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Current TV and the American Media

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Tim Gatto
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Watching television can be harmful to your mental health.  I could claim that I don't watch television, but that would be a lie. The truth is that I'm addicted to almost every type of media. This doesn't mean that I believe everything I hear, in fact, I don't believe anything I hear on television. That includes public TV and the Mainstream News.

While I was helping my wife with our everyday household chores, I had Current TV on. I like Current TV (sometimes). This evening I became more than a little bit frustrated than usual. The reason for my frustration was the criticism of the Romney campaign.

Don't get me wrong, I have my own criticism of the Romney campaign, but I also detest the Obama campaign and listening to three solid hours of whining about the Republicans while extolling the virtues of the Democrats was just too much. In my mind, it's like listening to people arguing about who is worse, Hitler or Mussolini except these people on Current actually picked sides.

The way I see it, Current TV was wasting precious media time by engaging in partisan politics in a corrupted, malevolent world. I mean who cares? Is Romney worse than Obama? Does any of it actually mean something? If Romney was elected President, would anything change? If Obama stays in office, would the world be a better place?

When Current TV arrived on the scene, I was hoping that they would be the light in a dark wilderness. I was hoping that the left would actually have a voice, hoping that issues of substance would emerge, that a serious debate would allow Americans to hear both sides of an issue. Instead, all we got was more collective chatter about things of no importance.

Today it was about Obama's introduction of legislation that would tax anyone making over $250,000 to the level it was during the Clinton era. Notwithstanding the fact that the legislation doesn't stand a chance with the Republican Congress, does it really matter? Would we really bring more money into the treasury? Even if we could get this passed and we saw more money coming in, what would we spend it on? Do you think for a moment that we would actually spend this money to promote the general welfare of the American people? Probably not, it would end up more than likely, in the defense budget.

The defense budget. What is this all about anyway? What happened to that peace dividend we were supposed to receive with the fall of the Soviet Union?  Instead of diverting all of these military expenditures into social programs, or to create jobs by repairing our infrastructure, it went to an even larger military. Now, with no real external threat, we spend almost as much on our military than all of the nations on the planet combined.

With all of the so-called "reporters" and all of the "news channels" that exist within our media, has anyone actually asked anybody in government why we need to spend all of this money? That would be a great subject for a documentary. Now that is what Current TV could be doing instead of telling us that Romney and the Republicans don't deserve your vote. If Current TV really wanted to be a media force for good, these are the questions that they could be asking.

With all of the articles and books that I read, and all of the time I spend watching people's lips move on that little box (actually a big flat screen), you would think I would have seen that debate. Either I missed it, or there was never any debate all. This could only mean that the American people agree with the Generals and the politicians, that we really need all of this money in our defense budget.

It's a sad commentary that I should be writing an article like this one in the twenty-first century. This is not what I environed when watching The Mickey Mouse Club and listening to them telling us that we would be leaders in the 21st Century. Look at the leaders we have. Our president gets together with Dr. Strangelove every Tuesday to decide who dies that week from drone strikes. I would recommend that he give back his Nobel Peace Prize.

Where are our heroes? Everyone can't be an anti-hero. Does Al Gore actually watch Current TV? (He's part owner). I wonder if he's disappointed. I know that I am.

It's about time people started demanding better. Not just with Current TV, but with all media. Money can't be the prime motivator for everything. I know money is important, but it shouldn't be the only motivation. I didn't start out to criticize Current TV; I really wanted to point out the deficiencies in all of our media outlets. Even Fox TV has Judge Napolitano going for it. Could you imagine what kind of hell Current TV could raise if they would just drop the partisan politics?

Just imagine what kind of ratings a show with real reporting could have. The show Newsroom (HBO) is based on just that. It shows exactly how hungry the public is for the truth. Walter Cronkite is credited by some for ending the war in Vietnam. When he broadcast this report, he changed the world. People in America are waiting for someone to change the world again. I know that I am.


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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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