Big Smoke

’cause it’s hard to see from where I’m standin’

Manufactured Distractions

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The Huffington Post is “reporting” on a “feud” between Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly. That this takes up the space of real news is not news, but the commentators to the article are, thankfully, beginning to push back. To repost a comment by jungpatawan:

This is exactly what is wrong with the MSM today – “fairness” to them has devolved into giving a sound-bite soapbox for every wandering kook and a bully pulpit for useful idiots (Hello, Joe the Plumber and his new radio show!)

There is a huge miss going on here, and it is symptomatic of the whole problem with public discourse filtered via the media today. Essentially, they are not making a distinction between legitimate protest and crazy ranting.

It was legitimate to protest Bush’s policies which led to thousands of American deaths and tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths, the destabilization of the whole Fertile Crescent, and the devaluation of the American “brand” throughout the diplomatic world. This level of cause and effect was demonstrable, and the only debate possible was whether the results were worth the cost.

Today’s “patriots” as they are being described by Fox, are protesting a death-panel which doesn’t exist, an embryonic Naziism which was a fitter description of the previous administration, and socialism, which some can’t even spell, judging by their signs, much less define.

Bush protestors were consciously trying to stop a war. Obama protestors are unwittingly (sometimes wittingly) trying to protect corporate profits. Bush protestors were self-motivated and self-organized. Obama protestors are astro-turfed.

Jon Stewart is more trusted as a newsman than actual newsmen. We have a 24 hour news cycle with little to no in-depth coverage (a statement one commenter misappropriated to David Frum). What we have are not news networks but propaganda machines – with the Huffington Post among them – and hopefully enough people are beginning to pay attention that we may turn this around before we lose our place in the world.

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