…and to reintroduce the “natural hand of quality control into government”, which was the primary reason for the “free press” clause in the First Amendment in the first place. The press kept government honest. That was always the job, and the day the MSM became the ministry of propaganda for the Left, It abrogated that duty.
But we’re coming to restore the Free Press, not save you…
…for in the enduring words of Judge Roy Bean, the Law West of the Pecos…you won’t be there to see it, Mainstream Media, not by a damned sight, because it’s the judgment of History that you be taken to the nearest tree and hung until you are dead, dead, dead, you pink-skinned sons and daughters of billy goats.
Now you know where both the sun and I stand.
Only a few days ago I wrote that the media is dead. OK, it’s a dead-man-standing, over in the corner with a .38 pointed at its head. That part is true. And I wasn’t being metaphorical. Its doom is written in stone, as is all who cling to it. The only question is whether we will let it take the rest of the country down in flames with it. So, I also suggested we leave the media alone and let it do its dying in peace, not so much out of good manners, but the fact that the constant attention we pay to it, almost all negative, is the main thing that keeps it alive…that and helping the Left get over one more hill. It feeds off our anger, and congressional fear. Tribble-Goths.
But it does serve the purposes to the Left, and this we need to know. It has objectives. And while I spoke of leaving them alone by shunning them, there are things we can and should still do to individual members of the media who have transgressed. More importantly we should go about reacquainting ourselves with building on the natural hunger and need for news (and facts) by citizens as understood by the Founders. The press is a business, just like any other, so people will be lining up to fill the void. Like underwear, people will always need what they’re selling, but, just like restoring religion to the public square, only the people can decide what it is we need, and the acceptable limits of influence we will give them. We decide all those things in our various roles as citizens, people of faith, and consumers of news….in a free market. Not as legislators. The consumers rule here. We don’t need or want to be spoon-fed by legislators, Madmen and elitists sitting high atop an office tower in NYC. So only we (you) can plow, then cast the seeds of a rebirth of the free press. Only this time, our new press train won’t carry a lot of things the old one did. Especially, it won’t carry certain kinds of liars, or propagate certain kinds of lies, no matter what the courts say. As a rule, we’ll let the free market decide, but we won’t let our representatives be seduced or the people defrauded any longer. But just in case, we’ll keep plucking chickens and storing up the feathers.
The Major Objectives of the MSM
I’m not sure if the rank and file of the MSM; the celebrities (yep, Katie is mere rank and file), the broadcasters, the writers, bloggers, actors (yep, Sean Penn is too), 7-figure account managers on Madison avenue, all the way down to the little wannabes covering the Gulf cleanup for Channel 9 News, understand that they are primarily talking to each other. But the inner circle upstairs does. They may they think they are defenders and propagators of “social justice”, bringing new converts into the new civilized family from among the great unwashed and undecideds out there…but they are not. Aside from the few thousand pimply-faced young Janeane Garofalo’s and Al Franken’s who pass puberty each year, I can’t think of a single convert to the Left brought over by the main stream media. Hollywood’s batting a little better, but by the time most Avatar followers finally get it, they’ll be over 30 with two kids. Too late. Only our side got it. (Thank God). Cameron and Oliver Stone never understood that when they tried to subtly insinuate a leftie message into an otherwise good film, the intended targets never got it. And when they do it brazenly, no one comes, in droves. Only cockroaches saw W. I may as well look for deep political messages in Some Like it Hot than for a young leftie dweeb to find the same in a bad Oliver Stone film.
If self-delusion were a capital offense, most any county prosecutor in Missouri could build a case, on hard evidence alone, that could hang the lot of the mainstream media. And Judge Bean would provide a stirring send-off, and lend a section of rope.
But upstairs, the scions of the original “ruling class” that first helped build the Progressive movement in the late 1800s, members all of one of the most exclusive (and richest clubs) in history, have always known that the principle purpose of the national media, in all its elements, was to serve as a national ministry of information, to do nothing more than spread revealed “truths” concocted in the deepest recesses of offices and bunkers they don’t even know exist. You cannot possibly be further out of the loop than if you are a member of the mainstream media, for you live entirely in a world of make-believe. And they love it, for it is a world consisting mostly of mirrors. They are the American version of the Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment, from UFA to Reichsrundfunk, where every film was an approved film, every news story was approved news, every fact, every truth only an approved truth. In Germany it had gotten so bad, even before the war started, people sought their news elsewhere. So it became illegal to listen to foreign broadcasts from London, or Paris, or Warsaw, where news and facts were “contradictory”. Sound familiar?
So while I say this is a circular firing squad, (It was in Goebbel’s day as well, and he didn’t know it either) it is a circle on purpose. Socialists of every stripe; communists, fascists, Nazis, all have an obsession with being the sole repositories of facts and truth, from the tiniest of neighborhood events, which really doesn’t make a lot of sense, if you stop to think about it, for even as they are just starting out on that final march to total control, they are already hammering nails into their own coffin. Yet they do it, just like Goebbels.
The MSM’s principal objective is to keep legislators, not just inside the Beltway, but in Richmond, Ames, and Kansas City, marching to their beat, but a task no longer important once they get a firmer grip on control. Of course, this feeds our anger for daily we see our own elected representatives, our side tremble in fear from this bunch. And the true measure of our success in November will be how well the new congressional class will be able to do as I have already suggested, spurn them. Politely of course. We’ll be watching.
Of course, once that certain level of control is gained, there will no longer be a need to seduce. They will simply tell, which is the proper function of a ministry of information. And a lot of salaries and careers will collapse as it requires no charisma, glitz or sex appeal to “tell”. But to get to that “certain level of control”, they must first climb and cross over ‘yon rising height of land’ (where we lay in wait). The last hill. For that they need an army, so the media’s other principle objectives is to keep the cannon fodder; the youth, the idealistic school teachers, race-baiters (including skin heads? Think about it. h/t Stephc) and union true believers, frothing at the mouth so that, when called to muster, will storm out and charge out over that height of land, hoping that the anger they’ve created in us, alongside their vicious falsetto war yips, will cause our trigger fingers to quiver and we will aim high. (But more about that some other time.)
And what about independents, you ask? This government has fallen from grace in their eyes so deeply, and so exposed their real cards, their real intentions, that no amount of media propaganda, even the charge of raaaaacist, will work to repair the breach. This alone is indicative of where the Left, and the media, think they are now, on the cusp of total control, where they won’t ever have to worry about what that all-important electoral body, the independents, think, ever again. They think they are that close. It’s a signal.
As I have said, leave the MSM alone. Quit “adoring” them. Free Press restoration lay elsewhere. No one but their own choir is listening now. Not even John McCain.
A Chilling Effect on Bad Journalism
The media lies. A lot. Routinely. It omits even more, so much so that the differences between intentional and incompetent untruths have become totally blurred. Most members of the media couldn’t find Omaha on a map, but still with a straight face could ask George Bush who the last prime minister of Tannu Tuva was. Either way, they have cynically and intentionally destroyed thousands of lives and reputations, wrecked several fine public institutions, and abetted in the theft of billions, no, trillions, of working peoples’ money. From the words of one of our own only today, the sainted Vladimir, reporting on the absence of a disaster of any magnitude, but with thousands and thousands of jobs lost the MSM inspired the federal government to take away in the Gulf…that’s right, not the spill, but government intervention…with a fact template that has proven false to the core, proves they still have great power…but only if people listen. Moreover they have indifferently facilitated the deaths of an awful lot of fine Americans. I go back a ways, but I can take you to The Wall in Washington, and among its names will be many whose name is there only because of cynical acts of the American Press, especially after Tet. But Pol Pot racked up over a million with their help, and who I am to say that one American life is worth more than 10,000 Cambodians? Haditha anyone? Semper F-U, John Murtha! I could go on. The tally mounts daily, and any writer who wants to report the lives and billions lost because of what the media reported and refused to report (Rwanda, Sudan) will be welcome here.
With a gun already pointed at its head over there in the corner, and God’s and History’s reckoning already in a final countdown, you’d wonder what ordinary people can or even should do to pile on. There are thousands of scores to settle. Personal scores. But I think I can also find scripture that speaks to the evil one can do to himself if he gets too eaten up with revenge. Not to mention 5 to 10 if he takes revenge too far. But revenge is also a supplication of the heart, which like a hate-crime, in the end can only be judged by One Person. Not Congress. But on the other hand, Judge Napolitano, in his speech at RightOnline (and the finest I’d heard since Reagan when he was still a candidate) quoted, from Jefferson and the Declaration, that the People have a DUTY to remove from power the agents of tyranny (my words). And Tom wasn’t all that narrow in defining “remove” as events proved.
In an earlier essay of mine here on RS, I said we should make politicians fear the People once again. Make them really afraid. It got some play in the leftside blogosphere, so it must have struck a nerve. As a reminder, in part of our history in towns and cities across America in the 18th and early 19th Centuries, the people and the duly elected arms of the law were often dueling as to who get get to a crooked politician, a con-artist, card cheat, or lying newspaper man first. In the end, the law won out, as it should have, but not before an awful lot of ne’er do well bunco artists and public liars were dipped in oil and covered in feathers, or tied to the cow-catcher on the 9:15 local to Abilene. It was fear, sometimes rawer than other times, that made good citizens out of the most corruptible, and second oldest, profession in the world. It is this same “chill” that kept a free press honest for the better part of this nation’s history. And down in Campbellsville, Kentucky, they still keep the covenant. (h/t to a retired editor friend of mine.)
Some of those agents of tyranny we can vote out, who will then crawl away into a hole somewhere, while others, if we elevate the right people to power in the new Congress, will be frog-marched over to the courthouse, to meet an uncertain justice. I’m sure you all have visions of this. I do. But still others will try to hang on, acting all innocent and like. These are the self-deluded, self-adoring cultists. These make up the core of the mainstream media, and will likely have to be spanked, or chilled. We may even sue them. But a lying newsman can have his shyster lawyer stand up, finger pointed to God, shouting “Freedom of the Press, Your Honor! The First Amendment!”. But that lawyer’s brief will carry no weight to the unsworn jury that goes bump in the night. It’s important that both the old and new press know his. Now that law has become as corruptible as the politicians who write it and the press who misreports it, we need to renew that vigilance, that duel and reestablish that “chill”. We may have to reopen the H&B Tattoo Parlor and All Night Wrecker Service.
Our belief (my partners and I), as we mentioned in our comments about bad conduct from the unions, is that a good pro-active way to discomfit them is to go after their support networks, their go-fers. I recommend this. There are hundreds of ways to terrorize them legally, which the Left has been doing to innocent citizens for years now. Alinsky even wrote a list of rules about it, #13 comes to mind, ” Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.” Works for me.
But we’re not barbarians. So in order to go about this business of putting the agents of tyranny to heel (trust me, they will retreat toute suite once the right message is sent) and to provide that reckoning at the foot of the Tree of Liberty justice requires, we first have to determine what it is we want to restore, for only these things should we feel compelled to defend with such vigor.
A Few Restoration Rules
The Founders envisioned the need of a free press as a curb (quality control) against the excesses of government…at every level of government, although at the time, the Bill of Rights had not been incorporated into states. But it’s clear that they intended this to occur in a free marketplace of ideas, including all kinds of opinions, stretches of truth and fact, and from time to time, out and out lies. British common law, and later statutes, put limits on the lies (libel) news papers could say “about people”. But lies about things? Well there’s a problem, even today, as the lie may appear on page one, above the fold, while the retraction, the mea culpa, is likely to appear on page 22 just under the obituary of Miss Bessie Mae Davis, aged 92, survived by her cat, Samuel Gompers.
The point is, we all spend our time grousing about the “lies” of the media , (“Lies, damned lies, and statistics”- Mark Twain) forgetting that the reason lying is so widespread and tolerated anymore is 1) fewer and fewer people, especially in the wannabe Ruling Class believe in a final Judgment anymore, and 2) in the modern jurisprudential climate of the courtroom, lawyers can parse even the simplest of lies into a palette of shades of grey, and make a lawsuit so cumbersome and expensive as to not be worth the while. Better to suffer the slings and arrows, as Rush Limbaugh was forced to do when bald-faced lies (non-existent quotes) were passed along about him when it came out that he might like to be a part of a group to buy the LA Rams, and 3) the Sullivan case, 1964, which set out special standards for famous people, allowing that people in the national/regional/local spotlight are held to different standard of defamation. It’s easier to lie about them without fear of penalty.
Taken in order, #1 is our fault. The Left didn’t take over the public highway. We, people of faith, handed it to them, deciding to go hide out in catacombs or hold prayer meetings in old barns or down back alleys (Yes, Rev Schuller, that’s exactly where you’re holding services now, for you do so at the sufferance of the don’t-give-a-damns.). Do the math. it only figures that the increasing number of people there are who don’t fear God, the more lying, and all other public displays of bad behavior, will plaster that highway like billboards. We have to take back the public street for all religious faiths, and while legislatures can plow the row, they cannot put religion back into the public square. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see a church steeple and hear the distant chime of bells at every turn in my public highway. And I’m fond of temples, even mosques’ architecture (except at Ground Zero, the gall, the very gall) as well.
That is a 60 year (minimum) task before us. If God has indeed turned His back on America, as some allow, it is for this one reason. It is the high road all the religions should share, politely competing with or jointly celebrating each other (I’m a celebrater myself). Old Clootie and his Don’t-Give-A-Damn’s need to be sent back down that alley, and into that sewer…and it is there we will go to greet them, with shillelaghs held high. Laisser les bons rouller! This is how God’s nature ordained a republic should exist and prosper, by keeping sewer rats where they belong.
We’ve been the enemy of the lie for a long time, even forming a website to do it injustice, only with so little staff, and too many lies, allowed it go stagnant. But it seems to us the easiest way to “chill” dishonest reporting in the courtroom in the media is to establish “loser pays” as the legal standard for defamation actions in court.
Also, I’m for revisiting Sullivan and getting new Court guidance about the parameters of fact and truth one may publish, in print, publish or say. But we have to be careful, for the state seems intent on doing the same thing through Net Neutrality (so watch Neil Stevens’ updates closely, for the law is wrapped up in a lot of technical jargon), only a la Goebbels, proscribing all but state-approved speech. Given the choice, I’ll gladly opt for the courtroom, and common law, and the trial, to determine what is a lie or a damned lie, rather than allow the legislatures do it for us. Besides, a good “chill” program should keep the more egregious sinners at bay anyway. That’s what I call “fair and balanced.” It’s the competition of facts that secures a Free Press, not the legal suppression of some facts based on a sliding scale of of truth.
The Face of Media
Unlike the Founders, we have so many media now. The old print media is dying anyway, but once upon a time every city had two-three newspapers offering contrasting views of the truth. Most cities now have only one, leaving a sole repository for “truth”, and no competing version. The free market has all but disappeared, especially in the televised media, where networks seem to have suspended all the laws of free enterprise by forming a cartel of sorts. When an entrepreneur can find an entire market (network news) that is selling exactly the same product, where two-thirds of that market have abandoned it altogether because they despise the product, and doesn’t jump in to grab off that disenchanted 67%, you have to know there’s a JournOlist in the woodpile. It’s a cartel, with secret agreements and mutual talking points. “Gravitas” anyone?
As a businessman, i think reforming FoxNews would be the most expedient, and efficient way to restore the free press, especially if Ayles ran a newscast on the commercial side of Fox. But Gad!, wouldn’t it be nice to march into CNN’s studios in Atlanta, and say, “Sorry guys, you’re all out, clean out your desk by tomorrow morning”, then, while they’re still standing around recovering from the shock, and yelling over each other, “You’ll hear from my lawyer”, march in a platoon of blog-geeks, still in their bathrobes and baseball caps, to replace them. Properly trained, with a good style manual, and strict guidelines in the difference between a white lie and a damned black lie, and the remotest idea of what makes a good news story, even if they never change their socks, within a year, they’ll own the airwaves. And NBC/CBS/ABC will be history. Wow!
Academe as Media
If you haven’t noticed, one of the ways of spreading lies has been to pass it into the cultural mainstream first under the color of science, or the received wisdom by some academic regimens, e.g., pop-psychology, which today includes popcorn, apple coloring, and of course global warm…er, climate change. This is how NOW, who speaks for maybe a thousand women, most of them with moustaches, outranks any number of women’s organizations who speak for millions. It’s where Barry Lynn gets to pass himself off as a concerned Christian instead of dedicated Leftist (God don’t like Lefties, Barry, you can look it up.) or Planned Parenthood as Pro-Choice instead of Pro-Abortion. The media as we know it is a mere conduit for this expanded definition of academia. But make no mistake about it, in the Stalin-Goebbels-Maoist-Castro alternate universe of truth, science also is media. Under tyranny, everything state-run is media. The chill sanctions I mentioned above apply, or should apply, and what fun that would be. (Someone just asked me what I would do with a million bucks.) But we favor a lot of institutional sanctions, which have to come from the People through their legislatures. Just don’t forget the brooms, and chicken feathers just in case.
To Hell With Fair, Try Honest
As you can tell, I’m a little bit tentative about the what-to-do-now’s. I think a chill really needs to be addressed, for the same reasons I laid out in making our elected officials fear us. With the MSM, when one’s thinking moves to that Stage Three cancer, and can lie without even a hint of conscience, there is no longer any option except surgery. The courts should do it, but won’t. The legislatures could help, but are too afraid. I leave it to you to decide the options. After all, we’re just a bunch of little people out here talking over coffee. I just remember that famous verse from Proverbs (13:24) which goes like this: “If i dood it I get a ‘panking.” If they go ahead and do it anyway and don’t get that spanking, and then do it again, without punishment, who’s to blame? Really.