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July 03, 2010

Protecting the Powerful and Ignoring the Afflicted

A damning indictment of our so-called free and independent media:

A whistleblower makes explosive allegations about the Department of Justice; his story is backed by at least two other witnesses; and the allegations involve the two hot-button issues of race and of blatant politicization of the justice system. A potential constitutional confrontation stemming from the scandal brews between the Justice Department and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. A congressman highly respected for thoughtfulness and bipartisanship has all but accused the department of serious impropriety. By every standard of objective journalism, this adds up to real news.

Or it would be real news if a Republican Justice Department stood accused. It would be real news if the liberal media weren't mostly in the tank for our celebrated but failing first black president.

It seems apt that it was a Chicago journalist - Finley Peter Dunne - who first coined the maxim later embraced by the media to describe their primary duty. His memorable phrase so impressed readers that it was repeated and reinvented by such diverse figures as Mother Jones, Claire Boothe Luce, and the Archibishop of Canterbury.

The version most of us would recognize instantly appeared in the movie Inherit the Wind:

"Mr. Brady, it is the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable".

But Dunne's original quote conveyed a far less noble picture of the press. The language has been modernized to make it more easily understandable but the original quote can be read here:

"The newspaper does everything for us. It runs the police force and the banks, commands the militia, controls the legislature, baptizes the young, marries the foolish, comforts the afflicted, afflicts the comfortable, buries the dead and roasts them afterward".

Under a Democratic president, the press have chosen to protect the powerful and ignore the afflicted. They wink at governmental corruption and abuse of power rather than exposing them.

Is it any surprise that the media have lost the trust of the public they claim to protect?

Posted by Cassandra at July 3, 2010 10:56 AM

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I am well and truly worried about our country. This is just one more item on the pile. I don't know what to do, really, besides vote, but there's only one position I'll be able to vote for that would help tip the balance the other direction: with gerrimandered districts, I'm not sure - even in this anti-incumbant atmosphere - he'd be voted out of office in November...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at July 3, 2010 11:59 AM

Regardless of whether they have lost the trust or not, they have not lost the power.

And it is power that has always mattered. Trust can only ever be a indirect cause for the increase or cessation of power.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 3, 2010 04:23 PM

Never letting a crisis go to waste is often known by now, for those in the know.

But what many still do not understand is that it was never about simply taking advantage of other people's mistakes (or even your own) in order to make political hay, mountains out of molehills, or other such shenanigans in order to derive personal or team benefits.

What it was about was deliberately, consciously, planning and putting into place the conditions that would allow a specific and concrete increase in human death and misery in order to then take advantage of the chaos, unpredictability, shock value, and lack of confidence in the status quo. Take advantage of it to do what though? Why, to create and harness ever more opportunities to kill more people and gloat over it.

Maybe people justify it in their own minds by quoting Utopia, Heaven, or their Secular Paradise, but usually it ends up simply being a cycle of violence.

It wasn't just a "mistake" somebody made. It was engineered to fail. It wasn't a mistake for the bomb to target a market. And it wasn't a mistake for the secondary bombs to go off when first responders went to the scene, either. And it wasn't a mistake that those who planned it immediately took advantage of the shock and surprise to carry on their other plans.

The Left's fear of Shock and Awe was a peculiar one. They eventually came to ridicule it, but initially I believe they had a wary respect for it. I surmise that the reason was simple. They knew personally what shock and awe really meant when it came to intimidating Americans and forcing American culture and law to conform to anti-American concepts and molds. The idea that the US military now knew how to use such a weapon against their allies in Iraq, the Fedayeen and Saddam, were worrisome to them.

But the US military eventually was shown to be constrained and reluctant to wipe out their enemies. Something the Left has never been hesitant about. Thus the ridicule. It wasn't real Shock and Awe, you see.

Obama has only shown you a small taste of what real Shock and Awe is.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 3, 2010 05:06 PM