It was kind of comforting to see The Cold War flare up again a little while back. We thought it ended back in 1991. But you knew where you stood in those days. There was US and there was THEM. Sir Terence David John Pratchett, OBE (better known as Terry Pratchett, creator of the wonderful Discworld) said it well, “It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was Us, what did that make Me? After all, I‘m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.” These days, there are so many Thems. And Us? We are so fractured, so divided. It’s kind of refreshing to go back to the simpler time when school students practiced hiding under their desks. Yeah, that’ll save you from a nuclear missile. But we all knew back then that neither side was really going to push the red button. Aside from all the nonsense, deep down we knew. Now every Tom, Dick and Terrorist has his own bomb and agenda.
So a USA vs Russia brouhaha made a welcome change. It started with an article in The New York Post and then it was all over the place. I particularly liked the CNN video. The commentator was quite amusing in describing the pugilists in their corners. Putin the former KGB martial arts expert has his missiles but Kraft has Tom Brady, so essentially, yes, a fair fight. Now we all know Putin stole the ring and Bush asked Kraft to let it go. We know this because we know what kind of a man each of them is. So it was all very amusing but was it necessary?
I am a big believer of freedom of the press. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I mean really, was the story necessary? Was it something the public needed to know? Mr. Kraft lost his ring and to keep the peace with an arrogant thug he had to accept it. He resents it but rather than let it eat away at him, he has made it into an amusing story he has told countless times since 2005, according to many accounts. Some reporter wanted an attention grabbing headline in a paper known for them. That is not freedom of the press, it is sleazy journalism. It is like seeing Kim Kardashian’s swollen ankles on the six o’clock news. Seriously? That is news? It is one thing when a tabloid paper prints this nonsense. Hey, if that is to your taste, you buy it and enjoy it. But when all the networks and other media pick it up? Seriously? There was no real news to report with all that is going on in the world? I find myself wondering how many newsmen found themselves reporting a ‘story’ they had heard Mr. Kraft tell but had never felt the need to report on. Of course there was an agenda. The G8 summit. Release this “breaking news” just in time to make things just that bit more tense between Obama and Putin. I may have to rethink my support of freedom of the press or maybe we need a better definition of the press.