OF WHORES AND SHEPHERDS

There is a reason I don’t watch the news on TV. (I used to reserve my scorn for the network outlets and their cable cousins, but now I have expanded my prohibition to include even PBS and the BBC.) It will suffice to say that Jeff Gannon/J.D. Guckert isn’t the only whore keeping a dutifully blind eye on the White House; he is, perhaps, the least experienced and least accomplished whore (if also the most diverse in his whoring) in the building.

Anyway, there is an old saw about the blind leading the blind. You won’t hear me waxing on about a vast right-wing conspiracy when it comes to the apparent refusal of our various news media to give us the full range of facts regarding our government’s foul behavior and that behavior’s impact on the world. I believe that our corporate mass media are behaving as engines of free market democracy should: they are giving the public what it wants. Likewise, the Bush administration is giving the majority of the U.S. electorate– Republicans and Democrats alike, I believe– just what it wants.

We here in the U.S. have a government– along with an appropriately sycophantic press corps– that is a perfect fit for the governed. Never mind that the Bushies stole two consecutive elections; how many people still actually care about that? How many thoughts of election theft or the farming out of torture penetrated the thoughts of the masses on Oscar night? How many people will pause to think about the brutal, deadly year that has transpired in Haiti (since the U.S. engineered a coup against Jean Bertrand Aristide’s democratically elected government) now that March Madness is upon us?

The answer to the above questions is quantitatively proportionate, I believe, to the remaining lifespan of this failed experiment in democracy that we call the United States of America. As Fox Mulder might say, “The truth is out there.” Unlike Mulder’s intolerably byzantine alien-takeover plot, though, the truth we need to acknowledge is as plain as the nose on our overstuffed face. Unfortunately, we the sheep-le will continue to ignore it as long as our arrogant, greedy shepherds keep the cost of our beer, cigarettes, and gasoline within reason.

Potemkin World… or the President in the Zone
by Tom Engelhardt

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