Afghanistan vs. White House Crashers: Putting Our Priorities in Place
If anything can be said about the week in media, it was that Americans put their priorities where their mouths are: gabbing on and on about the frivolous alongside the deeply serious. Today we explore how the issue of the Afghanistan war was forced to share screen, air, digital and print space with the bizarre story of the so-called “White House Party Crashers” and Tiger Woods, before “Rethink Afghanistan” director Robert Greenwald joins us to talk about something that, you know, actually matters.
First, the media sensations of the week: the White House Party Crashers and Tiger Woods. The Salahis face possible Congressional subpoena, hearings or even a “symposium” – whatever that might be. While security should be our main concern, what does it say about our culture that we are willing to go to such lengths to get attention for ourselves? At the very least, it’s surely a sign that DC has gone Hollywood (Kal Penn, anyone?) and the city will never be the same.
Then there’s the Tiger Woods controversy, with the golf pro basically coming out and saying he doesn’t owe anyone an explanation for the incident and that’s that. Yet pretty much everyone is shaking their heads saying: “It’s sweet that you think that, Tiger. You’re wrong.” Is it more wasted breath, considering that the public will inevitably forgive him? We’re suckers like that.
But Greenwald, founder of Brave New Films and director of numerous progressive documentaries, helps us address the issue of real weight: Afghanistan. What does one of the war’s fiercest critics have to say about President Obama’s new way forward in “the good war”? Greenwald and Brave New Films have lost a lot of support and funding for his criticism of Obama on this issue, and Greenwald brings up some very important points: How are we paying for this? (This war costs $1 million per American soldier per year.) Who is advising Obama on this, and how many Afghanis are at that table who weren’t on our payroll? Isn’t it nuts that progressives against the war are being joined by such right-wing conservatives like Glenn Beck on this issue? How can Brave New Films reach the young people online to encourage rethinking Afghanistan? Listen in to hear Greenwald’s well-informed argument for his point of view on the war.
BONUS: We also discuss Ari Melber’s latest in The Nation about how young people, despite being against many of Obama’s presidential policies – 66 percent of them are against escalating the war in Afghanistan, for example – still give him high popularity marks. When will the passionate desire to reconnect with him as they did during the campaign run out?