Friday, January 30, 2004

So THAT Explains It...

Dear readers, you may wonder why I do not yet have a lucrative career writing scripts for situation comedies. It's quite simple really. The funniest stuff I can put on this site is always true. I don't make it up. If I COULD make it up, then we'd be talking six-figure salary (not counting the zeroes after the decimal .)

Case in point: Here is an article about a panel held by the United Auto Workers. On the panel were representatives of the national news media. I'll give you the punch line first. One panelist said, "I didn't realize people were so angry." Well, hey, you probably would if you were a journalist...err...wait...

The panelists were filled with HILARITIOUS and PITHY COMMENTS. My favorite were the two reasons why there were over 13,000 news stories about Bill Clinton's draft dodging and only 46 on George W. Bush's much clearer AWOL status. You can't prove that Bill was dodging the draft (no matter what you might think) but you can easily prove George skipped out on his already cushy service commitment.

Reason number one for this imbalance: People were weary of all that scandal and stuff.

Reason number two (I SWEAR ON THE GHOST OF I.F. STONE THAT I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP): George didn't comment on the stories, so they couldn't run them. Wow! So that's how it works. You can do whatever you want, but if you don't COMMENT to the press about it, then they give you a free ride.

I don't know what is worse, the state of journalism or the EXCUSES for the state of journalism. Izzy....I hope you aren't watching all of this.

Here's the whole article: UAW Media Panel

Special note to some of my readers

I'm getting more and more email from you. I love it! So far, I've had time to respond to all of them.

As I read them, I find out you are a diverse lot. I'm happy to welcome in those who have a more religious perspective and might, even be labeled part of the "religious right". The story above, though, is an example of, in my opinion, how the religious right was manipulated extensively to go after Bill Clinton. What he did in office (at least the stuff that the press went after) PALES in comparison to Dubya's activities. I believe the anti-Bill and Hillary furor was a product of a vast, rightwing conspiracy. That doesn't mean I like the Clintons, but my opinion of them has nothing to do with interns and cigars.

The corporate rightwing owns many of the radio stations that broadcast the anti-Bill propaganda. They whipped the country into a furor, and now that a fascist is in office, they fall silent or CONTINUE to blame Clinton.

There were great reasons to go after Clinton: NAFTA and globalization (his wing of the corporate party is called "neo-liberal", which means all the world domination, one-third the war), WACO, and lest we forget, much of what became the Patriot Act. But that is not what the right went after (at least not in the most visible of ways. It was odd finding myself in agreement with Pat Buchanan on such issues). They went after a toke on a joint and a stain on a dress. What a waste of grassroots energy! Yes, Clinton was a liar. ALL Presidents are liars. How else do you think they get to BE president?

These are confusing times. The media is in, shall we say, less than objective hands, and that includes Joe Talk-show host in your hometown. For example, Clear Channel here in Nashville owns a station which organized "support the troops" rallies. It looked like a spontaneous grassroots outpouring of appreciation for the folks risking their lives to protect ours. Actually, it was simply a corporate directive.

The corporations use the religious right. I don't know how else to say it. They get them worked up over non-issues and worse yet, get working class Christians agitated AGAINST the very sorts of things that would make their lives a little easier.

Let me give an example: Universal healthcare on the Canadian model is not, in fact, part of a SATANIC PLAN TO TAKE OVER THIS GREAT NATION. It is a program, like Social Security (may it rest in peace) which simply provides health insurance to everyone, regardless of ability to pay or medical condition. You pay a bit more in taxes, but pay less in insurance costs. And PUHLEEEEEEZE do not give me any bullshit about how inefficient the government is. HMO's are ridiculously inefficient...allowing lawyers and accountants to make healthcare decisions. You can't sue them and the doctors are having such a hard time dealing with paperwork from so many different health plans even some of THEM are calling for national health insurance. And don't give me even MORE bullshit about "the government making all your choices" blah blah blah. You only get choice in the private insurance world if you are rich enough to afford the very highest end plans. Below that, it's lawyers and accountants who decide everyone you can see and everything those doctors can do.

But those talk show hosts bellowed and thundered and many working class people, Christian and otherwise, bought every line of it. As you can tell, this is a personal issue for me. My wife has an uninsurable condition. there's some CHOICE for you. She will be forced to go on our state healthcare program soon. It won't be any cheaper, since we have the ability to pay (actually, it will cost a great deal more than the current insurance we are using through COBRA), but it will cover her. Oh, but did I mention...the rightwingers in this state are trying to destroy that program.

I'm sorry for that rant. I'm just frustrated that there are so many Americans who are manipulated into doing things against their own interests. I hope I have not offended the readers to whom this entry was addressed, but I thought you at least ought to know where I stand.


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