January 15, 2003

The Voice of Compliance

In the morning I often hear WQXR, the radio station of the New York Times. It might be called "the voice of compliance." It plays pleasant, comforting classical music. The announcer sounds like a nice man, maybe a retiree who the Times hired to read the news, which is essentially whatever the administration's line for the day is.

Today he said that "The President" angrily said he was "sick and tired of Saddam Hussein's playing games." He has offered an economic program (bribe) to North Korea as incentive to abandon its nuclear program and will decide soon whether to go to war with Iraq. (We are on the edge of our seats awaiting The President's decision.) And there are usually a number of repetitions of the phrase "weapons of mass destruction," as the administration directs.

On this station you can hear what the tone of the New York Times would be if spoken. Not a gutsy free press challenging the elected officials to do their jobs with integrity in service of the people, but an obedient organ of communication under the direction of a tyrannical, warlike government.

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