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February 01, 2003

Space shuttle Columbia down

Space shuttle Columbia down. I do not have words for this.

I am watching coverage on different networks. CBC Newsworld just interviewed writer Robert Sawyer for his reflections on the shuttle program and potential causes of the disaster. The Newsworld interviewer asked Sawyer whether the cause was "arrogance" on the part of the U.S. government. (Sawyer said no.) This is one of the most odious questions I can imagine. It took minutes for the CBC to twist a tragedy into a politically motivated theatre of hate. Talk about manufacturing consent.

Furthermore... the interviewer linked American "arrogance" explicitly to current potential conflict in the Middle East. My only surprise is the CBC did not manage to sneer at the death of Israel's first astronaut in the same breath.

Still furthermore... (10.08 p.m. Feb. 2) if you are coming to the Flea through this link for the first time please be aware of two things. First, I wrote the above post in a moment of shock at learning of the Columbia disaster and extreme irritation at what I heard on the CBC. My language is intemperate as a consequence. It remains my opinion, however, that "hate" is an appropriate word given the context of the question. Second, there are numerous posts which follow this one as news of the suggestion of "arrogance" made its way through the blogosphere. Please scroll up to read these later posts. These include Robert Sawyers remarks on the interview. I want to make it emphatically clear that Mr. Sawyer neither provoked the CBC question nor did he agree with it. I have great respect for Robert Sawyer as a writer of speculative fiction. It was only to hear his thoughts on the Columbia that I was watching Newsworld in the first place.

The CBC Ombudsman may be reached through this website.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 1, 2003 09:54 AM