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Monday, November 10, 2008

TASS, ADN and FOX

I must say that a bit of nostalgia set in while watching the FOX news coverage of the election. I was reminded of another "Fair and Balanced" News agency that I had watched on occasion when I was 19 or so and was doing a year abroad in West Germany.

What a time I had! - Though there were a few minor annoyances that put somewhat of a damper on my fun.

One in particular stands out quite clearly in my recollections of the time. It was a warm day in May, perhaps the 1st of May and I had just returned home to my WG from the cafe. My housemates were huddled around the small, black and white TV and one was busily trying to adjust the rabbit-ears to get reception.

I knew something was up because the use of that TV was normally limited to watching the "Sportschau" - (The Sports Watch - yes, men are the same all over the world) - and as it turned out I was right; a nuclear reactor I never knew existed had gone boom in a town I had never heard of somewhere in the Soviet Union. I came to know its name very well in the days and weeks to follow: Chernobyl.

Not only did this stupid thing explode, but it sent all of this radioactive stuff high into the air where a passing storm picked it up and carried it westward, only to rain it down on the head of one poor unsuspecting exchange student from California (and everybody else, too). Talk about bad neighbors!

In the first few days that followed, we watched the news carefully because those storms were raining down radioactivity all over Western Europe - and it was critical not get caught in one - or eat any fresh fruit, vegetables or drink fresh cow's milk - because they ate the grass that was caught in the rain.

At one point I remember somebody switched over to a TV station from the DDR - the former East Germany and we watched in amazement as their news program reported on everything BUT Chernobyl. I remember watching girls dancing around with ribbons and hula-hoops and thinking to myself - Wow - Don't they care about the health of their own people?

The answer of course was NO, they didn't give a hoot about anything but furthering their own political agenda - and anything that detracted from that - was just left out. Dirty Commies.

Thank God I live in the USA where our news will report what is important and not just that which serves its own agenda.

After watching FOX news reporters gloat about how stupid Sarah Palin is, and knowing that they knew all of this before the election, I am choking on those words.

RH

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