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Fox Dumps An 'Anchorwoman'

Friday, Aug. 24, 2007 1:29 AM

Somebody in the programming department at FOX better polish up their resume.

Specifically, the someone who decided it would be a big hit if they took a WWF ring girl and then plunked her down in the middle of a small television newsroom in Texas to see how she did as an Anchorwoman.

Frankly, if I wanted to watch a vapid blonde struggle with a newscast, I'd be president of the Katie Couric Fan Club.

FOX's new program pulled a 1.0 rating in the adult 18-49 demographic. (A ratings point is equivalent to 1% of the total estimated television-viewing households in the nation. This figure is usually accompanied by a 'share' figure, which is the percentage of all televisions in use during that time that were tuned into the program.)

Anchorwoman pulled a 1 rating / 3 share, compared to The Power of 10, which drew a 2.2 / 7. NBC's Last Comic Standing won the hour with a 3.1 / 9.

So now CNN is doing stories about the safety record of mine owner Bob Murray.

Seventeen days after a collapse which has left six men buried somewhere in the heart of a mountain.

Unfortunately, Murray's safety record is just part of the story. After the Sago mine disaster, wouldn't it be nice to know that the Bush Administration's mine safety czar (who won a recess appointment, as he couldn't even swing a confirmation under a GOP-friendly Congress) had actually done something?

The doomsaying about the government of Nouri al-Maliki continues, with some senators calling for his replacement.

When did Iraq become a cabinet position subject to confirmation hearings? What happened to that democracy thing? The only people who can replace al-Maliki are the Iraqis; anything else makes us complete frauds.

And, as I've said before, if we end up with a fundamentalist Shiite theocracy instead of a putative democracy, we'll have to suck it up and live with it or further undermine the region by either sponsoring a regime-in-exile or overthrowing someone we don't like ... again.

The fact is that the White House continues to employ lopsided logic. Somehow, after four years of 'six more months,' and talk about giving al-Maliki breathing space, no deadlines, no timetables, and a bunch of benchmarks that have been completely ignored ... Iraq is supposed to blossom into a model democracy and a paragon of prosperity. It shows a fundamental failing, mistaking democracy for its trappings, despite President Bush's frequent comments about liberty and how people want to be free. (Of course, even that view is grounded in the presumption that freedom is a gift from the Christian God.)

Consequently, there's something missing in Iraq. A stable democracy is going to take more than an election, a constitution, and a parliament. The prime minister has to address a truckload of issues, not just the insurgency or our their oil profits. And any partnership between our countries needs to be predicated on more than the War on Terror.

But there are all the little things that we take for granted here in America. Electricity. Social services. A reliable police force. A level of security in our homes and on the streets (which can't be bought through military force, as the problem is likely to return the moment we hand it off to Iraqi police). Freedom of thought and expression, too, don't exactly seem to be flourishing in Iraq.

What I hope we don't see is the crumbling of al-Maliki's government stirred into the pot along with the Blame Iran rhetoric to justify a new war.

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