…:::America: the Honest, the Brave, the (somewhat) Free, but Far from Perfect says our media:::…
America’s Self-Critical Nature in the Media Goes Unnoticed All Too Often
One Americanophobic rant that is particularly annoying is where we are collectively accused of
- overboard patriotism
- blind patriotism
- arrogant patriotism
- being a constant flag waver
- thinking that America is the center of the universe
- having mostly a red, white, and blue wardrobe
- not realizing that other countries exist
What we are, actually, and what we are accused of is really quite far from the mark Across the pond and past our borders, the media gives their audience a picture of the “average American”. And it’s distorted. Well, I am here today to tell you the other side of the story to broaden your perspective on American culture aside from the few flag-waving zombies you met in your “travels”.
The media (not the news) in the USA is one of the most self-critical ones around. Why? How? We have the freest press, by far. Examples down below.
Give me a chance to explain myself.
While we do have our fair share of jingoists living over here, on a per capita basis, I have found no evidence that supports the theory that America contains more blind and arrogant nationalists than any other country. At the end of the day, it probably equals out to about the same. Remember, per capita. Percentage.
Next. One of the most identifiable aspects of American humility, honesty, and courage lies in the US media as a whole, itself. Unashamedly all of our networks publicly broadcast to its own people and the rest of the world our dirty laundry, our weaknesses, our screw ups, and all things grossly embarrassing.
Where else in the world can you find a media and TV personalities that do the following: (Please pay close attention to the BELOW examples.)….
(1) Can you find a show similar to “To Catch a Predator” in another country?
(2) truTV: This is a television station devoted to catching American gits on tape doing the most unmentionable ridiculously stupid things that even Americans themselves cannot comprehend. Similar shows such as “Cops” and “Information Discovery” are also popular over here. On truTV.com’s website, they even have a section dedicated to dumb Americans called, “Dumb as a Blog: A Daily Digest of the Dumbest Stuff People Do”. Check out their video section as well and join in with millions of Americans poking fun.
(3) American investigative reports by their very nature, show Americans looking at their worst.
(4) Noam Chomsky
(5) A very famous Mexican American comedian, “Carlos Mencia” sings the “Dee Dee Dee” song making fun of stupid Americans.
(6) The “Loose Change” producers (that say 9-11 was an “inside job”) and cohorts are widely accepted in mostly America and in other countries as well. Yes, “Loose Change” was created by those nationalist Americans you speak of.
(7) America also allows its people to protest wildly against the Iraq War. So long as the protesters don’t commit vandalism or get violent, it is legal. If you’re still not convinced, take a look at and click on these links. And there’s always more where that came from.
ALASKANS AGAINST SARAH PALIN:
Just type into Youtube, “anti-war protests”, and you’ll get thousands of results of American protests.
( 8 ) Jeremiah Wright? No problem.
(10) Americans not only enjoy laughing at other Americans, but we laugh at ourselves as well. We don’t take ourselves all too seriously, and our best comedians practice self-deprecating humor. (May they RIP) George Carlin, Rodney Dangerfield and Chris Farley, just to name a few, exhibited this very well. Americans love this kind of humor. And we Americans, just like our dearest neighbors to the North and across the pond, generally dislike arrogant behavior too.
(11) Bill Maher
(12) American media is left-leaning (and at times considered to be “middle of the road”) – not “right-wing-biased” as most claim.
(13) Our media is self-critical on ALL levels: Local, State, and Federal. Because of our aggressive media coverage during the time Nixon was in office, Nixon knowing in advance he was going to be impeached, stepped down and surrendered. Now, you’re going to ask me why that hasn’t happened with Bush. The reason why is because what Nixon did was a clear-cut crime (within American political law) whereas Bush waging an illegal war (while impeachment-worthy) was not a clear-cut crime. The Senate AND the House both gave their go-ahead to invade Iraq. Please try and understand the difference. I sympathize with the Anti-Americans here as I am against Bush and the Iraqi War, myself. But there’s a difference between Bush and Nixon (even though Bush is worse, in my opinion).
Our media spent weeks and months blasting Bush, FEMA, and governments on every level for the lack of immediate assistance following Hurricane Katrina. What the Americanophobes who accuse Americans for being self-absorbed and isolationists don’t realize, is how quickly we arrived in Thailand and other S. East Asian countries following the Tsunami a few years back. And of course, this as well. Oh, how easy it is to be ignorant with the Americans!
(14) Our midday and late-night talk show industry takes pot shots at the same “ugly Americans” that YOU spend your lives obsessed with. Let’s take “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” for example, shall we? If you watch (and you don’t even have to watch carefully), you’ll notice that these people are FREQUENTLY bashed:
- Stupid celebrities such as Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie
- Bush (they even have a Bush impersonator that appears on the show often, that looks and acts just like Bush)
- Cheney, The Clintons (blow-jobs and Hillary), and other fools in American politics
- Fat Americans and how we are getting fatter by the day (just not as fast as Australia)
- Lazy Americans and products that we use to keep us sedentary and fat
- Stupid Americans (i.e. American headlines, dumb criminals, Jaywalking with Jay Leno, and he also has dumb Americans appear on the show to further expose American ignorance) We don’t know how much is scripted or manipulated – nor do we care, but it’s still exposed and Americans love to watch this stuff!!
- Inbred Hillbillies and American Southernisms
- Fast Food
- LA superficiality (i.e. fake boobs and other fake body parts, bad drivers, ditsy blonds driving while talking on cell phones, eating, and putting on make-up while operating a vehicle)
- How Americans take the voting in an American Idol more seriously than voting in a president.
Most of our television networks are devoted to this American-bashing that you also bathe yourselves in.
Can you find this same degree of self-mirror-looking and self-degradation, and self-deprecation in your fair land? What other countries make fun of themselves like this? Like THIS?
(15) Even if Americans look stupid on game shows, we still air them instead of covering them up to paste a false image on a viewers screen.
(16) American Blue-collar comedy pokes fun at rednecks. Basically, all non-rednecks make fun of rednecks.
(17) After 9-11, America got VERY critical and became very aware that the terrorist attacks were preventable if you look at all the clues leading to 9-11 that weren’t taken seriously. The terrorists were the last to be blamed following that day. We were angry as hell at our leaders, the FBI, the CIA, the TSA, and all others that turned a blind eye to the evidence that we were as vulnerable as we were. At least half of us are aware that our government is corrupt. Just look at our electoral voting system and how Al Gore really won the 2000 election. If we have less liberals and lefties in the US nowadays, it’s only because millions of them have moved to Canada and Europe. This is true. The same thing happened right after we got our independence from Britain. There are still millions of Americans loyalists honoring the British Crown and the way of life over here.
( 18 ) Our blatant display of STUPID AMERICANS IS a precious $$$$ lucrative $$$$ industry $$$$. (Cha Ching!) Yes, my friends, in America. No. No. No. No. Not just YOUR country. In America.
Yes, you heard that right. In fact, it is so popular OVER HERE IN THE US OF A, that other countries (our bestest friends Britain and Canada) have copied us and are starting to interview Americans in the street as well. Notice, how we NEVER see any other country’s people being interviewed? I find this very telling. It speaks volumes that America is in no way sweeping its flaws under the carpet. And ironically what the Americanophobes don’t realize is that Americans *love* watching these videos too. Hello? Anti-America? Hello? Yes, you’ve heard that correctly.
(19) The Jerry Springer Show: What the Americanophobes don’t know, though, is that 99% of those performing are actors. As always, these people are willing to act and make a buck at the expense of more mindless Americanophobia simultaneously entertaining Americans and those all over the world. Mexico has been the only other country to emulate. Now, you can find a Mexican version of Jerry Springer on Mexican television in Spanish preformed by Mexicans, themselves.
(20) If you read the bottom of this post, you’ll see that many Americans out there are complying with the demands of the Americanophobes to stop calling themselves, “Americans” and to stop saying that they were born in “America”. Americans are now calling themselves by other terms. We may look tough toting our guns on the outside, but some of us really enjoy being pussy-whipped whether it be by our own government or otherwise.
(21) Americans REALLY DO move to Canada. Their talk is not cheap. You’d be surprised how many Americans have genuinely escaped this country. And within the last five years, the numbers have increased!
(22) Facebook, Google, Youtube, WordPress.com and Google Plus. Need I say more?
(23) Americans hate each other!
(24) SOUTH PARK (All their themes make fun of Americans and America… yes – even the “Blame Canada” theme!)
(25) The Daily Show, The Colbert Show? Saturday Night Live, MadTV… (these shows mercilessly bash the hell out of our leaders, government, the American people, our TV shows, and you name it.) Or how about most of what’s shown on Comedy Central? Here’s an example of Jon Stewart taking pot shots at the silliness that can come from American news. So, even the “news” makes fun of the “news”.
(26) The movie, “Idiocracy”.
( 28 ) Doug Soderstrom from Texas published several articles about what is wrong with America and Americans:
A Letter to My Son Regarding the Problem of War
The Day America Died
Why I am Ashamed to be an American
Behind The Mask of Evil
The Crisis and Challenge of the Christian Faith
On Coming to Terms with Society
A Fundamental Evil
Progress Mans Greatest Mistake
A Prescription for Peace
If Only George Bush Had Been Amish
Impeachment: An Apology the World Will No Doubt Understand
Untying the Gordian Knot of The Christian Faith
Young People of America Rise Up and Rebel
The Dumbing Down Of The American Mind
The Most Evil People in the World
Why I Cannot Support The Troops In Iraq
The Only Hope For the World
The Morality of Neoconservatism
Some Thoughts about Jesus, The Church, My Country, and The War
If Teachers Were Congressmen
Advice From An Old Man
The Mindless American: A Tragedy In The Making
(29) I wonder if this can happen on any other country’s turf? On Mexican Independence Day, hundreds upon hundreds of Mexicans living in the US wave their Mexican flags wildly to the beat of their chants and songs as the march down the streets simultaneously burning American flags. It is perfectly legal. The very fact that Americans allow these kinds of things to occur on our own turf says a lot.
(30) NPR (National Public Radio) The American right wing hates this radio show as it is too liberal for them. NPR is also international as well and doesn’t stop at touting how well and better off people are living in other countries such as this example. On iTunes, you can subscribe to one of their radio shows. And as you can tell by the current menu, they have made mention of different parts of Europe where the health care is much more humane and civilized. I bet that you wouldn’t expect America to praise other countries letting us know that Europe does some things better!
(31) 2008 Financial Crisis, anyone? You betcha. Americans have mercilessly criticized ourselves there too. Here are just a few of never-ending examples:
(32) Sarah Palin – She is one staunch Anti-American.
Sure there’s patriotic brainwashing in the US, but we have just as much media that goes in reverse! Balance, people. It’s all about balance. And that’s what America has (after all is said and done). I don’t see Americans anymore inclined to accept without question their government than any other country in the world.
In a Vancouver Sun article on Canadian Anti-Americanism, a Canadian that truly sees America said the following regarding the way people feel about Bush:
Of course the Canadians, Europeans, and South Americans etc. are not alone in feeling ill treated. Many Democrats have a visceral dislike of the Bush administration and their feelings are reflected in American population as a whole. Literally millions upon millions upon millions of Americans simply loath the man; one result of this is that Bush bashing is a billion dollar industry in the States. Another result of this is that while Bush bashing is international in scope it has a distinctly American face to it. Michael Moore is arguably its most recognizable figure and a good number of critiques have a Chomskyian like flavor to them. Of course, South Korea’s Roh Moo-hyun and German’s Schroeder are not the only politicians to capitalize on the phenomena either. Howard Dean was the first American politician to capitalize on it and his doing so set the tone for the Democratic primaries.
In an article titled, “Stupid Americans”, a blogger found some research on the subject:
Although the way other nations encourage this stereotype of Americans seems atrocious, the worst enforcers of all are other Americans. Not, however, those stereotyped, but those who are “different.” Everyone, it seems, is trying to separate himself or herself from the rest of the country. “Oh, yes, they are idiots, but I’m different.” People seem determined to prove that they are not idiots by pointing out that they are able to tell the brainless from the brained: “Look, I am so special that I can point of the idiots out for you right now! Oh, we, the extremely vocal minority, are so oppressed by our obese fellow man.” Instead of trying to correct the cultural faux pas of their brothers and sisters, they distance themselves from them, and laugh at them, along with the rest of the world.
One of the reasons that some Americans are reluctant to travel is that statistically anti-Americanism is growing, interestingly enough nowhere more so than in the US itself.
But, the most successful anti-Americas, like Michael Moore, are home grown. Asked recently whether Americans were “greedy” 64% of Brits agreed. But 70% of Americans were in agreement. Some 26% of Brits believe that Americans are “immoral” but 39% of Americans agreed.
Additionally, I came across this blog post written by an Indonesian that rang true for me. He describes the same America that I’ve been living in for most of my life.
American society is the most open and, at the same time, most intensely and continually self-critical in the world. Any country that was founded on ideals, as the United States was, and that declares them openly and defines itself through them, will constantly have to measure the distance between where it is and where it should be. The distance between the reality of life and the hope for a better one is also the basis of the American Dream. It is has been hotly argued not only by Americans, but by the rest of the world as well. This debate about America is at the center of what it means to be an American and the strength of the argument reflect the view that America is different or should be. The literature of America has also demonstrated this tradition of self-criticism.
Many Americans feel that such continuing self-tradition, the terrible attention by the media, the publishing of the things best keep secret, the hunts for scandals, has gone too far. They point out that in few other western societies can political cartoonists so openly ridicule their leader.
You can read the rest of his post here.
One of my Japanese Canadian commenters made mention of some aspects of the American culture that I think people need to keep in mind:
…But I think that hard-core existential anti-Americanism–the idea that the USA is by its very nature, and from its conception, an evil nation–is more common in the US than in Canada, even accounting for the 10:1 population ratio.
For example, consider Noam Chomsky.
If he were Canadian, and said about Canada the things he says about the US, he’d be tarred and feathered and laughed out of public life.
I guess this is mixed up with the matter of Canadians being excessively patriotic, even in the face of reality (”We have the best health care in the world! We have the best education system.” “Everybody loves Canada.”), to the point of irrationally hating the US. On the other hand, MANY Americans whom I have no problem identifying as traitors are quite successful in the US, in the media [Dan Rather], Hollywood [Jane Fonda], Academia [The Professors], Politics [Gore], etc. And of course if they are criticized, instead of responding rationally, they always say that is “proof” that the “dissent” is not tolerated in “Amerikkka”….
I find this most interesting as the Anti-Americans IN America whine, moan, and groan ALL-THE-TIME about how we don’t have free speech… which is a farce! EVERYONE here (including myself at times) CONVENIENTLY FORGETS what free speech is and how it IS free over here. Let’s remember the following:
The 1st Amendment addresses what the government cannot do:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
More from Akira:
The US is a great place to be anti-American
By Gerard Baker, The Times, October 19, 2007
Anti-Americanism is on the wane at last. All over the world, Americans are being fêted once again as farsighted, liberating heroes.
Al Gore has won a Nobel Peace Prize, an Oscar and an Emmy, the triple crown of recognition from the self-adoring keepers of bien-pensant, elite liberal, global orthodoxy. Michael Moore is treated like a prophet in Cannes and Venice, as he peddles his tales of an America that poisons its poor, sends its blacks off to war and shoots itself. Whenever a loquacious Dixie Chick or a contumacious Sean Penn utters some excoriating remark about the depravity of his or her own country, audiences around the world nod their heads in sympathetic agreement. Bill Clinton, of course, is a god. Though protocol dictates that he may not say things that are too unkind about the country he once led, a nod and a wink will suffice.
It has always amused me that the same people who denounce America as a seething cesspit of blind obscurantist bigotry can’t see the irony that America itself produces its own best critics. When there’s a scab to be picked on the American body politic, no one does it with more loving attention, more rigorous focus on the detail, than Americans themselves.
It has always been this way. The fiercest and most effective opponents of US foreign policy in the 1960s were not the students in Paris or the Politburo in North Vietnam. They were Jane Fonda, Bobby Kennedy and Marvin Gaye.
* The inconvenient truth about Al Gore
* A Stormy Climate
* Michael Moore’s healthy skepticism
* A convenient Nobel prize for politics
Today I can only laugh when I see the popular portrayal of George Bush’s America in much of the international media. Supposedly serious commentators will say, without evident irony, that free speech is under attack, that Bush’s wiretapping, Guantanamo-building, tourist-fingerprinting regime is terrifying Americans into quiet, desperate acquiescence in the country’s proliferating crimes.
The truth is that America not only harbours the most eloquent and noisy anti-Americans in its own breast, it provides a safe haven for people to come from all over the world to condemn it.
Take a stroll through almost any American university campus and you will hear a cacophony of voices in a hundred different languages, slamming everything America does, from fast food to hedge-fund capitalism. For years one of America’s most celebrated academics was Edward Said, the Palestinian agitator-cum-professor, who lived high on the hog at Columbia University, near the pinnacle of the American intellectual establishment, dispensing his wisdom about US wrongs in the Middle East.
Hollywood is the global mecca for angry denouncers of everything American. From all over they come, forcing themselves to live in their green-lawned mansions carefully tended by cheap migrant labour from south of the Border. This autumn, unsuspecting Americans (and everyone else, of course) will be treated to an especially unsettling stream of antiwar, anti-American propaganda, much of it produced in Hollywood by foreigners – such as this weekend’s likely box-office hit, Rendition.
I can only laugh at the last paragraph up above because the Americanophobic Left are hysterical when they condemn Hollywood (AKA Hellywood). Yet… Hellywood is the same place that they all went to see…
- The Corporation
- Bowling for Columbine
- The Big One
- The Awful Truth
- Captain Mike Across America
- Fahrenheit 9-11
- An Inconvenient Truth
- Talking to Americans
And read these books created by Hellywoodian authors…
- Stupid White Men
- Will They Ever Trust us Again?
- Dude, Where’s my Country?
- Downsize This!
- Adventures in a TV Nation
- TV Nation
- The Assault on Reason
- American Earth
- Earth in Balance
The Anti-American Left also cheered Madonna when she gave a free concert to the French to thank them for not supporting the Iraqi War. The Anti-American Left also cheered the Dixie Chicks for apologizing to the English for the Iraq War while they were over in England on tour. The Anti-American Left also cheered Rosie O’Donnell for telling off Elizabeth Hasselback on “The View”. The Anti-American Left also cheered when Jane Fonda went to Vietnam to apologize. The Anti-American Left also cheered when Mel Gibson made Anti-Semitic remarks.
Wait a minute. Do I really need to continue? For crying out loud, most Hellywood celebrities belong to the staunch Left in the US. Yes, right here in the US. The list of celebrities that have loudly cried against the Iraq War, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Bush, Global Warming and the hellhole that is the USA is an endless list, my friends. It is endless. The Left only condemn Hellywood because and only because it sounds “intellectual” and “elite” and “smert” to be against Hellywood. But when nobody’s watching, they are jacking-off to Leftist entertainment provided by the very people they claim to hate.
It’s true that self-criticism is always more effective than an outsider’s observations. Let’s be honest, how much real moral weight do Vladimir Putin or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad carry when they decry American motives and actions? All but the most unhinged of America’s critics know, deep down, in a part of the brain they try not to consult, that whatever they may think of the Bushitler in Washington, they don’t feel comfortable agreeing with the ex-KGB hatchet man of the Kremlin or the Holocaust-denying Dr Strangelove sitting astride his Islamist bomb. It sounds so much better when Al Gore or Michael Moore says it.
Feel free to read more from Akira here.
Akira is correct. In which other country can you find those people speaking against their leaders and government like this or this? And there are many more pundits out there that won’t stop at anything to get their voices heard. Anti-American Americans are also making mini-celebrities out of themselves on Youtube. Dear Anti-America, please feast yourselves with her and her. And there are more of us that think the US is a shithole.
Nobody hates America like Americans, my sweets. Nobody.
So, as you can see, Americans don’t hide their dirt. Americans don’t hide how stupid they are. Unlike other countries, Americans are more likely to admit when they don’t know something and ask questions. There is never a shortage of American arrogance. However, when it comes to ignorance and curiosity, America fares quite well in the humility department as we don’t suffer from short man syndrome, we don’t have anything to prove consequently not hiding the fact that we want to learn, say the words, “I don’t know”, and ask questions. Americans don’t kick things under the rug like other countries do in an attempt to look perfect for the sake of making “blind patriots” out of their own citizens and for the sake of showing how great they are to the rest of the world. I take pride that America shows almost everything both domestically and internationally – even though it frustrates me at times in the sense that we take our clothes off for other countries yet they don’t do that themselves nearly as much. Other countries try to paint their stinky shit pretty. America shows her shame and exaggerates it for effect. America doesn’t care who’s watching. America makes money off off of this, but doesn’t care if it is at the expense of creating mindless Americanophobia abroad and even on her own turf.
Give us Americans more credit than that.
Americanophobia is irritating to those who are fully aware how self-critical and self-reflective American culture is. It is obvious everyday when you turn on your computer, radio, or TV in search of news or comedy. There is some indication of America showing its ugly face for the world to see. And then when the same aware-people listen to Americanophobic rants, we are confused as the purpose of rampant Americanophobia is to shed light and awareness to the home front of America. But nobody is more aware of what’s wrong with America than America herself.
Here’s where America is obviously ignorant. Most Americans have never even heard of Americanophobia! If it has been heard of, it is more likely that an American will vehemently deny the existence of Americanophobia. Regardless of what political leaning one has, these are the same over-confident Americans that thought America was invincible and were surprised by 9-11. I reckon that this is the American insularism that Canada and Europe talks about. But by foreigners creating websites, forums, threads, topics, groups, cults, clubs, and blogs to spread awareness in hopes to make America change is a waste of time, in my opinion. At least over the last few centuries, the Anti-American Crusade hasn’t proven productive. America has never been good enough for the Americanophobes. This will not change.
Back to the subject!
Our self-critical coverage in the mainstream media (be it comedy, sitcoms, talk shows, investigative reports, or the news itself), is what causes many Americans to believe that we are the only ones in the world who are guilty of committing wrongs. Americans are (like Americanophobes living in other countries) brainwashed to believe in American clichés and that America is the anti-Christ. There are just as many Americans that are brainwashed the other way around, of course. But we can always find that stuff, anywhere. Today’s post is specifically made to show that America is not as one-dimensional as it appears to be due to imbalanced agenda-ridden (although very entertaining) media systems that exists throughout the world.
I also write this post because most people think that these kinds of things only happen in America. No. The difference between America and other countries lies in the fact that some other countries are too ashamed to show their dirty laundry.
Perhaps if America successfully kicked their problems under the rug, our NATO friends wouldn’t have anywhere near the ammunition they have to tell us off with.
Most of my commenters confuse me for being a member of the Right-Wing. “Whaaaat?”, I think to myself. I see no evidence of such anywhere in my blog. In fact, a good 75% of my blog is comprised of my OWN rantings regarding American politics and society. See, Americanophobes are the REAL dingdongs with a black and white overly simplistic view of the world.
Americanophobes across the globe, enjoy defining America by its Extremists. Their media’s slant focuses on American’s extremists and all of it’s flaws. Americanophobes abroad believe in fabricated images of the supposed “typical American”. Some of us believe that the “ugly American image” helps other countries feel more patriotic about themselves. But my friends,… this is what Americanophobia is all about: mindlessness, laziness, genetic defects, displaced anger, scapegoatism, brainwashing, the need to belong, belief without question, inferiority complexes, lack of pride in one’s place in the world, and just plain old ignorance.
Trust me. America knows that it is sick. But America also knows where she is well. I’d like to think that it is only healthy to be aware of both. Not just for Americans. But for the world. There will always be Americans who display the “Ugly American” image. But then again, there will never be a shortage of Canadian and British “ugly images”.
Americanophobia is pointless because the ones that should be self-reflective aren’t listening to your rants and really don’t care whether they exist or not. And the ones that are listening to your rants are those Americans who are ALREADY self-critical.
I was speaking to a British friend of mine on Facebook the other day and I was surprised that he wasn’t aware that American comics and TV didn’t bash our own people, stars, and political figures. So much of what happens in the states doesn’t reach your end of the pond, sadly. But hey, bad news sells… It does over here too. The only difference is that the bad news we watch over here is about OURSELVES.