OK, enough Kumbaya. I’m angry.
My hair has been on fire since I read the following quote from former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, who wants to be president:
“America’s creditworthiness just became the latest casualty in President Obama’s failed record of leadership on the economy. Standard & Poor’s rating downgrade is a deeply troubling indicator of our country’s decline under President Obama. His failed policies have led to high unemployment, skyrocketing deficits and now, the unprecedented loss of our nation’s prized AAA credit rating.”
Mr. Romney’s claim is so blatantly hypocritical it takes my breath away.
If this nation is in decline; if it does fall, it can, in my opinion, be traced back to three dates:
12 DECEMBER 2000
As most DemWit readers know, I am a retired newspaper editor with degrees in political science and journalism, so I’ve long had a propensity toward both.
I began to monitor politics in earnest following the 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore, simply because I could not believe what had just taken place in the United States of America.
Two of this country's most famous lawyers wrote books about this decision:
Charles Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi (boo-lee-O-see) wrote “The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President.” Law professor and famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz wrote “Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000.”
What happened that day wasn’t about your favorite candidate: it was about the real loser, the Constitution of the United States of America. That got lost in the joy of victory and the agony of defeat.
20 JANUARY 2001
How do you argue that George W. Bush, inaugurated on this date, was the worst president ever to occupy the Oval Office? Where do you begin? How do you disseminate in a single article, post or conversation what I referred to in a previous post as “a million pieces of evidence”?
If we view his presidency in terms of our current economic crisis – “treasure” – the equation is quite simple: two wars and tax cuts equal bad fiscal policy.
If we view it in terms of “blood,” how do we measure the cost in countless lives – military and civilian - lost in an unnecessary, pre-emptive, unilateral war to overthrow a tinpot dictator who was no threat to us at all?
And, that’s just two of the million pieces of evidence known to those who paid attention. In his second term – indeed, in his recent book – Bush was concerned for his “legacy.” For the most part, he managed to turn around advances made over decades. History will not be kind.
7 OCTOBER 1996
The first lie was its slogan, “Fair and Balanced.” Since its launch date, Fox News Channel has been the propaganda arm of the Republican Party. The flagship of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has the highest ratings of the three cable news networks, attracting the conservative half of the country. Viewers who tune in simply because Fox News is biased toward their ideology don’t want news, they want validation. Under the skillful direction of Roger Ailes, Fox News has manipulated both the ignorant and the uninformed, convincing its audience to trust no other news source.
According to Frank Rich in New York Magazine
, in an in-depth piece about Murdoch's phone-hacking scandal in England, right-wing Canadian media mogul Conrad Black, in the Financial Times, "describes Murdoch as not merely a ‘tabloid sensationalist’ but ‘a malicious mythmaker, an assassin of the dignity of others and of revered institutions, all in the guise of anti-elitism.’ Or as the former Bush speechwriter David Frum said more than a year ago, ‘Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we’re discovering we work for Fox.’ ”
There are Web sites like Newshounds and Media Matters for America which have meticulously documented the lies on Fox News, based on direct quotes from its shows.
Incredulously, Fox News actually used lying as a defense in a court case:
“In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by Fox News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.”
But, there is a good rule-of-thumb used by credible media: always get more than one source. If you must watch Fox News, don’t let it be your only source of news.
There have been many days that shook America - from the stock market crash of '29 to Pearl Harbor to 9/11 - but I believe the three dates above have affected America's present and will have a sustained effect on its future.