fascinating because it’s reached a point where both parties have to wink and nod at each other and agree to the same cover story despite being mortal enemies. Israel understood that Iran had to respond. Iran responded in a way (some analysts say) they knew would yield maximum fireworks to minimal effect. If Iran had really wanted to hurt Israel it could have, but it also knew that would’ve led to escalation that nobody, including Iran, wanted, so they put on a good show. Iran saves face by saying it retaliated, Israel saves face by saying it successfully defended, and if everybody is smart they both walk away now with pride intact and that’s the end of it. No doubt the U.S. is working both sides behind the scenes. But nobody can admit any of that or the illusions break and the charade is exposed.

  3. This saber rattling by Israeli and Iran is more a form of madness than counting coup, in my opinion.

  4. Brian Fies wrote: and if everybody is smart they both walk away now with pride intact and that’s the end of it
    I reply: I wish the powers that be would listen to your words. But, the massive momentum of centuries of murderous conflict makes that very unlikely.

  5. Also, Mark B: am I correct are you referring to — The Federation for American Immigration Reform ( FAIR)? And not The Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR) or FAIR is a progressive organization that monitors and criticizes the corporate media for its bias, spin and misinformation.

Comments are closed.