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Scared Silly in the Homeland

By       Message Stephen Fournier     Permalink
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Looks like Director Chertoff's gut feeling has spread throughout the commercial media. NPR, ABC, CNN, and the others can't seem to talk about anything but the threat of terrorism. And they call it a threat, too, even though there is no evidence of anything except hysteria.

Fortunately, the panic is confined to the news-mongers. Despite the blitz of terrorism "news," there's no sign of mass hysteria. That's probably because so few people believe what they're told by the commercial media. News-consumers have been disinformed so many times, they don't know what's true and what's not, and great numbers of them have quit trying to follow current events altogether. It's hard to scare people who aren't paying attention.

If you don't share the gut feeling of the Director that an attack is imminent, you're resisting a wave of hype that's transparent in its purpose: to scare the hapless people of the homeland silly. Why would the government and the mass media want to scare you? Is it possible that our political leaders and our opinion leaders profit in some way from terrorizing us? Could they be applying the old axiom that it's easier to control people who are frightened of an enemy? There's no question that government and the media want to control us, and their motives seem to be entirely material. In the case of government, the object is to enrich government officials and their patrons. In the case of the media, the object is to sell stuff for profit. The path to these ends is a lot easier when the people you are exploiting are fearful.

NPR goes so far as to congratulate itself for apprising you of the manifest dangers you face. They hawk hysteria, and this is supposed to make you feel safer and thank them for it with a pledge. Listen at pledge time the next time it rolls around for how good your local affiliate is at keeping you informed of terrorist alarms. It's worth asking why NPR and the others would credit any of the stuff that comes to them as "intelligence. " Every key pronouncement so far has been false, but this one's true? Most likely, the folks at NPR don't believe it any more than you do. They report it knowing it's probably false. When your source is the government, according to prevailing canons of journalistic ethics, one source will suffice.

To those who resist the temptation to be afraid it looks as if the leaders of our government, in collusion with a talented cast of shills and touts pretending to be journalists, have used the events of September 11, 2001, to maintain a stranglehold over the American public. Government and the media are the only interests that derived a benefit from those events, and they have kept the public on a terror alert ever since. If terrorism means frightening people for political or material advantage, the terrorists are all here. They're in the White House, in almost every seat in Congress, in the courts, and especially in the media. These fellows laugh when they give us some tidbit from the National Intelligence Estimate or from other estimable sources, like Chertoff's gut. "Any imbecile that believes this crap," the reporters seem to be saying, "deserves what happens to him. "

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If you're not scared of an attack on the homeland, maybe it's because, like me, you don't happen to live in a homeland. Maybe you live in a republic. Or maybe you insist on living in a nation, even at a time when nations have been declared obsolete. I refuse to live in a homeland. To the tiny minority of people who want to turn my country into their homeland, I say, "We're trying to maintain a nation here. Find someplace else for your Nazi homeland. " This term, along with the rest of the alarmist nomenclature adopted by the press, leaves me fearful, not of terrorists in distant lands, but of terrorists in my own government and their agents in the commercial media.

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Hartford, Connecticut, lawyer, grandfather, Air Force veteran. Author/publisher, Current Invective www.currentinvective.com

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