When comic critique informs what “legitimate news” distorts – it’s time to be afraid – be very afraid…

On Nov.9,  Glenn Beck accomplished what fake news on Comedy Central could not.   His obsessive ravings regarding his nemesis George Soros were aired in  a three-part expose.  In this series, Beck succeeded in connecting  a delusional string of random “facts”  under the guise of serious “news.”

According to Beck, the now 80-year-old Soros was behind several violent coups – and is now bent on adding the good ‘ole US of A to his list of conquests.  The implication being that Soros is the puppet-master with Obama and his minions cast in the role of the puppets.  And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

Comedy Central brings us fair and balanced…

When did we get to the point in our country where hacks like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh can masquerade as legitimate “journalists?”  The drivel they dish out week after week may be a very satisfying diet for the angry but willfully ignorant set.  But no one reasonably informed and in sound mind  can possibly use the words “news” or “journalism” in the same breath with these conspiracy theories.

Infomercials are more fair and balanced than this nonsense.  Not that MSNBC is much better in this regard – but liberal pundits generally tend to be just that – liberal – not insane.  And although the way the report things tends to be biased slightly to the left – they are real stories and not  the delusions of someone who drank too much Kool Aide.  One could argue that Pravda – the official government news organization of the old Soviet Union was more unbiased than the likes of  Beck, Hannity or Limbaugh.

Leave it to the Daily Show and Jon Stewart to  redress the balance and expose this nonsense for what it was.  But I have to ask – where are we as a country when a comedy channel finds itself in the role of “spin buster”?  The right has Fox News and the left has Comedy Central?  That’s a scary place to be.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
George Soros Plans to Overthrow America
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The Fairness Doctrine and Responsible Journalism

It wasn’t always this way.  When I was growing up back in the dark ages of the 1970s and even into the 1980s the Fairness Doctrine was in place.  Broadcasters like Fox News and MSNBC could not have existed  as they do now because the law required that broadcasters devote some airtime to controversial issues that were of public import – and required that these issues be presented in honest, equitable and balanced way.

Editorials – were always followed up with a response from an opposing view.  That came under the rubric of “Equal Time”.  Furthermore,  news was news and editorials were editorials and there were firm lines between the two.  Those lines in the sand have been blurred into so many shades of gray that it is difficult if not impossible for all but the most well-informed to discern the difference.

The FCC abolished the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 and it is probably no coincidence that the likes of Beck and Limbaugh made their way to the top of the airwaves during the 90s.  With no requirement to offer contrasting views they were free to lather up the simmering fury in their audience  Thus engaged, these followers voted with their feet and with maddening reliability managed to respond to the spin in election after election.

But what’s sauce for the goose…..

Why can’t the liberals respond in kind?  They can and they do – but powerful monied interests are behind  conservative talk radio and Fox Noise.  Liberals can’t match that purse and sadly we live in a dumbed down world of sound bites.  The biggest megaphone wins every time.   If someone repeated over and over and over again that gravity didn’t exist – many Americans would be gullible enough to start believing it.  After all – its only a theory!

Wither Net Neutrality…

There are those who want the Fairness Doctrine to be reinstated.  Given the money that has been thrown at conservative talk radio and Fox – I have to agree that this would probably be a healthy turn of events.  But our robber baron economy would make such a change difficult if not impossible.

Net Neutrality will be the next battleground.   The right is itching to control the pipes on the internet and Verizon and Google have already moved in on the wireless internet.  For those who do not understand the implications of the end of net-neutrality – the video below is short but informative. Already Google and Verizon have moved in and are dismantling net-neutrality in the wireless arena.

Legislation Anyone?

Silly me!  I thought Congress might respond to this important issue with something simple like a small piece of legislation.  But Congress being weighed down by the tyranny of the minority has not stomach for this particular fight. Simple legislation could keep both the wireless and wired internet neutral  but I’m not holding my breath.

© 2010 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – http://www.therobberbaroneconomy.com – All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to When comic critique informs what “legitimate news” distorts – it’s time to be afraid – be very afraid…

  1. Pingback: The Robber Baron Economy » Countdown withe Keith Olbermann Signs Off - the same week the Comcast Acquisition of NBC Was Approved by the FCC.

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