Loathsome TV

By David Cogswell

Message to a friend.

You say the media is a lot to blame -- Yes!

Before the election, too, they greased George W.'s path all the way to being president. The mass media gave him a free ride, never subjecting him to more than the most polite, deferential questions. The print press had some gutsy voices here and there who spoke out about the fraud of his candidacy, but overall they were far too kind to the right wing junta than they should have been. The big institutions of media have tragically sold out their function as "the fifth estate".

But even knowing that, I have never ever felt so much that the TV is my enemy! I don't want the disgusting thing on now. It hurts to hear it. I don't know if mine is a widespread reaction or not, but to me this time they just pushed me way over the edge. I can't even pretend to pretend to believe any of their crap anymore. I knew they were liars, in service of the powerful. But now that they have established themselves so clearly as accomplices in this vulgar seizure of power by brute-force the Neo-Republicans just pulled off, I experience real physical revulsion when I hear their vapid voices blaring from the loathsome tube.

Americans have to realize once and for all that the little cartel that controls the major media is not your friend and does not have your best interests at heart, unless you too favor the selection of the president by small faction of people who blatantly defy the will of the majority, and the essential principle of democracy.

I'm getting pretty much all of my news on line these days. I don't even watch TV news lately to "find out what's going on," (meaning to find out the spin the majors are giving things today). My favorite news source now is www.bushwatch.com/headlines.htm, where you can get a nice selection of articles from the worldwide online press. It helps you feel a little more sane when you realize that the addled state of mind induced by watching US TV news is not shared by everyone everywhere in the world.

I don't believe the polls. I look at them very skeptically, not knowing what questions they asked and what their real agendas might be. The polls offered to us by the same major media blocs that are presently making decisions about who should be president and telling us that we should be happy though we were not included in the decision -- those polls may be designed to make you feel discouraged. It would be consistent with all the other coverage that they are running that is clearly designed with that slant: to make you accept and go back to sleep, or so they think.

But even if the polls are true, that 2/3 of the people answered yes to an unknown question, that could have been interpreted to mean, "Are you going to accept this?" And what are they going to say? They can't do anything else can they? Are they being offered a choice?

So I think, discouraging as it all is, it should not induce us to go into our shells and hide from the imaginary 2/3 of the population who may or may not oppose our point of view. Instead we should talk, and e-mail, and write articles and post messages and bug our congressmen and senators and march in Washington. Because the key is awareness. I think a whole lot of that 2/3 is not so far from where we are, they sense they may be being hoodwinked a little. They just aren't sure who's doing it. The sad fact is, most of the rank and file Republicans -- the ones who aren't rich or employees of military contractors -- will be just as screwed by the Republican policies as the rest of us. They have just been taking the Republicans at their word. If you believed what they say, they don't sound half bad. Most people just can't believe that someone could lie so much, but these Republican servants of the rich can smile and look you right in the eye and tell you the biggest lies they can think of. The smirk is because they know that what they say doesn't have to make sense, the Supreme Court decision doesn't have to make sense, because they back it up with raw power.

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