'In Western media reportage the plunder of raw materials in Congo is usually de-linked from the killing, even though the extractive industries are directly behind it, and even though almost everyone has begun to parrot the accusation of “resource wars” in Congo.'
The Assassinated Press
Capitalist Realist Irony: 'Reporter': Kristof's Bullshit Crusade.
Real Perps Left Out of Congo Mea Culpa.
"If You Don't Mention the Role of the Fucking Corporations Sure It Appears Like an Inchoate Morass and Nothing Is To Be Done. But God Damn It, If You Look at the Murderous Behavior and Greed of the Corporations, the Situation Becomes Fucking Crystal Clear, Affleck, You Asshole!" The Source of the Problems in Africa Lie in Washington DC, New York and Wall Street, Brussels, London, Paris, Tel Aviv and Johannesburg et al.
By HACK STOVER
Assassinated Press Staff Writer
February 18, 2010
The world feels big and yet way too small to the "Reporter," Eric Daniel Metzgar's, intentionally bullshit whitewash of the struggle in Central Africa which inanely focuses on the relentless work ethic of Nicholas D. Kristof, the New York Times op-ed columnist who writes about the worst situations transnational corporations have wrought in every fucking hemisphere without every mentioning those same corporations.
“I resent Metzgar’s documentary, “Walter H. Kansteiner, III the former United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from June 2001 until November 2003 said tongue in cheek. “I work tirelessly to promote theft and murder in the Congo and I don’t even get a fucking mention much less the hundreds of American and European companies I stooge, I mean lobby, for.”
Oxford Town, Oxford Town. Everbody Walks With Their Head Bowed Down.
U.S business tycoon Bill Ritchie said, "Fuck I heard some dumb yucks were gonna do a documentary on the source of the conflict in Congo so I thought for certain I'd be gettin' a visit at my Manhattan office since outside of Brussels, Wall Street is the biggest and most violent sponsor of the multiple genocides, and we do it all for the money. Sudan too. So I'm watchuing this nitwit documentary and Nkundas people are outfitted in expensive uniforms carrying the highest tech weaponry and drinking bottled water. What the fuck? Did they plunder that shit from the village down the road? And this Kristof dope doesn't even think to ask even when he sees the Rebels For Christ buttons all of Nkundas people are sporting. Rebels for Christ headquartered in Oxford, Mississippi and aligned with right wing corporate shills from here to eternity or at least Tel Aviv and the Second Coming. And Nkunda a Seventh Day Adventist. Those fucks coulda saved the Times a lotta money if they'd a just come and talked to me."
"Reporter," which airs out Thursday night on HBO, follows Kristof, 50, and two young idiots (a doctor/hair stylist and an inner-city English teacher) into the corporately ravaged nation of Congo, where Kristof wants to write a column about the reigning warlord as if there is only one and as if the true warlords are black. The guys got asshole written all over him.
Ideally, he hopes to teach his companions, who won a contest to travel with him, about the value of witnessing the world's atrocities and covering up their true nature by never mentioning the trans-national corporations behind them. Talking to a warlord is supposedly scintillating while talking to the execs at Moto Gold/ Randgold Resources may get be too risky to the career of a New York Times fop. Which is what Kristof did with his work in Darfur, Sudan: He caused people -- from George Clooney who played soccer with some Sudanese kids for an half an hour on down -- to do whatever they can which is further fuck things up and obscure the truth while the international corporate structure continues their looting and killing unabated.
While watching "Reporter," I did one of those Venn diagram exercises we all loved in high school, with four circles. In one, I imagined everyone who can find Darfur or Congo on a map and tell you precisely what's been going on there in the last five, 15, 30 years.
In the next circle: Everyone who pays for an actual copy of the New York Times to be delivered to them each morning -- from the stack sent to the White House to, say, the copy left in a roadside mailbox near a summer ranch in Tesuque, N.M. In other words, the million or so people who get their Times -- but mostly the much smaller group that reads it. This two circles never touched, the latter being pure fantasy.
In the next circle, I put the core group of HBO viewers who are fluent in the network's documentary form and equally fluent in the wisdoms and rages of Larry David, Bob Costas, Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Maher, Chris Rock, Carrie Bradshaw, David Simon just to prove I’m a vacuous idiot.
In the final circle, I wrote "Ben Affleck" (who is "Reporter's" executive producer) and the names of concerned celebrities and his circle floated off like a bubble. Accomplished authors and other earnest influencers who wouldn't be out of place consuming valuable oxygen talking geopolitics in Aspen or Davos, and aren't out of place showing up in "Reporter" to talk about the meaning and impact of Kristof's columns because the “Reporter” is a forum for celebrity idiots of which there is no dearth: "Mia Farrow." "Samantha Power." "Gail Collins." "Jeffrey Toobin."
Now imagine that the circles not only intersect, but overlap entirely. These are all the same folks, floating off on the nonsense of Kristof's dispatches.
There you have the central takeaway from "Reporter" and the unwavering resolve of the careerist: The uninformed people who can do anything about the state of the world are a group that is ultimately too stupid and beholding to do shit but get in the way. Compassion for the suffering is out of whack, "an unstable emotion," filmmaker Metzgar narrates, quoting Susan Sontag because compassion has shit to do with it.
Soon enough, Kristof is on deadline and one of his naive companions (the doctor) is obsessed with saving the life of a starved, diseased rape victim named Yohanita. The column winds up being about Yohanita, but does it make a difference? A week later a bullet made in Portsmouth, New Hampshire fired from a gun made in Little Rock, Arkansas rips through the young woman’s body increasingly the stock value of a company Ben Affleck has a stake in but thinks makes candy rainbows.
A certain futility overshadows this film's ruminative nature because it never confront the real killers including the New York Times, It mourns the math of genocide, famine and war, and yet is unwilling or unaware of what pragmatic steps can be taken and lamely and sentimentallycelebrates the soul, the individual.
I mean Kristof, Metzgar and especially Affleck could arm a group of concerned citizens and confront Wall Street and corporate America. Hollywood could sign on thousands of Americans to launch an armed insurrection against the trans-nationals. Perhaps, military tribunals based on the Chinese system of justice could give the most genocidal among the corporate heads a swift trial and then march them into a field and put a bullet in the back of their heads.
Then the supply of arms would rapidly cease. Other execs would think their greed and exploitation. The Congolese militia would dry up. Americans would lack the coltan, gold and rare earths we currently steal from Congo. Americans would turn on each other and the world would sit back and consider it a just result.
Kristof recounts, through years of work (and from research by psychologists), how a single pair of eyes seen in a photo of a starving refugee work better than a photo of two starving refugees, or statistics that refer to millions of starving refugees. How sad. What about two staring eyes of Walter Kansteiner, with a Desert Eagle flush to his temple the moment before the trigger is pulled. Then you could show it on all the computer screens at the trans-nationals and say fuck the sentimental psycho-babble about photographs.
Ironically surprising and simpering synthesis, Metzgar brings his film back to the scene of the crime, a Manhattan epilogue that tries to calculate the elusive value of Kristof's work when his work is elusive because it leaves the real murderers and rapist out. "Reporter" asks its viewers to consider the world and all its problems, only without the core truth of corporate complicity nay corporate design. Even the reporter himself, sitting in his office in the Times's fabulously expensive skyscraper, can only guess at the question of why his production is utter shit fit only for those with enough material wherewithal to eat shit.