Posted by: distributorcap | August 13, 2009

An August That Made Me Shiver

Here is a short quiz (a quizzical)

  1. Why are allowed and encouraged (even by President Obama) to have this vigorous debate on health care and insurance reform – but were not allowed to have the same debate about going to war in Iraq? You know – be against the war and you’re labeled a Communist (or anti-America), be for health care/insurance reform and you’re labeled Communist (or Nazi).
  2. Why are so many “average” citizens so vehemently against any sort of government run health plan but barely any “average” citizens batted an eye when this same government bureaucracy completely screwed up the war, the aftermath and rebuilding of Iraq?
  3. Why is everything the Democrats and Obama do considered socialist, but when Bush passed Medicare Part D without big Pharma price negotiations, bailed out the banks, allowed no-bid contracts and spent trillions on a war of choice, it was considered free market.
  4. Why are people screaming so loudly that the stimulus is not working but hardly noticed when Hank Paulson (ex of Goldman Sachs) and the Fed were given free hand to salvage Bush’s economy debacle (and Goldman Sachs) with little oversight that has not work in changing the greed culture?
  5. Why is Obama’s deficit spending (which I personally do not like) so much worse than Bush paying for the Iraq war with a credit card that was not accounted for in any budget (or in other words, why is money for health care a no-no, but money for war a yes-yes)?
  6. Why is Obama’s birth certificate, even after it has been shown time and time again that he was born in Hawaii fair game, but Bush’s mysterious military service and records off limits?

Do you believe in rock ‘n roll,
Can Palin save your mortal soul,

And can you teach me how to lie real slow?

In thinking about an answer, the first thing that comes to my mind is plain racism. Yes, the deep-seated hate of minorities (especially African-Americans) by such a large chunk of the [Republican] population is a major factor in the formation of these angry mobs. These people simply cannot deal with a Black man as President. But I think this vileness and rancor would be there even if it was a white Democrat in the office. (These people hate Democrats, they just hate Black Democrats even more).

Then I think it is American-as-apple-pie (and Reagan-mastered) selfishness – you know, the old and tired I don’t want my taxes paying for the welfare queens driving Cadillacs routine. For a country that likes to profess how generous we are, we really are awfully selfish (see Brothers, Lehman and Stearns, Bear). So instead of saying “welfare queens driving Cadillacs,” the new and improved talking point is “I don’t want my tax dollars paying for fat diabetic smokers.”

But the real common thread weaving its way through this little quiz is something more pervasive and something more insidious. It is – drum roll — the role of the media. Notice I didn’t say news organizations – I am saying the media – with special emphasis on Fox News, with its millions of idiotic viewers. While journalism jumped the shark a very long time ago and traveled into the depths of the Marianas Trench during the Bush Administration, since the swearing in of Obama, the line between journalism and entertainment vanished as fast as your money in a Bernie Madoff fund. When despicable cretins like Glenn Beck are allowed to pass off their anti-Obama rants, political theatrics and irresponsible behavior as news (it is Fox News, not f/x), it is little wonder you have people shouting – No socialized medicine, and keep your hands off my Medicare.

The ignorance of America is mind-blowing. For a country that is the home of MIT, Stanford and hundreds of Nobel prize winners, we have to be the most mal- (or is it mis-) educated people in the developed world. We have actually made a choice to believe ing fear and lies over knowledge and fact. And for the media-centric culture we are, fear and lies definitely makes better television.

When Walter Cronkite passed away a few weeks ago, it truly was Bye, Bye Mr. American Eye. While real journalism jumped the shark years ago, it was his passing the really brought to light how truly harmful the fourth estate has become. I can guarantee you will never see anyone on Fox News wiping their brow somberly as they report the assassination of the President. What you will see on Fox News is one of their “journalists” serving poison wine to an effigy of the Speaker of the House, in the hopes of assassinating her. A slight difference in journalistic tone wouldn’t you say?

So come on Bill be nimble, Sean be quick!
Glenn Beck served up a poison fix

Sometimes I wonder if the media isn’t so much anti-Obama as it just plain anti-intellectual and pro-toilet paper sales. Then again – while maybe only a small portion of the media is really anti-Obama, a huge chunk of the remaining media outlets feel it is news in the public interest to report on just exactly how anti-Obama that smaller piece of the media is. Got that?

A great example of how anti-Obamaism and commercials drive the decisions of Roger Ailes and Fox News would be yesterday’s appearance by President Obama in New Hampshire for a health care forum. Fox News, which was covering the town hall, left in the middle of the event, just as the audience questions were starting — because it was “dull.” Since there was no one shouting to Obama “you are going to kill my baby with your death panels,” I guess Ailes didn’t want his audience to fall asleep – 0r worse – change the channel to rival entertainer, CNN.

So America sits in the perfect storm. You have a media that loves visual confrontations as opposed to intellectual discussions. You have a population that prefers American Idol to National Geographic. And finally you have a society that thrives on fear and not knowledge.

And you wonder why we end up with No socialized medicine, and keep your hands off my medicare.

And the grand old party was drinking whiskey and rye
Singing this will be the day that we die……




  1. Oy! Some local town hall meeting are starting here….clearly the talking point buzzword is *freedom*.Yes…….. right wing talk radio & faux media have brainwashed the masses. We have the freedom to let for profit insurance companies dictate if we get the care we need. Go here for part of the answer….

  2. So, did I change or did the country change? There are days when I wonder why I stay here. And I live in NYC (as you do), not Wingnut Central. If it weren't for my friends and family, I would have left years ago. I just hope I have that option if this trend towards the stupid and vicious is not checked.

  3. "Sometimes I wonder if the media isn’t so much anti-Obama as it just plain anti-intellectual and pro-toilet paper sales." is about the best summation I've read. The QOTD.

  4. It is the dumbing down of America.. and it started around the time we (as a country we) elected the actor who played president. That started us on the downward slide and it has continued since…it was really obvious today when Lawrence O'Donnell had that woman on Tweety's show from Spector's Town Hall talking about her reason's for speaking out. When he asked her about them, she really had no idea why, she just kept repeating Beck's talking points, but she didn't know what she was saying. Then when he asked her why now, she couldn't answer, he asked why not after 9-11, Afghanistan, Iraq, she still had no answer.. she was clueless.. she started talking about the Gulf War of '91…lol She looked like the idiot she was.. That's what our country has become.. That's the dumbing down of our country and what we have let happen. Hopefully, we are now on the road to recovery, but it will take a long, long time to get back to where we need to be.

  5. Hitler's Brown Shirts used similar tactics of shouting down others at town hall meetings when they were beginning their reign of terror.The poison of right wing talk radio has developed into a raging hate most of us don't know how to counteract.

  6. Hi Cap;"The ignorance of America is mind-blowing. For a country that is the home of MIT, Stanford and hundreds of Nobel prize winners, we have to be the most mal- (or is it mis-) educated people in the developed world"When I was a child, we were taught not only the fifty states and capitals, but also countries and capitals around the world.When I lived in LA and asked where I came from, I replied Canada. A few responses were, "Is that close to British Columbia?" When they asked me where in Canada, I stated Manitoba, I knew I lost them. To make it easier I asked if they knew where North Dakota was to give them a sense of proximity and I gave up when I noticed the perplexed expression on their faces.Some time later, when I was building my home in Mexico, a few friends from Florida were visiting me in LA and wondered if there was electricity, fire or police protection in Mexico.I am not an educated man. I have worked full time since I was sixteen.The knowledge required to make an informed decision to even vote, is lacking for a pretty large proportion of citizens. There are many people in America who do know, but they are decreasing in respect to the overall population.Otherwise the media and power brokers would not have been able to come to the place you describe in your post 🙂

  7. I really blame the media for most of the problems we experience today, including whipping up racism (albeit in an indirect way), making ignorance and "gut" thinking a noble value and outrage the default emotion.The major media companies need to be broken up. They need to be put back into local control so that they have a connection with the community. They need to be based on different funding models (We need a strong public cable news channel like every other developed country has). And while I don't think the Fairness Doctrine needs to be instituted by fiat (with the internet it would be a pointless act away), some type of fairer debate needs to be encouraged.And for all those who scream "free" market at all this? The media is not a free market. The producers are an oligopoly and the distributors are local monopolies. If Government is going to allow this arrangement to exist, they need to make sure the content reflects different voices, even if some are less popular than others.I don't hold out much hope that America will exist as we know it in 30 years. I was hopeful that after GW Bush left office people would take a hard look at themselves and clean up the mess. But the wingnuttery is worse than ever and the media distraction is back in full force. The problems aren't going away and the window of time to change things is closing fast.

  8. And this is because the media is losing lots and lots and lots of money so they're desperate. And the only way that's going to stop is if they start charging money, en masse, for electronic based information. That might be coming soon, but with it will come monthly fees charged for Twitter, Facebook, and major news sources. The only thing free will be us.

  9. Hi toujoursdan;Very well put, "I was hopeful that after GW Bush left office people would take a hard look at themselves and clean up the mess. But the wingnuttery is worse than ever and the media distraction is back in full force. The problems aren't going away and the window of time to change things is closing fast."I have to agree with that statement

  10. I think the only real solution is a new form of bussing.You simply take the liberals in the Northeast and left coast and send them to infiltrate states that think confederate flags are okay.Then you take half the hicks from the South and midwest and send them to the Northeast and left coast.A mess of New York Jews and San Francisco queens in Alabama or South Carolina would do wonders for that cracker mentality.And you put a hayseed in NYC and he's gonna CHANGE.

  11. The problems are many. It started when we went from head start to no child left behind. Back when mom went to high school the graduation requirments were much higher. In fact I'd say back then they were what is required for a college degree today. I recall her saying Latin, a foreign language, four years of math, science, social studies, english, history, civics and phys ed. Now: no latin, foreign language, two years math and english, no civics or phys ed.So what can you expect when people's only reward is for showing up (no brain needed no homework required)? They'll be so disappointed that they all don't get their gold star for just showing up. What no pizza and pop at this event? That's it I'm not showing up!

  12. Pro-toilet paper sales? You won't be so glib when we're waiting in line for some!Word verification: blogend, what happens when the Obama Nazi Socialist Commie State controls everything!

  13. Another "Why" question (I don't think I'm going off topic here): When Bush got elected (or appointed) in 2000, he had the narrowist victory margin in history. For that matter, he lost the popular vote. The Republicans had something like a 51-49 majority in the Senate. And yet the Bush juggernaut steamrolled ahead like they had some sort of incredible mandate.Now, we have Obama winning the White House by a landslide, and large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. And what have we got? The Obama and Congress are paralyzed. A tiny minority of retarded loudmouths has brought everything to a standstill.Like it or not, Republicans are very good at mobilizing millions of people and brainwashing them into doing the dirty work for Big Business. And they're brilliant at inventing soundbites that connect with John Q. Public on a gut level.Democrats are going to have to start using and perfecting these same tactics if we don't want a repeat of Clinton's would-be health care disaster of 1994.

  14. 100% right on.

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