Monday, February 21, 2005


Living in Red America isn't easy for me. During my childhood and through most of my adult years I thought I knew what our country was about, and I had faith in some pretty basic institutions.

One institution I always respected was the press. I had this silly notion of a free press which serves to inform the public in as non-partial a way as possible. Now objectivity is as outmoded a concept as celibate priests, and "news shows" spew hatred and disdain for the political beliefs of people like me. There isn't even a pretense that coverage is fair and balanced, and they've even taken those words and twisted them into the equation. Think that kind of media played any part in the outcome of the recent election? Now they're consolidating their gains.

The White House doesn't renew the press credentials of a venerable reporter like the New York Times' Maureen Dowd, yet indulges the gay stud hooker from a right-wing blog service for two years presumably because he won't ask the hard questions she will. It turns out that syndicated columnists have taken money from the administration to put the right "spin" on conservative initiatives. Judges tell us reporters will have to go to jail if they don't reveal their sources, yet nobody bothers to go after the man who committed treason by revealing the name of a CIA operative. The FCC paves the way for more media consolidation, while threatening crippling fines for those who violate the moral standards of the Christian Right.

PBS used to be an alternative to the corporate screed we were fed by the mainstream news organizations. Sadly, it too is cowering in the face of right-wing threats, losing its credibility along the way.

Thank goodness for the blog-o-sphere. As the media landscape shifts in Red America, there's somewhere those of us who seek the truth can dig around.


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