Sunday, October 24, 2004

Culture of Fear Rules Editorial Pages Too

The Toxic Twins of the Cincinnati media landscape have put out their endorsements for President and wouldn't you know it, but they backed Bush. Yes, shocking I know. (cough, cough)

What is not so laughable is that both newspapers base their endorsements on fear. They don't come out and say it directly, but their motivation is quite clear. They have fallen into Bush's plan. Bush has perpetuated the fear of terrorism on the entire country. He has shown us no way to ever defeat it and his actions have helped solidify a future with an increased number of groups and countries out to do the USA harm. For a reason I can't fathom both editorial boards (or just publishers) think that the guy who knows how to make more terrorists want to kill Americans can somehow defeat them. If this attitude exists on a wide enough scale, which it does in most Bush supporters, then we as a nation are doomed to a new Cold War. Islamism (the war blogger term for Muslim terrorists or all stripes) will be or is the new Communism. A new enemy has been created to fear, and Bush has succeeded in making the Enquirer and Post fear it like a child fears the bogeyman. No wonder they fear OTR. Here is a critique of both.

The Cincinnati Post
I really am perplexed by the poorly written (on a contextual basis) editorial in the Post. It felt like a bad casserole, with chunks of really rotten meat stinking up rather bland pasta. They praise Bush, but somehow find him blameless for Iraq:
In his first major execution of that policy, the war in Iraq, we believe Bush was led astray. It is deeply troubling that, having won the battle we were unprepared to win the peace.


He is an honorable man who, without precedent to guide him, made a difficult decision to invade Iraq as one early step in a struggle with terrorists that, sadly, may last for decades.
So, let me get this straight, they believe in Bush's leadership, but think he led us astray in the war on Iraq. Now, they do for some unknown reason say Bush was led astray. I thought the President was the leader. If he is not the leader, then who is and why are they not President? I thought the President was the person who they praised for his leadership, but now they say he FAILED by letting someone else lead us? Their logic here is confusing doubletalk at best, and well, just plain crap at worst. Their last line should read "With George W. Bush we choose stability, continuity and decisive leadership (well except on that Iraq thingy)."

What was most disappointing is that they filled it with propaganda. They used anti-Kerry talking points right from the GOP as crib notes for their writing session. Are they really are fooled by the Bush/Cheney line about Kerry's position on Iraq? It is one thing for a politician to say them or one of their flunkies or even for a Bush worshiper, but for professional journalists? They even trout out the bullshit comparing Bush's "legislative" record to Kerry's. It was as if they just reworded Bush's debate prep. Why not just put a picture of Flipper in there in be done with trying to appeal to a literate crowd. Did Portman write this?

The Cincinnati Enquirer
In their editorial today I just don't grasp what the hell they are saying:
The next four years will require a president who has the fortitude not to waver in the face of terror. George W. Bush and John Kerry are both strong and patriotic men, but we believe the times call for America to be consistent. For that reason we support Bush.
Consistency? That's the reason for wanting Bush? They don't want to change? So more of the same, as Kerry puts it, is just what they want? I hate to whip out my favorite quote from RWE but:
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
They then put forth lies
We wish the president were willing to acknowledge the mistakes that were made, and to hold accountable those in his administration who made them. But other nations and past administrations all believed Saddam had the weapons and was willing to use them.
It is true that most countries agreed that Iraq had failed to account for all of his WMD after the first Gulf War, but not that he still had them in any volume to harm us or that he had any significant programs to build more. Bush said all of that was true, but like the Post, they put the blame on someone else in the Administration, not on the man at the top. Why? Why allow Bush to dodge responsibility? Again like the Post the Enquirer can't seem to be consistent itself in praising real leadership, instead of Bush's brand of walking in front of driverless bus.

On homeland security they don't say why Bush is good, they say that Kerry can't pay for anything he wants to do. WHAT ABOUT YOUR CANDIDATE? What the hell? It is as if Bush just did everything wrong but we can't fix it, and neither can Kerry, so lets stick with the bad President we have just because he gave us a false sense of security 3 years ago and that can sell us more newspapers.

On economics they just lie:
He's wrong. The over-$200,000 category isn't just "the rich." It's also the bulk of the small and independent business owners in America - a segment of the economy that creates many of the new jobs we need.
A small business man who has revenue over $200,000 does not have taxable income over $200,000. They will not be effected by this. If you have taxable income over $200,000 then you are fucking rich. 99% of Enquirer staffers, if not a higher percentage, do not have taxable income over $200,000, so don't play games here. If the publisher can't make the payment on her third home, well don't spend more than you earn. I don't shed tears for the rich paying a little more than I do.

On Social Security the Enquirer is just ignorant. I have a 401K plan. I don't need another one, as Bush wants me to have. I need an insurance program to help provide me a guaranteed base income when I retire. I need it to be there when I retire. I don't need to put money into stock brokers and Wall Street Banker's pockets.

Neither paper was willing to touch on the social issues. They value money and killing more Muslims over freedom from theocracy, reproductive freedom, and equal citizenship for homosexuals. I guess they don't value those freedoms because they don't fear things that don't personally affect them. Now, to be fair the Enquirer does support the repeal of Article XII and they oppose Issue 1, but both issues conflict with Bush's positions. Not to mention they don't address Bush's future Supreme Court picks which will put this country back in a pre-bellum mindset.

I was not shocked by either editorial. Both papers have conservative editorial boards, all be it not extreme right-wing ones, but more importantly they fear pissing off the West Chester person who sees Bush as a deity, with no flaws. That means they have to back Bush to avoid local flack and a drop in circulation. I wish these newspapers could learn something from the glowing coverage they give the President, be "bold" and don't fear the burbs. Instead, fear your own conscience when you don't tell yourself and your readers the truth.

Wes Flinn and Nick Spencer also comment.

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