What will it take, Truthseekers, to finally rouse the American Sheeple from their media-induced near-comas? The Fourth Estate has failed us, Truthseekers, by incremental degrees over the last decades. Little by little, they have changed the definition of “news,” and the scoundrels in Washington couldn’t be happier. Our network news has become less about investigative reporting and more about celebrity madness and sensationalism.
Once they illuminated the shadowy machinations and dirty deeds of those bad actors inside the beltway. Now the only blurred lines they discuss involve Miley Cyrus’ lewd on-screen gyrations to the Robin Thicke song.
Just an a recent example, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul were caught live on video scheming away about their intentions to spin the government shutdown so they could score a “win.”
“I just did CNN and I just go over and over again ‘We’re willing to compromise. We’re willing to negotiate.’ I think… I don’t think they poll tested we won’t negotiate. I think it’s awful for [Democrats] to say that over and over again,” Paul said.
“Yeah, I do too and I, and I just came back from that two hour meeting with them and that, and that was basically the same view privately as it was publicly,” McConnell agreed.
Paul added, “I think if we keep saying, ‘We wanted to defund it. We fought for that and that we’re willing to compromise on this’, I think they can’t, we’re gonna, I think… well, I know we don’t want to be here, but we’re gonna win this, I think.”
Disgusting. These rich men, who will never feel the pain of a missed paycheck or shuttered government benefit program, are only concerned with how their ill-fated attempt to eliminated affordable health care for working Americans (think about that) will play to the cameras. It proves their shutdown scheme is concerned only with the “optics,” not with their alleged deep moral reservations about the ACA.
Why wasn’t this callous, selfish, inhumane misinformation campaign blasted out as a headline on every news broadcast? Perhaps as a preamble to illustrate how the cruel and calculating Right Wingers in Congress care not a whit about the suffering they’ve caused?
Dan Froomkin, writing for AlJazeera America, had this to say:
U.S. news reports are largely blaming the government shutdown on the inability of both political parties to come to terms. It is supposedly the result of a “bitterly divided” Congress that “failed to reach agreement” (Washington Post) or “a bitter budget standoff” left unresolved by “rapid-fire back and forth legislative maneuvers” (New York Times). This sort of false equivalence is not just a failure of journalism. It is also a failure of democracy.
When the political leadership of this country is incapable of even keeping the government open, a political course correction is in order. But how can democracy self-correct if the public does not understand where the problem lies? And where will the pressure for change come from if journalists do not hold the responsible parties accountable?
The truth of what happened Monday night, as almost all political reporters know full well, is that “Republicans staged a series of last-ditch efforts to use a once-routine budget procedure to force Democrats to abandon their efforts to extend U.S. health insurance.” (Thank you, Guardian.)
But the political media’s aversion to doing anything that might be seen as taking sides — combined with its obsession with process — led them to actively obscure the truth in their coverage of the votes. If you did not already know what this was all about, reading the news would not help you understand.
What makes all this more than a journalistic failure is that the press plays a crucial role in our democracy. We count on the press to help create an informed electorate. And perhaps even more important, we rely on the press to hold the powerful accountable.
That requires calling out political leaders when they transgress or fail to meet commonly agreed-upon standards: when they are corrupt, when they deceive, when they break the rules and refuse to govern. Such exposure is the first consequence. When the transgressions are sufficiently grave, what follows should be continued scrutiny, marginalization, contempt and ridicule.
In the current political climate, journalistic false equivalence leads to an insufficiently informed electorate, because the public is not getting an accurate picture of what is going on.
The news we receive has become so neutered it is useless, Truthseekers. The only time the journalists bring their A-game against our elected officials is when they’re caught with their pants down. If it ain’t sexy, it ain’t making the headlines.
They persecuted Clinton with a vengeance for Monicagate, but let his successor start an illegal war that resulted in the death, torture, and maiming of thousands of innocent civilians? Or the near-bankrupting of our economy? Eh, not such a big deal.
If Dubya had been caught with a cute intern early in his first term, imagine the lives that could’ve been saved?
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