Funhouse Mirrors

 

    Miss crushing deadlines as I do, there is one benefit being a newspaper racket casualty. No need to fake objectivity. I can now voice opinions without caring who’s offended.

    I didn’t grovel before and I’ll damn well clean clocks now.

    During March, too many journalists have jumped on the Libyan War bandwagon. Somehow the United States’ North African involvement constitutes our third conflict with a Muslim country.

    Has it come to that? Dropping ordnance and enforcing internationally recognized sanctions against a rogue nation count as war? It’s an intervention. Libyans themselves are doing the real fighting and killing. American press misinterpretation crosses between lax writing and lazy thinking.

    Since President Obama’s installation, there’s been way too much brain-dead, knee-jerk, pack-following. Compare Libya and Kosovo, and see Barack Obama as a darker, cooler Bill Clinton and the word “war” never enters circulation.

    Unsurprisingly, I support this administration. Adults are in charge and they’re behaving in a conscientious manner. Americans haven’t enjoyed such high-level contemplation since the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations.

    Of course they dealt with Cold War madness so no cakes for the ayatollah or imaging one’s reflection in an ex-KBG commissar’s eyes. I wonder what Ike saw in Stalin’s beady eyes.

    Progressives like Michael Moore, who ought to know better, are disappointed with Obama’s reserve and rationality. To them, he should be emotive. He should be a populist firebrand. Thanks to Shepard Fairey’s iconic poster, he should be Che. Maybe he should be Mr. T.

    A Mr. T would’ve lost the election. I pity the fool who believes otherwise.

    Let’s use a baseball analogy. Barack Obama is Jackie Robinson.

    Seethe privately as Robinson did over public hectoring, he remained outwardly stoic. Circumstances demanded such seeming imperviousness. Ability and production needed ushering him through. Any understandable pushback against the mindless hostility endured would’ve confirmed the worst opinions of the most backwards, as well as retard progress towards equality.

    Without Robinson daily proving his mettle, the undignified attitudes about blacks would’ve lingered longer. No trailblazing Brooklyn Dodger, then no Vic Power, no Richie Allen, no Reggie Jackson.

    Barack Obama is taking undeserved lumps so the next, um, let’s say “unconventional,” president won’t. But he or she will certainly be in good position to hand some out.

    Reactionaries are simply upset a worldly nonwhite guy who rightly regards them contemptuously capably manages the role as our chief executive. Unlike Clarence Thomas and a great many other minority turncoats who’ve deliberately forgotten upon whose shoulders they stand, Obama isn’t slavishly grateful for his great office.

    His achievement is just the sort which lends hope to the disenfranchised everywhere. After all, he won through merit not because daddy bought it for him. His Oval Office presence also diminishes the fallacy of Lucky Sperm Club progeny always gaining the top.

    Frankly, after the George W. Bush debacle, don’t we deserve big-picture leadership immune to panicking and pandering to the nation’s basest tastes? I know Americans haven’t been consistently spoken to as adults since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    The Fortunate Son’s two terms were an agitprop and propaganda wet dream or nightmare. Knowledgeable citizens quickly learned to distrust his administration’s pronouncements. Though fewer people are skeptical of the Obama administration, those expressing it are far louder and do so more from the person than his programs. Much to the nation’s detriment.

    For example in the real world universal health care is greeted as a panacea. Widened coverage improves and extends lives at lower costs. It is not an intrusive government program. Here’s an intrusive government program: state authorities in thrall to Flat-Earthers adopt bills forcing women to jump through flaming hoops for certain procedures unique to them.

    I’m not a doctor, and don’t play one on TV, but as a patient when I confer with my physician I don’t want his diagnosis and our selected treatment vetted by former car salesmen.

    Semantics and willful misunderstanding play huge roles in America’s information disconnect. Strengthened by the world’s strictest objectivity, most American media is compelled into factual channels. So naturally too many news consumers have been suckered into believing everything ingested is slanted.

    In this regard the American system is singular. Our news articles inform. Editorial columns opine.

    Discounting much of anything Fox News and other News Corp. organs spew.

    Rather than adhere to American journalism standards where a wall exists between news and opinion, the aforementioned entities have so thoroughly merged the two spheres they’re indistinguishable. Joseph Goebbels would admire and praise Fox News. Aghast, the hour by hour, day by day slanderous disinformation it presents would frighten and depress George Orwell. Especially given Fox News content travels between puerile and odious with detours into vile.

    After News Corp. acquired The Wall Street Journal, a few of my financially astute friends migrated to The Financial Times. Before the purchase, Journal editorial columns already inveighed against fairness and modernity. How soon will new ownership start twisting facts to suit its views?

    Sorry, Becky.

    Throughout history, when news disturbs reader-, listener- or viewership it often emanates from conditions of which they had been ignorant. Like Jacob Riis reporting on abject urban conditions, Theodore Roosevelt reading how sausages are made while eating links, Walker Evans and James Agee producing Let Us Now Praise Famous Men or CBS broadcasting The Harvest of Shame. Not because media management takes personal pleasure in outing miscreants and malefactors.

    There may’ve been a few in the past, but today only movies and TV produce crusading editors.

    During our civil rights struggle, there were occasions when Southern states newspapers suffered circulation drops in response to displeasure of articles focusing on racial imbalances. Upset readers were quite comfortable not having their social shortcomings splashed in their faces. Having accustomed themselves to overlooking glaring disparities, agitating the status quo heralded the kind of change they thought their communities could’ve done without.

    The change they couldn’t believe in is what’s making us all-around better today.

www.slowboatmedia.com

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