And, the Presidential Medal of Freedom Goes to …

imageThe bigger the sycophant, the greater the prize.

I’ll never forget watching Tom Brokaw on Leno or Daily Show or some other outlet talking about the trials and tribulations of his job. He was driving in Manhattan when his phone rang, and he learned that Saddam Hussein had been captured. The poor schmuck had to turn around and go back to the studios and sit down and read prepared copy to us. That was his only job. He was considered very good at it because he seemed believable.

In the Empire of Lies, men of law caliber are elevated to high station. Brokaw is a sycophant and an actor, nothing more. He is to journalism what fine quality paper is for books: Very handy for frontispieces.

10 thoughts on “And, the Presidential Medal of Freedom Goes to …

  1. I think you utilize too simplistic of a description for a human and as such the piece suffers for it. but I do see what you mean about Brokaw.

    He certainly was never one of my favorite talking heads and he didn’t instill confidence in me particularly. I recall no great questions, nor insightful analysis. But that doesn’t prove anything really. I find Rachel Maddow far more enlightening and a lot funnier.

    But i know nothing of the human, only saw his job on tv tangentially.

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    1. The newsman in the Empire of Lies has but one function. While the Empire does not always tell lies, it does demand that everything it says be believed. The job of the newsman then is to repeat the news and make it believable. To the degree they succeed at this, they are rewarded.

      Brokaw either knows this about himself, or he does not. In either case do I have no admiration for him.

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  2. Brokaw bought the West Boulder Ranch outside of McLeod MT when I was spending a lot of time up the West Boulder at the Reserve in the 80s. He sure didn’t make any friends with the locals or adjacent land owners. Basically another dick celebrity coming in, closing up the land, and being a “gentleman” rancher.

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      1. Did you go hike up the West Boulder? One of my favorite stomping grounds in my youth, being up in the A-B Wilderness, there! Used to climb Shell Mountain out our back door for an afternoon of fun.

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        1. Yep. We went up both ways, up to the meadows and beyond, but Davis Lake and Lightning were our usual direction. I cut my face open at Lightning, as I was tired and wanting to get up the hill and was directly below my hiking buddy and he kicked a rock loose. I just managed to turn my head as it hit me, and I screamed in pain and he thought he had killed me. We got to Billjngs late that night and so due to time lapse they refused to do stitches, so I lived with a facial scar for years, not noticeable now.

          I loved West Boulder because no one else seemed to know about it. My wife and I spent time there too. Good memories.

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          1. One of my first big solos when I was a kid was up the W. Fork, and over the divide by Cowan to Mill Creek, with some time up on the W. Boulder Plateau. There’s a cool cave up there, Crystal Cave, with a creek running through part of it.

            Here’s a harrowing story of my buddy Charles getting caught in the Pine Creek fire a few years ago, and having to run out over the divide to escape.

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          2. Wow! What impresses is his self-awareness in danger, intelligence, thoughtfulness. This is one smart cookie.

            My wife met both Charlie and John, had them over for dinner years ago (she owned a cabin on West Boulder when we met). She thought maybe they were the “original hippies” who settled in that area after the big ranch was subdivided. (Said with affection.) Ask Charlie if he remembers having dinner with Hassie.

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          3. I haven’t been down in the area in a while, so have been out of touch… but yeah, Charles and John were “the original hippies” in the area. And they know the West Boulder like the back of their hands, which in Charles’ case saved his life. Two of my best friends were ranch managers and lived at the WBRA for about 10 years (I introduced them to Charles and John) through the 80s, and I spent a lot of time up there. Great place and time. It was my place to escape to when Bozeman and Livingston (where I lived) got too trendy and yuppified.

            The history of the WBRA is interesting and convoluted, but suffice it to say that it was a stark contrast to what Brokaw did on his ranch down the road. And then there was the Burnt Leather Ranch, which was a traditional working cattle ranch with the classic old-style Montanan rancher running it. Salt of the earth. Rich hippies & their poor hippy friends (like me), dick celebrities, and old-school ranchers. That was the W. Boulder in my heyday there!

            So the W. Boulder had it all, and the quietest part of the A-B Wilderness for its backyard. We used to go up in the winter with enough supplies to last a month in case we got snowed in, and a couple of times we were arctic-blasted in for 7-10 day stretches with 6+ foot drifts we’d have to wait for the county to plow out before we could escape. And in those days there was no electricity or phone to many of the cabins up there, so we would just read, talk, play music, ski and ride horses. And stampede cows out of the area when they broke through, or walked over, drifted fences. Memories…

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