Sunday, November 7

Sobering Thought

It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis, the epigraph to Chapter 5:
I know the Press only too well. Almost all editors hide away in spider-dens, men without thought of Family or Public Interest or the humble delights of jaunts out-of-doors, plotting how they can put over their lies, and advance their own positions and fill their greedy pocketbooks by calumniating Statesmen who have given their all for the common good and who are vulnerable because they stand out in the fierce Light that beats around the Throne.

See also Bill Moyers' Journalism Under Fire:

A profound transformation is happening here. The framers of our nation never envisioned these huge media giants; never imagined what could happen if big government, big publishing and big broadcasters ever saw eye to eye in putting the public's need for news second to their own interests ? and to the ideology of free-market economics. Nor could they have foreseen the rise of a quasi-official partisan press serving as a mighty megaphone for the regime in power. Stretching from Washington think tanks funded by corporations to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch's far-flung empire of tabloid journalism to the nattering know-nothings of talk radio, a ceaseless conveyor belt--often taking its cues from daily talking points supplied by the Republican National Committee--moves mountains of the official party line into the public discourse. But that's not their only mission. They wage war on anyone who does not subscribe to the propaganda, heaping scorn on what they call "old-school journalism." One of them, a blogger, was recently quoted in Rupert Murdoch's Weekly Standard comparing journalism with brain surgery. "A bunch of amateurs, no matter how smart and enthusiastic, could never outperform professional neurosurgeons, because they lack the specialized training and experience necessary for that field. But what qualifications, exactly, does it take to be a journalist? What can they do that we can't? Nothing."

The difference is that they are some things we won't do. The same can't be said for the noise machine. So watch your ass, and stick together.


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