Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Continued Cry for Truth: Main Stream Media-- Business As Usual

IN March of this year, during the primaries, I became so outraged at the depths to which Main Stream Media had plunged into bias and misogyny that, in addition to campaigning for Hillary Clinton, I began to work actively on media reform. Tired of the endless stream of "babble from Babel", of the outright lies, half truths, ommissions, innuendo, lewd, sexist remarks and sometimes even violent references to and about Hillary [and thus ALL women] perpetrated by news readers of BOTH genders--note, I do not characterize these offenders as journalists--many of us began to push back at these outrages, contacting network heads, producers, perpetrators and advertisers, and boycotting same. It got to the point where FOX, the network once most maligned for Republican bias, was the only place one could hope to obtain even a scintilla of balanced reportage.

IN the months since, we have seen incremental change in response to our outcry: a few random wrist slaps for some of the most blatant offenders, coupled with an apology here and there [if they do it and apologize, does that make it all right to continue to offend??], and, finally, this week, word that BOTH Olberman and Matthews have been demoted from anchor posts to mere commentary slots for fall election coverage. A step in the right direction, to be sure, but a more complete demotion would have been more to my liking, given the frequency and outrageousness of their offenses.

AND THEN came Charlie Gibson's interview with Sarah Palin: Regardless of whether one agrees with a candidate's ideology, one cannot have an informed electorate unless media is willing to report truthfully and objectively. Call me crazy--I have always supported the view that in order to HAVE a Democracy [even if it is only a representational democracy] an informed electorate, accorded human rights, is the imperative. However, objectivity be damned, Charlie sat, leaning slightly forward, above Governor Palin, glasses perched low on nose as he peered, frowning menacingly down through them at her. It was disconcertingly clear that this was more an inquisition than an interview, but still I thought that perhaps we would get some real information from Governor Palin.

NOW mind you, I am a lifelong Democrat, [or at least I was until the DNC and the Obama camp used caucus, voter and delegate fraud and intimidation to select the candidate who LOST the primary] and, as such, disagree with much of Governor Palin's ideology. However, when I read the ENTIRE transcript
of that Gibson interview, including the PARTS EDITED OUT, I was once again reminded that we, the American people who are trying to learn about our candidates, continue to be deprived of the truth in reporting that our Democracy requires to function. During the primaries, as now, the American public has been denied their right not only to free speech, but their right to be informed. Countless incidents of caucus fraud, voter fraud and delegate intimidation went unreported, and, indeed, even the assassination of Arkansas State Democratic Chair Bob Gwatney went virtually unnoticed. Most people to whom I mentioned it were shocked to learn that it had happened, so unreported was that heinous crime.
AND SO IT GOES. The trauma of the Denver convention is passed, though definitely not forgotten; the DNC has rejected its most popular candidate in favor of one selected by a few of its waning leaders, one who is LEAST likely to win in November; and the Republican candidate has chosen a women to run as his VP. Never mind whether you agree with their ideology; Obama changes positions [and perhaps vp choices, if one accords any credence to rumors??!] with abandon, so we really do not know WHAT he stands for...McCain the Maverick [castigated by the Republican Far Right] has at least stepped up to the plate for equality with his choice. And all that remains now is to continue to expose media bias and try as best we can to educate the public on the facts about both candidates in the hope that they will have a vote that counts.

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