Government Shutdown—no big deal—it’s all political razzmatazz

NPR.org says, “Drawn-out fights over spending bills are nothing new for Congress. But that’s where the fights used to stay: in Congress. The rest of the country didn’t have to pay much attention to countdown clocks and all this drama. In the ’60s and ’70s down until 1980, it was not taken that seriously at all,” says Charles Tiefer, a former legal adviser to the House of Representatives, who now teaches at the University of Baltimore Law School. 

If budget battles were pretty much ignored by the voting public before the 1980s, why is a federal government shut down such a hot-button issue today?

The answer is simple but shocking: after President Ronald Reagan’s veto killed the Fairness Doctrine in 1987—an FCC policy introduced in 1949 that was designed to keep the media more transparent and honest in its reporting and opinions—an industry that was dying, AM radio, saw the explosion of Rush Limbaugh and others like him as they launched conservative talk radio claiming to be the voice of a ‘silent majority’.

With the Fairness Doctrine gone, these conservative voices were free to mislead all they wanted. After all, the 1st Amendment that protects the freedom of expression in America from government intervention says nothing about being honest.

I think that most Americans have heard of the liberal media and its bias—after all the conservative media machine never let us forget—but few may realize that there is also a conservative media machine much larger than just AM talk radio.

The following list is not complete but it will give you an idea of how large and influential the conservative media machine has become: Source: Watch.org [to see a list of liberal news outlets, click on this link from Watch.org].

Accuracy in Media

Avinu News Avinu News.com

Citizens United

The Conservative Voice conservativevoice.com

Conservatives Forum conservativesforum.com

Constitution Society constitution.org

Cybercast News Service

Drudge Report

Ether Zone etherzone.com

The Federal Observer federalobserver.com

The Third Report ThirdReport.com

Federal Review federalreview.com

Fox News: Bill O’Reilly (O’Reilly Factor); Shepard Smith; Greta Van Susteren; Brit Hume; Rita Crosby

Free Republic

FrontPageMag.com

GOPUSA

Hannity & Colmes (Fox News)

Human Events Online humaneventsonline.com

LewRockwell.com lewrockwell.com

Media Research Center: “Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996.”

MensNewsDaily.com

Move America Forward

Mullings mullings.com

National Review Online

NewsMax NewsMax.com

The Northern Right northernright.com

The Patriotist patriotist.com

The Third Report ThirdReport.com

Restoring America restoringamerica.org

RightMarch.com / rightmarch.com

Right Wing News rightwingnews.com

Rush Limbaugh

Sierra Times sierratimes.com

Talon News (see article)

Town Hall

Wall Street Journal Opinion opinionjournal.com

Washington Times

Weekly Standard

WorldNetDaily

Now that US citizens have been stirred up by these two battling media machines, how has this political propaganda influenced America?

On September 25, 2013, a CBS poll reported, “Eighty percent of Americans say threatening a government shutdown during budget debates is not an acceptable way to negotiate; only 16 percent think it is.”

A Washington Post ABC News Poll found that “Barely one in four (26 percent) approve of congressional Republicans’ handling of budget negotiation …”

Reuters reported, “Forty-six percent said that if government agencies and programs start closing on Tuesday, they would fault Republicans in Congress while 36 percent said they would blame Obama, the CNN survey found. Thirteen percent said both would be at fault.

“About 60 percent of the 803 U.S. adults polled said they want lawmakers to pass a budget agreement to avoid the shutdown, according to the telephone survey conducted over the weekend.” Note: Reuters is an international news agency headquarters in London, United Kingdom, and Reuters has a strict policy toward upholding journalistic objectivity.

The truth is there is nothing to worry about.  Gallup reported on October 1, 2013 that “History Suggests Shutdown Stakes May Not Be That High—As the U.S. government shuts down for the first time since 1996, historical Gallup data show the shutdown 17 years ago had either no effect or a short-term impact on Americans’ views of the U.S. and of the political players involved.”

In conclusion, I think the American people should be more concerned about the fact that the private-sector media in America is no longer free to report objective news and opinions, because the media is mostly controlled by one political machine or the other and there is little we hear or see that can be trusted.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The end of honesty in America?

The Costco Connection ran an interesting piece titled Won’t Get Fooled Again.  It does not take sides in the presidential election, but it does go into detail offering advice on how to sift through all the claims to discover what is real and what is bogus and provides links to sites that help find the truth based on reputable facts.

Sources mentioned are: Fact Check.org, Politi Fact.com, Washington Post Fact Checker, Urban Legends.com, Snopes.com, and Vote Smart.org

It is worth reading this Costco Connection piece and sharing with anyone that doesn’t want to be fooled by either side.

However, it is tragic to report that the GOP has spent decades, ever since President Reagan vetoed the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, a policy designed to insure balance and honesty in the media, contributing to an environment of distrust in the US.

Since then, special interests with personal and political agendas have planted seeds of doubt in a large portion of the population to distrust the sources mentioned in this article that will help people discover the facts that reveal the truth of an issue.

When Reagan vetoed the Fairness Doctrine, he opened the door to a one-sided media environment based on lies and deceit, because it was about the same time that conservative talk radio exploded and Rupert Murdock, a known neoconservative, laid the foundations of his Fox Network in 1985 and launched Fox in 1986 right on time to take advantage of President Reagan’s veto.

Then there is this: “In 1987, the FCC abolished the Fairness Doctrine, and AM radio began to make changes. The changes paved the way for syndicated personality Rush Limbaugh and others like him to rise to prominence by “offering a voice for the ‘silent majority'” that he believed had gone unheard by the mainstream media (Which he nicknamed the ‘Drive Bys’). Helped by a syndication arrangement that was financially appealing to local stations, conservatives like Limbaugh began to take over the airwaves.”

In fact, the same TV and radio programs that benefit from the vetoed Fairness Doctrine use fear tactics to keep it from coming back.  They claim it will create censorship.

However, all the Fairness Doctrine did was ensure a reasonable opportunity for the airing of opposing viewpoints on controversial issues so Americans could hear both sides of an issue from the same radio or TV program.

What is wrong with being informed? Why does the Republican Party and conservative talk radio and TV want to censure the other side of an issue that someone such as Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck promote in a one-sided way?

Maybe that is why America now has sites such as Vote Smart.org and the others that The Costco Connection recommends that I listed above with links.

Discover The going, going, gone American Dream

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”