|January 7, 2005||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
Are the Bush Twins Influenced by the Evil Liberal Press?
Note: This January 7, 2005 BuzzFlash Editorial marks the seventh in 20 consecutive editorials BuzzFlash will be publishing through January 20th.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
I think it's safe to say, from stitching together news accounts, that the Bush twins don't practice sexual abstinence, aren't teetotalers, and have indulged from time to time in marijuana use -- and that's just what we know.
Dear me, does that make them victims of the liberal press? Or does it just prove that if George and Laura can't get their own daughters to practice their calculated hypocritical political "values" that it is the Bush rhetoric that is out of sync with society?
We ask this rather obvious question because it leads into an important point, one that the right wing has been tossing out like red meat to culturally populist fundamentalist Christian carnivores for years. You know, the guys who read Playboy, watch raunchy FOX television programming, swear in front of their kids, go to Hooters -- and then nod when the preacher discusses how depraved American society has become.
The American press isn't liberal. It is merely secular and modern, which does indeed make it "liberal" to the right wing amen chorus that sings in the GOP gospel pundit and think tank choir. If it's not pre-enlightenment and creationist in its outlook, it's "liberal."
In short, a liberal press to the right wing really means a secular, contemporary media that reflects the America of 2005 and not the Puritanical excesses of the Salem Witch trials.
To show you just how medieval the perspective of the Bushevik GOP is, we found this footnote in a book that we have recently been referencing called "Pols: Great Writers on American Politicians":
Ah, yes, a liberal press must be one that reports on scientific advancements that bolster the theory of evolution, rather than balancing every story with a "creationist" perspective that was already outdated in the days of Woodrow Wilson.
Or a liberal press must be one that accepts "hot chick" ads from companies that contribute heavily to Republicans and sell their products to men using suggestive poses and language.
Or a liberal press must be one that reports about the poor needing housing, Veterans needing medical care, and cutbacks in school funding.
Or a liberal press must be one that acknowledges the accomplishments of women as independent thinkers and achievers.
Or a liberal press must be one that reports about gender discrimination in the workplace.
Or a liberal press must be filled with models with a come-hither look striking poses between ads for all sorts of beauty products that help make the American economy hum.
The reason that there will always be a so-called "liberal" press in America, is due, in large part, to the fact that America is a consumer society -- and a media that merely reflects radically fundamentalist self-proclaimed Christian values would lead to an economy that would be dead in the water. You can only sell so many plastic dashboard Jesuses.
The American economy is created on two basic premises: 1) Most consumer items you buy are disposable, so you need to buy more of them at some point; and, 2) Advertising convinces you to buy things that you don't really need, but come to want as a result of a "created need or desire." That's the role of Madison Avenue.
And Madison Avenue isn't going to have a very successful time selling abstinence books, shutting down the Sunday football libidinous beer ads, and cutting down on sexy ads for clothes and perfume. Just ask the Bush twins. They know what we're talking about. Because they are listening to Madison Avenue, not to Mom and Dad.
So the so-called "liberal" media is consumer driven, and that rings the cash registers. After all, it's advertising that pays the bills and pumps the profits for newspaper, television and radio -- and if it doesn't sell, it's not going to become an advertisement. And then there's no profit to put into campaign contributions to the Republican Party. Just ask Clear Channel or Rupert Murdoch.
The whole right wing rant about the liberal media, as author Thomas Frank has pointed out, is just an effort to exploit a sense of alienation felt by middle and working class Americans. Sex sells and the Republican hacks don't plan on getting in the way of a politically supportive media getting a bang for its buck.
Besides, who do you think is watching the "hot" soap operas and FOX television programming anyway? How about polling the Republican voters on that one. We don't know anyone who watches that junk.
Besides which, while the media generally reflects a secular, contemporary society that brings in profits that often end up in Republican coffers, it is -- ironically -- simultaneously generally pro-Bush and pro-Republican in its political reporting. That is because the media is now largely a corporate profit center that benefits from Bush's pro-corporate and pro-wealthy tax policy.
Although Kerry received the lion's share of top newspaper editorial endorsements, it's the news sections that follow the White House spin on Iraq -- and have given Bush the biggest break in the world on his chronic lying, deceptions, tortured lexicon, dumb statements, and scripted news conferences. And television "news" is even worse, basically giving Bush and the Pentagon carte blanche to pass off propaganda as news in staged Hollywood set types of interviews and photo-ops.
Editorial pages don't influence mass America much anymore anyway. That is why you can have a newspaper like the New York Times with a traditionally liberal editorial page that does a series on the need for voting reform, while you have a news section that, for the most part, has virtually ignored the voting irregularities of the 2004 election or treated such reports with skepticism and derision.
The so-called "liberal press" is really in the pocket of the GOP when it comes to electoral politics. And unless America formally becomes the Christian nation that Antonin Scalia, John Ashcroft and Bush desire it to officially be, it is likely to remain a curious hybrid of secular social reporting -- larded with a heaping dollop of sex --- and partisan White House political cheerleading.
Of course, if you need your fix of Christian news, just turn on Pat Robertson, "Praise Jesus," and get out your B.S. meter.
As for the Bush twins, we don't think that they will be running around the tequila party circuit anytime soon singing, "Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder."
But they will be good consumers, which is what the media is all about nowadays, along with reflecting the White House party line of the day.
And coughing up millions to the GOP come campaign time.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL