Christiane Amanpour was correct when she announced to the press club that the media had allowed George W. Bush to get too far ahead of the democratic candidate.
The regressives he represented called the foul. Their opponents would have also made that call if they had been in their shoes. Above all, the news media is supposed to be an instrument of justice. It should be fair and impartial and objective, at least as far as the news goes. Opinion is another matter, a subject for the subjective editorial venue.
The fact of the matter is that the news is routinely manipulated and slanted to suit the orthodox religious and ideological prejudices of the power elite who control the Establishment's mass media. We have good historical reason to suspect that the editors, reporters, columnists of our local press subsidiaries have associates within the "intelligence community." When feeling terrified by the officially defined enemies within and without, the media controllers believe they have a duty to press the orthodox dogma and official ideological faith while suppressing dissent in one way or another. We are not surprised when it is eventually revealed that media managers and employees suppress dissent and press patriotic dogma not only because they feel they are being patriotic or altruistic but because they receive payment and favors not only from their employers but also from government agencies.
However paranoid that perspective might or might not be, we know the news is manipulated, and for good reason. Propaganda ministers and other information-science experts know very well that public opinion can be changed by well-made advertisements disguised as news. We know that human beings emulate one another and imitate heroes placed on pedestals. We do not always blame the herd, for the herd is habitually credulous for its own safety. But we also know that there is a big difference between blind faith in idols and the sort of belief which is the gradual perfection of knowledge. The skeptical man from Missouri is as stubborn as a mule: he must be shown something before he will believe it.
Empirical studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the "authoritarian personality" hates ambiguity, preferring either/or thinking. The authoritarian personality will ignore facts opposed to its prejudices, and will blindly obey orders, especially if its prejudices are directly threatened. The studies also prove that a majority of people will tend to agree with the received authority even if the propositions of that authority are mistaken, illogical, and morally wrong. When suddenly frightened, a crazy bunch of competitive cattle might form a herd and regress to the traditional stampede.
Powerful regressive forces in the United States felt threatened by the unexpected boom and dot.com craze with its more liberal distribution of knowledge, power, and semen. A bum steer trotted into the Oval Office. Progress was soon brought to a screeching halt over presidential ejaculations. The underlying planks of the self-righteous Bush campaign were: continue the war on Iraq; widen the gap between the rich and poor; curb sodomy. The attack on the the symbolic twin towers of the military-industrial complex - the victims were entitled to Purple Hearts or their civilian equivalent - by Osama bin Laden, former client of the Reagan-Bush administration, was the retrograde faction's best nightmare come true; hence the rush to the war planned even before the president took office.
Afghanistan had to be addressed first, that much was too obvious to be concealed. And then $700 million budgeted for the Afghanistan police action was ripped off to fund the prime presidential objective no matter what: the Bush War on Iraq. Dope dealers, thugs and war lords rule most of Afghanistan now, with President Bush's blessing, for he does not engage in "nation building" - except in Iraq. The Bush &Co. has of course always been admired for fostering crimes against humanity, for its shady financial dealings, for its gun- and drug-dealing alliances with international criminals. The war plans for Iraq were well-worn on 9/11. There was not a speck of dust on them. The anglo-saxon-american wolf's fingerprints were all over them, summing up the might-makes-right doctrine of right-wing F-type authoritarians.
The media bullies were well prepared to press the Bush War on Iraq II. Those of us who resisted were shouted down as "cowards" and "traitors," but we knew those accusations were traitorous and we knew that the Establishment media was being treacherous. The media let the people of the United States down. The conduct of the U.S. Establishment media was and still is a national disgrace, a terrible blight on the profile of our country.
It is often said that people deserve the leaders they elect or the leaders they do not impeach or assassinate when those leaders threaten the national security. Many of us who are the spawn of World War II, the children of the Korean police action, the youth of the Vietnam police action, felt more betrayed by the wolves in sheep's clothing than we felt betrayed by Goldwater, Wallace, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, and Senior Bush.
We felt so betrayed after the rush to war on Iraq that many of us seriously considered, for the first time, relinquishing our citizenship. But we did not know what country would take us, if any, or whether we would be held at some undisclosed location, stripped of our cosmopolitan rights as human beings.
Finally, we felt betrayed most of all by the media. Christiane Amanpour was right. The media should not have allowed George W. Bush to get so far.