Burning Desires take precedence over Common Sense

10 09 2010

Since the dawn of time, the majority of human beings have been irresponsible or made decisions that, in the cold light of day, may not be the most sensible course of action.

Does anyone have a match?

In 1938, Neville Chamberlain (British PM) went to Munich and came back waving a piece of paper that had been signed by himself and Adolf Hitler declaring “peace for our time” and that the two nations would not go to war again. In 2003, George W. Bush stood on an aircraft carrier after 43 days of the Iraq War and announced that it was “Mission Accomplished”, and that combat was over in the region.

Wayne Rooney, talented footballer but short in smarts, is currently trying to save his marriage after his addiction to paying for sexual favors has come back to haunt him – although on the plus side at least he had a threesome with 2 girls under 25 and not the “Auld Slapper” that categorized his previous mistakes.

People in the public eye, making pronouncements that make the headlines or committing deeds that make little or no sense.

This week, Terry Jones (not the one from Monty Python), the pastor for the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida – congregation 50 – has attracted global condemnation with his decision to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11. To say that this has attracted the attention of the Muslim world is an understatement. Jones has been unrepentant, believing that he has the right to do this. Under the First Amendment, he does.

But as an irresponsible and dumb decision, it takes some beating. Politicians have been have queueing up to condemn Jones, there have been protests in Afghanistan and Pakistan – including the inevitable effigy burning –  and the global media has elevated this man to the position of a Celebrity Big Brother contestant.

All week, Jones has stood his ground and stoked the fires of Islamic indignation with his intention to re-enact Fahrenheit 451. Only a sign from God would make him change his mind.

Surprise, Surprise……God returned his call.

Thankfully, it all it took was the people involved in the controversial Islamic Community Center in New York to agree to move the project away from Ground Zero. Jones was able to read a statement which claimed that the Iman involved had given his blessing (after much prayer on both sides) and the wheels would be set in motion – strangely though, the representatives of the Center in New York deny that any agreement is in place.

But for the moment, International Koran Burning Day has been cancelled.

In other seemingly unrelated news, CNN have announced that Larry King’s suspenders are to be filled by Piers Morgan – the former editor of the Daily Mirror (UK), judge on Britain’s/Americas Got Talent, friend of Simon Cowell, Celebrity Apprentice Winner and a man described by many as “smarmy, arrogant and full of himself”.

Morgan, since leaving the world of tabloid journalism, has managed to craft out an inexplicable television career and, after landing the CNN job, was “very much looking forward to bringing my own style of interviewing to the world’s biggest, and best, TV news organisation.”

Piers Morgan has been a professional irritant for many years and this is arguably the biggest move of his career. Although for some of us, the decision to publish pictures of British troops abusing Iraqi prisoners was a low moment in war coverage. Especially when the photos proved to be fakes.

Throw in the investigation against Morgan for breaching the Code of Conduct relating to financial journalism – he bought shares in a company that a financial column in the Daily Mirror tipped as a good buy, increasing the value of his shares considerably and providing a decent profit when he sold them soon after – and the decision by CNN seems a strange one.

Morgan’s interviewing technique veers between professionalism and the tongue-up-the-butt approach, with stated guests for his show being President Obama, Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson. So that should make for entertaining television.

Time will tell if CNN have made the right decision for King’s successor, but in a week when ill-informed and irresponsible decision-making has made the headlines the appointment of Morgan fits right in.

Perhaps the first interview can be a round table discussion between the various deities that seem to be guiding the thought processes of the faithful.

Failing that, I am sure that Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin would make for compelling viewing.




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