Thursday, August 13, 2009
There's a crazy homeless guy who panhandles near my home. I know it's rather impolitic to refer to him as such, but anyone who mutters incessantly about knives and Donna Summer has pretty much paid his dues to the nutter-butter country club. He's harmless enough, and Claire and I give him food, and occasionally money if we are in a position to do so (liberals talk about helping people, conservatives actually help them). That's not the point, though. This guy, we'll call him Charlie, has an uncanny ability to predict the weather. It's probably an intuition that homeless people develop from being at the mercy of the elements on a daily basis. It could be a beautiful balmy day, but if Charlie says "rain is a-comin'" you can be sure that rain is about to "a-come". He's like the Weather Network, if the Weather Network lived under a bridge and smelled like old Doritos and rotting fish. Thing is, I trust this rambling, possibly schizophrenic homeless fellow to convey more accurate information to me than CNN and MSNBC combined.
Our old friend Anderson Cooper is at again. No rain forest trekking in pre-wrinkled designer cargo shorts warning of the upcoming enviro-Apocalypse for the Coop these days. No indeed! He seems pretty busy right at home lately, playing the role of fear-monger in chief to the President.
"Right Wing Militias On The Rise", screamed the headline below Cooper as he interviewed Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which recently published a paper supposedly confirming this phenomenon. CNN calls the group a "non-partisan organization that monitors hate groups" - a claim I'm sure even crazy Charlie knows is blatant intellectual dishonesty of the worst kind. The SPLC is a left-wing attack group that is so extreme even die hard liberals like journalist Alexander Cockburn characterized them as “...frightening elderly liberals (into believing) that the heirs of Adolf Hitler are about to march down Main Street.”
This is tantamount to running a story claiming that smoking is healthy and delicious based on a report published by Phillip Morris. But what has CNN and the folks over at MSNBC in such a state? Everyone knows they ceased parading the pretense of objectivity long ago, but even this is laying it on a little thick. You see, things aren't going very well for President Obama as of late, and his lackeys in the press will have none of it.
No one much cares for the President's new health care proposal. Republicans don't like it, Democrats don't like it, the liberals down at the AARP don't like it - I don't even think homeless Charlie cares much for it. This has the media in full attack mode, and the cannon balls are flying. So what does the left do when things aren't going according to plan? You call in the media and create a crisis, and believe me, the "C" in CNN stands for crisis.
All over America, discouraged citizens are showing up at town hall meetings to express their displeasure at their elected representatives - both Democrat and Republican. They want to keep their family doctor; They want to keep the insurance provided by their employer; And most of all, they don't want to throw away more of their hard earned money to fund another expensive pipe dream that promises to be an even more dismal failure than the President's last massive spending project. They are not feeling stimulated.
In the weird and distorted looking glass world of the media, these people are dangerous zealots ready to torch the White House. Yep, those senior citizens who criticized Rep. Steny Hoyer at a town hall meeting are heading straight to the nearest compound to stock up on canned goods, bibles, and semi-automatic rifles. They're going tear up their "Scoot-About" licenses and hunker down for the next armed rebellion. I joke, but this dangerous little game the media is playing with public opinion is deadly serious.
Americans are exercising their most basic and cherished first amendment right in a peaceful and legal manner, but are being portrayed as dangerous wing nuts by the media because they're not coming down on the right side of this debate.
Remember the eight years President Bush was in office? People took to the streets protesting in large numbers with signs depicting him in Nazi paraphenalia; They camped out for over a year in front of his Crawford Ranch; They threw things at him -they even made a movie shot in "cinema verite" style that was aired in American theatres in which he was assassinated. No one seemed to be concerned then. I don't remember anyone in the MSM warning that this was going a step too far. Now ordinary Americans of all political stripes are simply demanding that their elected officials explain themselves and CNN would have you believe that they are ushering in a Mad Max society where rules will be thrown out the window, and people will be eating soup out of their neighbors' skulls.
As a Canadian looking in from the outside and a scholar of American politics, I find this alarming. Woodrow Wilson used the media skillfully and even had his own goon squads to intimidate the public when they weren't buying Wilson's "change" inspired by his admiration of European fascists.
The next time you see Anderson Cooper trying to pass off a left-wing radical nut job from a shady activist group like the Southern Poverty Law Center as an unbiased authority on "extremists groups", shut off the T.V. and go for a walk. Some spare change and the rantings of a homeless guy will at least get you a fairly accurate weather forcast.
Posted by Joe Leger at 8:28 PM