6 August 2005

Consider the implications if the Bush administration escapes accountability

Paul Craig Roberts issues a scathing indictment of a "watchdog media" that is serving as propaganda shills for the Bush administration. After making the point that the current scandals dwarf those of Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton, he targets the concentration of media and its acquiescence to the corrupt powers in American government.
The executive branch will have established itself as above the law.

The executive, armed with a compliant media, will have war-making power subject only to successful PR spin. It means the final end of the people's right to declare war via elected representatives in Congress.

The few remaining restraints on the executive's ability to detain people indefinitely without charges will be removed. This power will silence the Internet.

Spiteful neighbors, employees, former spouses, whomever will gain the power to report any disliked person. The anti-terrorist apparatus needs victims to demonstrate its effectiveness, and as warrants, hearings, and evidence are no longer required, Americans will simply disappear like Soviet citizens in the Stalin era.

While it is debatable that mainstream media outlets have ever had a greater than rare thread of independence inherent in them (of recent note, see the story of a NY Times Pulitzer Prize winner, writing on the subject of Hiroshima atomic bombing, was actually on the payroll of the War department), Americans should be rightfully alarmed over the erosion of civil liberties, justified for the pursuit of the "global war on terror".

On the speculation of "silencing the Internet", note that broadband providers are becoming as concentrated as mainstream media and frequently pull the plug on any content deemed questionable, and it's definitely not a matter of "innocent until proven guilty". That, in conjunction with warrantless detentions could conceivably put a deep freeze on freedom of expression.

Comments

More from NOW on media consolidation:

http://www.pbs.org/search/r...
Naum,
Of interest on this subject, I just finished watching NOW on PBS, which intervewed Robert McChesney. Three weeks ago I finished reading the book "Into the Buzzsaw". The last chapter was incredible, also From the journalist Robert McChesney.

The full and expanded article can now be found on my web blog:

Introduction and the origins of professional “unbiased” journalism
http://www.livejournal.com/...

The Commercialization of Journalism
http://www.livejournal.com/...

But Wait, Don’t the Media Have a Liberal Bias?
http://www.livejournal.com/...

Footnotes
http://www.livejournal.com/...

===
McChesney article in the rich footnotes, mentions a book which expands on the history of where the entire idea of "unbiased" journalism got its origins:

Just the Facts: How "Objectivity" Came to Define American Journalism
by David T. Z. Mindich

http://www.amazon.com/exec/...
More on this weeks NOW broadcast:

http://www.pbs.org/now/this...
My modest section on the corporate media, including other NOW broadcasts:

http://www.livejournal.com/...

--------

My favorite quote of the article is this:

"the media do not necessarily tell your what to think, but they tell you what to think about, and how to think about it."

Notice how none of you, the "liberals" like yourself and the conservatives like Mondo rarely talk about economic issues? This is only one example of how the corporate media decides what we think about....

(Denying the label "liberal", unfortunatly a common practice among the left, is another conversation all together, which truly shows the failure of the left, and the victory of the right)
Trav, I really hate labels, and IMV the terms "liberal" and "conservative" really don't do justice to the political arguments of our time. I do use the term "neoconservative" frequently, but it is a specific label on a the current cabal of power brokers aligned with President Bush.

I am not aligned with any political party and have not been so for over 10 years. I've been a registered Republican and registered Democrat (and a registered Republican for a longer term). I have considered recently becoming a registered Democrat, but only in the interest (a) thwarting the war party if (b) Democratic party leaders other than token pronouncements actually made a stand. I don't believe the "liberal" tag is accurate, but I think if you read my postings, it would be hard to categorize my political philosophy, other than "contrarian".

Regarding the failure of the Democratic party - it's more due to Democratic party not offering a coherent set of plans or fresh political ideas. In the 90s, after Clinton was elected, the Republicans acted like a true oppostion party, went on the offensive, but more important, defined themselves (i.e., Contract on^H^H for America), and most all acted from the same script. Democrats still are clutching the "Republican Lite" playing cards, while paying homage to vestiges of ancient political power that waned long ago. Nothing is stopping them from campaigning on **economic issues**, and AFAIK, only Edwards (and Bernie Sanders) made it rallying point and central theme. The rest of the party is locked in "triangulation discovery mode".

Republicans have given Democrats plenty of ammunition for attack:

* Record budget deficits

* A lackluster economy that may show some signals of returning health, but a closer examination of the economic indicators indicate cause for alarm (i.e., jobs numbers touted are not the sorts of jobs valued as middle class/professional and the housing bubble is the primary driving force...)

* An illegal, immoral invasion of a nation state that did not threaten the U.S. justified by fraudulent deceptive claims of WMD. Near 2K Americans killed, ~40K disabled, and somwhere between 25K - 100K Iraqi civilians dead.

* Assault on civil liberties and erosion of Constitutional rights, all in pursuit of the "global war on terror".
Kewl
thanks for your comments.
I pretty much have to say I agree with you NAUM, pertaining to the comments on Democrats and Republicans. As to your points about the ammo for the Dems another problem with attacking those items is you would need to offer an alternative to the actions BUSH took. Such as what you would do to diminish the deficit, what policies would be implemented to improve the economy, if the economy can indeed be blamed on any sitting president, and if a democratic president had the same info as bush about IRAQ, after 9/11 would they have taken the pre-emptive actions to keep Iraq from becoming more of a threat than the WHOLE civil world believed it was, and how the actions in Iraq Afghanistan or elsewhere in the world would be handled differently. It's all well and good to oppose something you do not believe in, but until you offer a BETTER alternative any arguments are basically standing on straw legs. Until the Democrats can get their act together, come to agree on much of the issues that even they cannot agree on, offer a sound alternative to whatever ills they perceive in Republican efforts in government they will have an uphill battle. If someone gave me a REALITY based alternative to taking the fight to the terrorists I would be glad to listen, and support them, but there is no one giving answers, just raising questions, and quite frankly I would rather support someone who gives me answers.

as for the illegal war in IRAQ, we are there now, we have a job to do, and pulling out altogether would not only damage America but would also leave IRAQ in a very vulnerable state. What has anyone against us being there offered that would help us to keep the commitment we have made to the citizens of IRAQ who want us there, and improve security over seas and here at home? I've heard allot of talk about what all we are doing wrong, but not a single word on what we should be doing, if anything, that would be right for all involved.

THE REALITY IS WE ARE IN IRAQ NOW, REGUARDLESS OF WHY, OR HOW, WE ARE THERE, WE HAVE A JOB TO DO, WHAT ALTERNATIVES WOULD THOSE OPPOSED TO THE ILLEGAL WAR HAVE FOR US IN THE REALITY BASED WORLD WE ARE ALL LIVING IN NOW? NOT WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE...OR WHAT WASNT DONE... WHAT CAN WE DO NOW? WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS?

http://www.globalsecurity.o...

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