LONG BEACH (coup2k.com) May 25, 2001 -- While at VoterWest, I had the distinct pleasure of talking with principled journalist James Higdon of Online Journal. I spoke to James about my suspicions that the endless stream of Bush appointistration policy and appointment outrages were part of a carefully thought-out strategy to distract dissenters from staying focused on the coup. James raised another concern...A DISSENTING VOICE
E-Mail from Journalist James Higdon
I must say...
That I agree with your rant 100%--ah, hell--let's go over the top--1000%.
As for environmental concerns, they've been the only ones with continued protest experience over the last 29 years, so I think they just tend to keep going on that same mode.
This may sound frightening (God knows it scares the sh*t out of me) but the likes of you and I are the last line of defense. You see, I have been watching the slow but sure take over of the press (and tactics related thereto) since the fall of Dick Nixon. Bill Clinton wasn't the right wing's first target to defame by the use of the mainstream press. It started with Carter. They first went after Burt Lance (alleged banking scandal, ala White water) until they forced him to resign under pressure. Nobody reported it when he was cleared a month or two later. From then on, it was one thing after another (Powell and Jordan snorting coke at the bar at club 54, the killer rabbit, Billygate, etc., etc., and on, and on).
Carter never had the charisma, nor the political genius that Clinton did, so he couldn't survive it. Even though Clinton was farther to right than Jimmy, I have been in awe of the ease with which he handled the office even in spite of the constant onslaught. And Bill, to his discredit, did preside over some of the erosion of the fourth estate.
Under Reagan, the Dems allowed the Fairness doctrine to disappear which set the stage for right wing radio all the time. Then the Repugs organized things like GOPAC to have the CIA teach them propaganda techniques like talking points, how to blare their message over the media until the press takeover was completed, and so on. Then they managed to get the restrictions on ownership reduced so a total of seven mega-corporations now control all of the [mainstream national] press. There is a bill before congress, that looks like it will be passed, to reduce those restrictions even further. Pretty soon, there will be one TV network, with Bill O'Reily as the anchor.
So they've been able to accomplish all of this because there is no longer a watchdog. The truth only comes from a precious few independents.
So, the long and the short of it is, coup2K is actually a bunny. It's a big bunny, but a bunny just the same. And I'm not quite sure how we get our fourth estate back, because precious few are talking about that.
All that said, it was great to meet you on the 19th.
Jim H.THE DIVA'S REPLY
Concurrence, and A Modest Proposal
Since talking to you in San Francisco, I have been giving this a lot of thought. I remember the first time that I understood, with complete clarity and utter certainty, that the media was acting in support of the right wing (particularly the fiscal right), and was in no way objective. This is a lesson that has to be learned by each successive generation, and it takes time. It takes a long time to compare the press' treatment of politicians on the right, with its treatment of politicians on the left. It takes a long time to realize that the absence of any voices speaking your concerns -- not even from voices purported to be from the left -- is silence by design, and not a coincidence. It takes a long time to realize that the incestuous financial relationships between the owners of our "free" press and the political right via campaign contributions, can only breed a press of water-carriers.
It is the "Age of Aquarius" (The Water Bearer), but not the 60's one.
I am 35 years old, and I am only coming fully to this realization now. During President Clinton's tenure, I watched the media change. I was told by media watchdogs that this represented a "new" media in America -- that THE RULES had changed. In January, on cue, and with a new rightwing government, I watched the press reverse itself. No longer was it acceptable to talk about the (p)resident's personal life -- his past, his wife, his family, his finances. No longer was it acceptable to print rumors, innuendos, and unfounded and unsourced accusations. No longer was it acceptable to question the legitimacy of our leaders. Though it WAS acceptable to question Clinton's popular vote plurality, since it was not a majority, it now ISN'T acceptable to question Bush's lack of same. It is now considered "bad form" to explore the implications of Gore's popular vote plurality.
The Extreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore has often been referred to as "The Gore Exception", since the Court reversed its long-standing ideological direction to install their preferred candidate in the Oval Office. We need similar shorthand to refer to the media's reversal of standards and practices from the last administration to this appointistration. I propose calling this indefensible 180-degree turn, "The Clinton exception."
Care to join me?
-Tammy ("The Diva")