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August 18, 2008

Once Upon A Media

I thought the column was ready until the wise woman that assists me with getting my words to this blog asked me a question. Her question changed what I was going to present this week, but most importantly, her question changed me. The question was in reference to the current conflict between Georgia and Russia that now includes Poland and the United States. She asked me if I knew all of the facts and had I researched sources outside of what we were being told by the mainstream media in this country? Chagrined, and with egg on my face, I reluctantly sought out other sources. Pissed would be the strongest word I can use on this blog, but that is exactly what I was. I was disappointed that I had (again) let my good sense be deceived by the propaganda channeled into my living room. We, as patriotic and decent citizens, are looking through a prism of lies and distortions from networks that don't give a darn about the truth - or us.

There was a time when I was growing up that the news was respected and trusted. It was not uncommon in the community I grew up in for most of the families to sit down together after dinner and watch the evening news. It was the prerequisite to our evening television viewing. I remember looking forward to it because it was a another time that the entire family was together on a daily basis. The news was serious business and the anchors reflected that. When did the news become nothing more then fodder for fools?

In the 1976 film NETWORK, Peter Finch, a has-been anchor with poor ratings was called the "mad prophet of the airwaves." Well move over Peter. I am a madwoman blogging. Peter Finch's role immortalized the line, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore." It has become one of my daily refrains. The time has come for all of us to seek and demand the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Thirty years ago the idea of white men ranting on air was unimaginable. Imagine no more since it is now a reality. All major network and cable news channels (other than alternatives such as Democracy Now, Link T.V., Public Television and NPR) are nothing more than talk shows. The news leeched into our homes is empty of any information that would enable you to think for yourself. In fact, you are repeatedly told, with underlying bylines, what to think. Friday's news is recycled all weekend in case you missed your dose of trivial, trashy talk. The number of commercials during broadcast news is a clear indicator of how much real and truthful information you will receive. Do you actually believe that money grabbing advertisers, families and corporations that own the news networks and print want you to know the truth? How appetizing would it be if you understood what was actually in the food you eat, if you knew how it was grown? How many gadgets would you purchase if you knew how many women and children are receiving slave wages or none at all? What congressman or presidential candidate would you support if you knew their true characters before, instead of after, elections? I surmise things would be a lot different if we knew the truth and if the news reported the truth. Misleading news and news spun out of control is showing up in our homes - that is if you still have one during this massive housing crisis. Self-serving, avaricious, venal, and mercenary corporations, companies, and a government working against instead of for us, are destroying this country. Beware and take notice that they are using the broadcast news and print media to do it. It's time to wake up and pay attention. Day after day programs gorged with violence, prejudice and propaganda are shoved down our collective throats and up to our jellified brains. It has changed us. Cop shows, court shows, humiliating and dehumanizing jail shows, and reality shows have rendered us dispassionate, dumb, and dazed.

The caliber and the tenure of mainstream news and media in this country is broken. No number of women in stilettos, or people of color that speak correctly will cover the fact that they are lying. Consciously, purposefully, intentionally or unintentionally, doesn't really matter when the perspective of the new is representative of the people who own our news and media. "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"...So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore." When you are done with that, the next time you tune in to your favorite news station or read your newspaper of choice and you suspect you are being bamboozled, hoodwinked, or lied to, let them know. Write, call, e-mail then turn them off or unsubscribe. Whatever you do, make them accountable. We are the people, and it is we the people that insure that change will occur. Remember that one person can make a difference. Let that difference begin with you.


Comments and thoughts ... Email PatriciaStatue of Liberty


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