Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Honour is not Seemly for a Fool...

The Little Green Footballs (LGF) blog published a nice roundup of some recent awards presented to various media corporations. A few days ago, I discussed the morally bankrupt, and tremendously futile, endeavor towards journalism without subjectivity and included a reference to the controversial Pulitzer Prize winning AP photo of insurgents assassinating Iraqi election workers. In addition, LGF notes that Dan Rather was the Peabody Award for his reporting of the abuses committed in Abu Ghraib by coalition forces, and now the awarding of a Payne Award to Kevin Sites for his loose interpretation of the events during a raid on a mosque in Fallujah.

As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool. - Proverbs 26:1

Of course, these journalism awards aren't the only honorary acknowledgements of media portraying the United States' invasion of Iraq in a negative light. Remember that Michael Moore was awarded the Palme d'Or, France's highest acknowledgement of a feature film at the Cannes Film Festival. In their zeal to protest the Bush Administration and the invasion of Iraq, the French jury at the Cannes Film Festival honored the stereotypically arrogant, overweight, and boisterous American by bestowing upon his sophomoric and fictional film, Fahrenheit 9/11, equal status to the only other documentary to receive the Palme d'Or, Jacques Cousteau's The Silent World. That would be similar to placing a film like Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street on the same pedastal of history as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

Over and above all these various media accolades was the Nobel Peace Prize award to former President Jimmy Carter in 2002. I have nothing against Jimmy Carter receiving the award, especially considering his competition was Bono and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. I have a problem with the occassion of an American President receiving such a prestigious award being used by a flacid Norwegian politician as a soapbox for airing dissent on issues that he knows nothing about and that do not involve his nation.

Although Mr Carter has not openly criticised President George W Bush's policy on Iraq, Friday's award "should be interpreted as a criticism of the line that the current administration has taken," said Committee chairman Gunnar Berge. "It's a kick in the leg to all that follow the same line as the United States," Mr Berge said. - BBC

"In a situation currently marked by threats of the use of power, Carter has stood by the principles that conflicts must as far as possible be resolved through mediation and international cooperation based on international law, respect for human rights and economic development," Berge said.

Committee member Gunnar Staalsett said he fully supported the remarks and agreed the citation was indeed a criticism of Bush, The Associated Press reported. "Berge offered an interpretation that I have no problem in supporting," Staalsett said. - CNN

I present to you Gunnar Berge, a man so self-important and self-righteous that he doesn't hesitate to overshadow the considerable life's work of Jimmy Carter, a former U.S. President, with his own impotent and vacuous disapproval of the policies of a current American Administration that is not only above, but beyond him. Honestly, even more than the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Yaser Arafat, this is the event that proved to me that the Nobel Peace Prize was absolutely worthless, a purely political statement by an otherwise insignificant bureaucracy somewhere in Norway.

So, this is what these awards have become, political pulpits to address a congregation of the already converted. I admit that it grates to hear the political ideologies and wrong-headedness commonly espoused at these awards events, but the true tragedy is the loss of integrity, the sullied legacies of past recipients and nominees.


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