Friday, March 21, 2008

Journalists as Stenographers

The phrase, 'Journalists as Stenographers', lept from the page I was reading. Common Dreams posted a piece on the new film, Penn’s War: Media Lap Dogs Backed Iraq Mess. Sean Penn's point is that The Media were lapdogs for Bush and Cheney in promoting their war. No kidding. Been there, saw that. That is why my feet froze as I stood on the street corners of Toledo trying to get the 'other' message out to the passers-by. They didn't approve of my message; it was too stark: 'No War.'

The glitz and glitter of another war bamboozled the citizens. It would be quick, surgical. A few hours and victory would be 'ours.' Patriotic fervor run amok. Vengeance for 9-11. The chant: U---S---A!

My black and white sign on a broken rake handle couldn't compare with the power point presentation of General Colin Powell to the United Nations. Brilliant visuals of exact locations of WMD, toxic chemicals, and mobile biological weapon labs. They knew, we knew thanks to CNN. Members of the administration standing in front of American flags warning us of mushroom clouds on MSNBC. Don Rumsfeld detailing with his squinty eyes the surgical strikes on FoxNews. There they were is living color, framed by masses of American flags, assuring the American public that they knew what was best for us all.

Perhaps the media-as-stenographers has encouraged blog-reading as an alternative to fact finding by the media. I have come to rely on 'the media' less and less because of their failure to investigate the claims that were handed to them by this administration. Thankfully, bloggers often fill in when the stenographers fail the citizens.

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