19. August 2004 · Comments Off on Memo: Denial Is More Than a River In Egypt · Categories: General, Media Matters Not

To: Main-stream Media
Re: Potentially Imploding Aspirants for the Presidency
From: Sgt. Mom

1. I feel your pain, I really, really do. No wait, that may be a touch of heartburn. The little cafe on the ground floor does a superb breakfast taco, and their home-made salsa is – wow. Like vegetable-based napalm, you know what I mean? Just can’t stay away from it, it’s like an addiction. Just can’t stop myself, and neither can you all, apparently. That would be your sanctimonious insistence that you can really, really cover the news in an even-handed fashion, and in the meantime the biggest political story since Watergate is rumbling away under your Gucci-clad feet like a lava-dome about to blow. While certain of the smaller market traditional media, or perhaps those not so totally invested in anybody but GWB are beginning to pick up on it, you are giving the impression of a small stubborn child refusing to eat broccoli. Evasions, excuses, denial; “It’s all election spin! He was near Cambodia! And GWB was AWOL! It’s all just politically biased!” Followed by the despairing wail of “I don’t wan-n-n-na cover this story! You can’t make me!”

2. We shouldn’t have to make you cover the story, Main-stream Media— it’s your damn job. You have been telling us for years how special, and unbiased and credentialed and professional you all are, diddy-bopping down the campaign trail, being the gatekeepers of information in all forms, glowing with the nice warm satisfaction of being important, and strewing the pearls of your great wisdom and insight before us all. There is just this one little lump in the oatmeal of your self-satisfaction; anyone with a modem and a keyboard, and sufficient curiosity about the world can do an end-run around you. And anyone who has special knowledge, and can think analytically and string a couple of coherent sentences together can have a readership as wide as any of the journalistically anointed. So, here we have all these lovely investigative tools on the internet, websites and weblogs, and google, oh my— planning to utilize any of them in the near future, or are you just going to go strolling off the cliff and over the open air, until that lovely comic moment when you look down?

3. See; here’s the deal. The presidential candidate anointed and favored by all the blessed, and who has built his entire campaign on his (abbreviated) Vietnam War tour of duty and ostentatious displays of heroism and camaraderie – well, there may also be seriously whopping feet of clay involved here. A bunch of guys who served in the same unit, in the same lot of boats at the same time, well, they see him as the Eddie Haskell or Frank Burns of the Swiftboat Service— and they have sort of a different take on his much-vaunted service in those fabled times in Vietnam. They don’t see him as fit for any elected office above the rank of town dog-catcher, and maybe not even that, and they believe this so firmly that they have gone to a great deal of trouble to say so. Heck, there’s even a heavily footnoted book out, which is simply flying off the shelves. Interesting stuff in there, you might wanna check it out, sometime. OK, and after the anointed one returned from Vietnam— still with me, people? He built his initial fame as an anti-Vietnam War protester, and as part of that headline-grabbing stint, he accused his fellow servicemen of all sorts of gruesome and brutal war crimes, on very thin or even non-existent evidence. So there is another group of veterans who feel particularly and personally defamed by these accusations, most of which were baseless. Yes, they are a little irritated now, since he is now claiming status on account of that service – for which he defamed them thirty years ago. If many of the journalistically anointed hung around with veterans a lot, they would know this, and perhaps have a better sense of how angry this has made them, especially the ones who have been boycotting Jane Fonda all this time. It seems also that the chosen one has not done all that much to distinguish himself since being elected to his present office, except cultivate the ability to tell any audience what they want to hear, irregardless of what he told the last audience, and to induce two wealthy women sequentially to marry their lives and fortunes to his. (And represent the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for two decades, but that’s their problem).

4. Unless you, as mainstream media want to give the impression that you have also married your lives and fortunes to him in a similar manner, you would be well advised to take as searching a look to this candidates’ particular qualifications, history and personal eccentricities, or the suspicion would be confirmed that you are not nearly as impartial and you represent yourself to be. As consumers of a particular product, that of news of current events, we wish to be given the facts, pure and unadulterated; we do not want to be told by commission or omission what to think about those facts— or even, as is presently the case, to have those facts and the questions that naturally arise from them, omitted from the public discourse entirely.

5. The perils of not addressing these matters are significant. A coldly logical examination of the record may bring cause to wonder why on earth this candidate was ever thought electable, in these perilous times, when there were other less immediately attractive but more solidly qualified candidates yet available— and exactly why did this empty suit looked like the best bet? Should GWB be reelected by a considerable margin, there will be a considerably surprised minority looking for the reasons they were blindsided on this. They will demand an explanation as to why they had been so misinformed.

6. And if this candidate be elected, and subsequent circumstances and events make it clear that his resume contained not a shred of evidence that he was up to the job— in fact, nothing more than a set of propitious initials, a quasi-royal sense of entitlement, and an all consuming desire for the office— who would bear responsibility for the disaster of electing a completely unsuitable person for the highest elected office in the land, but those guilty of attempting to conceal by omission certain unfavorable facts? We look to the main-stream media for essential information entire and complete, not our marching orders. We look for searching questions and comprehensive answers, so we can make up our own minds. And if we do not get the information which we need from you, we the people will get them from where we find them, and your expertise and standing will be diminished, discounted and compromised. More than they are now, anyway.

7. So, take my advice; eat the damned broccoli. It will do us all good.

Sgt Mom

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