Opaque transparency or smoke and mirrors
By Dr. Robert Owens
Remember the promise of transparency that helped win the Presidency? All bills passing Congress would be posted for 5 days before signed. Seems the rules have changed. Apparently the pledge only applied to NON-emergency bills and everything is an emergency in the New Republic. The first bill signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was apparently an emergency. We had to pass the pork-laden stimulus bill before any of the Best-Congress-Money-Can-Buy could read it otherwise unemployment might reach the unacceptable 8% range though most of the provisions wouldn't kick in for months or years. The Bums-Rush is also being applied to the nationalization of medicine though the provisions of this monstrosity conveniently won't overwhelm us until after the next presidential election.
In a direct assault against even the possibility of transparency the Chicago trained attack machine in the West Wing (Chicago's 51st Ward) decided they have the power to decide what constitutes news. For months they've refused to allow anyone on Fox. This started when Chris Wallace had the bad taste to fact-check several statements made by White House officials and then the inexcusably bad taste to mention the official statements didn't line up with the facts. This was bad enough but Fox commentator Glenn Beck dared to expose Obama adviser Van Jones as a self-proclaimed communist and then air the Acorn prostitution sting the totally transparent Obama White House decided it was time to muzzle the only major news network not in the tank. The Obama Whitehouse declared war on Fox News.
Led by Chicago's Dynamic Duo Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod Communications Director Anita Dunn was sent out to label Fox News a "wing of the Republican Party." What does that rodeo-clown Beck go and do? Instead of taking his caning and beginning to act like the trained seals on the other networks he has the bad taste to point out that Anita Dunn says Mao Zedong is one of her favorite political philosophers. What self-respecting Fearless Leader in training could abide such disrespect? Mao wouldn't. Castro wouldn't. Even that little tin-pot Stalin-wannabe Chavez doesn't put up with this kind of insolence.
The President doesn't seem to have time between campaign stops and basketball games to tend to the real war in Afghanistan but his war against the American economy and Fox News is going well. The economic system is being overwhelmed in debt and strangled by regulations. Initially the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media were silent concerning the assault on Fox. Then the administration stepped in the leadership. They reached too far in attempting to exclude Fox News from the pool of reporters allowed to interview the Pay Czar about his intention to dictate executive pay.
This not only said, "Fox is unacceptable" something the trained seals would clap for as they balanced their stenographer pads on their nose but it also implicitly pointed out they were government shills in all but name, pay and benefits. The true nature of this Orwellian administration was finally becoming a little too transparent even for the network spokespersons. So one after another they found what may once have been a spine and they let the White House know that if Fox was excluded no one would be there to parrot the words of the administration.
So to save face the corporate flacks have made a move to stave off the loss of free speech. The administration may have stepped back but one step back and two steps forward will not preserve our constitutionally protected right of free speech for long. Mark Lloyd Diversity Czar at the FCC seeks to gain greater control of broadcasting with the aim of curtailing the daily drip-drip of conservative commentary by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. In cyber space Net Neutrality is nothing but the patently unfair Fairness Doctrine for the Internet. Political correctness has taken its toll of the spoken word. We no longer know what to call who when what is acceptable changes with the winds of doctrine. The fairness police continue trying to choke freedom out of speech using hate crime laws and peer pressure. Trying to malign and marginalize the only network that isn't acting as a fax service for administration press releases isn't exactly what I envisioned when I heard that pledge to be the most transparent administration in history. It's more like the smoke and mirrors that passes for representative government in a one party state like Chicago.
Those who believe the Constitution is a Living Document they can self-amend at will continue to chip away at the traditional definitions of what it means to be free. If those of us who want to remain free don't use our remaining freedom to protect our freedom soon it may not be politically correct to even remind people that once we were free.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Religion, and Leadership for Southside Virginia Community College. Contact Dr. Owens. © 2009 Robert R. Owens http://robertrowens.com/ Dr. Owens is available for speaking engagements.
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