Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Equating dissent with disloyalty

I can think I can truthfully say that today (as opposed to the last 5 years) the title is not as true as it used to be. As I think I have mentioned before I was not in the US when 911 hit so I had the interesting perspective of watching the US from the outside, and I was appalled. The country blindly followed the current administration because for some reason we seemed to think that if you question the administration you were "unpatriotic". I was reading about George Clooney's new movie, in it he talks about how Murrow stood up against Mcarthy and pointed out to the country how crazy it all was. I never really noticed how far journalism has fallen since then (not that know about "then" first hand) until the Reagan years, he was charismatic and the country seemed to love him. At the time I was too young to appreciate charisma but I could understand trees being chopped down and animals homes being destroyed, something Regan did wholesale (Yet, I don't remember seeing that on TV). Then I see Clinton, a pretty lousy husband by all accounts, but the world could not get enough of his sexual faux pas, and it was politicized like I never thought something could be (I saw that all over the TV). Now for Bush Jr. (Sr. was not my fav pres but with his son for comparison he was fine) he has dominated/abused the political scene and done so with impunity. He has hardly had to answer to the fact about the WMDs and maintains this "great guy" character even after getting caught on tape calling a reporter an "A Hole", having a DUI record, smoking week (and later jabbing Gore for admitting to it)frowning like a spoiled brat during the debate, or the birdie he flips on camera (1,2), the press seems to glaze over all of that... amazing.

Fortunately some of this (a tiny bit) *seems* to be coming back to him (or to his advisors). Anyway, about the whole freedom (a word Bush mangles daily) thing, I think this bit from newsweek is something people should really think about.

"Knowing the outcome doesn't diminish the tension a bit, and Clooney and Grant Heslov's fine-chiseled script resonates with contemporary relevance. 'We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home,' Murrow said in his 1954 McCarthy broadcast. The senator used fear to undermine traditional American freedoms and equate dissent with disloyalty. Any resemblance to the current administration's exploitation of 9/11 is no accident."