Here in the polarized states of America, with a little media magic, a draft dodger can become a war hero and a war hero a charlatan. After the New York Times exposé explains the media’s complicity in what has been going on, well thanks, but no thanks. Old news, Robert Novak and Judith Miller, Op Ed’s by Richard Perle and Pat Buchanon, the story then turns to inside baseball.
Just conspirators trying to unburden their chest and clear their conscience, now that the plot ring has been exposed. Or, as mamma used to say, “A man who tells on his friends tells more about himself” and the New York Times, indeed, is doing just that. Pointing away, saying, “Look at the sins of others!” when there is plenty to go around. But the Times has done us one small service with their midnight-hour confession.
The media have become puppet masters for corporate interests, as Hillary Clinton told Fox news host, Bill O’Reilly, “ Rich people, God bless us! We deserve all the opportunities to make sure our country and our blessings continue to the next generation.” A peculiar thing for a Democratic candidate to say, but look where she said it. I can certainly relate to Obama’s "bitter" remark, which the mainstream media has trumpeted from the rooftops. I take great offense at the Clinton remark, not just because of its character, but because of who she said it to.
Her campaign takes money from Rupert Murdoch and then she goes on the O’Reilly show and makes sweetness and light with Bill O’Reilly, “ Rich people, God bless us!" Does Mrs. Clinton forget where it is she is sitting and to whom she is speaking? And this is the woman who is going to fight for us? She’s playing the game, the razzmatazz show, vote for me! I’m for you! Vote for me, I cry on cue! I’ll bring your jobs back, every one. I’ll bring the boys home, I’ll give the Iranians the gun, I’ll appear on Bill O’Reilly, God bless us rich folks, everyone.
Not just to pick on Mrs. Clinton, although she does make it easy, she illustrates the point that the media don’t report, they sway. Here in Atlanta, Mayor Shirley Franklin, facing 140 million dollar budget shortfall, announces 1400 jobs cuts. The local network affiliates cover the story as, “City employees might find a better job market than expected as many Atlanta employers are hiring!” Not just a lie but a damn lie. The anchor went on to explain about all the job openings in the healthcare field, as if a city employee with 15 years in the Parks Department can become a paramedic overnight.
But it becomes pervasive, reports of the top box office receipts for the week were for “Baby Momma.” Finishing the story and handing it off, the NBC anchor adds, “I saw Baby Momma this weekend and it was hysterically funny!” The film was produced by Broadway Video, which produces programming for the NBC network, and the movie starred two NBC sitcom stars from 30 Rock. A shameless plug from a vested interest, but maybe the movie was hysterically funny, though that was not the general consensus. Viewers rated it a 6 out of 10 and complained that it was predictable.
That’s the media, predictable. Hyping their own products, telling the stories that benefit their own interests, burying the stories which don’t. The Miley Cyrus photos in Vanity Fair didn’t make a ripple on the ABC network, the network owned by Disney, which employs the young Ms. Cyrus. The news is the news, the news which they choose to report. While the media talks about rice limits at Sam’s Clubs, they ignore that the price of a bag of flour in Afghanistan is now more than the monthly wage earned by an Afghan civil service worker, not to mention the unemployed.
They trumpet, pinpointing the ringleaders in the assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai, but ignore the millions of hungry Afghan bellies that prompted it in the first place. The administration, through the media, warns the Iranians about the dangerous provocations by the Iranian navy speedboats 20 miles from home. The US Navy won’t tolerate such actions as they transverse Iranian territorial waters, 5000 miles from their home. The stories become turned on their heads until they become nonsensical.
The German Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, committed suicide rather than fall into Allied or Russian hands. He never held a gun; he had never ordered any murders. While he was in the upper echelon of the Nazi leaders, his role was compartmentalized. He was no different than Karl Rove, spinning the truth, telling sweet lies to cover the bitter realities. Yet he knew his neck would be stretched; by encouraging people to war and to hate and to kill made him just as guilty as those who actually did it.
Had he been captured and put on trial at Nuremberg and made apologetic remarks or pointed to the wrongdoings of others, the verdict would have been the same. Guilty is permanent, character is not suddenly lost and found, incipient and fawning is just that and can never be explained away. Be you starlet, candidate or newspaper.