I'm a journalist. I am. I make a living at it, even, though in my spare time I also write drunken screeds and publish them to the web for free and junk, dude, vigilante truth, all Daredevil and shit from the HEART my brothers and sisters, and where's my motherfucking Jefferson quote about the fourth estate. Fucking media! Fuck them!
When did the colonial broadsides and the Grey Lady, Upton Sinclair and Hunter S., our brave and flamboyant truth-tellers, our reporters and our writers and our maverick investigators, when did they all turn into Fox News? How did we get these peroxide atrocities lying to us with straight faces, these vultures and vampires sucking the drool from retards and the soft brain tissue of spastic eels and distilling it down into raw, super-saturated Stupid Juice and vomiting it back down our goddamn THROATS!?
"A neighborhood potbellied Vietnamese pig, turned abruptly into a rabid death-machine run amok, has just gored your little toddler Susie into a meatball, Mr. and Mrs. Albertson. Can you comment for our viewers back home?" This kind of thing was bad enough, but we could sort of laugh at it—the ambulance chasing and the muckraking, but you know: if it bleeds it leads, man. We all get that.
But when did the competition go away? The idea of different voices, different perspectives, each vying to present the American public with a more compelling, or more comprehensive vision of the world? Did it die on September 11th? Was that why all the channels so quickly coverged on the same slogan, the same footage, the same infographics—was it that desperation and grief that gave us the Attack on America TM and all its associated jingoistic catchphrases? Is that when all the media outlets decided to pursue safety in numbers, decided that the only acceptable slant is the slant that everyone else is using?
Or was the rot already in the bones?
You know, right, that during the Afghanistan invasion every single FUCKING television station handed down an identical memo to its reporters, spelling out the new laws of censorship just as brazen as could be. It was now unacceptable to show the truth of events in Afghanistan. Any factual account of military actions, any mention of the damage to Afghani citizens, had to be carefully padded with editorial commentary: This is the fault of terrorists. They deserved it.
Americans weren't to be trusted with the simple truth. Just as they weren't to be shown all of the footage from the World Trade Center—none of the jumpers, none of the sad meatsacks exploding into pink mist as they hit the ground—they also weren't to be shown the honest casualties of war. FAIR covered the CNN memo; the Washington Post later reported that all the other major news networks issued similar edicts.
I supported action in Afghanistan. The Taliban were truly evil, and they needed to be stopped. But I don't need to be fucking lied to. I want to see the real consequences of the actions my country has taken. If the U.S. military isn't accountable to its own citizenry, then what the fuck is democracy good for? The people who accede to the lies, the people who conspire to keep us sleepy and complacent—these people are TRAITORS. Hang Ted Koppel! Hang Peter Jennings! Hang the goddamn lying-ass journalists.
The other night, I was listening to the news, and the headline was this—After the War: What Next? Like war is a foregone conclusion. Like we're all supposed to be thinking that it's over, even though it hasn't actually started yet. Like the media's thrown in with our administration's machinations against Iraq, and there's no point even talking about the big domestic protest movement or silly things like world opinion. The news channels aren't about reporting foreign policy any more. They're helping to make it instead.
SO, right, here comes my point. There was this court case not so long ago, and it didn't have anything to do with the wars, but it was about lying-ass journalists. This one chick actually got fired by Fox News because she refused to go on air reporting a story that she knew to be false. (The story was about growth hormone in dairy cows.) After she got fired, she sued Fox. And their defense was not that they stood by the story, but that there's no law against lies in the media.
I'm not saying the law should be changed. Journalists need legal protection; we need to be able to take risks. We need room to report the truth as we see it. We shouldn't be thrown in jail just because we're wrong. The law is probably right the way it is.
I'm just saying: goddamn it! Goddamn! How can fucking Fox get up in front of a court and say, smirkingly, "Yeah, we were just lying. There's no law against lying, now is there?" Fucking Fox. Fucking media. Fucking news!
Where will all the shit end Jesus?
The Frisco Kid is generally to be found all likkered up and spoiling for a fight. She's a sexy Wild West gunslinger in the great tradition of Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane, only a little less with the sharpshooting and a little more with the booze-fueled marathons of Star Trek and sodomy.