Sunday, June 26, 2005

"Fascism": Sesame Street's word of the day

After the election, my father, uncle and I debated about what the totalitarian regime that Bush would try and create would look like. My father and I were thinking "fascism," playing on the fear of the American people to create a mostly secular, corporate-backed, kleptocratic fascist state. My uncle was betting on theocracy, demanded and managed by the evangelist Christian right. Obviously, the debate was premature. But it seems less hasty every day.

In his latest editorial, Frank Rich tells the emerging story of how the administration is harnessing public radio and television as propaganda outlets. Some highlights:
  1. Kenneth Tomlinson, the chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, paid someone $14,170 to watch Bill Moyer's "Now" and listen to programs on NPR like the Diane Rehm show, in order to rate every guest as either C for conservative or L for liberal (liberal meaning anti-administration).
  2. Patricia Harrison, the new president of the CPB is a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee who, as assistant secretary of state, praised the fake news stories that her department produced as "good news" stories.
  3. Tomlinson today is head of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees all of the United States' non-military propaganda outlets. So he is simultaneously the head of our propaganda efforts oversees and our domestic public broadcasting effort.
So the corporate MSM has no problem cementing pseudo-fascist ties to the administration, and now the public broadcasting infrastructure is at risk of becoming another branch of the administration's propaganda machine. Good luck, democracy. It was nice knowing you.


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