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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/28/09

Mainstream Media Play Stupid While Health Care Bullies Sway Opinion

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If ever any intelligent, objective citizen needed proof that the American media is a bunch of impotent, corporatized, weak-kneed shills--emasculated by and terrified of the right wing--you need only watch the nightly news or read your local paper. Day after day, mobs of phony anti-health reform vigilantes threaten others at town hall meetings, yet the TV networks, the Associated Press, and major dailies report this as legitimate news (perhaps because Pfizer, Merck and Eli Lilly sponsor some of these "news" reports?). A serious journalistic investigation, even a half-hearted one, would reveal that most of these "protestors" are paid by the health insurance corporations or their lobbyists. The rest are mindless neanderthals, propagandized by Rush Limbaugh and the usual gang of fascists. But Brian Williams, Katie Couric, and Charlie Gibson don't see it that way. To them, the hostile mobs are just average Americans exercising their constitutional right to deprive 46 million people of health care.

What's most galling is that the bullies shout down the pro-reformers with lies about "death panels" and "universal vaccinations" and the end of Medicare, and God knows what else. And the media never challenge these lies. It would be like Goebbels claiming that Jews are really descended from rats, and the media, instead of dismissing this outrageous prevarication, reports Goebbels' comments (and the psychopaths it unleashes) as legitimate news. (I guess Huey Long was right when he said, "Fascism will come to America, but we will call it democracy. And a corrupt, complacent press will let it happen.") Meanwhile, polls show that public health care for all, once favored by 80% of Americans, is now dying a slow death. All because a small minority of red-faced extremists and paid propagandists are being facilitated by a brain-dead media.

This is the state of the mainstream media in this country today. Newt Gingrich goes on cable talk shows saying we have the best health care system in the world; Sean Hannity repeats this lie on Fox News. Neither are challenged. The fact is, the USA's health care system ranks 37th in the world according to the World Health Organization. Dick Armey goes on "Meet The Press" and asserts that having public health care for all would kill thousands of people. It is never revealed that Armey is a paid lobbyist for the health insurance industry. This is democracy in action; this is your free press at work.

Let's be real. Health insurance corporations have billions of dollars available to flood the free market of ideas with lies and distortions, spread by the politicians, news organizations, and lobbyists it owns. Profit will always defeat the welfare of the people, when the people are cowed by fear and misinformed by a media that's "for sale." A friend of mine put it this way, "I don't watch the national news any more. You won't find the truth there."

Tim Fleming



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I am a writer living in suburban St. Louis. My new novel, The President's Mortician, is available on Amazon and at my publisher's website, It is a work of historical fiction and facts centering around the JFK assassination. One (more...)
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