Saturday, November 05, 2005

Protests? What Protests?

I was living in San Francisco during the first Gulf War. One Saturday there was an immense protest march starting in the Mission district and ending downtown where a long list of speakers and performers had gathered to lash out at Bush the Elder. Most estimates put the crowd at around 500,000—nearly the population of the city itself—and indeed at the crest of every hill one could see marchers 20 or 30 abreast snaking endlessly through the streets. Aging hippies, skate punks, nuns, soldiers, teachers, bikers, dykes-on-bikes, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and just about every other human category was well represented.
Afterwards, my roommates and I raced home to see if we could catch a glimpse of ourselves or any of our friends on the evening news. To our naive surprise, the local news spent about 15 minutes of its broadcast—an eternity in the TV news biz—interviewing the dozen or so pro-war demonstrators who had gathered near the Alameda naval base. At the very end of the broadcast, the slick Beautiful Person who was reading the TelePrompTer that evening said, “Several thousand demonstrators marched to protest the war. Now this.”
“Well, those news guys know which side their bread is buttered on,” quipped my older and more jaded roommate.
I am therefore not surprised that the main$tream media utterly ignored Thursday’s anti-war demonstrations across the country. A little nudge from the Fourth Estate is all it would take to send George W. Douche and his coven of cronies toppling, but General Electric, Disney, Viacom and the other oligarchs won’t allow it.
The main$tream media aren’t driven simply by greed and laziness as Al Franken contends; they are driven by blatant pro-corporate, pro-administration, pro-war ideology. The only reason anything ‘liberal’ ever makes it into primetime is the M$M’s desperate attempt to maintain the illusion of objectivity, and the dumber we get, the easier their job becomes.

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