Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Journalism's junk mail equivalent

Anybody else think this report from Reuters on the UN vote regarding the American embargo of Cuba just clutters up their Politics Section?

But let's laugh for a moment at the presumed seriousness of the report. First this:

Nearly every country in the world joined on Tuesday to urge the United States to lift its four-decade old economic embargo against Cuba in a record U.N. General Assembly vote.

The vote, held for the 14th consecutive year, was 182 to 4 with 1 abstention on a resolution calling for Washington to lift the U.S. trade, financial and travel embargo, particularly its provisions penalizing foreign firms.
Seems impressive until you get to the next paragraph:

The five voting "no" were the United States, Israel, Palau and the Marshall Islands. Micronesia abstained and El Salvador, Iraq, Nicaragua and Morocco did not vote. Last year the vote was 179 to 5, with more countries refusing to vote.
So this is really really important, record breaking important because there were 3 more votes??? Big freaking deal. If 179 wasn't impressive enough, then 182 certainly ain't gonna change things.

And don't you just love the Maxwell Smart-ish "The five voting "no" were the [1] United States, [2] Israel, [3] Palau and the [4] Marshall Islands"

And, com'n, the 14th consecutive "non-binding" vote? How much leg is there in that news and especially since these kinds of votes are a UN specialty?

Oh, here's the record:

"In terms of insanity, this draconian prohibition should go into the annals of the Guinness Book of Records," he [Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque] said.
This really ought to be in the "Oddly Enough" Section.

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