Thursday, August 06, 2009

Did Clinton Give Kim the 'Terrorist Fist Bump?'

The level of political discourse in this country keeps pushing downward, to the point where we don't disagree anymore, we embrace alternate realities. When I began getting politically involved back in 1988, for the Dukakis campaign, there were facts on which most of us could agree, even if our opinions were on opposite ends of the spectrum. I admit that maybe my youth has altered my perception. People like me are given to sentimentality. And those were happy days for me, as I found my voice and entered the Socialist Party. Between 1990 and 2000 I had the high honor of meeting some brilliant, passionate people, whom I've mentioned countless times on this 'blog.

Today, it seems as if there is not only a spectrum of political beliefs, but a spectrum of accepted realities. A casual glance at the news, or the Internet, makes it very clear that we all may live in the same country, but we don't live in the same world. The recent success of President Bill Clinton is a political and human victory that a reasonable person might think of as unassailable. Two young journalists were saved from a hideous fate (12 years at hard labor), and North Korea has shown a willingness to talk to other nations besides China. Some good news, set amid stories of yet another mass shooting in Pennsylvania, four more soldiers killed in Afghanistan, and a grisly tale of a pregnant woman murdered for her unborn baby.

According to Fox News, the mouthpiece for Neo-Conservative Rupert Murdoch, President Clinton's successful negotiation comes with a terrible price. Using strained logic, and a bizarre lack of concern for the hostages, Clinton and Obama were attacked for, "dealing with terrorists." What Murdoch is trying to do, of course, is present diplomacy as a sign of weakness.

I'm not going to present my opinion, except to say that Fox News, the largest 24 hour news channel, clearly has a vehement anti-Obama (and pro-Right) agenda.

That's it, the extent of my contention. I ask anyone who has watched Fox for more than an hour over the past 3 months if they see my point. If you feel the same way about CNN and/or MSNBC (coming from the other direction), then I have to ask, why are we getting our news from people who are clearly trying to manipulate us?

In this post-newspaper world (almost), where are we supposed to find actual journalists who are guided by ethics and at least an attempt at avoiding bias? While it may be true that every journalist is biased to some degree, it's also true that objectivity should be the goal. Corruption may be impossible to eliminate among law enforcement people, but that doesn't mean that we should embrace lawlessness. The very concept of journalistic integrity is now seen as an indication of "elitism" and a liberal bias based in the universities!

Do you remember the "terrorist fist bump" discussed on Fox News' morning show? Does that seem like a reasonable observation? Or do you feel like you're being manipulated?

I focus on Fox News because, very simply, I think that they have an unrelenting bias that they embrace and even advertise. Even when they are broadcasting "the news" they are clearly doing so through a distorted lens. They celebrate spin.

Different opinions should be considered, but if an opinion is passionately expressed that goes against your idea of logic and scruples, consider the source. Always consider the source. The fellow with the megaphone isn't right just because the megaphone is loud.

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