I am the first one to say that election fraud by the Republics in 2004 is the only reason that John Kerry is not President today. But one awful, damaging dirty trick they played, which lent credibility to Senator Kerry’s political demise, was the forming of the RNC front group “The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth”.
In the Good Old Days – i.e., before the Republics eviscerated the Fairness Doctrine and paved the way for massive media consolidation – there was an appreciation that the airwaves were public property. There was also an understanding that a free and truthful press was an important part of a functioning democracy. Democracy, after all, depends on the electorate having correct and timely information disseminated by the media in order to vote for the candidate that, as closely as possible in our current two-party system, represents its views. Finally, the media understood the difference between news and entertainment. The news divisions were not supposed to turn a profit. News was not flashy and exciting – it was informative. The love life of Farrah Fawcett, for example, did not rate a segment on Walter Cronkite’s newscast.
In those Good Old Days, the Orwell Tribute Band called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth would not have made it onto the teevee, or on the radio, or in the papers. The group’s claims of having served with John Kerry, their “evidence” of his supposed cowardice, their smears regarding him “throwing away” his medals – all would have been investigated and debunked BEFORE they disgraced the public airwaves. Yet these transparent, blatant Liars for Rove were able to commandeer all media outlets, mostly for free and mostly unopposed by Kerry’s campaign, for almost an entire month.
Our media is broken almost beyond repair. The pundits on TV, and even the “news reporters”, lie with impunity (remember Brit Hume and Bill Bennett conflating two parts of FDR’s speech to make it appear that Roosevelt was FOR privatization of Social Security?), while pundits and reporters that attempt to report the truth about the Administration (Ashleigh Banfield, Dan Rather, Phil Donahue and others come to mind) are relentlessly hounded out of their jobs. The only thing that has kept me sane during Dubya’s Reign of Terra has been the Internet, and of course, the Republics are desperately trying to break that as well.
When we have a Democratic super-majority in this country in 2009, one of the most important issues we must address is Truth in Media. Restore the Fairness Doctrine and de-consolidate the media as we once did to AT&T. Let’s kick the liars off our property.