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Riding a Media Wave

Walter Isaacson wrote a lovely review of Benazir Bhutto’s new book on Huffpo today(with excerpts):

"When I reached the age of puberty, my mother asked me to wear a burqa," she writes. "Suddenly the world looked gray. I felt hot and uncomfortable breathing under the confines of the cloth. My father took one look at me and said, ‘My daughter does not have to wear the veil.’"
Bhutto goes on to recount the inspiring story of how she took up her father’s mantle as leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, after he was deposed and executed, and went on to become, from 1988-1990 and 1993-1996, the first woman to lead a Muslim country.
— Walter Isaacson on Huffpo re: Bhutto’s book Reconciliation.

Funny, Pakistan was founded (as the Dominion of Pakistan) in 1947, under the leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League, and was renamed the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1956. Pakistan was a founding member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Developing 8 Countries (D8) and Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). It is also a member of the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO), G33 developing countries, Group of 77 developing nations (G77) and is a nuclear power. 

It took Pakistan 41 years for a woman to lead the country. The United States can’t manage to do it after 200+ years. The misogyny robust here that so many people would rather have a barely-experience guy, who preaches “hope,” rather than electing a woman with more experience and skill to actually create change than his entire staff combined. But maybe I’m being overly sensitive because her campaign is looking bleak right now. But I if anyone can snap back, it’s her. We’ll see how long Barack and McCain can ride this media wave.  I’m no media or political expert, so I’m just bracing myself and sticking by Hillary nonetheless. 

I remember the media wave in 2000, debating how we should spend the massive SURPLUS in the U.S. treasury that one Clinton managed to accrue. Now, 8 years later, congress is wondering how it is going to face the consequences of a sliding economy and a looted treasury. Anyway, today’s HST wisdom comes from an interview Hunter did with “Studio For Men” in February 1989. It’s about how the press as a whole reacted to Watergate:
Studio For Men: I thought that maybe there would be a sense in which the office of the President itself is not infallible. And I just wondered, because it’s not entirely clear from your writing, I just wondered how you feel about the fallibility of the office of President.


HST: With Watergate, what we took great pride in here was that it didn’t really have much to do with the President himself, or the office. It was more the fact that the people, and the press, actually did run the country and that we could throw out a crooked President, and there was a great amount of pride in that, not that the President was infallible. We’ve had some real bastards and I’m sure you have too down there. We took great pride in that we could throw him out.
You know, chase the bastards out of Washington. And somehow there was a great celebration of the power of the people after Watergate. Hell, I did it myself; I was proud of all of us. And somehow that has not carried over. There was a great celebration but it was honored more in the spirit than the reality.


SFM: Don’t you think that whatever forces they were that you exposed simply closed their ranks?


HST: I’m not sure they closed theirs. I think we got lazy and we congratulated ourselves…

— Hunter S. Thompson, 1989


Until next time, 

Anita Thompson





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