Media and the Left

An addition to the playbook of the Left 

Being a member of the most destructive generation, that 60s brigade that has been marching through the institutions for these past forty years, I end up with a perspective that is perhaps somewhat different from the general. My cohort of politicized friends and associates were radicalised in what was the most self-indulgent group of people ever to be raised anywhere on the planet. In my estimate, amongst us, for every one that turned to the right in their adult years, four have remained welded to the left. 

A book has just been published by Stanley Kurtz on the American President. Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism is apparently an exposé revealing Obama’s deeply left wing views. To be unaware of the direction from whence this man came would have to make you one of the great political innocents of our time. It is not that no one knew. It is that no one cared that is so distressing. This is a presidency that we will be paying for and repenting in leisure for a very long time to come. I am completely unable to think through how to reverse the damage he has caused, but perhaps others are more inventive than I am. And there is no reason to be sure he won’t win again in 2012. 

Included in the new playbook of the left, as shown by the actions of Barack Obama, seems to be not only to attack the media directly which is an old story but also to focus on an entire network. Fox in the US, the Rupert Murdoch owned news network, has been under direct focused assault by the President and members of his Cabinet. Not over any particular story, mind you, but as an attempt to discredit the network as a worthy news source at all. This has not been to war with particular journalists but to try to find some way to undermine an actual source of news and comment with the clear intent to drive it from the air. It has thus far been unsuccessful because, given the extensive failures in everything he has touched, Barack Obama has far less authority than he once did so that he can no longer command the allegiance of anyone other than the hardest of his core support. 

Here we have seen the same in a minor sort of way, with the focused government attack on The Australian over the issue of the NBN. If ever there has been an issue for which a government deserves the most relentless pressure, it is over the decisions that surround the $43 billion initial cost of the National Broadband Network that will potentially end up being one of the most colossal wastes of money in the history of the Commonwealth. And this is a statement that can be made without fear of contradiction since there has not been a single study undertaken by the government to show that it is not so. They are determined to waste our money and there is not a thing we can do about it. 

And it’s not as if The Australian has been alone in trying to show that the NBN is a financial black hole. It is a universal amongst virtually all commentators outside the government and its circle of advisors. From Treasury to the ACCC, no one within the public service is breaking ranks but there are no end of observers on the outside who are utterly dismayed by this fantastic waste of taxpayer funds that will divert enormous amounts of our productivity into what will make this country less well off than if nothing were done at all. 

Meanwhile, back in the US, where all of the high stakes games are being played, we have had the firing of Juan Williams from NPR, the National Public Radio network, in large part because he appeared on Fox. A bit of a tempest in a teapot, you might think, but there is a quite interesting follow up that ought to make you really nervous about our press freedoms and access to information. 

What NPR, and its CEO Vivian Schiller are in the midst of, according to this story by Tara Servatius on Townhall.com is the creation of a quite spectacular association of leftist news sources to replace the failing mainstream media that is under the most intense financial pressure across the world. This is how this association is described: 

It’s a digital network in partnership with all the nation’s public news providers, built to distribute their news locally, regionally and nationally. NPR has already built a state-of-the-art internal ‘wire’ service in the style of the Associated Press to carry and distribute the news. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded seven multi-million dollar regional journalism centers with news teams to produce and distribute the new public news product. 

The internet is not the antidote to a government controlled media. If the media even as it exists can make Barack Obama President, there is no telling what would happen if our traditional news sources should actually retreat from where they now are to providing almost no news at all aside from what the NPRs of the world are willing to let you know.

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