Let us then imagine a nation where the voices of the people are heard and heeded. Unfortunately we have to imagine it because, contrary to the lies told to us in American History 101, this is not a democracy. No, over the course of the last 40 years we have degenerated into a country based almost solely upon the acquisition and maintenance of wealth. Where are the halcyon days of discovery and artistic breakthroughs simply for the sake of themselves? Now, everything we think, say and do as a country and society is predicated on how financially advantageous it is to a small percentage of the population. And it all only works if the majority of people are left in the dark. This is nowhere more apparent than in the sad state of the fourth estate – the once credible bastion of truth known as journalism.
The undue influence of money has rendered society almost mute thanks to media’s obsessive adherence to only those principles that inflate the bottom line. No more will we know the security of having a Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite on watch to do their best to strip the endless onion skin back on the machinations of governments. What kind of damage could have further been wrought by Joseph McCarthy if not for the tenacity of Murrow. And, what deeper rifts might have occurred without the steady honesty of Cronkite to counterbalance the upheaval of the Sixties. Who stands watch now? You have to go outside the corporately held media giants to encounter anything resembling true journalism today.
Bill Moyers is one of the few voices out there who refuses to be silenced by corporate influence. But, sadly, his message also reaches fewer people and he is constantly demonized as a *gasp* liberal, regardless of his impeachable standard for truth in journalism. Matt Taibbi is another journalist who is working to uncover the truth and expose the forces that strive to undermine our freedom – political, social and financial. He also is hindered by the fact that his incisive and accurate reporting is labeled as “left-leaning”, no matter its veracity. Plus, he is a writer. In this day of easy to swallow bite-size infotainment, his articles take too much mental effort for the masses to digest. He takes on the dense world of finance clearly and logically and makes even the most confusing derivatives approachable, but how may people take the time to truly understand their world?
The reason for that is not because people are stupid. It is because we have become consumers of small ideas. We have been conditioned for the past forty years to abhor deep and thoughtful journalism and have been force-fed a diet of stars and starlets and their inane gossip, sprinkled with a murder and abduction (because that gets the ratings), and left with a minute or maybe two minutes of reports about the things that actually affect us locally and globally. All that matters to our corporate overseers is that we ignore the men behind the curtain and continue to swallow our diet of bread and circuses. So far, we are doing just as they wish. But we are so much better than that.