Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Debate, And The West Texas Sect: American Media Have Reached A Historic Nadir

By Manifesto Joe

For decades it has been noted that a highly effective device that characterizes modern ruling-class America -- (crypto-fascism, that smiley-face wearing a flag lapel pin) -- is news media that confuses and trivializes issues, ever digressing from substance and toward the most contemptible sideshows.

It's been a few days since the astonishing ABC News mishandling of the Democratic Pennsylvania Primary debate, so everyone's had a chance to watch YouTube and then just calm down a bit. But in hindsight, this remains one of the most obvious examples of a corporate media con job.

We got a great deal of time from moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolous, you know -- going over the Rev. Wright, Hillary's Bosnia account, flag lapel pins, and so forth. This was a lot of time that could have been spent talking about the Iraq war (turning for the worse lately), health care, taxes, spying on citizens, and other issues of at least marginally greater importance. I really wish Hillary, and especially Barack Obama, would have, or could have, told these fools in so many words just how completely full of shit they are.

I suppose this shouldn't pose any surprise for people who have been watching the American media situation for a good while.

To digress a bit myself, the other day I was watching CNN Headline News -- my God, what tabloid trash that channel has become -- and heard one of their model-ish happy faces "ask," regarding the story of the West Texas polygamist ranch: Why is there so much fascination with this story? And this model-ish woman didn't even snicker.

This story is a prime example of how U.S. media usually serve the purpose of distracting the public, getting them to think about anything, yes, but anything, other than what really counts.

The focus of the polygamist ranch story, so far, has been largely lascivious. Dirty old men forcing "marriage" and rape upon 13-year-old girls, and so forth.

Largely ignored amid all this was a story in the April 13 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, one that I got around to about a week later. That's how good our national media are at getting to the marrow of things.

The headline on Page One was "Federal money helped finance polygamist sect." This illustrates how easy it really is to get a no-bid military contract. Here are excerpts from the story:

American taxpayers have unwittingly helped finance a polygamist sect that is now the focus of a massive child abuse investigation in West Texas, with a business tied to the group receiving a nearly $1 million loan from the federal government and $1.2 million in military contracts. ...

... New Era Manufacturing in Las Vegas, has been awarded more than $1.2 million in federal government contracts, with most of the money coming in recent years from the Defense Department for wheel and brake components for military aircraft.

A large portion of the awards were preferential no-bid or "sole source" contracts because of the company's classification as a small business, according to online databases that track federal government appropriations.

It's bad enough that this sect was functioning, sanctifying statutory rape, and eventually kicking a couple of thousand teenage boys out onto the road (you know, less competition for the smelly old men for the young girls) and so forth. Yes, it's all very contemptible.

But lost in all this was the use of taxpayer money to actually subsidize this outlaw sect's existence. And, nobody was even minding the store when it came to handing out these no-bid military contracts. (Hey, at least Halliburton doesn't allow its employees stationed in the hard-core Muslim Mideast to practice the four-wives custom. That's about all I would give them credit for.)

Back to the Democratic debate: No, it should come as no surprise that our news media have become the source of bread and circuses for a multitude of fools. Clearly, this seems to have become their job. But, in what could be the most crucial presidential campaign in U.S. history, we have people figuratively in polka-dot bloomers and red rubber noses who are more or less in control of the largest, most influential channels of public discourse.

I can only hope that the eventual Democratic presidential nominee will somehow persevere.

Call me a conspiracy theorist if you wish -- but I suspect that most of this has come about somewhat by corporate design. The goal has been to create toothless, diversionary TV news monoliths for the masses. I am sure that Edward R. Murrow, or even Walter Cronkite, couldn't get a decent gig in today's media. ("Dudes, you're too homely. And Ed, you smoke too much. Get a job at a newspaper. If you can find one.")

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

1 comment:

dr sardonicus said...

Murrow would be a blogger now. And Cronkite would be hosting Dancing With The Stars or some other reality TV crap...