FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Free Press? There’s No Damn Thing

by ANTHONY GANCARSKI

It’s appropriate that the cable news airs so many Viagra spots just now. Consider what Viagra ultimately is about. So-called erectile dysfunction, of the sort that often as not accompanies performance anxiety. Performance anxiety is the kind of thing that snowballs, whether in sex, sports, or any other performance medium. It’s arguable that National League fans chanting Darryl Strawberry’s name as a taunt — Dar-ryl! Dar-ryl! — was a root cause for Mr. Strawberry’s repeated run-ins with the law. Just because he likes a little rock, he’s a walking punch line for every Sportscenter anchor and sleazy stand-up comic within range of a live mike. Kick the man when he’s down, why don’t you? Never mind that Straw was so over twenty years ago that UTFO recorded “Chocolate Strawberry” in homage to the slugger and what he represented to Mets fans. Long limbed grace, a sweet, natural swing. The potential to be one of the greats.

But, of course, Darryl Strawberry is a joke. Easiest thing imaginable to slap him around in absentia. Like masturbating, or taking liberties with a corpse, or calling plays without a defense. The willingness of so many in the national media establishment to take joy in Strawberry’s problems with laws relating to substance abuse — I don’t see any crack dealers putting him in jail — reflects an elemental cowardice in the corporate media caste. A willingness to destroy the powerless, to mock human suffering, to reflect their sponsors’ interests by way of selling American citizens on so many despicable lies.

But I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before. And it’s goddamned un-American too, in case you’re keeping track of such things. Better to front like you’re facing some moral dilemma as you decide what street gang gets your protection money. Crips or Bloods. US or UN. Focus on the uniforms and the signs of authority, and don’t ask too many questions. Because it’s like Katherine Graham said, there are some things the people don’t have the right to know.

Or maybe it’s more like how John Swinton put it. The former Chief of Staff of the New York Times, in 1953 [the figurative dawn of the national security state], claimed that “there is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

Of course, most everyone reading this knows Swinton is telling the truth here. We see the Democrats wrestling their consciences, only to take a fall for the payoffs of defense contractors, and for their continued incumbency. We saw the media establishment run like hell from Cynthia McKinney, painting her as a radical because she dared to ask questions about what the hell was happening to her country. Those creatures of conscience within the two major parties, and the media adjuncts thereof, reduced her to a caricature, so invested they were in this tapestry of lies that pre-dated most of their births.

A tapestry of lies, also known as the political center, that place where nothing matters except business. It’s always been far easier to stone the heretic to death than to examine exactly why it is someone bothers with heresy. There’s no payoff in it. As soon as you get heard, you’re offed by one intelligence asset or another. But then you get lionized in eulogy, and all your opponents — saw-toothed jackals with complexions like freshly-waxed floors — extol you as a voice for peace, diversity, or some other abstraction trotted out by statists to convince people that their blood, sweat, tears, and expended belief wasn’t a complete waste of time, energy, and life itself.

ANTHONY GANCARSKI, author of Unfortunate Incidents [Diversity Inc, 2001], welcomes comments at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com.

 

ANTHONY GANCARSKI is a regular CounterPunch columnist. He can be reached at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Barbara Moroncini
Protests and Their Others
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Alex Jensen
The Great Deceleration
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Stephen Martin
From ‘Too Big to Fail’ to ‘Too Big to Lie’: the End Game of Corporatist Globalization.
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
David Yearsley
Haydn Seek With Hsu
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail