Monday, July 28, 2008

The Fix Is In

The revelation from Scott McClellan on Friday that the White House was feeding talking points to Fox News is shocking on one level, but on another it is absolutely and completely in keeping with the standard operation of this administration. The idea that this administration was basically using a press outlet as a propaganda tool should outrage most of this country, but as we have seen throughout the past 7-1/2 years, the majority of the country is simply not paying attention.

It is against the law for the government to utilize a "private" media outlet in this manner. However given the public's seeming indifference to offenses such as government sanctioned torture, lying in order to enter a baseless war, treasonous retribution for political enemies, whole scale illegal wiretapping, etc., this latest revelation will certainly not cause anything that could be even akin to outrage among the general population. Last weeks ridiculous hearings to discuss the many "crimes" of this administration were did absolutely nothing to address the core issue. This administration has repeatedly and seemingly without fear of retribution, broken the laws of this country and infringed on the individual rights of citizens and caused the deaths of untold thousands.

Does one public hearing in front of a Congressional committee somehow make up for that? Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership has already made it clear that impeachment is not an option. I understand that for political reasons, the actual removal of the President is next to impossible, however having this President have to stand up and answer for the multitude of crimes that have been committed on his watch would be worth the political cost. Would there be a negative reaction from the conservatives? Of course. Will the be some backlash from independents? Yes. But will the Constitution and the American people be served best by ignoring the problem or by this Congress standing up for the rule of law and the rights of individuals?

Everyday I ask myself how we could have possibly gotten to this point. It would be easy to just blame the Bush administration, but clearly they had to have a lot of help in order to pull this off. The Democratic leadership has clearly been complicit in many of the illegal activities of this administration. It is a desperate situation that we find ourselves in when our elected officials are no longer working in the interest of those that elected them. We now find ourselves having to rely on the whim of the Justice Kennedy (who now stands as the swing vote on the Supreme Court bench) in order to try and preserve what little is left of the Bill of Rights. We also have to rely on Justice Stevens continuing to serve until his 89th birthday.

We are in a seemingly hopeless situation. Perhaps I'll turn on Fox News tonight and listen to the latest talking points from the White House. Perhaps the fantasy of our safety and economic stability will make all my concerns just float away. And if you are waiting for the November election to provide some relief, I offer you this quote from a story on Politico as one voter describes why she as a Clinton voter is now planning on voting for McCain:

"I feel John McCain is a true American and I want to support a true American,"
But isn't Obama a "true American?"
"I don't know," she said after a measured pause. "I question it."
"I don't know — maybe because of his name?"

That is level of political discourse in this country. Good luck America, but I think we're F#$@ed.


CKAinRedStateUSA said...

"The idea that this administration was basically using a press outlet as a propaganda tool should outrage most of this country, but as we have seen throughout the past 7-1/2 years, the majority of the country is simply not paying attention."

Oh, please.

Even if it is true that the White House did this, given the extraordinary imbalance and biased "reporting" from ABCCBSNBCMSNBCCNN and major news outlets in the newspaper and magazine industries, your outrage rings hollow.

And if the American people have not been paying attention, which I don't think is the case, it's because they've been hypnotized by the wrongly named "mainstream news media," which has feed them bias and distortion for a very long time, predating the current administration's tenure.

We're in trouble because, in particular, the MSM has been for decades and remains ever more glaringly in the tank for no one but the Democrats, liberals and leftists.

But these news-related shills have so damaged their credibility that what they say is being taken as fluff and distortion by more and more people daily.

At least that's one of the positive things to be surfacing from the DLLs having pre-selected the inexperienced empty suit from Illinois as their candidate and trying to jam him down the throats of a very fractured Democrat Party.

Not only will this presidential cycle represent the death of the Democrat Party as it's been constituted, but also the death of the MSM, maybe even journalism as we know it.

Some things better will arise.

Michael Hew said...

I find your lack of alarm, alarming. I can only imagine the reaction from the conservative media if this story had been about the Clinton administration. What bothers me most is that most people in this country don't seem to care that the government is using a supposedly "neutral" public news organization to pass along information to the public. Scream partisan press coverage all you want, but this isn't about whether the press has a liberal slant or not. It's a much bigger issue than that. Personally, I wouldn't care if it was a Democratic administration or a Republican one. This is so far over the line that I would have been outraged regardless. What ever happened to the "free press"? Doesn't anyone care? Does anyone care that the Bill of Rights isn't worth the paper that it's printed on anymore.

Sandy Jimenez said...

@ CKAinRedStateUSA:
"And if the American people have not been paying attention, which I don't think is the case, it's because they've been hypnotized by the wrongly named "mainstream news media," which has feed them bias and distortion for a very long time, predating the current administration's tenure"

"oh please" right back at you.

You don't have a problem with the White House doing this? I doubt it: it would be far more honest of you to admit that you don't have a problem with the Bush administration doing this. If it turned out that the former Clinton administration or any other Democratic official had fed talking points to anyone, you'd call it what it is: a violation of the country's trust and a crime.
It's certainly not journalism.
If you honestly see a problem with the way that MSM, as you call it, has engaged in what you consider "biased" or manipulated reporting, then this should bother you now if you care at all about the truth.
While we can entertain whatever opinions and perspectives we wish as citizens, -the facts don't have two "sides" to them.
Also, citing that there's been historical bias and unfair reporting against the right, (largely a matter of opinion and conjecture promoted by Fox News Corp. and the afternoon-rightwing-radio-echo chamber), would not now excuse the actual manipulation and influence of a media outlet by our current elected government that Scott McClellan is talking about.
Thanks for reading our blog.

Writing From Akron City said...

"Democrat Party" is that a typo?
It's funny that while you can't refer to Barack Obama by name, you can't stop from bringing him into a thread that has absolutely nothing to do with him.
Just out of curiosity, can you name specific instances of bias, since there have been so many for so long?
Watch yourself now, I work for a newspaper. Actual No-Spin zone here my dear.

Michael Hew said...

Always nice to hear from you Akron City.

Cazadore Bolivares said...

So-called "talking points" are ages old, and have been used and misused by administrations of all descriptions.

Talking points may be as direct as a list of points an administration wants willing recipients to utilize, or they may be merely policy positions released as information, and mis-labeled as talking points.

To assert that the Bush administration has done that, and in the same breath pretend that Democrat administrations haven't is either monumentally naive, or willfully blind to reality.

Michael Hew said...

Of course every administration has talking points that it issues to contact in the press, but usually those are prefaced by words like, "a White House source said", or "A spokesperson for the President said". Taking talking points from the administration and using them as your own on a network that purports to be "fair and balance" is a travesty. It is clear that the Bush administration and Fox News had and probably still have just such a relationship. And trust me when I say that I am neither blind or naive to the activities of Washington D.C.
Thanks for the comment.

James Shott said...

Where's your evidence that Fox broadcast as news White House "talking points?"

I wouldn't trust Scott McClellan as far as I could throw him. He's a weasel and unworthy of being believed.

Michael Hew said...

Since his book was published Scott McClellan has been under constant attack, however, I don't remember anyone on the right calling him names when he was the official mouthpiece of the Bush administration. Was he trustworthy then? Was he a weasel then? It must be an amazing coincidence that he only became those things when he started to speak out against the current administration. Thanks for your comment, James.

pattylou said...

Finally, a level discussion about the media and politics! I appreciate the dialogue this blog is fascilitating - allowing comments from both sides of the issue to be heard. What ever happened to the autonomy of the press? Or the investigative journalist who asked difficult questions and demanded solid answers? I don't want my news to be entertainment - and I don't want it to be biased. My fears are that we are no longer curious and we are no longer discerning. Not asking these questions or raising the issues as this blog does, contributes to the apathy of the nation and its subsequent disregard by the government.

Michael Hew said...

We do appreciate hearing from our readers. Thanks for your comments.

Michael Hew said...

By the way, what's with the use of "Democrat Party"? (two of the responses to this blog used it). Should we begin to refer to the "Republic Party". I'm sure this is somehow supposed to be an insult to the Democratic party and their followers but it only makes the people who use seem ignorant. Just my opinion.