I'm Not A Liberal, But I Play One On TV

For those of you who still desire factual information, meaning information that informs rather than just supports whatever position you might have been told to believe, I recommend a wonderful book. Titled "Wizards of Media Oz; Behind the Curtain of Mainstream News", by Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen, this tome consists of articles written over the last few years for FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Media).

One of the main focuses of these gentleman is that, the far right not withstanding, the idea of a "Liberal Media" is so insane that anyone with half an idea of reality ignores the prevarication altogether. They look at the major "news" programs which purport to "debate" issues from both sides of the political spectrum. They look at the pundits, themselves, and wonder where anyone could ever get the idea that even a centrist liberal viewpoint is available, let alone a true, progressive liberal viewpoint.

. They talk about the time when Pat Buchanan used his position as the far right, ultra-conservative co-host of Crossfire (Feb. 16, 1995) to announce his run for the presidency. His supposedly liberal co-host, Michael Kingsley, helped him hold up a sign providing Buchanan's 800 number for contributions. These same individuals lampooned and insulted Jerry Brown, calling him a "clown" when, in 1991, he had demanded the right to display his 800 number during an offered interview. The true clowns, of course, were Buchanan and his supporters who fell for his lie of being a "Washington Outsider" all during his, thankfully, failed racist campaign.

Michael Kingsley, the purported "liberal" on Crossfire, should be remembered for such "leftist" instances as writing a column for Time magazine in which he praised Britain's far right prime minister Margaret Thatcher and recommended she run for the American Presidency. He is also well known for writing articles about the South African program of apartheid which basically supported F.W. De Klerk and ridiculed Nelson Mandela; his tepid stand on affirmative action; his support of Danny Quayle's proposal limit civil suits (Corporate America's favorite cause, at the time); his nearly invisible stand on environmental laws and his unenthusiastic record on women's rights.

To paraphrase these authors' suggestion, Mr. Kingsley's motto might be "I'm not a liberal, but I play one on TV".

That motto would work for nearly all of the supposedly "Liberal" commentators. Al Hunt was CNN's designated "liberal" for years while he also held the position of Washington Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal. Tom Braden, the original "leftist" on Crossfire, was a high-ranking CIA official who was deeply involved with covert actions against the left in the 1960's. Bob Beckel, an occasional substitute for the "liberal" Kingsley on Crossfire, headed a lobbying firm that represented the Disney Corp., long-distance phone companies and insurance companies involved in a battle over environmental clean-up of toxic wastes. Beckel also hailed Clinton's effort to down-size the government proclaiming "the unions will grumble, the left will scream...". Juan Williams, another occasional stand in for Kingsley as the purported "liberal", attacked Anita Hill's accusations against Clarence Thomas and went on to write "liberal" articles attacking "so-called champions of fairness: liberal politicians, unions, civil rights groups and women's organizations" concluding, "liberals have become monsters". (Whew! What unabashedly "liberal" viewpoints.)

Why, you might ask (but probably didn't) does the media put on such a display of falsifying the liberal position rather than allowing anyone to actually present a liberal viewpoint? Perhaps because the owners of nearly every news outlet in America are now owned by the ultra-conservatives which make up Corporate America. Rupert Murdoch, Ted Turner, Westinghouse, General Electric, Trinity Broadcast Group (read the Christian Coalition) and on and on are the owners of the airwaves in the late twentieth century America. These corporations and individuals are not about to have a real debate and why should they? They have the American public convinced that the liberals run the media and that, still, both sides of all issues are fairly represented. Since so many have already swallowed that lie happily, they can continue to fill your mind with their hate, their racism and their pro-Corporate America message while, at the same time, having their false liberal actors supporting ultra-conservative causes as if the causes were acceptable to the ever increasingly small portion of America who demands the right to think for themselves.

Gentle readers, we are living in a time of great lies and double talk masquerading as politics. Even should you want to discover the truth, the information available is nearly always either outright lies or half-truths brought to you in the form of "weekly political debates" or front page headlines in newspapers and magazines owned and operated by the very same people who invent the lies which you are supposed to establish your political beliefs on. The truth is out there. It just isn't found in the media.

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Copyright 12/24/97