Editorial #4
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From REG # 8

Amused at the Death of Freedom?

"The Simpsons," were supposed to be one of the most popular programs on TV. But the popularity of the program pales in comparison to the Simpson Soap Opera being played out daily on every TV across the US and probably around the world. And I'm not talking about Bart.

No longer are most of the major news services concerned with broadcasting the news. They are concerned only with ratings, and advertisers. They broadcast only exaggerated, sensationalized stories of crime, war, or other tragedies to shock and traumatize, or syrupy warm mucky muck human interest stories catering to our base emotional insecurities. Sensationalism is the name of the game, real news is left on the back burner, if it is reported at all. CNN especially, has become a World Wide Entertainment TV Tabloid. You may think "So what, I don't even watch the news. I've got more important things to do than to worry about how the news is reported, or whether or not it has become pure, hyped, entertainment."

However, this is a far more serious problem than seen at first glance. If a society is to be a free society, the people in it must have total and free access to information. Information about what is happening around us, in our communities, countries or around the world will influence the way we think, feel, act, vote, and spend our money etc. When this access is tampered with by a government, or a system of market ratings wars and greed, by corporate and network executives, our freedom is not only minimized, but it is jeopardized. We must have the ability, and free access, to know what is going on in the world around us, and to have a reputable and honest news media to bring us the truth, The News. Not day 97 "The Simpson Trial."

Mother should I run for President? Mother should I trust the government?

Ask yourselves, who is it that is reporting this news? Of all the hundreds of thousands of news stories, who is making the decisions about what is reported? And who makes the decisions about how it is reported? Could these decisions be controlled?

When our access to information is controlled or impaired, we no longer have that ability to make free and honest decisions about our government, politics, the economy etc., or about many things in our daily lives. In the military, and especially the CIA, propaganda is used in the place of real news. In the CIA as well as other "intelligence gathering" agencies, information is surreptitiously given (accidentally on purpose) to to an enemy and is called "Dis-Information!"

Does this extremely secret and clandestine government agency have covert control of our news media (under the auspices of National Security of course)? I wouldn't be so fast to dismiss such an idea. The American public is being fed and subjected to total and constant dis-information and propaganda by the entire news media. In many cases the Ôtruth,' an extremely rare commodity in today's news, has been exaggerated, distorted, sensationalized, and played to the hilt, until the American people, not only have become so sick of it, and used to it, but they have come to look upon it as normal. It's not so much that people don't care, but that they feel impotent. This helpless apathy and feeling of powerlessness, is what is really scary, and sad.

In the case of the Simpson trial especially, but others as well, such as the Michael Jackson scandal, our news media, in there insatiable attempts to cash in on, and sensationalize a story for money and ratings, have done something that not many people seem to be aware of, or even care very much about. They have tarnished, corrupted, and just about destroyed our criminal justice system. Our criminal justice system is one of the most important of our institutions because it directly affects our rights under the law, as individuals and citizens. The main foundation of our Criminal Justice system is the citizen's "presumption of innocence," and our right to a fair and unbiased trial.

Because of the no holds barred, power crazed, out of control news media, no longer in this country are we "innocent until proven guilty." We now are "guilty until proven innocent!" If accused of any crime, we must now prove our innocence. If the news media gets a hold of the story, our reputations will be slandered and ruined, our careers destroyed, and our chance for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will be greatly impaired.

It scares me that nobody seems to notice or care that the power of the news media has increased to such proportions that it not only threatens our basic rights, but that those rights are being eroded and destroyed before our very eyes under the guise of entertainment and TV news. And no one seems to care. And what's more, no one and nothing has the power to stop them if they did care.

OJ and Michael Jackson have been tried, convicted, and sentenced, before a court of grocery store tabloids, TV news, and international network greed. In the eyes of the American public, Michael and OJ are guilty because what is reported on "the news" leads to that conclusion. Fore-go any technicalities such as trials, or evidence. The news media, especially TV news, the one eyed, all mighty God, has spoken!

I once thought alcohol was America's drug of choice, (among the many other drugs) opiating the masses in order for them to forget the hardships of the life of the proletariat. But I was wrong. Television has become America's drug of choice. Because, through amusing the masses, it can opiate completely, covertly, and much more thoroughly, than any mind altering drug. If the lives of the proletariat are filled with hardship, the "powers that be" will opiate them by amusing them. Give them the diversion of a new life, an unreal life, the life of TV soap operas, un-ending sporting events, TV talk shows, dis-informative news, game shows, and the carousal of movies with plots of death, crime and violence. Just look at the statistics of how many hours the average person watches TV. For many, a huge portion of their lives become the television. To find out how addicting this drug is, try taking the TV away from the average American. In fact, if you watch alot of TV, try stopping for any extended period. Any withdrawals?

1984 has come and gone, and The Brave New World of Huxley and Orwell, has surreptitiously arrived and become reality, and no one has seemed to notice! If our information access is controlled, and if we aren't aware that some of our freedom has been taken away, we won't miss it, will we? The power of the television and especially TV News is totally absolute, and absolute power corrupts! All hail Big Brother!

(If you think this editorial is a little extreme and paranoid. Good! Take it as a warning of what's to come if people continue behaving like apathetic and blind sheep!)

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