Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Friday, May 16, 2003

Faulty Premise

Have you ever noticed that Today Show news segments don't actually consist of the on-air personalities questioning their interview subjects as much as setting the scene for them? It's more like "Here's how we're going to frame things, and we'll lay it all out in a few run-on sentences and present them to you pretending that they're actually a question so the stage is set for you to agree with us before elaborating, and this will leave sleepy viewers with the impression that you, the 'expert,' have actually said this when it was our premise all along. Don't you agree?" So Matt Lauer begins his interview today with Bill Richardson (who seems to have a pretty good resume and even knows a thing or two about nukes) by saying, "South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun came to power on a very anti-US platform. Now he's standing shoulder to shoulder with Bush because he needs our help." Emphasis mine, of course. When you live in a world where the US does whatever it wants, meeting with their leader isn't a sign of needing help so much as a realization that, if it's going to bully your neighborhood, you either decide you want to try to have some input on what happens or you ignore the bully and face the fallout (let's hope that's not literal). The Korean peninsula, on the whole, seems to feel it would do much better without any US "help" (like, you know, removing our troops?), thank you very much. It's not like the two Koreas haven't been talking to one another anyway. Let me guess: Next Monday Matt's going to be reporting from the portion of the DMZ where some of our landmines (and goodness, there are a lot of them there!) have just been removed, right?