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Misguided Revolution: Anti-Government Extremists Mistake Their Enemy

By       Message Jon Faulkner       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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In February of 2003 a Florida Appeals Court ruled "there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States." A lawsuit had been brought against Rupert Murdoch's Fox News by two reporters who, after being ordered to falsify their findings and refusing, were fired by an affiliate of Murdoch's Fox News. Honesty, in today's media, is a low priority for broadcasters if their advertisers wish to falsify a story. That is merely free market capitalism one must suppose. Using the public's airwaves to broadcast lies, slander and duplicitous information, all with the sanction of law, should send a chilling message to all Americans.

If the truth will set you free then it follows that Rupert Murdoch's stable full of lying bastards will, given time, enslave us all. Murdoch is a nasty piece of work who slithered into the U.S. for no other purpose than expanding his media empire, and he doesn't care how it's done as long as its profitable to him. Murdoch is a naturalized American citizen who desperately needs his citizenship rescinded. He then needs to be declared persona non grata, and never allowed into the U.S. again. If a visitor came to your home and was accepted as family, one would expect such a visitor to refrain from defecating on the living room carpet, and strewing garbage throughout your home. Murdoch's politically equivalent behavior is a moral and criminal outrage after being welcomed here as a U.S. citizen.

He is the head of a snake that needs its head sliced off. Getting rid of the grotesque Murdoch would be a significant step in returning sanity and a collective sense of purpose to Americans. The slightest hint, real or imagined, that threatens to restrain Murdoch's Fox News from its lies, its misrepresentations and its slanderous attacks, are met with deafening howls of outrage from right wing media claiming violations of First Amendment Rights.

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The English philosopher, political theorist and economist, John Stuart Mill, wrote that individual freedom was crucial in opposing totalitarian control. Mill also wrote that a free people, to remain free, must test the truth. It would seem that white extremists and militia groups should pay more attention to Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, who gleefully celebrated his victory when a Florida Court ruled, "there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States." A liar, of necessity, must be contemptuous of his audience, and Murdoch's contempt for Americans knows no bounds. What fools he must believe his viewers are.

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First Amendments Rights were not meant for the likes of Murdoch to corrupt public thinking. His broadcasts frequently invoke that First Amendment test - is it OK to falsely shout "fire" in a crowded theatre? No reasonable person thinks so. But the political equivalent of shouting fire is Murdoch's way to profit, and he uses his First Amendment rights to benefit himself to the detriment of all Americans. He's the lowest form of parasite. He feeds from the fear, the suspicions and the paranoiac anxieties that exist within his audience share. Such fears and anxieties are coaxed forth by lies, exaggerations and the omission of clarifying information. He is the worst kind of blood sucker.

In 1969 the U.S. Supreme Court, in Brandenburg vs. Ohio, decided the First Amendment does not give license to speech that is deliberately used to incite imminent violence and unlawful behavior. Fifty years earlier Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes eloquently argued that a free society must be committed to the search for truth.

How have Americans, who are a people who once prized the truth, arrived at such a said impasse that major media is permitted to lie with complete abandonment of any moral or ethical consideration? Why are Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, those religious icons of morality, so silent when the media is sanctioned by a court that decides "there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States." And where are all those loud Conservative Republican Congressmen who are ever vigilant of the slightest departure of liberal democrats from God's straight and narrow trail? Anti-government extremists need to ask themselves these questions before they attack the president because of his skin color.

Americans bring their children up with firm instruction that truth, above all, is vital if a family, a community, if a nation, is to survive and flourish. Any American citizen can be arrested for lying to the police during the course of an investigation. Millions of Americans have sworn in the nation's civil and criminal courts, hand on Bible, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, under penalty of perjury. Advertising laws are aimed at protecting consumers from false or misleading claims about the products they buy. Why then, the militias, the white supremacists, the anti-government fanatics might wonder, should Fox News, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and other right wing demagogic jackasses, be allowed to lie and slander with complete impunity?

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As right wing media lies ricochet through American society like stray bullets, where are the militia and the moral majorities that purport to love the truth? The irony is palpable, that the Iron Curtain came down, only to be rebuilt in the U.S. with the collusion of a right wing media machine that is gradually weakening elective representation through the use of a corporate owned media that has absolutely no allegiance or feelings of patriotism. Beck, Limbaugh, Coulter and other right wing droolers, in consideration for their bloated salaries, go along with whichever lies and slanders will best serve their corporate master's current purposes.

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Jon Faulkner is a licensed Master Mariner. He has long considered the conservative republican mindset a form of mental illness. He lives in northern Maine.

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