What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: jephunk
I just want to add one related point here. Much of the intense dissatisfaction I have with the American media arises out of the fact that these extraordinary developments — the dominant political movement advocating lawlessness and tyranny out in the open in The Wall St. Journal and Weekly Standard — receive almost no attention.
While the Bush administration expressly adopts these theories to detain American citizens without charges, engage in domestic surveillance on Americans in clear violation of the laws we enacted to limit that power, and asserts a general right to disregard laws which interfere with the President’s will, our media still barely discusses those issues.
They write about John Edwards’ haircut and John Kerry’s windsurfing and which political consultant has whispered what gossip to them about some painfully petty matter, but the extraordinary fact that our nation’s dominant political movement is openly advocating the most radical theories of tyranny — that “liberties are dangerous and law does not apply” — is barely noticed by our most prestigious and self-loving national journalists. Merely to take note of that failure is to demonstrate how profoundly dysfunctional our political press is. (Glenn Greenwald, The right’s explicit and candid rejection of “the rule of law”)
Amen. What passes as news these days is ridiculous. The corporate media empire commits both sins of omission and commission—omission by neglecting to report on issues that actually concern our sovereignty (except for Lou Dobbs), national stability, and economic integrity, and commission because they spin stories, focus on the irrelevant and inconsequential, and pick and choose what the viewer will be exposed to as “news”.
Said Thomas Jefferson:
The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. It is a melancholy truth that a suppression of the press could not more completely deprive the nation of its benefits than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood. (Thomas Jefferson, via Quoty)
I present to you Connor’s five-step program for actually figuring out what is going on in the world:
- Turn off your TV. No Fox News. No CNN. No local news.
- Embrace the godsend that is independent journalism. For starters, see News With Views, Lew Rockwell, Project Censored, and World Net Daily.
- Develop a strong sense of distrust and skepticism for anything promoted, reported by, or opined upon by the establishment media (or worse yet, the government).
- Look hard for the truth. Chances are, it’s far different than what your favorite journalist believes it to be.
- Open your eyes, shake off partisan politics, and like Mr. Keating suggested in Dead Poet’s Society, rise high to see things from a different perspective.
The seeker of truth will soon realize (if he hasn’t already) that it is harder to come by than simply watching The O’Reilly Factor or the local news at nine. It requires skepticism, research, and the refusal to accept at face value whatever is offered as fact.
Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold. (Leo Tolstoy, via Quoty)