Saturday, April 30, 2005

An important new article

You all know my admiration for Eric Alterman, and his latest article in the Nation reaffirms his position in my pantheon of truth-tellers and analysts. In it, Alterman outlines the Administration's virtually unstopped campaign to undermine and thereby destroy the mainstream media's power to act as a check in the political system. He covers the systemic failure of journalists to act in concert, as well as their almost sheeplike inability to confront power with any sort of consistency or tenacity. What makes the situation worse, though, is that reporters seemingly don't even respect their trade enough to let others in on the sick joke being played on the public; instead, they go through the motions as if they were actually doing their jobs. "Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this war against the media has been the fact that members of the media have largely behaved as if it is just business as usual." And it is here that Smirky and the boys have proven their mastery over the system. By making the press complicit in their campaign of secrecy, lies, and fake news (as Alterman sees it), the Chimp and all his cronies can thereby point to the So-Called Liberal Media's assent/implicit approval of their behavior as proof that they aren't the bad guys they really are. How many times have we heard the phrase, "Even the liberal (fill-in-the-blank with your favorite non-Scaife or Moon-funded rag here) says so"?
This stripping the center (let alone the left) of any honest voice in the media that can be respected by anyone not paying close attention whatsoever, is surely going to be the legacy of this Administration--beyond the tens of thousands of dead people strewn over the deserts in the Middle East, of course. If the New York Times or the Washington Post can no longer be relied upon to dig for any truths, and they have only shown a fitful ability to do so lately, what chance does the average citizen have to learn the facts of any national story in their local paper? Truths are being found and told, but only a pretty highly motivated person can wade through all the crap that's published/aired to find them. Most people have their own daily lives to lead and don't have the time or the energy to devote to sifting through the morass of lies thrown at them on regularly by heretofore trustworthy sources.
It used to be a point of pride that one could say that s/he read "the paper" every day, because by doing so one could reasonably assume to be well-versed in what was going on around the world. Unfortunately, reading the paper now leads more often to complete and utter ignorance of what's really happening. And that's only if one reads a good newspaper! Reading a right-wing rag like Murdoch's New York Post or Moon's Washington Times will convince you completely that up is down and that black is white.


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