This week Buzzflash ran an opinion piece on the subject of “creeping ignorance” in today’s America. It is, according to the author, Stephen Pizzo, our biggest problem today. I agree.
It is not that it has just started. The content void has been long in the making. From the constant press to make Al Gore defend himself against “charges” he was “boring,” wooden,” too policy-wonkish to be president (as if policy expertise isn’t a requirement for that office), or unfair claims that he was even a “liar,” to their shameless promo of Sarah Palin, and now (that Palin’s “stock” is falling) Michele Bachmann, the so-called MSM is the antithesis of what it should be. It’s far too ready to focus on the trivial. It’s way too hostile to credible individuals and way too pandering toward the dangerously ignorant women and men of today’s GOP.
I watched with astonishment yesterday as a tool “journalist” from a major news source (a reporter named Zeleny) had so little shame, but the gall, to suggest that Michele Bachmann’s recent talk was actually almost “wonkish.” She had numbers and charts even, he allowed! (Now that you’ve picked yourself up from the floor laughing…) Talk about shaping rather than reporting the news! And the sycophant Chuck Todd, who was filling in on MSNBC) asked not a single probing question or re-direct. But we make a big mistake if we do not think the manipulative media can sell her, or her trailblazer, Sarah.
As Joe Bageant wrote in what it turns out was his last column on his website (he has just left this earth):
But throw in sixty years of television’s mind puddling effects, and you end up with 24 million Americans watching Bristol Palin thrashing around on Dancing with the Stars, then watch her being interviewed with all seriousness on the networks as major news. The inescapable conclusion of half of heartland America is that her mama must certainly be presidential material, even if Bristol cannot dance. It ain’t a pretty picture out there in Chattanooga and Keokuk.
The other half, the liberal half, concludes that Bristol’s bad dancing is part of her spawn-of-the-Devil mama’s plan to take over the country, and make millions in the process, not to mention make Tina Fey and Jon Stewart richer than they already are. That’s a tall order for a squirrel brained woman who recently asked a black president to “refutiate” the NAACP (though I kinda like refutiate, myself). Cultural stupidity accounts for virtually every aspect of Sarah Palin, both as a person and a political icon. Which, come to think of it, may be a pretty good reason not to “misunderstimate” her. After all, we’re still talking about her in both political camps. And the woman OWNS the Huffington Post, fer Christsake. Not to mention a franchise on cultural ignorance.
Indeed. We dare not underestimate these folks or the stupidity of voters who would actually vote for the Stepford women and men of the GOP. Yet, no ignorant, bigoted or infantile statement/rant is too trivial to eek onto cable, and then into the evening news and across the supposed “news” papers of America. I say supposed because more often than not, they are a megaphone for the hostile, racist anti-Obama, anti-worker rhetoric of today’s rightwing contingent. No rant is too false to be trotted out as a possibility because “there are two sides to everything.” (There are not always two sides, especially when one one is a falsehood.) A journalist recently slammed me by suggesting that my claim that a James O’Keefe video fabricated a case, by splicing and editing the video to portray a false story, was just my “opinion.” He, the journalist, claims Andrew Breitbart as his friend, btw. Boy, is America in deep shit.
Even “You’re Fired” Donald Trump has joined the witless fabricators of “birtherism” of the GOP. And the amoral media are only too happy to oblige and promo his birther fiction. Yet when asked, Donald couldn’t even produce his real birth certificate. The moron thought the souvenir one from the hospital was the “original.” Yet he claims the President’s real birth certificate, which has been examined by the courts and the media, is not. Yeh, it’s just “my opinion,” alright (snark). It would be laughable if it weren’t so damn outrageous.
Eric Alterman has penned an excellent column about the idiocy of promoting Bachman as a credible candidate for president. I urge you to read it. Promoting Bachman for higher office would be almost as crazy as promoting Glenn Beck. She is that intemperate. Alterman lists some examples. But there are more than Alterman lists. For example, she thinks every member of the Congress should be investigated for unAmerican views/activities. She repeatedly suggests the President is a Muslim (not that there is anything wrong with that). She’s gone off on lies about “death panels.”
Here’s what Bachmann said during a speech in Denver:
The Republican congresswoman told 600 conservative voters that electing “constitutional conservatives” was the only way to escape the “tyranny” by Democrats over the past 18 months.
“‘We are determined to live free or not at all. And we are resolved that posterity shall never reproach us with having brought slaves into the world,'” Bachmann read from founding father John Jay, ending her reading with the statement, “We will talk a little bit about what has transpired in the last 18 months and would we count what has transpired into turning our country into a nation of slaves.”
BTW, she thinks the founders freed the slaves and that the Revolutionary War’s shot heard round the world was in New Hampshire, not Massachusetts. But Bachmann has the nerve to pretend that the Democratic administration of the first African American president is trying to turn the nation into slaves. There’s more here. Here’s a satirical look at Bachmann’s many foibles.
The over-riding question is how did a woman this stupid and out-of-control get through a supposed law program at Oral Roberts University, much less elected to Congress? But most of the media aren’t willing to ask any hard questions. Now, she is trotted out on the Sunday morning talks shows where GOP nutballs (yes, nutballs) outnumber credible Democrats Sunday after Sunday. And with every appearance, the press which pretends she is credible, ends up with more egg on its face. But we all know that there is much more going on here.
The GOP movement backwards is about more than the idiocracy it promotes. The whole anti-science meme is focused on bringing us back to the dark agres of the pre-enlightenment, for the purposes of corporate and fundamentalist control over America’s people. Take a look here at what the GOP did to a scientist who debunked their strategies and content. Like climate scientists before him, this man has been targeted by a vacant-headed group of Republicans whose only mssion is to drive anyone not thinking like them off the face of the earth. Take their jobs, their pay, their homes, their bank accounts-even their privacy and dignity and pound them into the ground.
As Krugman notes, it may be a generation before the damage an be undone. But in terms of the survival of our country’s people and the planet they live on, there is no time to waste