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March 13, 2005

still not paranoid, just mad as hell

Is the MSM a victim of cost-cutting measures and lack of resources or are networks (broadcast and cable) complicit in passing government propaganda as news? In an elaborate game of production and distribution, federal agencies are creating video vignettes that mimic news reports which are then showing up on numerous local broadcasts as hard news. In the New York Times this article while describing the process and interviewing some of the players involved comes to no real conclusion or in other words, places no blame – just like journalists are supposed to do. It reports the facts. So, which is it - a predatory government with or without a complicit press? The only thing that seems certain is a predatory government.

I am not pointing my finger at the Bush Administration alone, but at all governments past and present, here and abroad, that choose to manipulate public opinion to further their policy ends rather than enter into an open discourse with their citizens. Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out that in recent US history this Bush administration is the most active in rigging public opinion and the reporting of it in the news. Besides paid punditry, canned PR news reports and stacked Town Hall meetings, this administration had its own “news agency” and tame reporter in the White House Press Room, in the forms of Talon News and Jeff Gannon/James Guckert. If, as this administration says, they want to remove the media filter from their message, why do they go to such great lengths to manipulate that filter? Why not address us directly and openly with regular government sponsored broadcasts that say up front this is the administration’s POV? Could it be that without the filter the majority of the population would disagree?

It is a natural desire for those in power to want to remain in power. Using the tools of their power to reward those who helped them to achieve it is also a perfectly natural outcome. Hence, the bankruptcy bill, tort reform, the Medicare prescription bill, Social Security reform, tax cuts and restrictions on a woman’s right to choose are all efforts by our elected officials to repay the campaign contributions of the moneyed interests that supported their campaigns. They are not the actions of people beholden to their constituents but to their pocketbooks. Manipulation of the media (and through it our citizenry) is simply one more tool wielded in their effort to consolidate and expand their base of power.

These are the sad realities that make the blogosphere and the Internet so very important to the future of democracy and the protections and freedoms that true democracy affords. Whether the MSM is criminally complicit or simply overwhelmed or just plain lazy, it is incumbent upon every citizen to seek and speak their own truth in their daily duty to exercise the privileges and responsibilities of freedom.

Government is an institution that derives its legitimate power from the consent of the governed. Do not grant that consent without first ensuring that the interests of our population are served first and served well.

Posted by terry at March 13, 2005 03:24 PM | TrackBack
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Terry, I'm glad you posted this. I read the NYTimes article this morning and couldn't really gather my thoughts to say anything without sputtering. Though the funny thing (funny maybe isn't the right word) is that I was so unsurprised.

Posted by: pam on March 13, 2005 06:38 PM
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