Editorial

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The legendary pool shark Don Eaton pointed out to me that the Associated Press has been running stories regarding a potential U.S. military strike on Syria with headlines like “U.S. Faces Opposition in Congress on Syria Strike.” Such a headline sets off my bullshit detector–and I bet, when you look at it, it sets off yours, too.

Here’s the key question: Is it the U.S. that’s facing opposition? If it is, that means the entire United States population, or at least the majority, supports a strike on Syria, and Congress is blocking us from getting what we want–from satisfying our bloodlust.

Is this true? How about the other, accurately headlined story currently dancing across various media outlets’ front pages: that it is Obama who’s facing opposition in Congress because the U.S.–or a significant portion of the population–does not want the same thing?

We are not lusting after blood: all this crap with Iraq and Afghanistan and Saddam and 9/11 and Bush and drones and spying has disillusioned even those of us with the temperament of hornets.

The crap with the headlines illustrates the subtle difference between vigilant journalism and those who just report news; that a significant portion of North Americans are yelling at Obama to settle the f— down and not go after Syria illustrates the positive power of a news media with a bias toward reporting truth rather than shaping it–even if those reported truths differ. (There’s a difference between news outlets with a republican bent or democratic bent and Vladimir Putin’s outlets.)

American opposition rose not as indignant calls but as a deafening scream–blasting across the Internet. Twitter, Facebook, blogs: the night Obama announced he was planning military action against Syria, American opposition blasted like a sonic boom through earbuds.

Now look: there’s opposition. Strong opposition. Opposition so strong the Associated Press says it’s just the plain old entire U.S. But, of course (psst-don’t tell the AP!), we’re not being opposed–we’re opposing, and it’s working.

The moral of this story is keep screeching. Sure, you can watch porn on it, but when you want to stick it to someone instead of watching someone getting stuck, the Internet makes a spectacular megaphone.

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