September 2005

Why don’t journalists give us the real news?

By Galen Larson

As I read and listen to the shabby reporting of what we are supposed to accept as fact, I grow nostalgic for journalists of the past. These Ken and Barbie cue-card readers on TV, pretending to give us news they’ve researched themselves, don’t even deserve the title of reporters. There are no more Edward R. Murrows, Lowell Thomases, Ernie Pyles, or even Peter Jenningses.

The news is now controlled by giant corporations, advertisers and the thirst for sensationalism. As a result, we get trivia instead of the news we need.

I really don’t care about the Runaway Bride, what her sentence was or the garb she wears while mowing a lawn as community service work. Real community service would have been to go to the veterans’ hospitals and carry bedpans, change bandages or help steady a soldier who has lost his leg. Ah, but that would have brought too much attention to Nero and his corporate henchmen, who are doing their best to make this great nation into a Third World country.

I have never been so glad to be this old, knowing I will soon take my place in the days of perpetuity. It’s been hard these past years, watching Karl Rove and the shrub tearing away the historical fabric of our founding fathers – our individual freedoms guaranteed by the greatest instrument ever created to govern all people fairly and humanely, the U.S. Constitution. Through their lies (now undeniable), chicanery and greed, they have reduced the freedom-loving American people to fearful, cringing serfs who are willing to accept more and more government intrusions into their privacy in exchange for an illusory security the government cannot provide.

We ignore the profiling of every one of us, the constant spying by video cameras, the amassing of mounds of computer data on our every purchase at the grocery store and bookshop. We accept X-rays of our belongings and person, insulting drug tests, imprisonment without due process or counsel. We have installed the most secretive government this free land has ever known. It has made a mockery of the Freedom of Information Act, requiring costly lawsuits to get pages of public information with sentences and paragraphs blacked out. And recently the Supreme Court has given the government the right to condemn our homes and property – not for the benefit of all, but for the greed of corporate raiders.

If we allow this to continue, each and every thought we have, group we join, or event we attend will be recorded and scrutinized if it doesn’t fall within the confines of what the government deems acceptable.

The majestic eagle of freedom has been destroyed by the buzzards of corporate power, who want nothing less than global control. With the enlistment of Karl Rove (and that’s the only thing he ever enlisted in!) as their architect, they have come up with a blueprint to make it happen.

Rove took a different tack to get the American people behind this quagmire they call a “war against terrorism.” He created lies about WMDs, terrorists, and chemical warfare. But the truth doesn’t concern Rove. The Iraq war wasn’t about getting more oil, it was to control the flow of oil and squeeze the last vestige of profit from a diminishing source of energy. The greedheads are destroying in this quest the natural beauty of “intelligent design.” Not being content to punch holes in every acre that might hold oil or gas, they also want to excavate all the pollution-creating coal they can. They callously destroy life’s necessities, clean air and clean water, and are hellbent on going after the oxygen-producing foliage of our forests.

I have no problem with capitalism, but uncontrolled capitalism soon becomes totalitarianism and the little people starve.

As I said, I’ll soon be out of here, but it grieves me to see this great nation go the way of Rome. This time it is not Nero who is fiddling, it is the masses and the news media, enthralled by lurid celebrity gossip instead of the issues that ought to concern us.

I wonder: Why is it that Dick Cheney can come out of hiding and go to the Saudis to pay his respects to a repressive foreign king when he can’t pay respect to our own fallen heroes in their flag-draped coffins? Is that just another one of his “priorities” that he referred to when he was asked why he dodged the draft during the Vietnam War?

If we had a real press in this country, those are the sorts of questions they’d be asking, not what color of vest the Runaway Bride wears.

Galen Larson is a Korean War veteran living in Montezuma County.