Monday, August 31, 2009

Stating the Obvious

Paul Krugman's latest NY Times Op Ed sums up the difficulty of getting decent policy out of Washington pretty well. Of course, as I wrote in the comments - which incidentally got a lot of recommendations (which means far more people read it than they do this blog):

Everyone with half a brain and a conscience knows this, but how can we act on it?

This is really the problem - so many educated, intelligent people are completely aware of what's going on - with corporate dollars creating disastrously unsustainable and unhealthy policy, but are not organized to do anything about it.

Of course, one thing we must do is put massive pressure on the media, calling out reporters and "journalists" by name who shill for power rather than speak the truth. Here's the whole post:

Everyone with half a brain and a conscience knows this, but how can we act on it? For one, it's time to go to war against a compliant media that has become a spokesman for whoever's in power. Your op-eds and Frank Rich's are great - and Glenn Greenwald is probably the best and most relentless of all. But aside for a handful of people telling the truth, the Times and other publications are still doing the: "Cheney claims that Holder's investigation is purely political." How about: "Cheney, desperate to avoid being outed as the architect of our illegal, counterproductive and murderous war interrogation policy, claims Eric Holder's decision to investigate as politically motivated." Why is even the Times afraid to print the facts? What in the above is in dispute? That people died, that it was a recruiting tool for the enemy, that it violated the Geneva conventions? Op Ed is great, but why are we not also reporting facts? Why does the news not begin with the premise that we violated international law, and then discuss whether elected officials should be exempt from it. Why are we arguing about whether it worked?

The health care debate makes me sick - I'm too angry to read another word about it because the Times (and it's far from the worst) does not speak the truth. It reports claims from one side and claims from the other. You and Frank Rich should resign in protest - publish an independent blog until they report the facts, not just take dictation from both sides.

The entrenched interests are unassailable only because the MSM refuses to tell the truth. If we didn't report "Death Panel" claims but instead said: "Senator Grassley lied yesterday in claiming..." then it things would be different. Adam Nagourney wrote a column about Palin's prospects for higher office in the future, and not once did he mention that she's unqualified. At what point do you show your readers respect and stop worrying about offending the guys who stupidly and blindly root for "their team." If the Giants are beating the Jets 40-0 in the fourth quarter, should sportscasters analyze the Jets playcalling: "Good time for the play-action fake here, Bob." When it's 40-0, the play calling doesn't matter. When a candidate is beyond a joke, how can you analyze her chances as if that's even a remotely acceptable possibility. How can you give that credibility?

Seriously, I appreciate these columns and Frank Rich's, but most of the political "reporting" is a total joke - even at the Times. The Washington Post is a complete disgrace - it's a cancer on the republic.

And while I wrote that in what I'd call a blind rage, and still agree with every word of it, I'm aware that just naming names and expressing our anger isn't enough. There must be some wider organization - campaigns to depose our current leaders who serve their corporate patrons instead of us, boycotts of businesses, voting for sustainable and uncorrupt ones every day with our dollars, etc. We must use every weapon in our arsenal to unravel our democracy from these insidious forces.

This is the "clash of civilizations" that must actually take place before peace and prosperity can be restored. Not some stupid, bigoted religious war against Muslims halfway across the world, but a war against the corruption in our own societies. We need to do our part here - forget about Iraq and Afghanistan. The way to keep us healthy and safe is to make good policy, and hold those who lie to and steal from the people in proper account - let alone the war criminals who greatly multiplied our enemies' numbers. Charles Grassley, Dick Cheney, Jim DeMint, Kent Conrad, Dianne Feinstein, etc. You are the more dangerous enemy, and you must be publicly discredited, ostracized and permanently and irrevocably barred from what you shamelessly call "public service".


Jonah Keri said...

Good stuff, Chris. You're absolutely right that Krugman is among the very few in MSM willing to call a spade a spade. Shocker of shockers, he's been labeled a far-left kook by corporate-controlled opponents.

I think you might write better when you're furious and unfiltered btw. I'm thinking I might make a go at that kind of writing myself for longer projects in the future.

Chris Liss said...

Thanks, man. The only problem with writing in a rage is that it's so damn taxing on the system. I mean I read far too much political stuff, and half the day I'm foaming at the mouth. I need to save energy for my health and my real job, but I almost can't help myself. It's almost as I have to choose between being informed and being a sane person. Often I feel I need to go with the latter, though for the past few years I've done almost exclusively the former.