Friday, September 7, 2007

The "Yeah Right" Factor

Why is Bin Ladin making an appearance just now?

I know, I know--9/11. But something just doesn't smell right to me. Here we are on the edge of a big hoo-hah on the Hill about extending the splurge--oops, I meant surge--and along comes this purported video from Bin Ladin. Convenient.

I mean, what's to stop the WH from editing an earlier tape and using it to punch our buttons? Nothing, that's what.

Here's the deal: I've been lied to for so long and screwed with so much that I just don't trust anything from the media anymore. And what's more, I think pretty much the whole country feels the same way.
As far as I know, the country's never faced a situation quite like this, and I think it's incredibly dangerous. Even during Watergate, at least we had confidence in Congress--including Republicans in Congress--and the Supreme Court to exert their constitutional powers. And it worked. There was reason for our confidence and trust.

Even during the Civil War and the Viet Nam war, journalists--by which I mean people of integrity who dig for truth and don't just publish press releases--were determining the news, and editors and op eds were debating its interpretation. Today, and we all know it, what we're getting is officially sanctioned spin from government whores. Back then, for sure, there was widespread skepticism about the meaning of the news, depending on one's political persuasion, but there was no confusion about the news itself.

There was no such thing as a network specifically institutionalized to lie systematically to the American people, and media gatekeepers who pimped for one party or one president didn't have the capacity to saturate the entire country with BS. There were countervailing pressures, including diverse media ownership, consensus standards about how far to go and when, and an educated, reading public that still believed in the power of the people to redress government wrongs, and they were paying attention.

I'm saying that then there were still perceptible boundaries between news and lies, and people equipped to perceive the difference.

And people didn't just make stuff up.

Now these people just make stuff up! We catch them at it -- like, well, WMDs in Iraq -- and they keep on just making stuff up! Like, "the surge is working," and "of course we're not spying on Americans," and we're gonna rebuild this city," and, "there are no plans to nuke Iran." YEAH RIGHT.

But they just keep on making stuff up, and Wolf Blitzer keeps on saying "Thank you very much" and reporting it as if, and we keep on acting like it'll all be better tomorrow when mommy and daddy come home, and (breathe) I don't understand why Americans aren't stampeding down the streets with our hair on fire!

But wait. If we can keep our sanity when everything we hear and see should be making us crazy, are we insane? Is this collective dementia? Will we all be blowing spit bubbles in unison soon? Are we, now?

The one thing underpinning this country's governing apparatus is its citizens' implicit trust and confidence. Unfortunately, it's gotten so bad that it's no longer just a question of lost trust. We're all now totally spooked, all of us, and we're furious. On both sides.

How long can any nation be governed like this?

Our leaders, in both parties, have utterly abdicated their sworn, constitutional responsibility to establish and maintain a trustworthy -- trust. worthy. -- government. I'm speaking of Congress, both stonewalling Republicans and passive, appeasing Democrats. Both parties are congealed in narrow self-interest, and both are pushing us to the brink.

I indict them all for treasonous dereliction of duty.

Beam me up, Scottie.