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.: November 2006 --> Godwin's Law, temporarily revoked

Godwin's Law, temporarily revoked

» The N-Word: Unmentionable lessons of the midterm aftermath.

The relevance of Third Reich Germany to today's America is not that Bush equals Hitler or that the United States government is a death machine. It's that it provides a rather spectacular example of the insidious process by which decent people come to regard the unthinkable as not only thinkable but doable, justifiable. Of the way freethinkers and speakers become compliant and self-censoring. Of the mechanism by which moral or humanistic categories are converted into bureaucratic ones. And finally, of the willingness with which we hand control over to the state and convince ourselves that we are the masters of our destiny.

Then there's this:

The Bush-era fourth estate has come up short not only against the Big Lie of "fair and balanced" news but also against its equally cunning cousin: the Small Inaccuracy used to repudiate the damaging larger truth. CBS crumbled under the administration's mau-mauers over Memogate, while Newsweek managed to withstand the hazing it took for its Koran-in-the-toilet item—which, like the substance of Dan Rather's offending report on Bush's National Guard career, was not only accurate; it was old news. But why didn't the national media go on the offensive and re-educate the government, and the public, about the inevitable if regrettable price of a free press? Mistakes will be made in the proverbial first draft of history, and holding reporters to a standard of perfection would inhibit them from performing the vigilance crucial to our democratic system.

It is the part played by the press in all this that may frustrate and infuriate me the most. I have been dismayed for the last 5 years as they basically have refused to do their job. And I hold them partially responsible for the state we're now in. (Thanks, jjg!)

 [ 11.30.06 ]


curiously gutless article, though a lot of info.... more interesting to me would be an exploration of a basic question, do we get the media we want (or deserve).... i understand that to blame the media is something to do, but what about blaming the american way of life which makes a paris hilton or a reality tv or or or... we are imbeciles, and the world knows it.... forget the media, basically, in a dumbed down country the majority will always be wrong...

I also hold the press responsible for much of what's been happening to the country over the past few years. How many times have I heard news anchors repeat a comment made by some guy with a clear agenda, without adding the simple comment, "That is, of course, incorrect." By presenting a remark without comment, tv newspeople and newspaper reporters implicitly add their endorsement of the remark and thus, give it credence and believability. It's no wonder that even people like myself who watch CNN, listen to NPR, and read the New York Times on a daily basis can still find that the most accurate source of news they receive is from Jon Stewart and the Daily Show.

Ever since the end of WWII, the death of Roosevelt and the ensuing years, America has had to come to terms (as in the case of the ancient Athenian democracy, and Rome later on) with balancing its democratic/republic system with its new superpower status. Athens failed, Rome faded away (or transformed itself depending on who you ask) and America is still trying to balance these two unreconcible factors.
The fourth estate for the most part functions in the same way around the globe. Information is pushed to the public (via newscasts, commentators and the famous "window guests" during tv shows) while being quite inert in allowing other points of view. If other points of view do accidently emerge, and they deviate from the official line, then (as we are all too familiar) the anchorman interrupts re-interprets/re-presents/re-transforms what was just said in order to ensure accordance with the official corporate line.



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