A popular movie catchphrase from the Blaxploitation era of the 1970s proclaimed: “The Mob wanted Harlem. They got SHAFT. ”
In today’s America there is a similar catchphrase: “The people voted for change in the last election. They got the SHAFT.”
This reality lends credence to the late Che Guevara’s theory that democracy is simply an illusion designed to quash the impetus for meaningful social change. As long as the masses are duped into believing that the electoral process is capable of replacing an unjust government with a just one, they will forever be oblivious to the fact that usually they are simply substituting one evil for another.
Unfortunately even the electoral frauds of 2000 and 2004, which cogently demonstrated how easily the “democratic” system could (and can) be corrupted by the rich and powerful, did not arouse enough Americans from their slumber. The result has been almost seven years of ineptness, mendacity, criminality and militarism orchestrated and endorsed by incompetents, hypocrites, cowards and liars, many of whom refused, and still refuse, to risk their lives in the wars they’ve instigated and supported. Naturally, America’s corporate-controlled media have played their own deceitful role in these endeavors. In fact, to call these media bottom-feeders and vultures would be an insult to creatures that are by nature bottom feeders and vultures. After all, such creatures have no choice but to be what they are. By contrast, the corporate-controlled media have such a choice, but they incessantly use it to promote their political agendas, instead of informing and serving the public.
Recently, for example, the television network NBC (owned by corporate giant General Electric), the same network that refused to air advertisements for the documentary Shut Up and Sing—a film that examined the ostracism and threats directed against The Dixie Chicks after the group’s lead singer criticized George W. Bush during an overseas concert—aired the season premiere of its increasingly insipid medical “drama” ER.
In this episode, a carryover from the previous season’s “cliffhanger,” which had ended with pro-peace and pro-war groups violently clashing, a woman being treated for burns told medical staff she had been trying to save an American flag that had been set on fire by pro-peace demonstrators.
The subliminal message? Anyone who desires peace is an unpatriotic flag burner.
In another segment on the same episode, a lifelong peace activist, who had also opposed the war in Vietnam, murdered the man whose actions had instigated the clash between the protesters.
The subliminal message? Those who want peace are really violent murderers at heart.
Then there was the “news” anchor on ABC television’s World News Now (owned and operated by the Disney Corporation) who implied that singer Barry Manilow was a “hater,” because he refused to be interviewed by warmongering coward Elisabeth Hasselbeck on television’s overrated cackle-fest known as The View , which (Surprise! Surprise!) also airs on ABC .
And one should not forget Clear Channel, the owner of over thirty television stations and more than a thousand radio stations in the United States. Suspected of organizing a boycott of Dixie Chicks songs on country music stations, Clear Channel has no compunction about airing the sophomoric rants of a hypocritical, draft-dodging, former drug addict named Rush Limbaugh. Ironically neither does Armed Forces Radio.
Limbaugh, who received a deferment to avoid military service during the Vietnam War, supposedly because of a cyst on his buttocks, recently stirred up controversy by describing some of those serving, or who have served, in the Iraqi war as “phony soldiers.” Not surprisingly, Clear Channel executives rushed to Limbaugh’s defense, and a Congressman from Georgia actually introduced a resolution commending him for his comments.
Yet even though Limbaugh and his ilk persistently lament the alleged omnipotence of a “liberal” media, the response he received for his comments paled in comparison to that received by the organization MoveOn.org. After a MoveOn ad appeared in the New York Times labeling Bush lackey General David Petraeus “General Betray Us,” the United States Congress, by a vote of 341-79 in the House and 72-25 in the Senate, passed a resolution condemning this ad.
To be continued…
David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.ru