Wednesday, October 28, 2009

HoneST: One in a Million

Two Points For Honesty
Honesty is dead. Well, maybe not dead, just on life support. Truth is debatable, but you'd think we'd get honesty right. Some people are as honest as their financial situation will allow. And if their income is in jeopardy, honesty suffers accordingly. That's one of the reasons, I proffer, why there's so much fanfare, and ballyhoo when honesty finally shows up (because of its rarity), but honesty is not all always welcomed or sought--especially where life and limb is at stake in a no-snitch environment.

In a world where compromise is expected, and a shaving of the facts becomes not only acceptable, but anticipated, and one's moral compass is adjusted to fit the situation, we hold up those few stalwarts who take a stand for the facts, and are willing to put honesty above the screeches of special interest. But not all of us are that frontline courageous, or that devoted to honesty, and the facts, to put these things ahead of money, fame, influence, power, or what have you.

I'm thinking of Olympia Snowe. I'm thinking of Jane Hall, now with CNN after more than a decade with Fox News, and who is one those featured in the video clip below. I'm thinking of the GOP. I'm thinking of Joe Lieberman. And I'm thinking of many, many, others.

Olympia Snowe has to date resisted supporting any Public Option proposal, even one that might feature a trigger.

Snowe gives the impression that she's for insurance reform, when in fact she's more likely to vote to give health insurers more money, and more members, than expand health care for Americans, or force the current health insurance system to be more responsive to the needs of its member. This is dishonest. It serves her interest more than it does the American people. Where there's no competition, free market forces can't drive costs down, and improve the health coverage people are currently receiving from their health insurers. Insurers have for years enjoyed anti-trust exemptions, an exclusion that's now under fire as congress seeks other ways to expand competition in the industry.

This, too, is the purpose of a public option, to provide competition where very little now exists.

In the video, Jane Hall admits that she left Fox News because of some of its excesses, but still supports the controversial news media. Now I wonder why?

Other news networks are rushing to Fox News' defense. Now, I wonder why? Rachel Maddow on MSNBC gives a cogent explanation as to how Fox News blurs the line between being an actual news outlet who supports a point of view and one that promotes a point of view:

She admits that it's probably not illegal to use the public airwaves to promote a political ideology under the guise of a news organization, but news media that do so mustn't be shocked when they're treated as propagandist and provocateurs. The next video, if you haven't seen it, is a must see. It goes a long way toward understanding why I'm angry with Fox News, and why the president's security detail (the secret service) is working twice as hard to keep him safe.

It's this kind of claptrap that probably led to the death of Dr. Tiller at the hands of a crazed killer. No matter how you feel about abortion, killing abortion doctors is not the way to end the practice, provided you think it should be stopped. Yet, Bill O'Reilly occasionally attacked this doctor, and he didn't do it in a fair and balanced way to say the least. Do they ever live up to their motto over there at Fox News? The motto is dishonest, and misleading. I'm not surprised that Dr. Tiller is now dead, when you take into account our current climate of dishonesty, and the media's part in all of this.

For some at Fox News, I'm pretty sure that they're creating this climate of dishonesty, and potential danger for the president, Senator Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, strictly for the money, and not because of conviction. Were it not for greed, who, in their right mind, outside neo-Nazi's and the KKK, and similar groups would create and sponsor a climate that might rip the social fabric of this country. It's dishonesty that colors media discourse, and drives the various attacks against public officials. And as long as this climate is maintained and permitted, it's imperative that Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and those of his ilk are called out for it. People's lives hang in the balance.

The lives of our president and his family hang in the balance. Responsible people on the Left and the Right need to speak out against this assault upon the will of the American people. The last I checked, we're a nation of laws, not an oligarchy, nor ruled by one party, and one party only. We're a democracy. And that should say a lot. Where democracy is truly practiced, it's almost synonymous with freedom.

Joe Lieberman, after taking a million dollars from insurance companies over the years, threatens to give Republicans the filibuster margin they need to kill the public option provision in the health care reform bill. Using a series of ploys over the years, Lieberman continues to serve in congress as a senator, and his electorate continues to support his dishonesty. I'm hoping, this time, he's outfoxed himself by half.

So what is Fox News' crime? In its obsession to hike television ratings (think money and greed), and keep them high, they are endangering elected officials, providing fodder for fringe groups who would like nothing better than to return this country to the good ole days of Jim Crow, and worse, manufacturing news, not satisfied with just reporting it, and establishing and maintaining a climate which pits Americans against Americans, and thriving on the chaos that ensues.

I can assure you of one thing: Many black Americans will never forget how the first black president was treated by the Republican party and some in the media. It's reminiscent of the collective pain felt during the Civil Rights moment, and prior. If the GOP's new web site is an attempt to attract blacks to its party, it failed. More than a snazzy Web site is needed to bring blacks back under the tent. It's going to take honesty, the kind that Matthew Hoh recently exhibited. We'll settle for nothing less.


Ernesto said...

Fox News is the most outrageous offender, but the corporate interests own all the major media outlets and the Republican Party and have seriously compromised the Democratic Party. I was watching MSNBC a couple nights ago and Olberman had a guest on, and they referred to Hugo Chavez as a dictator. You would never know it from our so-called liberal media, but Hugo Chavez is infinitely more democratic than the U.S. government, where the will of the people is routinely thwarted. Why can't we have a national referendum on health care rather than a backroom deal between health insurance companies and their sleazy pawns like Max Baucus?

Our foreign and financial policies are the same now as they have been and will never change until this changes. We need someone like FDR back in town for a new New Deal.

The reactionary forces will use anything at their disposal that works, even Obama's blackness. There is no level they won't cheerfully descend to. But they fail to realize that people are more informed these days and have more choices for information. Independent media can make a difference thanks to the internet. A lie can still go around the world quickly, but it can be exposed and put to rest a lot quicker than before.

Fox News are vampires, but the truth is holy water. Thanks for pouring it on them BD!

Black Diaspora said...

Ernesto, I love your passion, and you write well.

I'm with you: I'm very much concerned that corporate entities have hijacked our government using bribes and sundry other treats.

I believe we can fight back. These powerful entities want us to believe that we're too helpless to stop them--too helpless to end their undue influence over our elected Representative.

But to do so we need to come together, not just a hand full of the disaffected, but millions of willing participants devoted to forcing our elected officials to honor the will of the people, and not special interest.

If we can force congress to change the rules, to take lobby money out of the equation, we can get our government back, our elected representatives back, as well as our national dignity.

But, to do that, we're going to need oceans of holy water to defeat them. But, for now, I'd settle for a small puddle of the wonder water.

kathy said...

Black Diaspora,
When you write about how the first black president was treated, it is so painful, I think this is another ugly stain on America, and it's hard to believe that Rupert Murdock seems to have such a powerful voice, when he is a naturalized citizen who only did so to make money. Meanwhile, his news agency is anti-immigration to boot.
But, what Fox and Murdock, and all the rest perpetuate, still doesn't excuse the zombie white people who are participating in this national disgrace.

Ernesto said... bad as it is now, it is about to get a whole lot worse thanks to the supremely sleazy 5. Do a google search on "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission". John Roberts and four accomplices are about to destroy what's left of our so-called democracy, sacrificed on the altar of corporate cash. It's time for a Constitutional Amendment banning pay for play politricks.

Black Diaspora said...

kathy, I held back. I really wanted to make a stronger statement, and I'm glad I didn't.

You're right: we're home to too many "zombies." Some of us are easily manipulated, especially when fear is used to gain our compliance.

Far too easily, we fall prey to fear. It has always been used, but after 9-11, it has been used with greater frequency, mainly to gain a political edge, or to satisfy the hawks among us.

Perhaps I'll devote a blog entry to this accursed method of controlling us, and making us amenable to all sorts of machinations.

Black Diaspora said...

My God, you're right about "we the people" losing what little democracy is left to us in this country.

Thanks for this information.

If the Supremes rule in favor of corporations on this, we will lose our republic.

Too many we send to Washington are unconscionable, and only interested in stuffing their wallets, and their war chests.

Here's an argument. Corporations are entities: They're not "We the people." How can the Supremes accept arguments that allow corporations to trump the people, give them a financial edge when it comes to influencing those that the people (not entities) have sent to congress to represent them.

To make corporations indistinguishable from people is the beginning of the end.

kathy said...

I actually would like to read this post where you don't hold back.

Corporations operate as non-living entities to avoid criminal charges, there is always someone, a living person or persons, doing this stuff behind their evil cloak. These CEO's and other managers get big money while they "lay off" workers who lose their homes, ect, that in itself is criminal.

Black Diaspora said...

I actually would like to read this post where you don't hold back."

You've got it. :)

"These CEO's and other managers get big money while they "lay off" workers who lose their homes, ect, that in itself is criminal."

This is the problem with capitalism: It lacks compassion. And the biggest supporters of it (Repubs), seem to lack it as well.

I don't think capitalism is evil, as many do, but I do think corporations need to bring people (their work force) on board, and give them a stake in the decision-making process, and the profits.

Some corporations do this, but not enough.

I'd like to seem more emphasis on customers, and employees (the human element). As it stands now, corporations are only concerned with their bottomline, and how much they can pay their top executives in bonuses, stock options, and salaries.

"Corporations operate as non-living entities to avoid criminal charges...."

And this is outrageous. And they have used their considerable capital to influence legislation to keep themselves insulated.

As it appears now, provided corporations obtain a favorable ruling on this case before the supreme court, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, corporations are poised to usurp more governmental power.

(Thanks Ernesto for this heads up on this Supreme Court case. It's potentially explosive!)

Many of the Supremes' rulings have, of late, taken a great deal of the people's power away, and have put it into the hands of the government and corporations.

This trend we must stop, or we'll have a democracy in name only.

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