That's the Way it Is
by W. David Jenkins III
I'm a news freak. I drive people crazy because the news is
on my television even if I'm not watching. My 2½ year old
son can identify "Wolf" and "Cokie" just as easy as he knows
who "Elmo" is. I just bought a new stereo and it's barely
been broken in. I have CDs that I bought a year ago but I
haven't heard them yet. It's because I have more important
things to hear. I haven't heard those things yet, but they
must be coming soon. I'm positive. I grew up on Walter Cronkite
and I'm waiting for those immortal words, "and that's the
way it is." I just know it'll happen soon so don't anybody
touch that dial! Somebody please tell me the way it is!
Then reality sets in. That annoying little voice that keeps
telling me I'm wasting my time, not to mention my cable fee.
"Watch a Frasier re-run" it says. "You'll laugh, you'll feel
better and best of all - you won't miss anything." I'm beginning
to hate that voice. Probably because I'm starting to realize
that voice is right.
I mean, what am I waiting to hear? Do I really think CNN
is finally gonna fess up and say Bush stole the election?
Will MSNBC actually get around to telling me just how dangerous
and completely loony tunes John Ashcroft is? Will FNN actually
do a documentary paralleling the domestic actions of our court
appointed administration with the early years of the Third
Will Mike Wallace really look into the unusually large amounts
of short stocks sold just prior to September 11th? Will 20/20
do a story about the discrepancies surrounding the crash of
flight #93? With all the conservative talking heads out there
desperately trying to blame Clinton for all this, will somebody
do a story on Bush Inc. prohibiting pursuing Osama bin Laden
months before the attacks?
Aw, who am I trying to kid?
It's difficult living in a conservative area in a democratic
state. Talking to friends and co-workers about the real untold
story as far as what's happening to our country right now
is like screaming on deaf ears. New York is full of conservative
"pot-holes" and, lucky me, I live in one of them. We have
a newspaper with a monopoly on the "information" the people
get. Like many small to medium towns in America we are deprived
of real journalism. We have no NY or LA Times nor do we have
anything close to the Washington Post. And even those publications
have changed recently.
Binghamton, N.Y. is blessed with one journalist not afraid
to speak up against the corporate owners. I recently called
this man to thank him for an article he did on Ashcroft's
reckless behavior and made mention that it must feel to him
like he's a "lonely voice in the darkness." He couldn't have
agreed more. I wonder how many others feel like they're alone
in all this chaos? This propaganda? And yet, when we speak
out, people look at us as if we don't love our country.
Just what am I waiting for the mainstream media to do, I
wonder? Tell the truth? I cannot shake the feeling of being
a marionette every time I watch any news broadcast. Or commercial,
for that matter. Whether it be the NYSE, the travel bureau
of America, various insurance companies - whatever, they're
all waving flags in my face while they play majestic music,
show a couple of pictures of smiling kids and some groups
of firemen at Ground Zero, play on my sympathies just before
they stick me with whatever they're trying to sell. Patriotism,
Good Lord, even the Post Office has got one up and running!
I started cracking up when I put their commercial together
with the warnings the postmaster general issued a few weeks
ago. If you do that, the commercial should go something like;
(start heartfelt music and pictures of smiling American postal
workers here - oh, and don't forget the flags!)
"Neither snow nor rain nor dark of night - shall keep
us from our appointed rounds - to bring you mail that you
should probably open in your garage - with a pair of barbecue
Is anybody else feeling like this? We've been told to live
our lives, go back to business, and fly the friendly skies
(even though we've been warned that we will be shot down should
the plane do anything "funny.") Meanwhile, we have Tom Ridge
issuing "alerts" based upon "credible" but "inconclusive"
intelligence. Don't worry, folks, just a little warning to
let you know you're not safe which should keep you all worrying
while the administration secretly chips off one more of your
civil liberties while you spy on your neighbor. Just another
day in Bush's America.
So I turn the TV back on and wait. C-Span shows me spineless
Democrats rolling over for fear of being labeled unpatriotic.
CNN shows me "Behind the Veil" for the 1000th time just to
make sure I still hate the Taliban. MSNBC continues to employ
snotty little anchors that berate anybody who would dare speak
against the appointed administration. Fox parades Geraldo
like the paid-for trophy he's become, while doing everything
short of raising the Nazi flag. I don't know, maybe I should
just watch Frasier reruns.
The so-called Liberal Media isn't going to report on Haliburton
or Mazen Al-Najjar or the proposed Northwood Operation or
anything resembling the truth about what's really happening
to all our flag stands for. I mean, if we are "at war" with
anybody who helps or harbors or finances terrorists, then
why aren't we bombing Oliver North's house? Or Reagan's house?
Or a quaint little place in Kennibunkport, Maine? Why aren't
the media reporting on the hypocrisy of Bush Jr's logic on
the War on Terrorists?
Oh, that's right - that would be unpatriotic. Well, in light
of that reason, allow me to enlighten the so-called patriots:
"Why, of course the people don't want war ... But after
all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy,
and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along,
whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a
parliament, or a communist dictatorship...Voice or no voice,
the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are
being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism
and exposing the country to danger." - Hermann Goering,
Nazi leader, at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II
"And that's the way it is."