9/11/2010

Interpreting News

The more media we have, the more sources that appear on the web, the more cable "news" channels we have, the more dense the new digital on-air world becomes, the harder it is to figure out what's going on. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. Ever since crazy Ronny Wrinkles abolished the "Fairness Doctrine," the media has steadily gone downhill. Of course, that was the intent behind eliminating the one thing that held the American media accountable so Reagan could have claimed "mission accomplished" if he had been able to put together two such obscure words into a single sentence.

With the advent of all of these news "sources," American citizens are all the way back to those days when being more than 10 miles from the event is the equivalent to being across the ocean from useful information about the event. If you didn't see it, you can't know what happened. Even pictures lie, words are valueless. This is a serious problem for democracy. "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." - Thomas Jefferson

Clearly, today we are not to be trusted with our "own government." Our government, our world, belongs to corporations and their representatives in governments all over the world and they don't trust us, themselves, each other, or humanity at large. All my life, I've realized that two things float to the top of the toilet bowl: cream and turds. In the corporate world, cream isn't often produced. Which means that the people who are running the world are the lazy, inbred, retarded children of the people who have been running the world for decades. George W. Bush, for example. (No, by the way, I don't miss him.)

Until a solution like the one the Fairness Doctrine represented is found, the integrity of our democracy, the quality of discourse, the value of our actions, the usefulness of "information" will be minimal. If that seems unimportant to you, you are not alone. Reagan's FCC henchman, Mark Fowler, argued that abolition of the Fairness Doctrine was a First Amendment "matter of principle." The principle was the "right" of corporations and the elite to have their position strongly made over all objections. You have to give Republicans credit for consistency.

Obviously, the authors of the First Amendment would have gone to war to defeat that sort of argument, but Republicans have freely interpreted the Constitution for their own purposes since Teddy Roosevelt fooled the party into being responsible to all citizens for 8 short, incredibly productive and progressive years. Of course, TR had to invent his own party (Bull Moose) to try and hold together the people who were honestly "conservative" and ethical after Taft returned Republicanism to it's rightful, corrupt, inbred roots. The Taft administration was intellectually lazy, administratively incompetent and corrupt, and personally gluttonous (sound familiar?) and set the nation and the world up for the first World War and 1929. The Republican Party has been repeating that formula ever since. The intention and end result is redistributing wealth from the many to the few: socialism and wealth for the elites, capitalism and disaster for the rest of us.

But this kind of discussion is blasted out of the MSM with the irrational "class warfare" argument and as far as Faux News, MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Murdock and Sun Myung Moon's media conglomerates, and the rest of corporate wingnut America's "news sources" are concerned that is the end of the discussion. Of course, the American Revolution was the ultimate class warfare and our Constitution was supposed to be the platform from which that battle could continue throughout the life of the Union of States. The classes will battle, regardless of the illusions and fantasies of propaganda, and the only real issue is "are both sides equally armed?" Today, the rich and powerful have all the weapons.

Reagan and his cynical and corrupt henchmen and heirs fired a fatal shot to the heart of democracy in 1985 and there has been no sign of democratic life from the corporate media since. Despite the fairyland wingnut whining about "left wing media," the media is overwhelmingly far right. Apparently, any sign of responsibility, integrity, fairness, or curiosity displayed by reporters is taken as evidence of political apocalypse by the wingnuttery. While it is true that the majority of intellectuals are liberal, it is equally true that most corporations are owned and mismanaged by the inbred children of inbred children of robber barons and ancient royalty. Those true "elites" hold the purse strings and money is what makes our world spiral down the toilet.

Without the protection and balance provided by the Fairness Doctrine, fairness is the furthest thing from the mind of corporate America. Without honest, balanced news, corporations like Murdock's and Moon's are free to distort and pervert "information" until it is as credible and useful as the babbling of priests or miracle cure peddlers. Once that task is complete, democracy has a half-life measured in minutes. The cynically misnamed "Patriot Act" was an example of that sudden death as were G.W.'s grotesque overuse of the State Secrets Privilege and Cheney's secret "National Energy Policy Task Force" meetings. From where I stand, it looks like the ride is all downhill from here.

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