Saturday, February 18, 2006

George W. Bush, Michael Brown, and the Mainstream Media

Bush and Cheney have amply demonstrated that they are less capable than the least of Michael Brown, Michael Chertoff, Governor Blanco, Mayor Nagin, a crazy homeless person, or Dungeonmasters Alberto Gonzales and Condoleezza Rice. The Bush administration is no longer even very good at keeping politically sensitive secrets!

The Mainstream Media, though, does not exist solely to entertain us; they exist also to protect the people from tyranny. No democracy can long survive without a vigorously independent free press, whether in Iraq or Iowa. There are a few television news programs that cling to some vestige of in-depth objective reportage, but not very many. Even the serious newspapers are reluctant not just to ask but to pursue the difficult questions. George W. Bush and the Republican Party portray themselves as rebelling against a system in which the odds are stacked against them, when the reality is that they are rebelling against a system in which the history and moral principles of our nation are stacked against them. They have all the instruments of power — the White House, the House, the Senate (plus the "Unconstitutional Nuclear Option"), the Supreme Court, the military, Fox News in its entirety plus far more than their share of the mainstream media — and yet they still see themselves as rebels.

It's like that tv ad where the big boss man is bragging to his lackey about how many minutes his cellphone plan has, and how he really likes "sticking it to The Man." The lackey looks at him and says, "Sir, you are The Man." The guy in the corner office with a private secretary is not "the little guy," and George W. Bush is not the political underdog who should be given the benefit of the doubt over any little multi-trillion-dollar mistakes he might make.