Sunday, December 16, 2012

Literally Shooting the Messenger

Holidays are for catching up, and while this episode from On The Media is now two months old, it speaks to a timeless problem: confusing bad news with bad people.  The first package seems like a really poorly written Sasha Cohen routine.  What to do if the tide of public opinion turns against you because someone actually reported on the bad things you do?  Kill them.

That was the Taliban strategy -- along with intimidation that you'd be next -- after the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, the teen aged girl who dared stand up to their lack of education for young women and other issues.  Actually, that's a two-fer -- they first killed the tribune of the people then the messengers.  It's a tried and true method, just ask the Russians.  Now if you're really No Agenda-ish, you'd add lots of whistle blowers here who got "suicided".

The On The Media piece covers how apparently surprised the Taliban was at the blowback from a quite sensible honor killing.  Well worth the listen. 

Second up from OTM was a package on the fate of scientists who wrote reports on the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout.  It is a more nuanced, because at the end, you must consider that while BP did nasty things and asked for lots of info, it was -- and still is -- trying to defend itself against extinction level legal battles.

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