Sunday, April 29, 2012

This explains a lot about modern journalistic malpractice

Walter Lippmann, the "Father of Modern Journalism", is really a piece of work. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to make the title of this post. I simply do not believe that any man who holds the following views could possibly be a journalist worth a damn. Pardon my language, but this makes me sick. Every time I read something from this guy, I have an internal revolt. In his regular column "Today and Tomorrow", on April 7th, 1933, the following is written under the title "Roosevelt's Achievement":
At the beginning of last month the country was in such a state of confused despair that it would have followed almost any leader anywhere he chose to go. It was a moment when an intoxicated demagogue could have aroused section against section and class against class, when a dull politician would have been bewildered and would not have known what to do. By the greatest good fortune which has befallen this country in many a day, a kindly and intelligent man had the wit to realize that a great crisis is a great opportunity. He has taken advantage of it.

Hello, Rahm Emanuel.

This is bad journalism and bad columnist all wrapped into one, because FDR's policies of raising taxes so high was just that very thing, pitting one section against another. He was well known for going out and ripping this class and that class. This article goes on to discuss budgets and balancing them, but be careful to note how all of this is worded:

It was this impotence to control expenditure and to obtain revenue which was destroying the national credit. Inherently the federal government is the safest risk in the world, since it has legal access to the greatest wealth in the world. If anybody anywhere was theoretically entitled to borrow money in a time of emergency, the United States government was entitled to borrow it.

There's that flagrant progressive arrogance that we're all used to. Yes, all of our hard earned money is nothing more than a dispensation of government. It's not that you may pay 10% in taxes, or 35%, or whatever that rate may be. The progressive view is that they let you keep 90%, or 65% or whatever remainder is allotted to you post-taxes.

Now a government which has asserted its control over its expenditures and its access to revenue has accomplished what "balancing the budget" means.

And we see this very arrogance repeated today, in 2012, where they have made good on their legal access to the greatest wealth in the world. The left would love to 'balance the budget' - on your back. At the end of the article he says "Its no longer necessary to scrutinize so anxiously the relation between income and outgo" - and as we all know based on historical truths, FDR was a huge spender, and that's what's being endorsed here.

On Saturday, February 18th, 1933, in "The Paramount Issue", Lippmann ended his column this way:

A great emergency can be dealt with only by the swift use of power exercised by some central authority which possesses the confidence of the people. The danger we have to fear is not that Congress will give Franklin D. Roosevelt too much power, but that it will deny him the powers he needs. The danger is not that we shall lose our liberties but that we shall not be able to act with the necessary speed and comprehensiveness. To give the president the power to act must, therefore, be the first objective of those who appreciate the situation we are in and understand the magnitude of the measures that are needed to cope with it.

And who is it that's building the confidence of the people? Telling them that it's ok. Why, it's journalists. The "intelligent minority" who know how to regiment and guide the masses. Walter Lippmann himself wrote about "the manufacture of consent", in the context of that book he is largely decrying various forces(mainly within government) who use propaganda efforts as a means of control.

Yet, in this article, on February 25th, 1933, titled "Democracy and Dictatorship" he writes in defense of the concentration of power in the executive at the expense of congress. The whole article is quotable, but here is a very good illustration of regimenting and guiding the masses; the manufacture of consent.

The emergency calls for changes which will concentrate in the president the widest administrative and ministerial powers possible under the constitution, and in matters of policy the reinforcement of his leadership by the party caucus and by cloture on debate.

Ahh, yes. Give the president more authority, then sit down and shut up. It's the American way!

Proposals of this sort have loosely been described as designed to establish a dictatorship. This is an abuse of the plain meaning of words. A dictatorship is a wholly different thing, as one can readily see by looking at the dictatorships in Europe. The basic fact in a dictatorship is that the regime holds its power not by the votes of the people, but by the force of a body of armed men.

Walter Lippmann clearly did not read a book titled "Public Opinion", written by Walter Lippmann before he wrote this line. Had he done that, he would've realized that manufacturing consent is an act of manipulation that was supposed to have died out with the appearance of democracy.(The implication thus being, that dictators of old used it regularly) Yet here he is, Walter Lippmann himself, engaging in the manufacture of consent. But what else would you expect from a man who wrote in his book that "news and truth are not the same thing"?

http://tinyurl.com/7yfb8ee

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