Sunday, March 27, 2005

A Historic Failure

Which one is that, you may well ask ?

The failure of the US media to inform the American public, which itself is apparently sinking into a state of abysmal apathetic ignorance. (If you missed the "Idiot Dust" in January, you might want to take a quick look. Frightening, indeed.)

You might argue that this failure - and the resultant ignorance - is not a new thing, and you might be right. However, since 9/11, things seem to have become much worse. Seen from here in France, it's quite clear that both the printed and audiovisual media in the USA are censoring themselves. They content themselves with serving predigested pap to the masses while ignoring issues crucial to the continued well-being of democracy and the commonweal, such as the rapidly disappearing line between church and state, the failure of the Congress to represent all the people, the wealth gap, the loss of privacy and the creeping fascism.

Nowadays one must work hard indeed and spend valuable time - zapping onto satellite TV stations and feverishly surfing the internet - to find salient facts, dissenting voices and cogent arguments in places other than what certain quarters term "the corporate press". On a given day, one might not find too much, either. While the world as we know it is changing at a faster and faster rate - and not necessarily for the better for us, our children and our grandchildren - the American media highlight steroids in baseball, feeding tubes and a hypothetical "right to die", alleged "child molestation" by a pop star, and other minor issues designed to numb the mind and stifle debate.

One has only to watch non-US news and read non-US papers and magazines to see just how many events the US mass media are not reporting and just how much these same media are underreporting - indeed, expurgating - the events they do deign to report on.

Note that one doesn't necessarily have to agree with the non-US media and papers, either. No one says one must check one's brain in the cloakroom before reading or hearing a dissenting view. Furthermore, no one has a monopoly on the "truth", that most elusive beast which morphs according to eyes of the beholder. Believing one's own propaganda, though, is the surest route to societal destruction. History has proven it many times over.

Simply put, the US news institutions are not doing their jobs, and America is far, far the worse for it. Among the questions we ask ourselves overseas are: has the point of no return been reached ? Have the US media irremediably forfeited their right to attention and respect ? Why have the media failed ? Greed ? Incompetence ? Fear ?


Text © Copyright 2005 by L'Amerloque


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