Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Fear, Money and Truth.

Many of us who lived through the Watergate era still regard Woodward, Bernstein and the Washington Post as heroes for having the courage to expose a corrupt administration. Thirty years or so later, it is the press from which we must be saved.

As the major networks mumble flimsy excuses as to why they are withholding the 2004 presidential election raw exit poll data from Rep. Conyers and other investigators, the press becomes the barrier to truth instead of the bearer of truth. The “truth finding” role of the press is now in the hands of bloggers who are the primary investigators keeping the heat turned up on the election day scandal. Bloggers and amateur investigators on the Internet may in fact be the last firewall protecting this country from the “Theocracy Virus.”

The great irony, of course, has been the willingness of the press to report on voting problems in the Ukraine election, only to completely ignore those same problems here at home. Their lack of enthusiasm to investigate the many irregularities and problematic incidents reported on November 2 speaks volumes about where their loyalties lie.

Clearly we cannot have a healthy democracy if the press is merely a mouthpiece for the wealthy and influential. The unreported voting scandal is unfortunately a symptom of a larger trend toward unanimity in the messages we are presented as news, which stems from to the continuing consolidation of our media in this country and the administration-whipped fear among American citizens.

Fear and money. Two powerful forms of persuasion. Can the truth compete?

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