Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mainstream Media Play Stupid While Health Care Bullies Sway Opinion

If ever any intelligent, objective citizen needed proof that the American media is a bunch of impotent, corporatized, weak-kneed shills--emasculated by and terrified of the right wing--you need only watch the nightly news or read your local paper. Day after day, mobs of phony anti-health reform vigilantes threaten others at town hall meetings, yet the TV networks, the Associated Press, and major dailies report this as legitimate news (perhaps because Pfizer, Merck and Eli Lilly sponsor some of these "news" reports?). A serious journalistic investigation, even a half-hearted one, would reveal that most of these "protestors" are paid by the health insurance corporations or their lobbyists. The rest are mindless neanderthals, propagandized by Rush Limbaugh and the usual gang of fascists. But Brian Williams, Katie Couric, and Charlie Gibson don't see it that way. To them, the hostile mobs are just average Americans exercising their constitutional right to deprive 46 million people of health care.

What's most galling is that the bullies shout down the pro-reformers with lies about "death panels" and "universal vaccinations" and the end of Medicare, and God knows what else. And the media never challenge these lies. It would be like Goebbels claiming that Jews are really descended from rats, and the media, instead of dismissing this outrageous prevarication, reports Goebbels' comments (and the psychopaths it unleashes) as legitimate news. (I guess Huey Long was right when he said, "Fascism will come to America, but we will call it democracy. And a corrupt, complacent press will let it happen.") Meanwhile, polls show that public health care for all, once favored by 80% of Americans, is now dying a slow death. All because a small minority of red-faced extremists and paid propagandists are being facilitated by a brain-dead media.

This is the state of the mainstream media in this country today. Newt Gringich goes on cable talk shows saying we have the best health care system in the world; Sean Hannity repeats this lie on Fox News. Neither are challenged. The fact is, the USA's health care system ranks 37th in the world according to the World Health Organization. Dick Armey goes on "Meet The Press" and asserts that having public health care for all would kill thousands of people. It is never revealed that Armey is a paid lobbyist for the health insurance industry. This is democracy in action; this is your free press at work.

Let's be real. Health insurance corporations have billions available to flood the free market of ideas with lies and distortions, spread by the politicians, news organizations, and lobbyists it owns. Profit will always defeat the welfare of the people, when the people are cowed by fear and misinformed by a media that's "for sale." A friend of mine put it this way, "I don't watch the national news any more. You won't find the truth there."

1 comment:

Jack Jodell said...

Great to have you back, Tim!

Your title says it all. Our mainstream media is pathetic and substandard. They are obsessed with an "either or" mentality and love to present conflict and spectacle. Investigative reporting has gone out the window, with the exception of a few MSNBC hosts. Fox "News" is the far right Republican Party's propaganda organ, CNN is a group of wimpy chicken noodles who have completely blown the coverage of the recent raucus Town Hall meetings (failing to truly expose the behind-the-scenes involvement of the GOP and insurance companies and lobbyists, treating the shout-down demonstrators as though they were legitimate grassroots protestors), and most of the rest have fallen down on the job badly, too. All are guilty of featuring Rush Limbaugh's and bird brain Sarah Palin's every utterance as though they were intelligent and credible and even relevant commentators. Whereas 30-50 years ago we were blessed with great investigative journalists, we are now cursed with mediocre and hopelessly biased pundits and milquetoast, "pretty boy" and "pretty girl" talking heads. That is a major reason we are in the bad shape we're in!

Regarding health care, it has become a morality play that our churches should play a greater role in, as I point out in my blog's latest post. This crap of the wants of the few taking precedent over the needs of the many on something that should be a basic human right is unjustifiable and immoral.