Yesterday, NPR’s “Morning Edition” magically transported me back to 1974, to when I first watched the Mel Brook’s classic, “Blazing Saddles.” I was reminded of the scene where the town discovered that Cleavon Little, the man they had hired to be the new sheriff, was black. Cleavon, upon seeing that his life was in danger, pulled his gun and threatened to shoot himself. It was hilarious.
Sadly, the magical transportation of yesterday was any thing but hilarious. I found myself listening to some yoyo news reporter talk about how unfortunate it was that Obama could not get his message out, to the public, about all the [fine] things he did for the people of this country. I cannot believe that I am the only one who saw the irony of his statements—as if it was Obama’s fault that the reporter did not do his job.
During the time that there was a debate in congress over health care, the media never pointed out that there are other countries in the world that have universal health care and it works. The media never pointed out that if our health care system is so great, why do we have the shortest life span of all the developed countries in the world, or why we have the highest infant mortality rate. The whole time, we heard not one word about how we are the only country in the world that ties health care to the workplace. There was not one intelligent discussion, in the media, about the insanity of measuring an employee’s value to a company by considering that employee’s health costs. NO, the only thing you heard were the Republican rants of death squads and the threat of Socialism. The Republicans pointed to their own failures, like taking care of the low-income victims of Katrina, as an example of how the government could not be trusted to run health care.
The performance of the main-stream media was remarkable. They shaped public opinion exactly the way they were supposed to shape it. Did I say shaped? Forgive me, I never meant to indicate they have stopped. They took an election where a very low percentage of the electorate voted and that have magically transformed that into a mandate to destroy this country. They are helping narcissistic idiots gain control of this country and they are not even smart enough to see the danger they created. Journalists should be required to take a lot of history and economics, but then we all know the real problem. The media is owned by the corporations, about whom it should be reporting. Oh well, as I have said before, “The joke is on us.”