Check out the numbers and media embeds in Iraq have drastically decreased. We know from experience that embed reporters who file reports that are not complimentary of the US military find it extremely difficult to return for additional embeds.
Look at the treatment of journalists covering the demonstrations outside the RNC, at the Twin Cities. Reporters, producers, photographers were assaulted, arrested and charged with felonies. All they were doing was covering the demonstrations—and they were clearly identified, with appropriate credential visible, as members of the press.
It was clear that the police, FBI, national guard and the city council members, Democrat and Republican, did not want those journalists to cover the demonstrations. Why else would they arrest them and charge them with serious, outrageous crimes? What's a demonstration without press coverage. This is an insidious way to poison, neutralize and even eliminate constitutionally protected, even encouraged exercise of free speech.
Then we have the McCain, slime team, led be Rove Protege, Steve Schmidt, attacking the media as part of their campaign strategy, attempting to cast the media in a bad light.
America and Democracy need a healthy media. The Bush administration has a long history of attempting to manipulate, intimidate, quash the media. The right wing and any totalitarian administration does better when it controls the media. Russia had Pravda. Venezuela's Chavez has shut down a Television network that criticized him more than he liked.
The American right wing has Fox News, right wing talk radio... and hey, does America really need anything else?
Well yes, we do. We need the most diverse media possible-- media that questions, challenges and criticizes Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Naderites-- everyone. We need professional journalists who ask tough questions to all comers, unlike Charlie Gibson, who failed to ask tough follow-up questions to Sarah Palin. Barbara Walters showed Gibson how it should have been done. It's ironic, since her show is supposed to be a lighter, less hard hitting show than the interview Gibson had. It is not, in my opinion, an accident, that it was Gibson who brought up all the attack points Clinton was using, against Obama, when he moderated their last debate, in Philadelphia this spring.
America needs a robust, strong, very diverse media. Patriotic Americans do not attack the media as a partisan, campaign strategy. This is bad for America, or to use the current phrasing, NOT putting country first. How do we get a more diverse media? We support smaller, independent publishers. We discourage media consolidation. We know that more jobs are created by smaller companies. Let's create regulations and tax laws that give incentives to keep the media smaller, more diverse, more local.
The fact that John McCain has authorized ("this is John McCain and I approve this message") flat out lies in his ads, attacking the media, that he's allowing his campaign team to systematically attack the American media, shows that he would destroy part of the "nervous system" that keeps America healthy.
MCCain runs ads that he and Palin have battled government and Republicans. McCain voted with George Bush 91% of the time. Palin toes the GOP policy line even better than McCain. What they have battled is the health and reputation of the American media. When you attack the media, you decrease people's trust in it, making it less effective, less consumed. If there were truth in their attacks, they might be justified, but, for the most part, there is none. They have fabricated accusations to build the martyr narrative for their candidates.
Of course, these are the same people who, with one side of their mouths, attack government, while with the other side, make it bigger and bigger. The problem is, THEY make it bigger in ways that don't help produce more jobs, more infrastructure. Instead, their big government bails out or gives welfare to corporations and expands the military-- all things which do not gives us roads, schools or high paying jobs.