Friday, February 25, 2005

Pure OP-ED: The White House Press Corps

Giving a bit more thought to the Gannon/Guckert affair, it occurs to me to wonder why that small, ' everybody knows everybody' group, the official White House press corps, never questioned what this man was doing in their ranks.

Questions and rumours were around before bloggers and independent papers started investigating this obvious Republican shill, the bought man in the press corps.

The immediate answer is simple. Everyone in the White House press corps is, in more ways than one, bought. And bought people don't raise many questions about other bought people, no matter how they feel about that persons involvement.

In this Administration, unwelcome questions can reduce your access, immediately reducing your rank and privilege at the White House and with your employer. Anyone who says " screw that, I'm telling the truth and doing my job", will not be invited back to the party and that persons job will be subject to big job description amendments.

Ergo, in the great grand scheme of things, the media and its reporters, those with 'access' were all well and truly bought before that White House Press Pass was issued.
It's the corporate way, it's the new American way, and the press is free to print what is given to them, likewise, the electronic/television media.

It is a very successful control method. The problem with corruption is that it can work so well, so smoothly.

The sad thing, for me, is that many, many Americans do not understand what is wrong with this picture. Not a thought for where it leads. With no understanding regarding the relationship between democracy and a free, independent press. Or media, if you will.

Ignorant of historical precedents, that would indicate the great dangers in the path that America has taken, both at home and abroad. Ignorant of their own history and the nature of their own democracy, many Americans seem helpless. Unable to think clearly, living with the ubiquitous presence of the Corporate media/propaganda machine.

America is being spoon fed crap from the White House, delivered to homes, dinner tables, bedrooms and lunch counters every where, by the many, many organs of the corporate media. Yum, yum, eat up America. You can hardly turn it off and get away from it.

So what am I getting at? I am getting at the fact that the people in the elite White House press corps, have completely sold themselves. And the ignorant malleability of American mind that I describe, is something they individually and collectively have real responsibility for. Very direct responsibility. For the individual, no amount of excuses alters the reality of what you do and the effect it has in the objective world.

I certainly don't blame the media for all the county's ills. There is blame enough to be spread far and wide. But the virtual death of independent media, at the hands of media giants, has concentrated the ownership of nearly every thing you see, hear, or read, into just a few hands. A small group of hideously wealthy men, with common interests and driven by the same market forces. An important thing to remember

They can never share the interests of the millions of ordinary Americans but they own the people who can sell the idea that Corporate America is America. Sell the idea that ordinary Americans somehow benefit when the mega corporations own and control the streets of the world. A big profit for Haliburton is somehow a victory for Americans?

Wave the flag and praise the lord while your jobs are outsourced by the same Flag waving American Corporation. The same corporation and corporations that want to use your kids, in their thousands, to clear the ground and make the mid-east safe for corporate exploitation.

Of course, it is never, never described that way. The reality is clouded by a peculiar 'boosters' variety of quasi patriotism. Bumper stickers, car magnets, bracelets. Just like the football booster crap I used to sell door to door when I was a kid. Sold bags of University of Alabama and University of Auburn pennants, bumper stickers , key chains, all that booster shit. Sold a lot of it

I suddenly liked college football a lot more, especially Alabama's team because their stuff sold way bigger than anything else

It's one thing to sell sports teams in such fashion but boosterism is antithetical to patriotism. It is short lived and marches how ever the wind blows it. It can only follow. But, it can be led.

So, in truth, I have no sympathy for those who sell out so big. The sell out is big because
of the enormity of the intellectual and moral responsibility that is abdicated. Because the results are far reaching and long lasting.

I don't usually make direct analogy between George Bush and Hitler but I will say something about one aspect of their mass appeal to their respective nations.

When the Nazis were at their popular zenith, the German people were, in a sense, bought by the Nazi "Economic Miracle" that had greatly improved the lives and living standards
of the German people. The workers, the middle class, and the elites. There is nothing like economic success, after a long and terrible period of enforced poverty, to win the hearts and minds of a people. To take a nation from despair to illusions of grandeur in a very short time, buys a lot of political credit.

Perhaps, given that the contemporary American economy is in ruin, and diving deeper into debt, with a will, and given that so many things are going wrong, costing so much, and causing so much damage, blind boosterism and religious fear and 'faith' are all you really have to sell.

If and when that wears thin, you have your Homeland Security apparatus, armed with the multiple applications Patriot Act, to keep the plebes from gumming up the plan. The march to corporate utopia must not falter, hesitate, or turn aside for a minimum of four more years.

The media plays a big role in this resurrection of the old totalitarian monster. The individuals who facilitate this process of corruption, knowing exactly what they do and the stories they don't tell, doing so for rank, privilege, and serious recompense, bear responsibility.

I will have this thought in mind every time I see a story from a "White House Correspondent".

4 Comments:

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Jet said...

One fortuitous difference between the German world of the 1930's and 1940's and this disaster of an American administration is the internet and its propensity to give voice to many little voices. This is where I would watch diligently. As long as there are no controls placed, truth has a venue. Perhaps the vitriol of the right believes they can overpower the left on the net, but the power of the truth is in its ability to stand up to scrutiny. If we see legislation introduced to curb free speech on the net, that is the line in the sand for me.

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

Unfortunately I expect to see just that. Ashcroft and others were bemoaning the lack of control on the net before the last election.

The complexity and the international nature of the net present problems for the control freaks.

They are aware of the 'Internet problem' and I'm sure they are discussing ways to control, at least the American servers, right now.

I expect than line in the sand to be crossed. The Bush bunch are particularly sensitive to uncontrolled voices. George himself will not speak in a place that he doesn't have absolute control of. He runs hard and fast to avoid real questions

This is the most cowardly bunch that have ever run the white house.

Moral weaklings and cowards that they are, they are also demanding more from the rest of the country than anyone bunch since WWII.

Give the least, take the most, and avoid real questions like the plague.

You know they want to control the net.

In their idea of a perfect world there would be nothing but Rebuplican news, Christian propaganda, casinoes and pornography on the net.

 
At 7:36 AM, Blogger frstlymil said...

I'm with JET on this - the line in the sand for me is when they move to shut us up on the net - thank God we've got this medium to actually HAVE a discussion. Since we're relegated to loyalty oaths and "free speech zones" in person - at least our disembodied voices can still practice the rights outlined in the 1st amendment. The internet is our equivalent to Hyde Corner.

 
At 8:59 AM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

In deed, an electronic equivalent to that same tradition.

Bulletin board, meeting place, forum and soap box as well as propaganda disseminate and multi-function entertainment device.

It is certainly an important part of my life and the place where what political work I do, gets done. Not that I'm doing that much.

For all those reasons, the neocons need and want control of the net. And for all those reasons I expect that 'line in the sand' will be crossed.

Things are not about to get better in the States. As discontent grows so will the efforts to stifle communication. The control will have to happen via the servers. And midnight visits to those making dangerous un-patriotic remarks on the net.

How many people have to be arrested under the patriot act, for statements made on the internet, before 98 percent are afraid to speak at all?

Maybe not very many. Time will tell, but I do believe that line in the sad will be crossed.

Much of that belief is based on the belief that the draft is going to be returning this year. That will be the beginning of real Resistance and real repression. The authors of the Patriot Act had more than Arabs and Muslims in mind.

 

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