If American journalists had done their job when the world trade center fell,
when talk of war began, when lies about weapons of mass destruction started
to pervade the airwaves, we would not be here now. Hundreds of young soldiers and thousands of innocent civilians would still be alive, and our collective soul would not be burning. But journalists did not ask questions. They beat the drums of war and their newscasts became commercials for state-sponsored terror.
We have given American journalists all the power in the world. We have allowed them to dictate the stories we believe as a culture. But they have betrayed us. They sedated us with sweet talk while bushCo dragged us over this cliff. They sat back and led cheers as bushCo sent other people's children off to war, to drop bombs on still other people's children. And they never asked why.
The names of the (American) dead so sanctimoniously pasted in silence to the nations' television screens every night now are mocked by the irony and the hypocrisy. Ted Koppel, who sang the praises of the war machine and rode around the desert in a firmly embedded tank, now wants to be the rebel journalist, wants accolades for reading the names of hundreds of dead soldiers (but no dead Iraqi civilians). Too damn late, Ted. Too damn late.
At last, someone broke bushCo's ban on publishing photographs of the returning dead. Why did they wait so long?
This isn't journalism. It's rats jumping from a sinking ship. This is
sycophantic, corporate yes-men waving flags all the way over the edge of the
cliff, and then realizing we are not back there anymore. We are not
listening, not following. Only then do they put the flags away and cry foul.
Too Damn late.
Where were the "journalists" when this could have been prevented? Why did they not ask the important questions? When bushCo set its sights on ruling the world, when the USA PATRIOT act begat the rampant erosion of civil rights here at home, when bush lied through his teeth about "weapons of mass destruction".... Where were they then?
When war was in the air, the corporate media cowered in corners and droned on about freedom, and patriotism and "our troops." And when the bombs began to rain from the Iraqi skies, on people, remember, American journalists embedded themselves with the war mongers and played the story as if it were all a sporting event.
When we spoke out and bled in the streets, they never asked us why. Instead,
they slew us with stereotypes, they ignored us, and they built consent for
police crackdowns against us. They never questioned the need for riot cops
to attack civilians in the streets of America just as they never questioned
the need for soldiers to attack civilians in the streets of Baghdad. (And all for "our freedom," no less.) These are not journalists. They are mouthpieces for the corporate police state. They have traded integrity for propaganda.
They have given away their calling as journalists and followed the money instead.
Shame. They should be ashamed. If they had done their jobs then, most of
those names they silently read each night would belong to living human
beings, not empty memories. Don't let them buy you back now with a few heavy words about the cost of war. Not when that cost is so unbearably high because they failed to ask questions when they should have.