William Rivers Pitt comments on the Dan Rather lawsuit and its validity and what it reveals as to manipulation of the press and why the Bush administration continues to get away with so much. I chose some excerpts from his article.
"The only security of all," wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1823, "is in a free press."
Today's "free press," however, bears little resemblance to the conceived constitutional bulwark cherished by the Founders.
In its place, we now have a tightly-woven confederation of profit-seeking businesses that own virtually every print and broadcast news outlet of significance in the country. There is but scant allegiance to the truth found within these outlets, because their foremost priority when reporting on most issues of national consequence is to protect the interests of those parent companies and their advertisers.
If a parent company is heavily involved in the manufacture and sale of weaponry to the Pentagon, for example, that company's pet news outlet will skew its coverage to cast the most favorable light on a war - and on the politicians and political parties who support it - because that is money in the bank for that parent. There is nothing theoretical in this; NBC, MSNBC and CNBC all championed both the Iraq war and its architects, because they are owned by huge defense contractor General Electric, which has profited enormously from the war.
Media conglomerates like Time-Warner - whose massive holdings include CNN, HBO, Warner Bros., AOL, Time magazine, People magazine, dozens of other periodicals, film production companies, book publishers and television networks - are utterly incapable of providing objective reports to the American people regarding a broad constellation of significant and pressing issues. CNN is inescapably connected to all of Time-Warner's myriad subsidiaries and affiliates, and to the political affiliations, which guarantee the biggest profits for these entities.
- William Rivers Pitt
It is sobering to me to realize that we have lost news sources that we used to trust. We have to work a little harder now to find out what is going on, and that is okay. It is part of the responsibility of being a citizen. We just need to recognize and be aware of the change.