Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Dan Rather, CBS, and Media Triviality

Rivals to CBS in dealing with the Dan Rather story remind me of sharks who have tasted blood circling in for the kill. They repeat the Rather fiasco ad nauseum with a hint of glee. They stubbornly cling to their obsession even when guests remind them that they are obscuring the damaging facts about Bush's military service. They continue to pounce on CBS, neglecting the far more important story about the favoritism showed to George W. Bush because of his name and connections, enabling him to have a cushy National Guard assignment that saved him from Vietnam or more onerous duties. He did not even fulfill the obligations he did accept. That story does not depend on the spurious documents aired by CBS. His less than commendable service record has been demonstrated by major newspapers and numerous Internet sources. This lack of perspective on the part of the media is disgusting. Even more egregious is the way both stories divert attention from the disaster in Iraq and the economic mess at home. The poor and middle class have been sold out to the wealthiest Americans and the giant corporations who get obscene tax cuts from an administration that is a catastrophe for ordinary, working-class Americans. The President has basically turned domestic policymaking over to big businesses who want low taxes, reduced spending for average Americans and the poor, and no regulation of their predations. The Bush Administration beguiles lower-income conservatives with one hand on matters like abortion, gay marriage, and gun control while robbing them with the other hand by failing to provide good jobs at decent wages, adequate health care, and other services to improve their everyday lives. Conservatives want poor mothers to work but are not willing to fund the child care and support services essential to their working full time. The rich get the ham, bacon, and pork chops, while the working poor are lucky if they get the pig's feet and lips. Now that's a story the media ought to be telling instead of narcissistically focusing on the Rather sideshow which, after all, is about themselves.

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