By Joseph Arrieta
Captured in political science terms refers to a
government oversight function that gets taken over by the
very forces it was supposed to reign in from committing abuses.
Think Harvey Pitt at the SEC or Gale Norton at Interior: the
foxes are guarding the henhouse.
It's been obvious for a long time that the US journalism corps
is captured - captured by corporate interests and idealogy.
One must read in the foreign press that the lunatics
are running the asylum or that wmd's that are just trailers
are in fact hydrogen
Bush lied through his teeth in the press conference immediately
before the war, precisely stated that the whole spectacle
was scripted, appeared drugged to many and refused to answer
questions, yet Bush was "solemn," "grave,"
and "resolved" in the press coverage.
There are still a few real journalists out there - Krugman,
Alterman, Ivins, Oliphant, Jackson, Kuttner, Nichols, Judas,
Goodman, Conason, Meyerson, Starr, Tomasky, and Lyons come
immediately to mind. These are lonely voices in a sea of sycophancy,
completely obviated by an environment that - hard to believe
as it may seem - grows worse by the day.
Notice that the above names appear in print - there is not
one real television journalist left, save for Bill Moyers.
Krugman may be a steely voice of reality and honesty at the
New York Times, but make no mistake, that paper is
How ensnared are they? Sunday, June 22nd, provides a perfect
example in the form of David
Rosenbaum. Bush lied to the entire world about the threat
of Iraqi wmd's, but hey, he believed what he was saying, so
it couldn't be a lie. What kind of "journalist"
defends the President based upon "beliefs" that
no one can verify? A captured one. Ran on page 1.
Captured journalists not only defend the indefensible with
phantom facts in print, they actively
work for the White House at NBC. Before Howard Dean appeared
on Meet The Press NBC requested an analysis on the cost of
repealing the Bush tax cuts, a central tenet of Dean's proposed
economic policy. Then Tim Russert hammered Dean with it. How
nice to know that our tax dollars at Treasury fund captured
media to knife a sincere Democratic Presidential candidate.
There was one more permanent stain on the record for US journalism
that sordid Sunday, and again it occurred in the New York
Times, and again Howard Dean was the target. It was tapped
by one of the worst offenders of Election 2000: Katherine
Seelye, described by the Financial Times as "one
of the most hostile to the campaign, doing little to hide
her contempt of Gore."
The fact that Seelye still even has a job is evidence enough
that the media is captured, let alone that the New York
Times assigned her to the most promising Democratic candidate.
The New York Times is obviously planning to trash another
All of this is just another sorry chapter in the regression
of a once-great American journalism corps. As Democrats it's
far more important to ponder this question: what do we do
Continue and support the excellent work by American patriots
online who watch the media: Media
Whores Online, The
Daily Howler, and various
bloggers. Network the truth to friends, family and co-workers.
Get involved in a contender campaign to spread the truth further
- Congressional Democrats are worthless, as we've so obviously
seen, but running for President requires a real politician.
Most importantly of all, do not give up. Bush may have $200
million in cash for the campaign and a captured press, but
the Truth can only be hidden by a people that allows it to
be so. Fight back in the blog comment threads, talk to all
the people you know, donate time and money, write to the media.
Many of us have done all of these things for years with no
apparent effect. Immediate results will not be forthcoming
in this effort, but that is not why we should stop trying.
We keep trying simply for the honor in doing the right thing,
for paying proper homage the truth, and for the hope of our
If we give up there is no chance to succeed. None. As Democrats
that is simply an unacceptable scenario under any circumstance.
We cannot control events or the professionalism of the US
journalism corps, but we can ensure that when events irrevocably
show the betrayal of the sycophants at the New York Times
and NBC (an inevitability) there are mechanisms in place to
instantly spread the truth. There is no other option.
"Just because we were whipped a thousand years before
we started is no reason to stop trying now." - Harper
Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Joseph Arrieta is a writer and web producer living in San