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April 04, 2006

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p kibble

You're right in saying that "the public bullying of news personnel over their private opinions is a new low in American discourse." The key word is "public." In the past,bBroadcast journalists who gave their bosses headaches because they were too "controversial" were usually disciplined within the discreet confines of the executive suite---as witness the confrontation between Bill Paley and Edward R. Murrow dramatized in Good Night, and Good Luck.

Now the right has demanded that these formerly private spectacles be enacted on a very public stage---the equivalent of a hanging at noon in the town square. After all, how are the rest of us out there going to learn to keep our place unless one of our erring tribunes of the press is punished in a very visible manner? We learn by example---yeah, negative example in this case, but really, isn't that the most effective kind?

Never mind that the ultimate deterrent value of this strategy may be limited---as indicated by the polls, the general public is way ahead of the curve on issues like the Iraq war, NSA spying, while the only sound you hear from "our" reps the Dems is a collective peeing down their legs whenever Feingold mentions the dread word censure. Shhh, don't stir things up! So Feinstein et al. may gripe as much as in Green in private conversation, via e-mail, etc., and even make the occasional rousing speech against Monkeyboy on the Senate floor,but when it comes to acting, well, to paraphrase Three 6 Mafia, you know it's hard out here for a wimp. As every tyrant since time immemorial has understood, fear almost always trumps reason or fairness or whatever.

In the near future, expect many more Greens to be made examples of. After all, in the wake of 9/11, didn't Ari Fleischer tell us, "Americans had better watch what they say, watch what they do"? It's not like we haven't been warned.

Provoice

Good post... as a former TV news anchor myself, I have been quite irate at the way the Bushies handle and manipulate the Press.

They seemed to get onto many of the tricks after Bush the Elder was director of the CIA... and established his "Office of Political Diplomacy" headed by Otto Reich in the 1980's.

Reich commanded a crew of propaganda experts from the CIA and the Army's 4th PSYOPS Group who got caught illegally planting false news stories in the U.S. media in support of the Contras in Nicaragua.

Junior had the audacity to bring Reich back into the fold in February of 2002.

Amazingly, this administration has been caught in lie after lie and distortion after distortion and the Press is so afraid of them, that they won't even discuss the discrepancies publicly!

One man described a similar campaign in Nurnburg years ago:

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, THE TRUTH IS THE GREATEST ENEMY OF THE STATE."
-- Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

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