|May 16, 2005||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
Without Media Reform, the Bush Thugs Will Stay in Power. It's That Simple.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Suppose the Mafia could basically dictate what "news" is on television, radio and in most mainstream newspapers. Suppose the Mafia could even invent stories and create factoids by following the policy that if you repeat a lie five times in the media, it becomes the truth.
Suppose that this has actually happened with the Bush Administration, because it has.
And make no mistake about it, we are dealing with a One-Party government that believes that creating an impression of unbeatable, omnipotent, brutal power is the way to crush the opposition. The rule of law doesn't matter; the Constitution doesn't matter; democracy doesn't matter. In fact democracy is an inconvenient obstacle to dictatorial one-party rule that is accountable to no one but the party leader.
Sounds a bit like a mixture of the old Soviet Union and Franco's Spain.
Well, it is.
Much of the Bushevik obsession with torture, "shock and awe" bombings, the pulverizing destruction of Iraqi cities, the violations of our civil liberties, the refusal to turn over the public's documents to Congress -- all these and more -- are just strategies to convince any proponents of democracy that resistance is futile.
Here are just a few examples:
The purpose of all these actions -- and far, far too many more to list here -- are to demoralize the opposition to Bushevism -- in the U.S. and around the world. Although Karl Rove wraps Bush up in the veneer of patriotic cliches, he's really a combination of Stalin and Franco dressed up for Halloween in an Uncle Sam Costume, with Cheney pulling the strings.
And so the sold-out Media Reform Conference in St. Louis the weekend of May 14 -- with more than 2200 persons in attendance from all 50 states and several foreign nations -- was a refreshing wake-up call that there is a large segment of Americans who are willing, like the people in Uzbekistan, to take a stand for democracy. Their willpower and determination won't be broken by the tactics of a wannabe dictator. The attendees at the Conference on Media Reform embrace patriotism; they glory in the magnificence of the Constitution; they revolt against elitist rule, just as our forefathers did.
The Tories were sent packing by the likes of Tom Paine, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
They can be beaten again and democracy's promise restored.
They can be and they must be.
The throngs of activists in St. Louis (and, as speaker Jim Hightower called them "agitators," just like the people who started the American Revolution) believe that media reform is the key to opening up the pipeline of truth to the American people.
Right now the great American middle is being force-fed a diet of mainstream media misinformation, hand delivered to them by the Bush administration.
Media reform advocates argue that if you increase the number of spigots providing information to the American public, you will enhance debates about public policy necessary to the business of conducting democracy. But the primary challenge is removing the mainstream media from the clutches of mega-corporations and returning the airwaves to their owners, the citizens of America.
Eighteen months ago, when the first "FreePress" media reform conference was held in Madison, Wisconsin, there was a sell-out crowd of more than 1200. This year, in St. Louis, there was a sell-out conference of more than 2200 advocates.
The question of whether or not the media reform movement was just another "good-cause" effort to take on insurmountable powers was resolved this last weekend in Missouri.
Media reform is now officially, as conference co-founder and journalist John Nichols noted, a movement.
This movement must be successful. Because if it isn't, the American masses who rely on television, talk radio, and the corporately-owned press for their "news" will continue to be misled and deceived.
Without control of the media pipelines, the truth will never get out to the majority of Americans.
The Busheviks understand this and they will fight fiercely to maintain their nefarious control over the pipeline. They are currently, as Bill Moyers pointed out in a brilliant speech to the group on Sunday, trying to turn PBS and NPR into a Republican Pravda on the Potomac.
Media reform may sound nebulous and abstract, but it isn't at all. It's about returning the pipelines that provide news to the American people -- and restoring the truth to the dissemination of news.
It's the linchpin of restoring the Spirit of '76 and democracy to America.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL