I tuned in Fox News on the old “Radiation King” television on a lark around 4:30 AM Eastern Standard Time, out of some form of morbid curiosity. I’ve heard a lot of ranting and raving from both proponents and opponents of their reporting and the questioned quality of their reporting, but like anything else, it is best to see this sort of thing and make your own decisions.
What I found was rhetoric and montage shots of soldiers and waving flags. The story was one on Donald Rumsfeld (the current Administration’s Secretary of Defense) and the possibility that he would be replaced before the end of the current Administration. The reporter asked questions like “since the next administration will certainly not be as vigilant in the war on terror, how do you intend to deal with it(sic)” and “what do you think of the American people(sic)”; questions which are so glib and meaningless as to not require the effort of being asked. The reporter seemed to be more interested in aggrandizing the politician for his efforts in “Donald Rumsfeld’s … America’s … War on Terror”. As I have stated before, wars on abstract concepts have been poor ideas in past and continue to be poor ideas.
Strangely, I haven’t heard anything in any of the local papers or mainstream news regarding the house and senate passing the closest thing to outright totalitarianism I have seen in a long time, and it’s pretty obvious that not only the majority of the congress, but also the majority of the media, seem to be pretty intimately aquainted with the Administration’s posterior. I don’t give much credit to the idea of “blogging” news (blogging, of course, being one of my least favorite pseudo-words, right up there with “webinar” and “podcast”), but I can’t possibly think that the jokers who are paid salaries to do this sort of thing are doing an acceptable job.
I sense the Roman ethos making an awful resurgence through the trumpeting of news stories about ten-year dead beauty queens that don’t impact people at large (an example of missing white-woman syndrome, I suppose) and horrible brown-nosing “portraits” of public figures, such as the aforementioned interview with Donald Rumsfeld (not the first, I might add). Throw a couple tax rebates in there, drop gasoline prices from their artificially induced high point a little, and watch approval ratings soar … or at least come close enough to keep a rival political party from keeping you in check. All of this to mask passing of legislation to decriminalize the conversion of the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights to pieces of legislative toilet paper, and the passing of basic rights into the realm of history.
Normally, this is the point where “bloggers” tell you to vote for the other jokers. As my brother once put, “when you have an incumbent who eats babies, you vote for the guy who doesn’t eat babies (sic)”. The problem with that is, I don’t think that the Democratic party is going to do much better than the ruling party right now. Sure, you can have some of your rights back, assuming that the Supreme Court comes to its senses and strikes down the latest piece of Congressional Bush-kissing, and *maybe* you might get a withdrawl, or perhaps even the *plan* of withdrawl from an ever-deepening quagmire after the Chief Executive leaves office (since he has made it very clear that any withdrawl or resolution would come from a successor). The issue is that the current crop of Democrats in Congress are obviously willing to pass Republican agenda legislation (even after they vehemently debate about it, as seen in Arlen Spector), even when it is contrary to everything for which they supposedly stand. I’d like my Congressional representative to actually represent me, thank you. That’s the point of a Representative Democracy, not to vote along with whomever is least likely to paint you as a terrorist-friendly pinko in the public eye, and Swift-Boat you out of office …. I don’t understand how 30% or more of the United States can’t see that.
A third party would be a wonderful idea … if they could come up with something comprehensive. The Green Party is more of a local joke than anything else, since they don’t really have strong political views on whatever voters seem to care about ; hugging a tree and talking about cutting emissions while Americans are complaining about gasoline prices just doesn’t do it. Could someone *please* try running candidates who aren’t one-note songs, which although better than the current civil-rights hating jerkasses that they are running against, don’t evoke true passion and commitment from voters by actually connecting with them on a broad range of issues? I’m slowly witnessing the death of our Representative Democracy through a system where only primaries truly determine the majority of political candidates due to the predominance of incumbents winning races. I can only think that this has to do with our own inertia and unwillingness to participate in the political process, and indeed in the running of our own country.
But back to the media, and in particular Fox News. For some reason, this isn’t in the public consciousness. If I ask a random person, I doubt they will bring up any of these issues or express distaste with the current administration, with the exception of the items which directly effect them. For a company which runs drivel like “American Idol” and “Jerry Springer“, where fame and infamy are comingled with impugnity, it struck me as odd that they would be for censorship and religious agenda — until it hit me that it’s a slight-of-hand trick. If you’re watching these nonsense “documentary pieces” and shows of people who are obviously more pathetic than you, you aren’t in the process of caring about how your country is run. You’ll vote for whoever pulls your heartstrings and purse string. I guess that’s why I don’t watch Fox News; I just can’t bear it.