A Plea For Sanity
Dear Progressive Blurrrgosphere,
I realize it's enjoyable to make fun of Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of the Washington Post, for publishing this column by Kathleen "Less Crazy Than Jeffrey Dahmer!" Parker. (If you haven't seen it already, Parker is arguing that we should make "common cause" with Iran's Ahmadinejad in keeping ladies out of the military.) And indeed, I've engaged in similar activity many times myself.
Still, we're in danger of missing what's important here. And what's important is not Fred Hiatt. Hiatt has his job because Donald Graham, the Post's publisher, likes what Hiatt does. If Hiatt woke up one day and suddenly decided to stop publishing the insane, it wouldn't be long before he was out of work, replaced by someone who was eager to run columns by lunatics.
In other words, the problem with the US media isn't all the non-reality-based editors and producers who hire the Kathleen Parkers and Tim Russerts and Sean Hannitys. It's the right-wing billionaires who hire those editors and producers. (Or if you really want to depart from acceptable discussion, the problem is an economic system that allows only right-wing billionaires to own newspapers and TV networks.)
So I come before you today with this plea: let's focus less on the sock puppets, and more on the hands.
* meanwhile, Larisa:
"Why Are They Trying So Hard to Distract Us?
The national media continues to self destruct under the weight of its politically purchased editorial pages. Not content to simply slink away quietly after leading the nation into a disastrous war of choice through negligent and even highly corrupt reporting practices, the editorial boards of all of the major newspapers - still apparently strapped collectively into a mission accomplished payola flight suit - continue to play political attack dog for their paymasters.
Why? Where in reality do these people - from the editorial boards, to the talking heads, all of them - think they are, in comparison to the rest of us, that would excuse their behavior as anything but unethical, dishonest, and brutishly cynical?
Perhaps they are in a place where conscience is so easily bought and sold that they can pretend at decency and fool themselves convincingly. But they are not in a place from which the truth will ever venture out, not on purpose anyway. Truth may escape on occasion, and usually in broken parts, seemingly unrelated to a larger narrative, but by and large, this place of so called mainstream journalism is a wasteland, decadent and collapsing under its own Faustian deal.
Do I exaggerate? You tell me.
Thanks to the few remaining MSM journalists who are still able to sneak facts out from the opaque corporate curtain stretched from one end of our democracy to another, we know the following:
The administration ignored repeated warnings preceding attacks on this nation, over and over and over. Yet the editorial pages and TV pundits did not demand that such negligence and complete disregard for the safety of this nation be punished in some manner. No one was willing to speak up and ask even the basic question: is Bush fit to serve? Instead, the president was given unearned mythical standing as some hero because he grabbed a bullhorn at ground zero and said a few well penned words.
We have continued providing aid to Pakistan and military support for the Saudi royals, in essence, giving aid and comfort to the enemy as a matter of policy. Six years into this administration we hear nothing about Pakistan's dueling loyalties. Editorial pages across the nation have not devoted their most vitriolic and screeching patriotism to something as serious as giving aid and comfort to enemies of the United States, instead such clean sheets have been stained with a steady full front assault on anyone who in anyway disagrees with the official one party rule agenda.
News outlets have taken to calling an American Senator - Barak Obama - after a terrorist, Osama. They have openly slandered such respected statesmen as Senator Kerry and Senator Hagel, and obsessively attacked the first female Speaker of the House.
No one ever bothered to question the last Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, on allegations of bribery by foreign interests in Turkey or why an FBI whistleblower remains gagged in order to cover up those real and serious allegations. No, that never occurred to anyone, it seems, as being anything requiring full page editorials raging with anger the likes of which has been seen over Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria.
Why are they trying so hard to distract us? Because they have already lied. Lies require more lies and more lies require myths and trumped up scandals. Would honest people ever spend this much time on distractions?
I think that with the exception of a few real journalists and honest columnists in the MSM, the American media-industrial-political complex is a discredited, decadent, ugly thing to behold and, sadly for us, a real danger to democracy. They are a collective Faust, selling their very souls for access, power, money and anything that relates to those three commodities so important to the morally vacuous. They sell their souls, we pay the price, and they make a profit.
If I seem to be exaggerating in my absolute disgust over the state of our media, then you - dear reader - have not been paying attention or you simply don't care.