Superficially this is true, if you own a press or a media outlet you can say whatever you wish, it’s only when people begin to listen to you that you’ll start to have trouble. Howard Stern posed no great threat to the government, his juvenile middle school fart schtick could hardly be considered obscene or a threat to government power. The premise of, this is a free country and let the market place decide goes out the window however when the forces of government and repression decide that they’ve heard enough.
Who needs secret police when you can fine! The ability to embroil in costly litigation, to outstrip the potential of any profit for the owner of the free press. I use Stern as an example only because he was such a harmless buffoon. What then of a Eugene Debs? A man who was perceived as threat or a generation later, Walter W. Walters the leader of the bonus marchers. A man who came to Washington to seek peaceful redress of grievances from his free government as it was promised to him in the constitution and the bill of rights. He was answered with the torch, the tank and the gun. Who paid for this assault on the bonus marchers liberty? Who went to jail in our free country of laws and not of men? No one.
Today we have the 21st century torch of character assignation, the free exchange of ideas is a regulated arena of neutron bombs. Fox, MSNBC or EIB, Ersatz Intelligence Broadcasting have reduced the political argument between left and right to between right and center. The media routinely refers to Hillary Clinton as a liberal, Clinton is no more a liberal than Lenny Bruce was a Republican. But when you own the free press you can designate people as whatever you wish.
So it was that a decorated war hero with two tours of combat duty becomes a malingerer and a braggert. His decorations for heroism were merely crackerjack prizes and his injuries insignificant and probably self-inflicted scratches. His opponent with a checkered past and a clouded record speaks before military audiences to standing ovations. The media soft-pedal the deficiencies treating the two records as if identical, as both candidates bravely served their country. But when the issue of the Bush record comes to light it is the newsman that is investigated not the record. When compensated spokesman attacks the Kerry record it is freedom of the press.
Fox Broadcasting’s pursuit and purchase of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal is nothing but an attempt to steroize the mainstream perception. The same opinion coming from all sides, controlling the focus and the perception of what is considered news at all in our free country. Vladamir Putin made this year’s list of most dangerous dictators in Parade Magazine even though he was twice elected in internationally monitored elections. An achievement that our own George W. Bush can’t equal. Likewise President Amadinjiad of Iran also made the list despite his election by popular vote.
When you own the free media you can say what ever you like, those of us who don’t own media outlets are free to disagree. Freedom of speech means just that, you’re free to tell lies, prevaricate, twist, spin, the skies the limit. Strangely, it is only those that speak against the status quo who need to fear. The afore mentioned Lenny Bruce, doofusses like Howard Stern and even the guys who made the video "Loose Change" find themselves the targets of lawsuits and claims of copyright infringement. Held to a standard that if applied evenly would put You Tube out of business before sun down. So it should be understood that it is not what they are doing but what they are saying. It is not their actions but their message.
The media frame the issue, define the characters and filter the facts to fit the scenario. Insignificant facts such as Saddam had been prepared to leave Iraq prior to the invasion are omitted as are the reports by Iraqi scientists that Saddam had scrapped his nuclear program years before. Those with contrary information are silenced or discredited until we find ourselves as a nation in situations that don’t even make a little bit of sense. “We don’t want the next smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud,” morphs into Saddam is a horrible dictator and we must help the Iraqi people to enjoy the fruits of democracy.
WTF? Iraqi democracy? What business is it of ours what sort of government the Iraqi’s have? It should be noted however that in retrospect Saddam did make it look easy when compared with our own results. But it’s the media more than Bush that should be held accountable. They took a dull white light and refracted it into a rainbow of fantasy and prevarication’s. All the major issues of the day are sifted and sanitized into simplistic rainbow premises.
We can’t look at the raw information; we look at illegal immigration for instance. Who named it that? Are they immigrants or refugees? Immigrants is a friendly term, America is a nation of immigrants, we welcome immigrants. We overlook the fact that the American immigrants ran the Native Americans off their tribal lands making them refugees. So the definition becomes the reason why they are coming here. Are they coming here for religious freedom like so many of our own early American immigrants? Or is it because they couldn’t make a living at home and their government encouraged them to leave rather than to solve their own economic problems. The second largest source of hard currency for the Mexican government is the dollars sent home by the immigrants? Or should that be the refugees?
The definition then becomes a matter of opinion. Like Iraq, the political world turns upside down. The Republican Party, the party of law and order wants to legislate amnesty for those who have committed an illegal act. They use the race card to describe any and all who oppose them, its because of their ethnicity not their illegality that we want to send them home. Yet we are taught as children never to cut in line and that the reasons never justify the breaking of the rules. The Republicans campaign against gay marriages and civil unions on moral grounds pandering to their base. But amnesty for illegal refugees should be granted on the same moral basis despite the wishes of their own electorate.
The Democrats for their part are more sympathetic to the refugee’s as being oppressed and mistreated by the governments of their native countries. The very definition of a refugee and not of an immigrant. The mass exodus from Castro’s Cuba during the Mariel boatlift was administered over by the Carter Administration. A Democrat, a Democrat who went on to win the Nobel Peace prize. But the Carter administration put those refugees into refugee camps. They weren’t just turned loose at the dock, the administration knew that Castro was dumping his prison population on America. No one in the media called the Carter administration racist, it was prudent to investigate who these people were before just turning them loose. There is not a country in the world that accepts refugees without screening them.
But Carter wasn’t considered a racist by the media until he wrote a book suggesting that the Palestinians weren’t receiving a fair shake in Israel. A book of opinions by an ex-president, does an ex-president have a right to his opinions? The New York Times then publishes long tirades by Alan Dershowitz proclaiming Carter as a racist. Demanding Carter debate him and then calling him a coward when he refuses. Why should Carter have to debate his personal opinions? What could Carter win in such a debate? Ann Coulter publishes books with the most scurrilous personal attacks and outrageous opinions on which the Times remains silent. How come noone called Ronald Reagan a racist when he opened fire on civilian neighborhoods in Beirut with battleships in response to the attack on the Marine barracks?
To open fire on innocent civilians with military assets in response to an attack upon military assets by combatants is illegal. It was immoral; it was a war crime but was it racist? Our free and independent media reported it as firing upon terrorist positions. Hurling a shell the size of a Volkswagen 20 miles with the accuracy of a thousand yards in any direction. But those are the rules, if we kill them they are terrorists. If they weren’t terrorists we wouldn’t have killed them. Even if the terrorists have disguised themselves as a wedding celebration or a family going home with two small children, maybe they were using the children as human shields. Yes, that must be the answer.
Our entertainment media is flooded with so-called reality programs, Cops, World’s most outrageous behavior and never in any of these programs do police ever tackle the wrong man. Never do they exacerbate a bad situation or make a bad decision and I’m not picking on the police, I’m only trying to make the point that’s its labeled reality. The narrator describes the suspects with every adjective imaginable with a disclaimer at the end that all suspects innocent until proven guilty. Not reality but the perception of reality, a refracted reality where the colors of the rainbow are isolated to present the prettiest picture imaginable. Only the picture they want you to see, Cops never arrest innocent people.
During the recent stock market troubles Fox business news was doing man on the street interviews in Time Square and strangely enough everyone agreed with Fox news that the condition of the economy was just fine. Just as on CNN’s program Lou Dobbs tonight 98% of the audience agreed with Lou’s tightly scripted questions. “Should illegal immigrants who violate our laws be deported immediately?” Duh… CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta attacked Michael Moore’s film about America’s health care crises “Sicko.” Moore responded on Wolf Blitzer’s CNN program taking both Blitzer and Gupta to task for their mischaracterizations of his film.