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Editorial: Media sedatives

July 1, 1993

Editorial: Media sedatives

By By Frank Schier, Editor & Publisher

The Bush administration whirls disaster.

The propriety of financial actions by both our president and vice president have been questioned. Yet, George Bush and Dick Cheney have failed to give full disclosure on their leadership at Harken and Halliburton.

Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club have sued Cheney and the government to reveal alleged conflicts of interests with private corporations in forming the Energy Task Force to arrive at our new energy policy. The federal judge has ruled against Cheney and the Justice Department, saying they must disclose the

requested information. Judicial Watch is also suing Cheney and Halliburton for accounting fraud during Cheney’s watch as CEO. (See stories on pages 1& 6).

The largest energy corporation and contributor in the country to the Bush campaign for the presidency was Enron. He flew around during the campaign on an Enron corporate jet. No wonder they

don’t want full disclosure. Disclosure might bring balance.

Corporation after corporation, Enron, Arthur Andersen, Global Crossings, WorldCom, etc., crashes and burns, deceitfully destroying the jobs, the pensions and the lives of hundred of thousands of law-abiding, tax-paying Americans. Adding insult to outrage, the crooked CEOs who sold their stock with insider-trader knowledge get to keep the money! Congress should make them give the money back to the people they stole it from—every penny, plus jail time and fines!

Also, this swooping stock market has destroyed untold millions of dollars of wealth for many, many more ordinary American citizens who invested in Wall Street. The huge cracks in public confidence in corporations and the market may never go away. In a lame attempt to restore confidence, Bush made his obligatory noises, but produced no real action by the Justice Department to go after the crooks. Why? His administration is the most pro-corporate administration in history.

Yet, the media polls say Bush still enjoys a high approval rating. Why should anyone believe them? The media are owned by the corporations that represent the interest of the elite, the oligarchy, Bush’s friends, not the American public.

The credibility of the corporate media suffers from the same kind of confidence crisis and conflict of interest afflicting the other corporations on Wall Street.

Has anyone seen headlines or lead stories on the nightly news on how the European press considers the American media a joke because of their pro-administration propaganda coverage of 9/11, the Afghan War, the USA Patriot Act and the proposed Department of Homeland Security? Feed the war machine that owns and intimidates the media.

Congress has also failed the American people on these very issues.

With little questioning or protestation, Congress is proceeding with Bush and Cheney’s plan to create a huge centralized reorganization of existing agencies as the Department of Homeland Security. Yet, Congress will not have open hearings on 9/11—the crisis that created Homeland Security—until September. The chicken, the egg, the fox and the henhouse are all interchangeable and only a very, very few in the media are guarding the public interest.

At least the Terrorism Information Protection System (TIPS) has been discarded, for now. But like the USA Patriot Act, other facets of the Department of Homeland Security attack our personal privacy, freedom of movement and personal liberties more than can ever be imagined. This monolith of supposed anti-terrorism is nothing more than a national police force for a police state. More and more of our national budget is being pumped into the coffers of the corporate-police-state industrial complex, and domestic programs suffer accordingly.

Congress must repeal the USA Patriot Act and refuse to create the Department of Homeland Security.

“The Homeland” sounds like and is interchangeable with the “Der Fatherland” of Nazi Germany. In his 1944 chronicle of Hitler’s rise to power, Der Fuehrer, Konrad Heiden has a chapter entitled, “Coup D’Etat by Installments.” The parallels are frightening.

Consider the installments of Bush Senior’s rise from the CIA to the presidency, the legislation passed after the Oklahoma bombing, Bush Junior’s installation by the Supreme Court in the 2000 election, most of Bush Senior’s administration directing his son’s administration, 9/11, our restricted air travel, the USA Patriot Act, Homeland Security and our economy.

Bit by bit, our domestic security falls to the arm of foreign security, our electoral process fails, our freedom of movement lessens, and our Bill of Rights crumples.

Who is covering these installments? The media. The media will start a story and then drop it at the slightest hint from the administration, like a potato that is unpatriotically too hot.

Now Bush and Cheney are moving forward with plans to invade Iraq. The press presents different possible plans of invasion with more ink, more air time and much more enthusiastically than questions about the wisdom of the entire concept of war with Iraq. Wag that dog. Get ready for the leash and fenced-in yard. Our media and Congress act more and more like trained sheep dogs every day.

Write and call Congressman Don Manzullo, Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Peter Fitzgerald, and tell them to act like men who represent the Constitution of the United States of America.

The sensationalist media hypnotically repeat the threat of external terrorism. The real terror is within. If fear rules our lives, we are only objects of manipulation. Live life as though you’re alive, not cowering. Know what’s going on, and be willing to do something about existing and attempted injustice and despotism.

Refuse the U.S. corporate media sedative of fear meant to push unquestioning acceptance of government action and diffuse action by citizens. Talk to your friends, relatives and co-workers about the news and your and their natural questions. Fearful silence is what is desired. Read the foreign press and the Internet, and be a critical thinker about those sources as well. Make your voice heard instead of nodding in front of the TV or newspaper.

Otherwise, waking up to the next installment shall be extremely unpleasant.

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”—Wendell Phillips

“Never could any increase of comfort or security be a sufficient good to be bought at the price of liberty”—Hilaire Belloc

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