Swimming with the Razorfishes

Thursday, September 02, 2004

All the morning spin seems to be about who spoke last night at the convention, who said what, and what a masterstroke the speaker selection has been: a democrat, a jew, a bunch of "Hollywood" types.

But the mass media again fail the public. Even after all the shameful failings in the last few years, journalists are still covering the horse race, not the issues.

  • Shame on journalists for allowing George P. Bush to claim that Texas educational scores improved when, in fact, these figures have been discredited as fradulent; Texas students' test scores are among the lowest in the country.
  • Shame on the journalists for perpetuating the idea that Iraq had some kind of connection to terrorism or to September 11.
  • Shame on the journalists for not questioning the Republican speakers' claim that the Taliban has been ejected from Afganistan when they have been active there for months, attacking U.S. soldiers and civilians.
  • Shame on the journalists for dutifully reporting that the war in Iraq was about "ousting a brutal dictator" when it was sold to the American public quite differently.
  • Shame on the journalists for allowing nearly the whole convention to reference September 11 without questioning why the Bush administration did all it could to block investigations into what actually happened on that day.
  • Shame on the journalists for allowing Republican speakers to talk about honor and truth while the President and Vice President refused to testify to the 9/11 commission under oath, refusing to swear to tell the truth.
  • Shame on the journalists for allowing Republican speakers to talk about compassion and freedom without questioning why the current Republican administration indefinitely holds political prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and writes memos claiming that torture is sometimes good and legal.
  • Shame on the journalists for unquestioningly listening to speakers talk of "Bush Prosperity" in a time of sustained job loss and ballooning debt, all under the first president since Herbert Hoover to have a net loss of jobs during his term.
  • Shame on the journalists for listening to speakers vilify John Kerry for voting against military funding without questioning why Vice President Cheney himself voted against funding for Apache Attack Helicopters, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, as well as F-14 and F-16 attack jets.

Shame on the journalists for not asking questions, shame on the journalists for not demanding the truth. And shame on the Republican party for making these misleading statements at their convention.

This Republican convention has failed to address many of the issues facing our country. Instead the Republican party has created a carnival atmosphere around September 11 and has lead a room full of people in chanting absurd things like "flip flop." We need leaders who speak to issues, not to stereotypes. We need leaders who select representatives for the good of the country, rather than shamefully, cynically selecting representatives to appeal to the "right" demographic.

We need leaders, not demagogues.

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