From: Squirrel@BPI

Okay, I’m cranky again, and it’s not because I missed breakfast. I want to know why President Obama is invading Albania. Is it to disprove the claim that he’s a woman? Perhaps to distract attention from his lack of urgency in handling the Gulf oil spill, and even rejecting international help?

Maybe he wants to build bases nearer his Muslim brothers in Kosovo? Or maybe the military wanted another war and President Obama is too weak to stop them?

Regardless, I demand a full and complete accounting for why we are invading Albania. Albania hasn’t done anything to us, at least not that I know of, and there is no excuse for this naked act of aggres….

Hold on … checking my Blewberry. Oops. We’re not invading Albania. That show I saw last night – Wag the Dog – was not a documentary. Whew. Hold on … gotta text Chef to thank her for clearing that up. While I’m at it, I should thank her for making me breakfast. Macadamia nuts, even.

Okay … done and back. And now I feel really silly. Which is how the writers of those other stories would feel if they actually cared about facts. But they don’t seem to feel silly, or to care about facts. And that makes me cranky.

I realize some humans need a diet of fat-free foods, but you humans don’t do well on a diet of fact-free news. And it doesn’t stop there. After gobbling down the fact-free news, too many of you try to digest the non-news by speculating on reasons for the non-facts.

Jerome Lawrence once quipped: “Neurotics build castles in the sky, psychotics live in them, and psychiatrists collect the rent.” With all due respect, he missed a group. He should have said: “Neurotics build castles in the sky, psychotics live in them, psychiatrists collect the rent, and pundits criticize the decorations.”

There’s a common pattern in punditry lately:

  • Introduce a rumor as if it were fact. If no such rumor exists, make it up and attribute it to “some people say.” Or “just ask the question.”
  • Speculate about why the rumored event happened.
  • Divide into groups: those who think the rumored event is reasonable, and those who disagree.

Voila! You’re now criticizing the decorations in a castle made of clouds, and thus a fully-qualified media pundit. You can shoot holes in the other group’s argument, and patch the holes they shoot in yours. And because you speculate about motives, no one can prove you wrong.

Except … by starting or joining that kind of conversation, rather than fact-checking the rumor, you’re lying. It’s a lie even if you don’t realize it’s a lie because you came late to the conversation and just joined Your Usual Side against The Usual Opponents. No matter which side you take, you’ve become one of The Usual Suspects: punditry by Keyser Söze. But I didn’t like that movie, so here are some spoilers:

The response to the gulf oil spill has been urgent. It’s also been ineffective, so far, because so far this is a problem without a solution.

The U.S. accepted offers of international assistance, from the day of the explosion.

President Obama is not a Muslim, and no video of the reported Egyptian TV interview has been found.

Firing a general for insubordination is not “weak.” Deferring his constitutional duty as Commander in Chief would be, even if he talked like a cowboy.

President Obama doesn’t talk like a cowboy, but that doesn’t make him a woman. And we’re not invading Albania.

Stop criticizing the decorations in cloud castles. Your yelling back and forth about nothing wakes the baby. And that makes me cranky.

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