I just watched the CBC Sunday Report, and I could swear I was watching FUX Snooze. Only this time it was Evan Solomon instead of Bill O’Reilly pissing me the hell off.
Now, Evan Solomon is quite a bit better at what he does than Billo the Loofah Bandit, but he’s just as pompous and just as much of a dickweed in his own right. Sometimes he does get something right, but then he turns around and gets something else wrong. He’s very glossy, but he lacks depth; he paints with broad Technicolor strokes, missing the finer nuances completely. You get the feeling he’s doing everything just for show, and what he’s trying to show you is how all-fired wonderful he is. It’s a most infuriating tendency.
And when he gets it wrong like he did today, there’s a distinct sense of “same shit, different asshole”. Or of lazy reporting disguised as whiz-bang journalism. Same shit, different toilet.
He is, incidentally, one of the few CBC journos to get away with this and still keep their jobs. All the rest actually report news. And they do it rather well. But Evan, being a pretty boy with a Wunderkind reputation, gets to squat on a bar stool (look, Ma, no desk!) and play the pundit, even when the role doesn’t suit him. He has neither the intellect nor the experience, let alone the sensitivity, to carry it off. Lots of perfectly decent people have walked out of interviews with him feeling fit to strangle the nearest tree, and lots of other perfectly lovely people have watched him in action, feeling…well, much the same way. Being provocative is one thing, but being that way through sheer substanceless effrontery is quite another.
The reason I bring this up is to provide you some background context on Evan Solomon. And because the same shit that the mainstream media in the US is playing, is also CBC’s “Misplay of the Week” today, and Evan was pleased as punch to “report” it. Or just repeat it–épatez les bourgeois, you know. Yes, that’s right–this week, the Misplay is the story of a certain democratically elected Venezuelan president being told to shut up by an unelected monarch who owes his presence on the throne to the longest-lived unelected fascist dictator of all time.
Of course, leave it to cutesy little full-of-himself Evan not to bother with such inessential details as the real context of Chavez’s remarks. Or, for that matter, the history of Spanish fascism. Spain’s monarchy was so weak after 1868 that it needed fascism to help it re-establish itself, particularly in the face of a republican government whose land reforms were rather like those which Chavez is now bringing to Venezuela. Fascists have been damn good to the Spanish royal family. So of course it makes sense that the King of Spain is now a little touchy when he hears that word being said in a disparaging tone by an ardent admirer of that arch-republican, Simon Bolivar. It’s a bit like waving a red cape in front of a bull–olé!
Now, when Evan waves the red cape of the Misplay, we are supposed to snort and paw and see red (in this case, the red of Chavecito’s famous shirt). Only in this case, it’s Evan himself who is committing the misplay, and an informed viewer will know in an instant that s/he is seeing the wrong shade of red.
Meanwhile, if you want to see the whole story, here:
THIS is what prompted the king to scream “Shut up!” (Sort of like Bill O’Reilly himself, only minus the “Cut his mike!”–because the mike was already cut.) It wasn’t Chavez saying the F-word that got him all hot and bothered, but the fact that he dared to demand respect for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela–incidentally, the first South American nation to cast off the yoke of imperial Spain.
Funny how that wasn’t reported!
Evan Solomon compounds his own misplay by claiming that Chavez was “isolated” as a result of his “outburst”. FALSE. Carlos Lage of Cuba and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua can be seen coming to his defense here, and we can take it for granted that Evo Morales of Bolivia is also on side. As are, albeit quietly, a majority of South American presidents.
The best part here is the last four minutes or so, in which Aznar’s lies are laid bare for the world to see. What got him booted out of office? A terrorist attack occasioned by Spain’s presence in Iraq. The current Spanish PM owes his election to a promise to undo Aznar’s fuck-ups, particularly Spain’s presence in the Coalition of the Killing. Considering the overwhelming majority of Spaniards that was against it, that was a no-brainer. But of course, Aznar showed a typically fascistic arrogance when he overrode popular sentiment for the sake of military supremacy.
And Evan Solomon mentioned none of that.
THAT is one helluva Misplay of the Week, Evan. What a pity it was your own!