At what point will we be able to end the lies that have crippled and bastardized our political process. It started with, “slant”, then "spin" but unfortunately has morphed into bald-faced, deliberate LIES! Ex-Gov. Palin is one of the more recent practitioners of this insidious practice. Note: Death Panels! http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32412764/ns/politics-the_new_york_times/
"Just last summer, Congress overwhelmingly approved legislation requiring doctors to discuss the issue with new Medicare enrollees. And the government already requires hospitals and nursing homes to help patients with advance directives or living wills if they want support, under a 1992 law passed under Republican President George H.W.Bush.”
The Fourth Estate, at least the mainstream Press, has totally abdicated its role as defenders of our liberties and the provider of information to fuel this democracy. They cover stories like the health plan reform, focusing on the hype and factually incorrect statements without vetting the actual truth.
Then when the truth is exposed, usually by the alternative Press, they continue to cover the same story as if it was true or an “honest” opinion.
“And even though those claims have been widely discredited, the issue remains a political weapon in the increasingly bitter health care debate.”
My point is that even the mainstream press justifies these lies as a “political weapon.” It is not. It is a LIE.
When people see the same story day after day week after week, it is not unreasonable that they would think it as true. Groups, organizations, parties and cabals have figured this out and use it to their advantage. This is why the losers are talking; because they can AND it falsely reinforces their “message.” So the mainstream press continues to follow the “Death Panel” story, despite it be debunked.
I have yet to hear of a discussion of the over 48,000,000, citizens without health care. What type of society spends more on giving convicts three squares a day, free health care, gym privileges and a roof over their heads, while cutting funding for education, early childhood development and the social safety net, et al, for law abiding citizens?
Well, the State of California has recently done just that. It is cutting all of the above programs not to the bone, but to the marrow. Talk about a “Death Panel!!” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger used his line item veto to cut more money out of education, local governments and social programs and ADDED $400,000,000, to build a new wing on San Quentin State Prison’s Death Row. Who is really going to die? Looking at the length of time most prisoners are on death row, it will surely be law abiding citizens. How many children that are going to be denied the educational and social support needed to thrive will end up at San Quentin, continuing the cycle that has yet to be broken?
It appears that we must hold our political operatives to a higher standard of truthfulness. I would propose that we need to require each political operative to be “under oath” when ever they speak publicly about a political matter. Make it a part of the oath of office for elected and appointed officials at every level of government and a job requirement for all staff and consultants. The violation level should be consistent with the “high crimes and treason” provision that impeachment requires. I don’t want any long dissertations on freedom of speech. Lying about political issues is tantamount to yelling “Fire!” in a theater.
"Shouting fire in a crowded theater" is a frequent misquoting of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. opinion in the case of Schenck v. United States, in 1919. The misquote often fails to mention falsely (emphasis mine) shouting fire to highlight that speech which is merely dangerous and false, which can be distinguished from truthful but also dangerous.
As for the Fourth Estate, they need to revisit their guidelines on how to cover what is opinion, what is fact and what is unsubstantiated, and clearly label each. A statute similar to that suggested for elected officials should be considered. Instead of shrinking staffs, there should be more investigative reporting to assist them on correctly labeling reports. They do have an Op-Ed page for many of these stories. Maybe the broadcast and online media should have similar vehicles with every story’s dissemination.
"Don't lend a hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools"