...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Monday, June 26, 2006

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. LOOK IT UP.


Freedom of the press in the United States is always under attack...usually from government officials we elect to protect it....that's just the way it is in one of the few countries on the planet to truly practice freedom of the press. If you don't have it, stressed-out public servants don't have to attack it.

Though he looked and sounded mad as hell, President Bush, our Commander in Chief, labeled the New York Times', L.A. Times', and Wall Street Journal's reporting on the government's secret financial fishing merely "disgraceful." The Vice-Commander in Chief, Mr. Cheney, at his most ominous and scary-looking, could work himself up no further than "very damaging." It was left to a lowly Second Lieutenant, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to drop the T-bomb -- "treasonous," regarding the Times' "absolutely disgraceful" behavior (adjective his, emphasis mine). As if our enemies couldn't figure out what we're doing without the help of the free U.S. press....

My advice: don't overreact. I'm more worried about corporations like, say, Comcast or AT&T sifting through our communications and financial histories and pressuring our representatives to pass laws that let them price-control Internet bandwidth, than I am letting the NSA (Check out their new "kids' site) try to guess how to screen our data for terrorist activity. It's just another Rove-Bush-Cheney smoke storm, produced mostly for consumption by loyalists, whose eyes are glazing over their golden boys' performance. Loud, angry voices make network newsrooms jump. (Notice, no Presidential condemnation of network newsrooms, who promptly repeated the NYT reports). Anyway, just breathe, and remember you live in America, and we have overcome, before.

Messrs. Rove, Bush, Cheney, and 2nd Lt. King would do well to read history less selectively. Other Executive Branch folk who've blown red-white-and-blue anti-press smoke in our faces have not fared well.

1 comment:

Louise said...

Hear, hear. Any thoughts about the selectivity of their targets? I haven't heard a word about them trying to find the leakers . . . and of course, there's the issue of their own violations of classified material! I hope you're right, though. Breathe, breathe . . . Sigh.