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Newspaper Editorial Board Cabals

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The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's editorial board, if it hadn't already, joined a group of newspaper editorial mobsters, which include the Cleveland Plain Dealer, that are out to cleanse the political dialogue in newspapers by reducing their editorials to mere transcripts of punditry we might hear on Glenn Beck's or Bill O'Reilly's cable "news" program when it published an editorial hit piece aimed at Rep. Robert Wexler, who courageously announced himself as the first cosponsor of Dennis Kucinich's impeachment resolution for George W. Bush last week.

Editorial boards have the power to serve a purpose for newspapers, something advertisers or interests that own newspapers are keenly aware of. The boards have the means to take a pulse of the population that then allows them to exploit people's senses and a population's demographics. This can then direct the discussion to where interests would like the political discussion to go (or not go).

In Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, a documentary exploring the life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, he can be seen explaining how the media "manufactures consent."

Walter Lippman... described what he called “the manufacture of consent” as “a revolution” in “the practice of democracy”... And he said this was useful and necessary because “the common interests” - the general concerns of all people - “elude” the public. The public just isn't up to dealing with them. And they have to be the domain of what he called a "specialized class" ... Reinhold Niebuhr's view was that rationality belongs to the cool observer. But because of the stupidity of the average man, he follows not reason, but faith. And this naive faith requires necessary illusion, and emotionally potent oversimplifications, which are provided by the myth-maker to keep the ordinary person on course. It's not the case, as the naive might think, that indoctrination is inconsistent with democracy. Rather, as this whole line of thinkers observes, it is the essence of democracy. The point is that in a military state or a feudal state or what we would now call a totalitarian state, it doesn't much matter because you've got a bludgeon over their heads and you can control what they do. But when the state loses the bludgeon, when you can't control people by force, and when the voice of the people can be heard you have this problem -- it may make people so curious and so arrogant that they don't have the humility to submit to a civil rule [Clement Walker, 1661], and therefore you have to control what people think. And the standard way to do this is to resort to what in more honest days used to be called propaganda, manufacture of consent, creation of necessary illusion. Various ways of either marginalizing the public or reducing them to apathy in some fashion.

This isn't a new thing. Upton Sinclair wrote about it in his book, The Brass Check, which was written in 1919. The exposé was written at the tail end of the Progressive Era, which lasted from the 1890s to the 1920s. It was written around the time of Robert M. La Follette, who had been leading or led a charge against railroad trusts, bossism, World War I, and the League of Nations.

The book exposed what capitalism does to journalism and how editorial boards functioned. To this day, editorial boards still wield the same power and will use it belligerently against the tyranny of one.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a history of going after Dennis Kucinich through its editorials and making sure his constituents become doubtful that Kucinich is taking care of the needs of Cleveland. They have made sure his district thinks his impeachment actions are "misguided" and describes them as "empty gestures."

The latest to come from the Plain Dealer rag is this: Another empty impeachment gesture.

And we have the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Impeachment not worth another minute of anybody's time.

It's not what these editorials say but merely the talking point the headline raises. Meant to sow doubt in the minds of Americans, the editorials are the lowest form of writing known to exist.

The intention is most definitely to make sure people become conflicted over issues that matter or that could effect the powerful. The pieces are what every political opportunist hopes to see published especially in this election year (which is why in the comments section you can see Ben Graber for Congress's comment. Ben Graber is an "Independent Democrat" running for Wexler's seat.)

Surely there are more boards out there that go after politicians fighting the good fight. Let's weed these editorial board gangsters out.

Here at OpEdNews.com we must stand for journalism of the highest standard and therefore, if you have editorial boards in your area who are engaging in hit jobs, send a notice to my OpEdNews email account.

I'm keeping track from now on and perhaps, we here at OpEdNews can brainstorm on what to do or how to organize to challenge editorial boards that do what these newspapers are doing to Kucinich and Wexler.

(*I'm sure Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting and Media Matters could examine a list of editorial boards if we send the names of newspapers to them.)


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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com
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