If you want to see what impact that unholy alliance of a free press and corporation can have on our society you need look no further than Tim Russert. I'm sorry, it's either unholy, or "delicious," and if that little quote doesn't tell a tale itself about the press, I don't know what does.
The media is concentrated in the hands of a few, we know this, and that means the power is in those same hands, and that concentration is destroying that great concept of a free press in the process. Destroys their ability to report, to act as a lever of power, to exercise some control over the dialogue of politics.
And politicians, whose coin of the realm is power, are free to wield that power as they will.
So what, you say, that's what they do anyway. Maybe, but not so wantonly, so recklessly as Sen Webb said, not so incompetently either. As Cathie Martin, Cheney's Communication Director explained it,
"You didn't have a lot of hands-on experience dealing with the press?" defense attorney Theodore Wells asked.
"Correct," Martin replied. After further questions, she added: "Few of us in the White House had had hands-on experience with any crisis like this."
This trial is damning to the media monopolies, humiliating to Tim Russert and his ilk, an unanticipated revelation of the collusion between the press and the White House. Revealing the connections that quickly between the Corporate media and Politicians is not something I expected to happen in the second day of the trial, but it did, because of the binding connection of one man. One man who shows the danger of that connection to the health of our nation. Because one deranged man with control over the levers of power can cause a lot of hurt. And while Dana Milbank thinks it's "delicious," I think it's criminal, because of one man.
Enter Dick Cheney. Both Corporate Man, and frightened little man. By his actions, by the philosophy he presents to the world, he exposes himself as a man who does not belief in the idea of shared governance, of trusting that others are capable of doing the “right thing.” He exposes his lack of confidence in America to deal with the challenges of the future, he reveals his contempt for his fellow man with that sneer for California’s call for conservation during the Enron crisis, he shows his lack of humanity with his killing, I won’t say the euphemistic shooting, of caged animals, in sum, he sells us all short because of his inadequacy and inability to imagine others competence.
And through his fear his only construct for dealing with the vagaries and unpredictability and beauty of life, is control within the framework of the corporation, more precisely, the ability of corporations to control and unduly benefit from the resolution of the challenges of life and the future.
This is Dick Cheney, a man driven by his inordinate fear and base immaturity into the camps of the neo-cons and the bullies and the greed-mongers. And thanks to the consolidation of the free press he has the means for driving his demons into submission. Thanks to that press imbalance, using tools like the Premier Sunday Political Talk Show, Big Time Dick can stand with a foot in both the Corporate world and the Political world, sitting on his faithful steed Timmeh, a scared, scarred, old man, and spread his ignorance and ruination on us all, and it’s going to be a real test of our newly elected Congress and the reporters on the ground to see if they can change their slide into toothless irrelevance and bust up the Gang of 500 and their Corporate Masters.
They need pressuring, to stop consolidation, to return the Fairness Doctrine, to shame the Broder's and Timmeh's and Milbanks into less protective vindictiveness, or into irrelevance. That's the problem, with consolidation and corporatization, stars like Russert and Miller and Brian Williams get rich and assimilated. They're no longer members of the press, but members of the punditry and cocktail circuit, part of the story and not reporters of the story. That's the world of corporations, that's part of Dick Cheney's world, and the failure of the press to expose Cheney's other world, the world of fear and inadequecy, is what's killing people in Iraq today.
I wonder if Tim Russert responds to the news, or is he too big to notice?