“The framers of our nation never envisioned the huge media giants, never imagined what could happen if big government, big publishing and big broadcasters ever saw eye to eye in putting the public’s need for news second to their own interest and the ideology of free market economics. Nor could they have foreseen a quasi official partisan press serving as a mighty megaphone for the regime in power. Stretching from a legion of think tanks funded by corporations to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, to Rupert Murdoch’s far flung empire, to the nattering know-nothings of talk radio, there is a ceaseless conveyor belt, often taking its cues from daily talking points supplied by the Republican National Committee, booming the official party line into the public consciousness”
— from Bill Moyer’s keynote address to the Society of Professional Journalists on Saturday.
The frustrations are obviously building. If Bush wins, a large contingent of the country may spontaneously combust.
10 thoughts on “Where do these guys get their hallucinogens?”
The pot always calls the kettle black.
This is what the lefties have been doing all along, with NBC/ABC/CBS/NPR/NYT/WAPO. Or at least they thought they had this level of control.
They can’t stand the prospect of someone disrupting their monopoly.
“The framers of our nation never envisioned…”
Is it just me or is this phrase usually a code phrase for, “The Constitution should not protect…” ?
I’m still trying to fathom the amount of courage the fathers had fighting the greatest empire on earth. Everytime I read the constitution and bill of rights it amazes me the foresight and intelligence they enumerated over 200 years ago. I suppose I have been brainwashed by the rnc…considering the majority of the programs they vote for are direct contradictions of the constituion…
“…it amazes me the foresight and intelligence they enumerated over 200 years ago.”
If I may harp on a theme if mine, the Constitution has worked so well for so so long not because the Founders trusted in their own morality, intellect and foresight but because they did not trust in themselves.
The Constitution is a document grounded in a humble view of human nature. It emphatically rejects the idea that any human can be trusted with unfettered power. It does not seek to provide solutions to day-to-day problems.
The Constitution is a blue print for building a machine that allows for safe use of a dangerous power. It is a design based on fear and a presumption of ignorance on the part of the designers. It works because it is simple and takes a brutally negative view of human nature and intellectual capability.
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” — Madison
Lex, I think they really do believe they are presenting the only reasonable point of view. Democracy does not work without doubt.
Shannon – That is such a wonderful (because I think it is wonderful – it recognizes human nature, it recognizes our diversity, it recognizes our vulnerability and our tainted nature but it also assumes, of course, that every time we transcend our base selves we have actually accomplished something wonderful) point.
I assume it came about from some kind of meeting between pragmatism and original sin. And maybe it was because they came from so many different points of view, they could see that Jefferson’s Utopia certainly wouldn’t have been Adams’s and neither of their Utopias would have been Franklin’s, etc. etc.
I think, unfortuantely, Moyer’s Utopia would be Lapham’s. Fortunately, neither would match any utopia any one on this blog would come up with – but then, no one on this blog would probably come up with or want a utopia anyway.
And thanks Mitch for the wisdom of doubt.
On the other hand, having spent a morning with Pacifica and BBC (don’t ask me why), I’ve got to say Moyer is speaking to an intense echo chamber.
You might want to call it “Madison’s Corollary to Murphy’s Law: If there is a possibility that the wrong choice will be made or the wrong man placed in charge, it will happen.”
Shannon: I think that is exactly what Mr. Moyers meant, that elitist (expletive deleted.)
When I was a child, I had a belief that Utopia was possible, “heaven on earth” if you will. As I grew older, I became realistic, but not cynical. Utopian views are for children and fairy tales.
I listen to NPR frequently, and I find it funny that every time I feel they are getting very slanted, being disingenous, etc., they go and do a segment that is really fabulous, the kind of reporting piece that you would never hear on any other station. And I come away feeling a little better about their public funding.
“Despite its meagre beginnings and troubling restrictions, the colonial press rose to a position of respect and even influence by the middle of the 18th century, helped along by the political turmoil that was to culminate in the American Revolution. Indeed, this turmoil and the press fed off each other. Just as newspapers benefitted from the turmoil, colonial activists such as John Dickinson, Samuel Adams, Isaiah Thomas, and Thomas Paine used the press to advance their goals (53).”
All I can say is, hmm.
“The framers of our nation never envisioned the huge media giants, never imagined what could happen if big government, big publishing and big broadcasters ever saw eye to eye in putting the public’s need for news second to their own interest and the ideology of free market economics.”
Who first advanced the laughable idea that the Founders would have been surprised by our technological progress? If you read the Federalist Papers, Madison, Hamilton, and Jay fully expected this country to grow richer and more powerful and its technological achievements to grow ever more impressive over time. They fully expected that transportation difficulties that impeded the operation of such a large, 13-state Union would subside as new, faster modes of travel replaced the then-current ones, and explicitly said so when selling the Constitution. I think, if anything, they’d be quite disappointed in our present technological level if they could observe it.
And yet, if I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say “the Founders never envisioned…” followed by something that he was itching to outlaw or regulate to death, stretching back at least to the invention of radio, I’d be a very wealthy man indeed.
And where does Mr. Moyers find media giants, big publishers, and big broadcasters pushing the ideology of free market economics? I don’t know what planet he lives on, but I’d dearly love to see it for myself.
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