Thursday, August 13, 2009

We Distort - You Divide

For much of the last eight years one specific right-wing media mouthpiece company that will remain nameless (thought it rhymes with "pox") has been crying crocodile tears over the loss of civility in the political discourse appalling. When one disagreed with the president and his plans to start an ill-planned war, the "pox" network called them un-American. When a few protestors got through the security screening process and were actually allowed into the town hall meetings that the last administration orchestrated for friend-laden crowds, the "pox" network bemoaned the death of civility, calling the protestors un-American.

"Pox" news (their word, not mine…) called every incident where a protestor shouted down a speaker or disrupted a meeting scandalous. Which would make such a better story if they weren't now backing, or at least heavily promoting the same behavior and calling it "debate." Apparently, if you act appallingly and you agree with the "pox" network you're debating… if you disagree you're anti-American and a troublemaker.

Now, I'm not saying that the people disrupting meetings with their ranting don’t have rights to be protesting what is going on. They do and I defend it. (Though I would prefer, as I have said before, a bit of decorum.)

John Stewart put together a montage the other night that is worth seeing. In the first part of the montage, the commentators from the "pox" news morning program provide an interesting and telling description of the healthcare "debate."

The anchors sit there talking about the "orderly, and respectful," average Americans who are just "showing-up" at these town hall meetings to ask questions and have their voices heard. One gores so far as to say that she has seen no ill-behaved people at these town hall meetings.

These were also interspersed with cuts of protestors frothing-at-the mouth in their frenzy to shut-down the meetings. One particularly apoplectic man yells at the speaker that he (the congressman holding the town hall meeting) is uninformed as to what is in the bill being discussed and he (again the congressman) should watch Glenn Beck. (The speaker suggests if the protestor wants to learn more, he should turn off the TV when Glenn Beck comes on.)

The piece goes on to defend the "pox" news coverage by reminding us all how they have always been pro-freedom-of-speech. This comment is then juxtaposed by cuts of the "pox" news anchors complaining about the "radical left" (by which I assume they mean the 52% of us who opposed the idea of attacking Iraq when our enemy was in Afghanistan) being vitriolic, angry, and obviously being organized. (If that isn’t the pot calling the grass "dope…")

So what do we have? We have a radical right-wing network that is (and always has been) nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Republican Party. We have a clearly manufactured protest being backed by a news outlet that dismisses their opposition as being manufactured vitriol; a "news" network that complains about the vitriol of their opposition but is not above creating and promoting vitriol against their enemies.

What did you expect? Fair and Balanced? It is no wonder that there a number of studies showing that "pox" news watchers are the worst informed on current affairs. (One study I read said that over fifty percent of the people who say this network is their primary news source believe we found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.)

Wherever you are today, I hope you will think for yourself today. Take my advice: don't take my word for it… don't take anyone's word for it… go out and form your own opinion.

Don Bergquist – August 13, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

2 comments:

Paul said...

It’s funny we hear Republicans say that they do not want “faceless bureaucrats” making medical decisions but they have no problem with “private sector” “faceless bureaucrats” daily declining medical coverage and financially ruining good hard working people (honestly where can they go with a pre-condition). And who says that the “private sector” is always right, do we forget failures like Long-Term Capital, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Enron, Tyco, AIG and Lehman Brothers. Of course the federal government will destroy heathcare by getting involved, Oh but wait, Medicare and Medicaid and our military men and women and the Senate and Congress get the best heathcare in the world, and oh, that’s right, its run by our federal government. I can understand why some may think that the federal government will fail, if you look at the past eight years as a current history, with failures like the financial meltdown and Katrina but the facts is they can and if we support them they will succeed.

How does shouting down to stop the conversation of the healthcare debate at town hall meetings, endears them to anyone. Especially when the organizations that are telling them where to go and what to do and say are Republicans political operatives, not real grassroots. How does shouting someone down or chasing them out like a “lynch mob” advanced the debate, it does not. So I think the American people will see through all of this and know, like the teabagger, the birthers, these lynch mobs types AKA “screamers” are just the same, people who have to resort to these tactics because they have no leadership to articulate what they real want. It’s easy to pickup a bus load of people who hate, and that’s all I been seeing, they hate and can’t debate. Too bad.

Don Bergquist said...

Paul,

Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog!

Which is to say nothing of the irony of the people shouting to keep “your filthy government hands off Medicare!” apparently totally oblivious to the fact that Medicare is a government program! As I heard it said in a podcast today: “that’s like driving across the country to protest against public highways!”

And the other thing to remember is that the same people shouting down their elected officials today are going to be accusing their opposition of being anti-American the next time the shoe is on the other foot. Remember: this ludicrous pendulum does swing both ways!

Thanks again for reading and commenting on my blog.

Don