Mainstream Media’s “Snaffles” and “Curbs”
©2007 Debra Rae
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Hollywood coughs up big bucks for federal campaigns, and (with or without the Terminator) Tinsel Town is hardly known as a conservative stronghold! What Americans look to as “based-on-a-true story journalism” has morphed into a sort of wannabe news more appropriately called “reality fiction.”
On a recent segment of the Bill Moyer’s Journal, Moyer admitted to ending each day with Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Whereas comedian-host Jon Stewart boasts of “faking the news,” Moyer credits him for delivering real news with extraordinary impact. Increasingly, young people look to Stewart for hard news; and older fans lap up Stewart’s infectious satire. Admittedly, he’s tickled my funny bone more than once.
The Colbert Report is a spin-off and counterpart of The Daily Show. Both critique and satirize personality-driven politics. The fictional Stephen Colbert, however, is portrayed as afact-averse, self-aggrandizing anchorman. In my view, many segments of The Colbert Report are downright hilarious; nevertheless, Colbert’s character is atheologic ally bereft, hyper-patriotic , liberal-hating, right-wing egomaniac. In “real life,” by the way, Colbert is a registered Democrat.
Believe it or not, “the Report” is often embraced as non-satiric al journalism. Even the reputable dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster named as its 2006 “Word of the Year” a term Colbert coined (“truthiness”).
Laughter may well be medicine to the soul, but it is no substitute for hard news. This begs the question “Where are journalists who stay in touch with the very pulse of our nation—those who ‘buy the truth, and sell it not’ and those less interested in celebrity than they are in reality?”
I share Jack L. Warner’s sentiments directed at the entertainment industry: “If you want to send a message, use Western Union .”
Similarly, if you want to report news, relegate stories about Paris Hilton and Brittany Spears to the tabloids; share your heart-warming animal stories over the dinner table; and avoid prompting and cuing the media horse in a single dire c tion for the sake of partisanship—be it right or left!
Reign ‘em in, Cowboy! Politician-industrialist Cecil John Rhodes on c e reasoned that “the press owns the minds of the people.” He was not alone in that belief. Journalist, playwright and essayist Arthur S. Miller referenced “a pervasive system of thought control” in the United States —this, by “employment of the mass media” coupled with “the system of public education.” Both, he added, tell people “what to think about.”
For over six decades, this Pulitzer Prize winner was a prominent figure in American culture. Once wedded to Hollywood by marriage to Marilyn Monroe, Miller understood how the mainstream media—inclusive of publishing, entertainment, reporting—own people’s minds and dire c t their thinking.
For decades, a media conspiracy has been unveiled before our very eyes. In 1990, when the World Federalist Association faulted the American press for being “slow-witted” in grasping most global developments, the WFA failed to reveal that, more likely than not, key omissions were by design. Just ask David Rockefeller. At a Bilderberg Society meeting in Baden, Germany, he thanked attendees from the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other distinguished publications. For nearly forty years, he gushed, these friends of global governance had “respected their promises of discretion.”
Now that the world was adequately primed to embrace a New World Order, the “cat was out of the bag”; and at long last proponents were free to “go public.” This, too, was by design. In June of 1991, the Council on Foreign Relations c o-sponsored an assembly to rethink America’s vision beyond the Cold War and into a New World Order. That assembly was attended by sixty-five prestigious insiders from nine countries. These represented the professions, government, labor, academia, military and mainstream media.
Thereafter, for a 1992 Time article, “The Birth of the Global Nation,” Strobe Talbott received the Norman Cousins Global Governance Award. Having served as Foreign Poli c y Adviser to former President Clinton, Talbott insisted that “within the next one hundred years, nationhood will be obsolete; and all states will recognize a single, global authority.”
A growing body of agreements labeled “soft law” at the global level forfeit significant control over the domestic economy to an international body. On cue, the liberal media has labeled advocates of strict Constitutionalism “cranky right-wingers” with “irrational fears about one-worldism.”
They Report; They Decide
Our burgeoning Brave New World favors a transnational socialist agenda that characterizes private property as unsustainable, free enterprise as exploitation, technology as injurious to nature and Western culture/faith as loathsome. To realize the one-world paradigm, direc t and c onstant pressure is applied, often in the name of “art.” Truth be told, Hollywood productions that advance the global agenda by rewriting history are common as fleas on dogs.
For example, renowned actor Liam Neeson convincingly portrayed entomologist Alfred Kinsey as a reputable pioneer scientist. Disregarding Dr. Kinsey’s flawed, sometimes criminal research practices, the big screen legitimized Kinseyan “morality.” Predictably so, Neeson’s exposé of the doctor’s bisexuality commanded tolerance in the name of diversity alternatively known as multiculturalism.
Unfortunately, tolerance eluded The Passion of Christ. People of faith worldwide streamed to the Passion, whi c h grossed $610,000,000. But think about this: American Beauty chronic led a middle-aged, married man’s lurid lust for his daughter’s promiscuous underage friend and, then, was lauded as 1999 Picture of the Year; yet critics called Mel Gibson’s work “pornographic.” C’mon, folks! Since when was “the greatest story ever told” pornography?
Crime thriller The Departed bloodied the screen with brutal violence peppered with pervasive language, some strong sexual content and drug material ostensibly fashioned after real-life American gangsters. Whereas The Departed was awarded the distinction of 2006 Picture of the Year, critics disparaged The Passion of Christ for being “sadomasochistic .” As if sexual gratification derived from the exchange of pain had anything whatsoever to do with Christ’s redemptive work on Calvary!
Never mind that Jesus was a Jew, critics pummeled the Passion for its “anti-Semitism” even when Jewish film critics disagreed with them. On the other hand, in 2005, an overtly racist theme earned Crash an Academy Award.
It would seem that too many partisans representing the mainstream media summarily supplant the historical account with figments of their own imaginations. When it comes to Hollywood, “they report; they decide.”
The “Devil’s Party” Washington journalist Christopher Hitchens hails award-winning children’s novelist Philip Pullman as “a literary genius and a salutary influence on the young.” A film adaptation of Pullman’s first novel within His Dark Materials trilogy features actress Nicole Kidman alongside new comer Dakota Blue Richards. Slated for release in America on 7 December 2007, Pullman’s fantasy epic and sure-to-be runaway hit, The Golden Compass (published in Britain as The Northern Lights), is expected to be New Line’s biggest ever budget project. That being the case, it’s in the running to trump Potter-mania.
Pullman’s trilogy is provocative, albeit Bible-bashing; it contrasts innocence-with-experience and good-with-evil. Without apology, Pullman disdains C.S. Lewis for purportedly “trapping” children in a false world of innocence. He apparently categorizes “innocent child” as an oxymoron; even more, Pullman contends that children’s literature is all about “growing up”—and fast.
To this end, Pullman introduces below-the-surface issues that, when isolated from the narrative, epitomize left-leaning political stances. For example, his eco-references address “poisoning the planet,” presumably by what extremists call “humanpox.”
Just prior to the Attack on America , Ed Vulliamy credited Pullman’s novels for subverting the influence of “the Religious Right at the moment of its greatest political triumph” (The Observer, 26 August 2001). Furthermore, in an interview with The Observer, Pullman accused the Right of establishing hegemony of “orthodox, authoritarian doctrine.”
Pullman extends his political leftism to the seductive realm of spirit. In so doing, he redefines First Lady Eve as a redeemer of men—and Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a “fallen woman.” In Pullman’s world, God is demoted to an ordinary angel eventually banished to oblivion. For apparent reason, The Catholic Herald disparaged Pullman and his works for corrupting youth, and the Catholic League called for a boycott of the film.
Even the novelist’s brother, Peter, denounced Philip Pullman as the “most dangerous man in England” for his proclamation of death to God and Christianity throughout The Golden Compass in exchange for dark, even terrifying cosmological mysteries. Surprisingly, Archbishop Rowan Williams advocated teaching students the “profound ethical questions” posed by Pullman.
Never mind that in navigating its web site, young people receive guidance to “meet their demon.” Once answering a series of personal questions, seekers are assigned their own daemon avatars to accompany them on spiritual sojourns to other-worldly altered states of consciousness. New Age oc cultists call this process “transformation,” a stylish descriptor for be coming demonized.
No joke. Pullman unashamedly admits to in corporating the occult. He even boasts: “I am of the Devil’s party, and I know it.” His spiritual grid rejects living as if the Kingdom of Heaven matters more than temporal life. Dark plot lines are replete with fairytale inventions, witches, armored bears and, yes, parallel worlds.
To Pullman, the enemies of our children’s imaginations are not TV, drugs, sensuality, cults, the occult or crime; rather, the real enemy is a “rigid, over-tested, over-structured sterility of literacy curriculum,” better known as traditional education. The latter, he alleges, is “short-changing a whole generation of our children.”
I agree that America’s youth have been short-changed, but traditionalism isn’t the problem anymore than secular progressivism provides the solution. That the media persists at encircling its targeted audience with an impenetrable wall of ideological captivity ensures short c hanging an entire generation—and beyond.
Over time, unless curtailed, the once teeming market place of historically proven, well-reasoned ideas that invite God’s blessing upon nations will suc cumb instead to an ideology likened to a nutrition-lite, meatless, left-centric, demon-friendly happy meal-in-the-box.
Debra Rae is an author and educator who has traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad. Having authored two books—the ABCs of Globalism and ABCs of Cultural-Isms (the latter highlighted at the 55th Annual CBA International Convention, 2004)—Debra contributing columnist for News With Views. Debra has been a speaker on numerous radio shows aired across the nation, the Western Hemisphere, Russia, and the Middle East. This past year, she co-launched and now co-hosts WOMANTalk, a special edition of Changing Worldviews TALK Radio, for which she writes weekly commentaries. www.debraraebooks.com, www.womantalk.us, www.newswithviews.com/Rae/Debra.htm