April 24, 2002
By Bridget Gibson
function of the press is very high. It is almost holy. It
ought to serve as a forum for the people, through which the
people may know freely what is going on. To misstate or suppress
the news is a breach of trust." - Louis D. Brandeis
Each day my television delivers my dose of pornography. It
comes unbidden into my home, filling the air with all the
lurid details of someone's misdeeds and twisted perversions.
It weaves its dirty little stories into the breakfast, lunch
and dinner table of the American public. It tosses its nasty
blanket over the news. It is presented by the well-groomed
men and the sassy blonde women with their painted faces. The
hard sell of sex and the hard shell of distraction are the
mighty obfuscation of anything that may truly affect the viewer.
The thin veil that would normally separate the public from
sexually explicit material, the censorship ratings that prevent
the viewing of the underage or innocent, does not apply to
I have learned more about the variety of methods of obtaining
sex, performing sex, the variety of sexual partners and the
places of availability from the "news" than I can enumerate.
Several years ago, former Attorney General, Edwin Meese, performed
a study on pornography. I now am left wondering if Mr. Meese
performed this study to learn how the seamy side of sex could
be sold to the public. The question of propriety and how to
deliver the inappropriate into my house seems never to be
discussed. The offhand way that the newscasters deliver these
strokes of nastiness appears most bizarre. Never a blush,
never a warning, never a caution to the viewer and their minor
children that the "following material may be sexually explicit."
The "news" stories weave on and on. Ken Starr brought the
lurid details to the dinner tables of America. Gary Condit
became synonymous with sexual misconduct. Now we watch the
disrobing of the priests of the Catholic Church.
It would appear that the media has found a very convenient
way to avoid their responsibility of delivering the events
and details that an informed public need to know regarding
their country and the world. The great shell game played by
the evening news is done so adroitly that David Copperfield
would be jealous. While you are distracted with stories that
do not affect your life, the real news rarely gets a footnote.
You, the viewer, have been deceived in a massive way. When
our politicians joyously announced the passage of the NAFTA
and FTAA, you were never told what those agreements would
mean to your way of life, the security of your employment,
the future of your family and country.
You are never told of the way that the behind the scenes
manipulation of the stock market has led to the loss of billions
for the public. You were never told how the passage of grants
from OPIC to Enron would cost the American public billions
of dollars. You probably do not even know what OPIC is. You
never heard about the findings of the Gore Commission report
on terrorism in 2000. You never heard about the continued
embargos of Iraq and the bombing missions that have continued
from 1991 through today.
You never heard about the true findings of NORC regarding
the actual count of Florida's votes in the election that ended
by a partisan court's ruling. You are not hearing about the
negotiations that are continuing right now for a pipeline
through Afghanistan. You never hear about the $3-5 Billion
given to Israel annually to supply it with American weapons.
You are not hearing about the CIA-backed coup in Venezuela.
You are not hearing that Chile has refused to allow American
troops into her country.
You are not hearing that world opinion against the United
States is at an all-time high. You are not hearing that your
way of life is in grave danger because of American policies
and greedy and inept politicians.
Now, you are left wondering how you can learn of these things.
Whether you know it or not, you do have control. Your voice
does matter. Your country depends on you. This country is
made of individuals and every one of us must demand the truth
from our media. We must not allow the continual coverage of
things that do not affect our lives to be "sold" to us as
"news." It starts with you putting your local newspapers and
television stations on notice. It continues with you contacting
the sponsors of these programs and letting them know that
their products cannot be sold to you by their promotion of
lies and distortions.
You must monitor your airwaves. You must let the corporations
that are accessing public airwaves know that they are on borrowed
time. Tell them that issues are important to you and your
family. Demand your airwaves back. Force them to tell you
the truth about the daily workings of our country. As long
as you sit comfortably in front of the flickering screen that
delivers its daily dose of sex, you will not hear the details
of the real news that will change your lives.
This is happening to you now. The devastation of September
11, 2001, did not begin on that morning. There were many steps
to the moment that the Trade Towers fell, but you did not
hear them. You were caught unaware and left in shock to witness
the end of life as we knew it. You are being left in the dark
again, my friends. But each of your hands holds the power
to turn on the light. Pull the switch and pull the plug on
the media blackout that you are experiencing. Demand full
coverage of our "wars." Demand full coverage of our policies.
Demand full coverage of the daily activities in our nation's
capital. Hold the media accountable for their part in the
deceit of the American public.
We are a strong nation made of individuals with love for
our country. We are strong enough to hear the truth. Only
with the truth will we be armed with the knowledge to change
the future into one of peace and prosperity for all.