Sunday, January 3, 2010

Media Resolutions and Stupid Asses and FoxNews

I mentioned before that I thought that the news media needed to make a simple resolution this year. Here it is: quit personalizing criminals. Criminals, from this point forward, should simply be stupid asses. They shan't be terrorists, they shan't be jihadists, they shan't be radicals, they shan't be anything but stupid asses.
In order to prove my point, I have copied a posting from FoxNews (my least favorite place for the news) and doctored it up to follow my new resolution for the media.
Oh yeah, this idea all came about because after Christmas, I was at my folks (who are unfortunately addicted to FoxNews) and I saw this news guy apologizing for pronouncing Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab wrong...
Anyway, here's the story (in bold).  My alterations will appear in italics.

“This could have been catastrophic,” said Rep. Pete King (R-NY). “Fortunately we were lucky on this one.”



The United States has just dodged another major terrorist stupid ass attack.

It was eight years ago this week that Richard Reid another stupid ass tried to knock an American Airlines flight out of the sky by igniting explosives in his shoe. And authorities say a 23-year-old Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab stupid ass of Nigeria carried the same malevolent intentions.

Intercepted cell phone calls didn’t foil Abdulmutallab’s this stupid ass’s attempted terrorist stupid ass attack. Nor did spy satellite tracking devices, clandestine CIA operatives, a military surge in Iraq, the interrogation of al-Qaida stupid ass operatives at Guantanamo Bay or efforts to build e a “civil society” in a part of the world that exports terrorists stupid asses like some nations export electronics.

No. Abdulmutallab’s This stupid ass’s effort was thwarted the same way Reid’s the earlier stupid ass’s was: by average, alert, brave people who just happened be sitting close to seat 19A aboard a transatlantic flight.

Pandemonium erupted on board the jet as passengers hurdled seats and tackled Abdulmutallab the stupid ass in the aisle. One burly traveler placed the suspect stupid ass in a headlock.

These people aren’t Navy Seals engaging a band of pirates off the Horn of Africa. They aren’t Army Rangers raiding a cave in Tora Bora. They are everyman. Butchers, disc jockeys, stockbrokers, truck drivers, housewives, retired grandparents, erotic dancers.

Homeland Security expert often describe police officers, firefighters and paramedics as first responders. That’s accurate. But in the war on terrorism stupid asses, the true first responders are everyday folks flying overseas, catching a bus or hopping the subway.

“We are forever indebted to the heroic passengers and flight attendants who sought to subdue the suspect,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) in a statement.

The message subsided in the years since September 11th. But Delta flight 253 bound from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day is a stark reminder: the U.S. is at war. And will continue to be so for some time.

Like it or not, we’ve all been deputized for the first line of defense. That’s why New York City subway placards ominously remind riders “If you see something, say something.” The messages often accompany a picture of an unattended duffle bag, stashed underneath a subway bench.

And like the days shortly after 9-11, the days of fear are back.

Let’s face it. Folks grew lax in their vigilance in the years following September 11th. The stupid ass shoe bomber incident unfolded within months of the strikes in New York and Washington. People were on guard then. But with the exception of last month’s massacre at Fort Hood (where the jury is still out whether the shooter was a terrorist stupid ass or just someone who flipped his lid), it’s been years since something of this magnitude hit the U.S. Sure, there were attacks in London and Madrid. But over time, many Americans grew inured to the threat. We take off our shoes at the airport. We don’t carry tubes of hand sanitizer on board any more. We wave at the friendly police officer guarding the steps of the U.S. Capitol, a high-powered rifle with a scope strapped across his chest. The reason we endure these exercises is buried in the depths of a consciousness. We know the reason. But in the moment-to-moment reality, we’ve mostly forgotten about what happened.

Christmas was a wakeup call.

Bennie Thompson plans a January hearing to investigate the episode “whether directly related to al Qaeda stupid asses or not.” The top Republican on that panel, New York’s Pete King, says the syringe-liked device, reportedly taped to Abdulmutallab’s the stupid ass’s leg, appears to be “something we haven’t seen before.” And King suggests that routine screenings may not have detected what Abdulmutallab the stupid ass was sporting.

Shortly after 9-11 and the stupid ass shoe bomber, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman half-jokingly suggested that flying naked was the only failsafe method to ensure that someone stupid ass wouldn’t smuggle a weapon on board. Barring flying au naturale, security officials don’t have many alternatives but to be reactive to each new manner of attack. That’s what prompted the rule three years ago that limited liquids passengers can tote on board. If terrorists stupid ass’s next attempt to crash a jetliner using a copy of Sports Illustrated, you can bet security officials will place that publication on a no-fly list. If they try to hijack a plane with a Twizzler, that’ll be off-limits, too.

The U.S. has been extremely successful in protecting the country from another major attack. American intelligence and military forces have also performed exemplary work eliminating the threat posed by the “old-school” al-Qaeda stupid asses, capturing and killing many of its leaders and key followers.

In Arabic, “al-Qaeda” (stupid asses) means “The Base (of stupid asses).” But these days, stupid ass al-Qaeda is less an organization and more a movement. And now, it has “franchises,” much like a fast food chain. McDonald’s franchisees are encouraged to concoct some of their own dishes. A McDonald’s franchisee in Pittsburgh created with the Big Mac. Another franchise owner in Cincinnati dreamed up the Filet-O-Fish.

Stupid ass Al-Qaeda franchises don’t receive orders from anyone. They’re just expected to invent their own new ways to kill, maim and devastate.

Which is precisely the problem with this stupid ass Abdulmutallab. He reportedly told authorities he has ties to stupid ass al-Qaeda. But how tenuous are those connections? And with stupid ass al-Qaeda as a movement, security officials cannot be expected to be 100 percent successful at deducing and then averting every potential method of attack someone can cook up.

More will emerge about the Detroit episode. Bennie Thompson says his January hearing will “get to the bottom” of the incident.

But regardless of the steps Thompson or anyone in government takes, they’re not the ones who can protect the U.S. One of the best defenses are average people. Just like observant passengers who suppressed Richard Reid the earlier stupid American Airlines stupid ass and now this stupid ass Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab.

“Al-Qaeda doesn’t take a holiday. Neither should we,” said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), the leading Republican on the House Homeland Security panel.

This is the awakening. And the Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit is proof that the battle rages. And it’s just as hot as it was on September 11th.

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