Sunday, November 30, 2014

Never Get High On Your Own Supply Of Paranoia

"Who is the Prime Minister Fighting Against?"
"Prime Minister Abe has set off, lifting the banner of battle for his self-named 'Abenomics dissolution.' In two press conferences he has made reference to resistance forces -- but just who or what he is describing is unclear. Who is/are this/there enemy/enemies upon which he has fastened his gaze?"

There's no pretty way to say this: something has gone terribly awry in Abeland. (Link)

Let's talk image management here, shall we? If you really want to look so fearful as to be lashing out at butterflies with a sledgehammer, have your walking/talking id -- a.k.a., Hagiuda Ko'ichi -- write a letter to all the main commercial television networks asking/warning them they have to be fair, non-partisan and balanced (Fox News should sue) in their reporting on the election.

Or perhaps fulminate on Facebook that a college student's satire site is a part of an organized conspiracy against you. (Link - J)

While "certain elements of the media are congenitally against us" and "the misbehavior of some media outlets have severely wounded Japan" are standard applause lines of revisionist wingery, this latest outing by Team Abe is a saunter down a very dark, narrow and boggy path.

Lead editorials today in The Asahi Shimbun (no particular URL yet but try this) and the Tokyo Shimbun (Link - J) denounced the Hagiuda letter as a threat to press freedom. For the Asahi Shimbun, the threat is palpable: the Hagiuda letter alludes to the controversy over TV Asahi (The Asahi Shimbun is a main shareholder) reporting in the early 1990s that led members of the Liberal Democratic Party to threaten a revocation of TV Asahi's broadcast license.

As for the above picture with its semi-rhetorical questions pasted on it about where the prime minister thinks his enemies are, it comes from the Sankei Shimbun's online editorial section.


When not even the Sankei Shimbun, a publication which specializes in the identification of enemies, both real and imagined, can guess who you think your enemies are, Mr. Abe, you have a problem.

Then again, when aides quip that your best friends in international politics are Vladimir Putin and Taycip Erdogan and you carry out fond Twitter mutual affection fests with Narendra Modi (Link), perhaps you just don't care.

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