This Just In

by MISSY BEATTIE

Last Thursday, I was nearly inconsolable, having submitted my article midafternoon. If only I’d waited. I’d written about W. VA’s chemical spill, big industry’s latest egregious assault on what’s called Chemical Valley, an invasion, like war, that’s destroying our ecosystem. But later—in the evening—I saw something else with historical significance.

I’d wandered to Google News to read top stories. That’s when I saw it, saw and read about a huge event that included a video. It’s one of those images forever forged in the mind—so much so that even years later, I’ll recall where I was and what I was doing when the announcement socked my psyche.

I desperately wanted to write another op-ed but decided against it, certain someone else would. Plus, I knew the incident was unfolding, would continue to develop.

But first, a little background. On former Congresswoman Jane Harman, an AIPAC groupie. Back in 2005, a NSA wiretap picked up Harman’s promises to intervene on behalf of two pro-Israel lobbyists who were under investigation for espionage. In return for this favor, she’d receive help in sitting comfortably in that chair of the powerful House Intelligence Committee. Harman ended one of the plundered calls with, “This conversation doesn’t exist.”

Way cool, articulating, “This conversation doesn’t exist.” I’m practicing, repeating it, emphasizing a different word in the sentence each time.

Truth is, Harman’s conversation might as well not have existed, because a criminal case against her was dropped. The Bush Administration liked her. Harman could be banked on for her commitment to an unbreakable US-Israel bond and to fund war.

Now, Harman’s president of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington. Recently, she spoke from Davos, saying that the NSA’s program of spying is constitutional.

Okay, WAKE UP, because this is the part I’ve been moving towards: MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell was interviewing Harman on January 23rd about a government task force recommendation that the NSA stop gathering our phone records when suddenly Mitchell disrupted Harman mid-sentence, “Congresswoman Harman, let me inte … let me interrupt you. Congresswoman, let me interrupt you just for a moment. We have some breaking news out of Miami.”

The breaking news: Justin Bieber was arrested. Yes. This. Is. Breaking. News. (Either what the corporate media select for us or what they believe we want to know.)

Mitchell continued, telling viewers that Bieber was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence, drag racing, and resisting arrest.

I just wish I could have seen Harman’s face when she heard the reason for the abrupt cutoff. You can watch the YouTube here.

Info for the unhip: Bieber’s a 19-year-old heartthrob with a teen following known as “Beliebers”. He’s hot shit to a generation of youth and definitely to himself. I mean look—this is his entry in the guestbook at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”

But then I’m thinking I may become a Belieber. Because news of Bieber’s arrest not only hijacked Harman’s on-air performance, it also must have rattled her royal, talking head self-image, at least temporarily. I bet she’s a dis-Belieber.

This just in: Bieber’s blood alcohol level was zero.

Also just in: A WhiteHouse.gov petition to deport the Canadian-born Bieber has 115,000 signatures. Obama must “react”. Oh, please.

I’m having a what-if moment. Suppose Bieber’s arrest had occurred during Obama’s SOTU speech. “Mr. President, let me interrupt you. Mr. President. We have breaking news. Justin Bieber has been…”

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 03, 2015
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Atomic Era Turns 70, as Nuclear Hazards Endure
Nelson Valdes
An Internet Legend: the Pope, Fidel and the Black President
Robert Hunziker
The Perfectly Nasty Ocean Storm
Jack Dresser
The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook
Ahmad Moussa
Incinerating Palestinian Children
Greg Felton
Greece Succumbs to Imperialist Banksterism
Binoy Kampmark
Stalling the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the Failure of the Hawai’i Talks
Ted Rall
My Letter to Nick Goldberg of the LA Times
Mark Weisbrot
New Greek Bailout Increases the Possibility of Grexit
Jose Martinez
Black/Hispanic/Women: a Leadership Crisis
Victor Grossman
German Know-Nothings Today
Patrick Walker
We’re Not Sandernistas: Reinventing the Wheels of Bernie’s Bandwagon
Norman Pollack
Moral Consequences of War: America’s Hegemonic Thirst
Ralph Nader
Republicans Support Massive Tax Evasion by Starving IRS Budget
Alexander Reid Ross
Colonial Pride and the Killing of Cecil the Lion
Suhayb Ahmed
What’s Happening in Britain: Jeremy Corbyn and the Future of the Labour Party
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future