This post was inspired by our friend LD Jackson’s recent article on the exit of journalist Sharyl Attkisson from CBS News. LD’s summation of the episode and the sorry state of affairs that preceded it were spot on, but what stirred our thoughts was his lament:
How much longer must we continue to listen to the narrative put out by the Obama administration? Are we to ignore the warning signs that people like Sharyl Attkisson are sounding off about?
The “we” he was speaking of is of course “We, the People”. The question we would like to ask today is “How much longer can the nominal “free press” in this country continue to exist as an institution if the members of that institution continue to acquiesce in their own demise?” And further, how much longer can our society as we dimly recognize it continue to exist if the pillars of society, by which we mean it’s institutions, not individual personages, continue to succumb to political and pop culture pressure? Perhaps not a complete list, we include in these institutions mainline religious bodies, academia, the medical, science and legal professions, organized sports and other traditional American pastimes,’Big Business’, local and provincial community self-determination and tried-and-true common practice, as well as the aforementioned media and it’s “Madison Avenue” collaborators. Without wallowing in the details, some quick examples of the sacrifice of principle, or placing political correctness ahead of the institution’s charter would be:
The Church’s struggle with the homosexual rights issue. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America’s surrender on that same issue. The United Way and other heretofore charitable organizations’ refusal to support agencies or causes which fail to sign on to “diversity statements”, for example. The failure of Higher Education (colleges, Universities, and research institutes) to support not only free speech but the freedom of academic inquiry and expression, especially in the areas of Climate Science and the relatively recent twist on an old theme called ‘Intelligent Design’. The failure of the medical community to reject government takeover of the practice of medicine. Professional sports bowing to pressure to inculcate “nannystate” practices into their rules and regulations. The U.S.Chamber of Commerce and other traditional American business organizations’ abominable stance on the sovereignty and border security issues now plaguing the country. The infusion of ‘national’ and even ‘international’ standards and models into local governing boards and school boards.
That’s a short list. We could be here all day adding to it. What is disturbing and perplexing is that in each of the institutions we mentioned above, you can just about count on one hand the number of practitioners of that particular art, science or craft who will ask of their fellows “What has become of us? Who are we? What is our function in American society and culture? Are we now without creed or credo or honorable vocational or avocational or philosophical or studious pursuit? What good are we to our fellow man to allow ourselves to be directed by the East Coast Elites or the Beltway Boys? Whither our dignity and self-respect?”
The foremost institution of all those we mentioned above, the one we feel most critical to securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity is of course the Press. That is the only one explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. The media in this country have always been off-and-on partisan-prone, though at one time there was something of a balance, or at least something of a counter to the liberal pedagogy, especially in rural areas, or flyover country.
But with amalgamation, consolidation and such, Big Media has morphed into “Big House Organ”. So that, as ‘the message’ becomes more and more uniform, more and more centrally dictated, the Press, or the Media, once a virtuous institution, rots from within. And as it is the venue for the other institutions to express themselves, their message becomes corrupted as well. Until at some point, fact becomes barely distinguishable from fiction, even in the sciences, and all forms begin to resemble one another, and one wonders why and how these increasingly redundant institutions continue to get paid (actually, many increasingly don’t, because the collapse has already begun.) Thank God (can I say that on the Internet?) for the Internet.
Even if one could understand going along to get along within one’s own sphere, why is it that, for example, one never hears a scientist blaming or filing suit against the New York Times, or the Environmental Protection Agency, for deliberately distorting or mistating a scientific theorem or mangling or perverting data to get a political result? Are a sizeable majority of scientists now corrupt? Well, without saying as much in so many words, many of them do get government grants, don’t they?
Let’s take the example of our typical ‘local community’ above and ask the same question. Corrupt? How could a ‘community’ be corrupt? Well, here’s a little item about the influence of the ‘feds’ with their limitless pile of ready-printed cash prodding the locals to “conform”:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards represent the first nutritional overhaul of school snacks in more than 30 years. The regulations set limits for fat, salt and sugar sold in places such as vending machines and snack bars. School foods must contain at least 50% whole grains or have a fruit, vegetable, dairy or protein as the first ingredient. Foods that contain at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetables will also be allowed.
That’s right – chances are your local school system has been corrupted by the federal government into accepting school lunch or other funding in return for allowing a federal agency to dictate the caloric intake of your children, or what curriculum some East Coast consortium decided your child should be subject to. Do you feel dirty? You should. See, another institution, local control of local issues,is going by the wayside because you and your fellow school patrons are allowing your school board to take the money.
Yes, money explains a lot, doesn’t it? Not all of it. A lot of it is just the result of seeds of propaganda planted decades ago, carefully watered, fertilized and nurtured and infused into the popular culture, with man-behind-the curtain gimmickry to manipulate the sympathies, empathies and compassions of all kinds of people into believing there are all these “problems” to be solved and they can’t be solved with out the assistance and direction of “the government.” Which reminds us – in our list of institutions going defunct, we failed to include the Congress of the United States of America.
Some Holdouts for Integrity –
Roy Spencer Alveda King Mary Grabar
h/t: Political Realities