Class Warfare Blog

May 8, 2013

Irresponsible Right-Wing Media

A recent survey of Republicans showed that 44% of those surveyed believed that sometime soon it will be necessary for citizens to take up arms to oppose the tyranny of our government. Most of you just yawned and moved on to the next gob smacking tidbit thrown out of the 24-hour news mills, but let’s stop a second and look at this.

I have previously commented that even the thought of such an insurrection is ludicrous and was only barely possible 150 years ago. Think about it: on one side are armed citizens with small caliber rifles and pistols, scads of ammunition, and some vehicles and on the other side is the United States Government which has, well, everything else. Go ahead and take up arms, but I hope you are going to be wearing your running shoes because you are going to need them. Prior to the Civil War when the federal government had no standing army, such a thing was possible, but still, it was  a slim possibility at best. Consider “The War of Northern Aggression,” known to the rest of us as the Civil War. The South had , prior to secession, commissioners running around the southern states preaching secession. They also had many of the army’s officers in its pocket, so much so, that many of the government’s arms caches were transferred to Southern armories just before the war started. (A coincidence you think?) Then all of the southern politicians pulled out of Washington and South Carolina decided it would be fun to shell Fort Sumter. Four years later, the South was in bloody tatters and the federal government intact. If the South couldn’t pull it off, does anyone realistically think a bunch of armed Republicans can?

But, back to the topic, which is why do such a large number of Republicans think this way? After all, the Republicans are supposed to be the party of the conservatives. And what do conservatives want to conserve, boys and girls?

That’s right, conservatives want to preserve the social order.

Conservatives support social institutions that make for an orderly society: the police, the churches, the military, business leaders (not, ugh, unions), and . . . wait for it . . . the government. It wasn’t that long ago that the battle cry of Republicans was “My Country, Right or Wrong.” Today’s R’s seem to have edited this down to “My County . . . Wrong!” And now, we have almost half of the most conservative version of the Republican Party ever constituted saying they want to be personally prepared to go to war with the government. WTF?

What happened?

I’ll tell you. What happened was the conservative plan called the “Powell Memo” which laid out plans for conservative political dominance. Part of that plan was to create a more conservative media and under Ronald Reagan it began with the repeal of the “Fairness Doctrine.” (Remember that? It was because of the Fairness Doctrine we got minority party responses to State of the Union speeches. They are no longer required but no one wants to be the one to suggest we do away with them.) Another part of the effort was the meme of “the liberal media.” There never was a “liberal media” which, of course, is all’s fair in politics,” but without the Fairness Doctrine, approximately 85% of talk radio is now conservative talk radio, e.g. Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Mike Huckabee, etc. We now have a media structure that is heavily biased toward conservatives. And, of course, we have Fox (sic) News “Fair and Balanced” coverage. (They are not allowed in Canada as they still have a fairness doctrine of some sort. You can always trust the Canadians to do the right thing . . . eventually.)

Except that Fox (sic) News and these radio icons are more “strange and unbalanced” than anything else. Rush Limbaugh refers to himself as an “entertainer,” but he talks nothing but politics. Who considers politics entertaining? And because it is all about ratings now, the more outlandish the statements made, the more curious lookie-lou listeners there are.

So, the corporatization of our news media, putting news reporting on a profit basis rather than on a public service basis, combined with the deliberate removal of almost all content restraints, has resulted in a vast right-wing irresponsible media that is constant fanning the flames of “you can’t trust the government,” “Second Amendment solutions,” and “next time we will bring our guns (if we don’t get our  way).”

The NRA is one casualty. An organization initially created to promote shooting sports and gun safety has become a corporate political shill for the gun manufacturers. Their recent convention had a speaker’s list indistinguishable from that of the Conservative Political Action Conference. And, none of the speakers seemed to be there to talk about guns. Instead we heard their stump speeches of fear and loathing. And the NRA is a “non-partisan” organization . . . which now, I suppose, is a euphemism for “fair and balanced.”

Hey, Republicans, what about being, you know, conservatives. You don’t look all that good as radical insurrectionists (and you won’t poll well either).

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2 Comments »

  1. Getting rid of this right-wing propaganda would be pretty easy. Here’s how Canada does it in only 10 words:

    “5. (1) A licensee shall not broadcast

    (d) any false or misleading news.”

    http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR%2D87%2D49/page-3.html#h-5

    Comment by Michael — May 9, 2013 @ 1:05 pm | Reply


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