To Helen Thomas:
Reading your column has replaced taking Communion as my Sunday sacrament. Thanks especially for this week. It's about time that someone pointed out how little the desires of the people of the United State count with this Administration and Congress when comes to continuing the war in Iraq.
One of the main mysteries to me of this whole sorry mess is why the press doesn't make more of this. A democracy that fights a war against against the wishes of 70% of its people has lost its way. Whether you support or oppose the war, this ought to give you pause. Why doesn't the press ask this question and pressure the government about it?
Ms. Thomas replied:
I have contempt for those in a position to see the fracturing of democracy and do nothing - and I do mean the press.
Then there was this missive to Eric Alterman's blog Altercation:
That Dick Cheney's "So?" remark touched off no more than a one-day flurry of coverage calls into question the media's perception of exactly what is happening in this country. A democracy that fights a war against the wishes of 70% of its people has lost its way. That should be apparent to anyone regardless of political persuasion. And yet Cheney's manifestation of this sorry reality winds up with less attention than the fulminations of a minister.
The media seems to see itself as players in a fiction -- a screenplay that in their minds they write, direct, and even act in. With few exceptions -- such as the great Helen Thomas -- they inflate Reverend Wright and downplay Dick Cheney because that's their perception of where the ratings are. The quality and importance of the story to a vibrant, functioning democracy doesn't enter into the equation at all: This is television and the good guys will win in the end anyway. That other forces, forces whose only interest is the accumulation and exercise of power, might be the writers and directors doesn't occur to them.
Well, guys, this is serious business. I guarantee you that Dick Cheney thinks so, and that he wasn't kidding when he said he didn't care about ratings. Heck, that ought to shake you up ...
Meanwhile, over at The Root, Michael C. Dawson tells how he was radicalized by the assassination of Martin Luther King. Sixteen years old at the time, he wondered "if Dr. King would not be allowed to successfully lead a non-violent movement for social justice, who could?"
Stop the presses! A too-close relationship Federal Aviation Administration and major airlines has compromised the enforcement of safety regulations! How could that happen with the ever-vigilant Bush Administration in charge?!?!