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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Colluding journalists lock step with one-view “debaters” silencing difference ─ and Americans call this “democracy”?

Blinding ideologues pandering to power, agreeing upon lies and half truths spewed to a command audience in exclusive settings where substance and debate are denied ─ these do not add up to something called democracy. They only destroy what little democracy there is.
Editing and commentary by 
Carolyn Bennett

ress and Partisans push “ideological claims benefitting narrow elite class”

I.                   DEBATE ISSUE/QUESTION: IRAN

Glenn Greenwald comments this week at the Guardian (UK)

“The very idea that Iran poses some kind of major ‘national security’ crisis for the United States – let alone that there is ‘really no bigger national security’ issue ‘this country is facing’ – is absurd. At the very least, it is highly debatable.

“The United States has Iran virtually encircled militarily.

“Even with the highly implausible fear-mongering claims earlier this year about Tehran’s planned increases in military spending, that nation’s total military expenditures are a tiny fraction of what the United States spends.

Iran has demonstrated no propensity to launch attacks on U.S. soil,
has no meaningful capability to do so, and
would be instantly damaged ─ if not (as Hillary Clinton once put it) ‘totally obliterated’ ─ if they tried.
Even the Israelis are clear that Iran has not even committed itself to building a nuclear weapon.

Glenn Greenwald continues a focus on fact and consequences of journalists in lockstep with Washington. “Establishment journalists, creatures of a highly ideological world … often cause ideology to masquerade as neutral fact”


U.S. drone war on Somalia

“It is often noted that the Catholic Church stridently opposes reproductive rights but it is almost never noted that the Catholic Church just as stridently opposes U.S. militarism and its economic policies that continuously promote corporate cronyism over the poor.

“Too much emphasis on that latter fact might imperil the bipartisan [singular] commitment to those policies, and so discussion of religious belief is typically confined to the safer arena of social issues.

U.S. corporate Washington
drone weapons
offensive wars
“The Catholic Church’s decades-long denouncement of the U.S. government’s military aggression and subservience to the wealthiest ─ is almost always excluded from establishment journalistic circles, even as its steadfast opposition to abortion and gay rights is endlessly touted.

ournalists entrenched in the Washington Beltway culture assume Washington’s narrow, ideological desires and equate them with neutral facts, a false or fake journalistic neutrality.

Quoting Jonathan Schwarz, Greenwald concludes: Whether by design or otherwise, this is what the faux journalistic neutrality always achieves.

It glorifies highly ideological claims that benefit a narrow elite class (the one that happens to own the largest media outlets which employ these journalists) by allowing that ideology to masquerade as journalistic fact.

Establishment journalists are creatures of the [Federal] Washington, D.C., and corporate culture in which they spend their careers and thus absorb and regurgitate all of the assumptions of that culture.  This may be inevitable.

But having everyone indulge the ludicrous fantasy that these journalists are ‘objective’ and ‘neutral’ is most certainly not inevitable.

HAT IF there were no corporate media-government collusion and lockout of substantive ideas and real difference

The group Open Debates recalls that leading up to the 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election, Minnesota public radio and the Minnesota chapter of the League of Women Voters, which alternated sponsorship of the eight gubernatorial debates, insisted that third-party candidate Jesse Ventura be allowed to participate in the debates.

Six weeks before that election, the Star Tribune reported Reform Party candidate Ventura at 10 percentage points in the polls. Three debates later, on October 20, without having aired a single television advertisement, he was at 21 percentage points.

On Election Day, Jesse Ventura captured 37 percent of the vote and the governorship of Minnesota.

2012 U.S. Presidential candidate
Rocky Anderson
Justice Party U.S.
“I was allowed to debate,” the Governor said, commenting on his victory.

I proved that you could go from 10 percent to 37 percent and win if you’re allowed to debate.  Rest assured these two parties [Democrats and Republicans] don’t want to ever see that happen again.

“This is what happens,” Open Debates comments on its website, “when pro-democracy institutions committed to the voters’ interests run debates.”

But a current corrupt system wrapped around the status quo and onerous power vested in the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) dedicated to singular viewpoints, pandering to exclusive interests of the Republican and Democratic parties prohibits democratic openness, difference in person, presentation or viewpoint and precludes substantive, insightful, wide-ranging  debate.

2012 U.S. Presidential candidate
Jill Stein
Green Party
“The CPD excludes independent and third-party candidates that a majority of Americans want to see ─

even though those candidates would raise pressing national issues,
have a chance of winning the race, and
certainly increase voter turnout and debate viewership.

istorically, third party candidates (many of their issues later taken up by major parties) have played critical roles in U.S. democracy by introducing popular and groundbreaking issues and institutions for the common good. Among them ─

Abolition (of slavery)
Woman suffrage (women’s right to vote)
Social security
Child labor laws
Public schools
Direct election of senators
Paid vacations
Unemployment compensation
Labor unions 

But when their voices, different voices, substantive-issue voices are silenced, when they are locked out of public forums and debate platforms, third-party candidates and independents cannot dislodge, uproot or break through the ideological wall, the propaganda and lies, the entrenched Democratic/Republican (corporate media) conspiracy of silence on issues which are [often] at odds with most Americans; and more importantly issues and difference that Americans must hear in order to establish, reaffirm and preserve this Union, the republic, and the enabling instrument of democratic process.

Sources and notes

“Martha Raddatz and the faux objectivity of journalists ─ Establishment journalists are creatures of a highly ideological world and often cause ideology to masquerade as neutral fact” (Glenn Greenwald), October 12, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/12/raddatz-debate-objectivity

Open Debates: the issue, http://www.opendebates.org/theissue/overview.html http://www.opendebates.org/theissue/exclusionofpop.html

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