Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve-D'oh


This is pretty damn hilarious.

Anyone who's read my little book, Dead Star Twilight, is familiar with the name Steve Hyvonen. He's a guy I used to work with years ago at the NBC owned and operated station in Miami and who I wound up being under again immediately after 9/11 -- that's because he was an executive producer of dayside news programming at MSNBC at the time. In the book, I describe him as a pretty harmless and likable goof -- certainly not a bad guy by any means but likewise no ferociously uncompromising journalistic iconoclast. Hyvonen always perfectly represented the kind of tediously average, whiter-than-white-bread influence that seems to assert itself more these days in local news than just about any other. He was never the type to make waves and he seemed content at all times to just do whatever that management guidebook he'd once read dictated and be back home to his suburban wife and 2.3 kids by supper; think Bill Lumbergh by way of Ned Beatty's Otis character from Superman. He certainly wasn't the kind of guy worth getting worked up over for any reason at all.

Which is why it's all kinds of amusing to find out -- and I missed this the first time around -- that last year Hyvonen made Keith Olbermann's "Worst Persons in the World" list at one point. That fact alone is worth pointing and laughing at; the fact that the inclusion was apparently made at the behest of a few people at MS who are still aware of Hyvonen's time at the network and have, shall we say, less than fond memories of him, is even more entertaining. What Hyvonen did to earn Olbermann's ire, by the way, tells you everything you need to know about his thinking. Once again, I have no problem at all with the guy -- but it's still a hoot.

Incidentally, the reason I stumbled across this has to do with my plans for Dead Star Twilight for the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11. A full announcement will be coming within the next few days.

17 comments:

Ken said...

This reeks of 100% journalistic integrity, objectivity and newsworthy relevance. The perfect news segment to air on opposite day!

On the subject of 9-11, I never partake in any media-based remembrance ceremonies. 9-11 has become a bit of a sack cloth mourning at the funerals of the rich and powerful. If 9-11 were anything more than an attention-whoring device for politiclowns, I would not boycott anything more than a personal remembrance of the people (read: human beings, not political, social or nationalist ideologies) who died on September 11th, 2001. Instead of being day used to mourn the sad condition of humankind, 9-11 has often been used as a date for exploitation. This eponym might as well have its own trademark.

Let us not forget that only 56 years and about one month prior, "The Fat Man" and "The Little Boy" rained black upon Nagasaki and Hiroshima, respectively. Did these attacks bring any more justice or prevention of violence than the 9-11 or Pearl Harbor attacks? Did karma kick us in our collective asses any less than the "Shock and Awe" campaign kicked Iraq in theirs? Violence breeds more violence. The path of the Dark Side, America walks! Hmmmm!

Rather than hypocritically crying crocodile tears on September 11th, I'd rather listen to "911 For Peace" by the Punk rock group Anti-Flag. We all are human, let's start to prove it...

Chez said...

Thanks, Ken. I'm sure that makes sense in whatever language it was you were speaking.

Jeff said...

Chez,

I saw him in passing...but I can't remember how long ago it was, or where it was. Probably because he's just that memorable of a guy.

Chez said...

I'm not kidding when I say I really don't dislike him.

Dr. Squid said...

Americanized. I thought it would be pronounced "HOO vo nen".

Ken said...

Oh, geeze! I did my best to write intelligibly and still no luck! I need to go flunk out of UM to learn to write as pretty as you.

Chez said...

Whatever helps.

You know, if what you find here irritates your obviously highly refined tastes that badly, it's a big internet. Feel free to go somewhere else.

kanye said...

Speaking of DeSTwi, what ever happened to the "don't buy it now...wait 'til later" Be Bop Deluxe edition?

Chez said...

Once again, I'll make an announcement in the next couple of days.

Ken said...

Heh. I scoff at the fact you'd call my tastes "refined", albeit sarcastically. As for the invitation out, you're far too much fun to read, in lieu of your great distaste for my comments. Quoth the Simpsons, "Eat my shorts, man!"

Chez said...

It's not distaste at all. I just think it's silly to read something you apparently don't much like. Nobody's keeping you here against your will.

kanye said...

There was a time when you wouldn't have bit on that so easily.

Ken said...

I don't dislike your blog at all. It always offers something new and interesting to read. I wouldn't read it if I disliked it. My comment about "journalistic integrity, objectivity and newsworthy relevance" was in reference to Olbermann's TV segment, not a slight on the quality of your blog.

I disliked your prods at my use of the English language, so I poked back. I didn't mean to be so harsh. I don' believe that leaving a wake of hurt feelings helps the human condition either. The subject of 9-11 evokes strong emotions and opinions. I feel that my first comment was relevant to your post, even if it was loaded with personal ideologies. I'd rather ramble philosophically (when it is kept relevant) than to incessantly ad hominem, as political commentators often do.

It's a big Internet, yes. "Food for thought" commentary on the Internet often receives more backlash and disregard than acknowledgement or praise. It is no different on Usenet or in the offline world. When a prophet exclaims "Beware the Ides of March!", we should look around to see what's going on in the world around us. We often ignore the forewarnings which preclude getting stabbed in the back by our friends. Perhaps the size and exposure of this medium will inspire more people to heed such warnings. In any event, peaceful dialogue often accomplishes more than raising a fist. If such thinking is too deep, then our existence will become more and more cumbersome...

Ref said...

Gosh, Ken, there's nothing I like better than a heaping helping of mushy left historical second-guessing!

Chez said...

Understood, Ken.

Anonymous said...

Ken...I don't want you to take this as an attack on you, but I would like to perhaps fill you in on the situation leading to the atomic bombing. There is a fantastic book call "Hell to Pay" which I think you would find extremely interesting. What is great about the book is that it not only uses US military sources, but also heavily examines the internal documentation from the Japanese High Command prior to its capitulation.

Invading Japan was not the same as invading France. The terrain alone made it much more dangerous. Furthermore, despite the brilliant Soviet campaign to liberate Manchuria (easily the greatest modern day military conquest on land alone), the Soviets had no way to participate with a Japan invasion. They simply did not have the assault shipping to send even a single division. Other than the small help available from England and Australia, the US was basically on its own. Furthermore, since '43 onward, Japan had move most of its best troops and material to the mainland from China, which obviously assisted the Soviets.

There are some frightening realities the US was prepared to face. Leading up to the invasion, US vs Japan losses were down to a terrible 1.5 to 2 casualty rate. Simply put, the US could not continue to loose men at such a steep price. Furthermore, there were tremendous domestic pressures to end the war as rapidly as possible. The final estimate of the first two months of the invasion, in terms of total casualties was 1.5 million men just to secure a beach head.

The stark reality is that the US military has never minted a single Purple Heart since WWII. So many were on order, due to the planned deaths, that the US at this time will not run out of them as they still have over a million in storage.

But honestly, it turns out that the US predicted losses were insanely optimistic. Not only had the Japanese command successfully predicted were the Americans would attack, they predicted within two weeks when it was planned to occur. Techniques such as suicide planes and torpedoes, which did not have significant success in the Pacific, would have been a massive disaster to the huge amount of shipping located at the invasion site. Even more horrific, the Japanese High Command internally recognized they were willing to exhaust 9 million KIA prior to opening negotiations with the Americans. They were hoping to literally bleed the US dry.

9 million is a very significant number when discussing the morality of the atomic bombings. At the time of the US planned invasion, the Japanese Army had 2.5 million members. They were literally going to order by gun point millions of civilians into blocking the US invasion. Men, women, and children, armed with farm implements, were going to be thrown into the fray at every point.

The simple truth is that the atomic bombs saved a shitload of Japanese lives.

Today it is hard for Americans to witness today's Japanese culture with that of the culture of Japan during WWII. The atomic bombing did something that was not planned by the US military...it prevented the Japanese military leaders from dying in a glorious battle, along with taking the rest of the country with them. This broke the will of the Bushido culture.

To be clear, it was still touch and go. The Japanese military had to put down a serious military coup right before the Emperor's speech was released.

And to be clear as well, we are taking about a military high command that committed some utterly horrific atrocities. From utilizing slave labor in the terms of rapes (comfort women) to POWs, to killing and eating POW's and civilians (go to Guam as ask any of the WWII generation how the occupation went for them), Japans military was one of the most barbaric in modern human history.

I'm sorry but comparing the atomic bombings to Pearl Harbor, or even worse, the events of 9-11 is simply ignorant.

CNNfan said...

Most fans know how to spot Ratings.

Awesome! They should televise it!

Hurry before someone else makes the connection between this and a reality TV show like: Survivor.