Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Time to Take the Gloves Off
I tried to exercise a bit of diplomacy in the previous post concerning my local newspaper. I didn't name names or even say what city was involved. I had even gone to the trouble of writing to the editor of the editorial pages and asked him if he would look into the situation. Well perhaps I should have know better but at least I tried to appeal to their "better angels" as it were. I was willing to look aside from the fact that I am dealing with hidebound ideological liberals for the moment and see if they retained even a modicum of human decency. Needless to say such exploration proved fruitless.
Having failed to receive any response to my inquiry, not even an acknowledgment or a polite or impolite "buzz off," I simply secured a new on screen identity and proceeded to comment again on the LTTE pages. After only three posts my comments were at first diverted to the "Awaiting moderation" pile where they would of course never see the light of day,. This was quickly followed by another banning. There were no violations of their sacred rules, it was simply a question of who I was not what I said.
Well then the time has come to address directly on these pages both The Charlotte Observer and one Taylor Batten, the editor of the Editorial Page. Apparently you both as an institution and as an individual have become shining examples of what is both wrong and deeply troubling with the American press. You have abandoned any principles of objectivity and dedication to the truth that you were supposed to have been taught in journalism school and replaced them with a hidebound ideological perspective and a hands off attitude toward financial corruption that bears no tolerance for any conflicting opinion except as a varnish and a badly worn one at that.
The press in this country used to stand for something. Sadly that is no longer true. Winston Churchill once said that "A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize; it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny." Voltaire was famous for his quote "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Somehow I don't think these words can be found inscribed on the walls of The Charlotte Observer or in the hearts of Mr. Bratten and his staff. By the absence of such a moral and right philosophy as a guide to their works they have become, again both institutionally and personally, the enemies of everything those words and the First Amendment stand for.
This is what happens to people and the institutions they operate when they loose any sense of duty to moral or Constitutional principle or anything above or beyond personal political ideology or perspective They have not simply perverted any history they may have been taught or Christian moral guidance they may have once had, they have completely abandoned it.
While it could be argued that newspapers have always had their prejudices and political perspectives, but these are different times in that where there was a time when if you did not like the position of a particular newspaper you could step to the other side of the news stand and pick up another one. Only within the confines of major metropolitan centers do we still have that luxury. In Charlotte we don't. All the more reason they should remain above the fray, remain impartial and objective "observers." This does not mean that they are not entitled to opinions of their own or the right to express them but it does mean they have an obligation to provide at least the appearance of presenting balanced perspective. It does not give them the right to actively suppress contrary opinion, even if they can do so in secret and beyond the eyes of the public.
I'd ask if Mr Bratten has any sense of shame but apparently he does not. Given how quickly this latest banning incident occurred I suspect he is possessed of more than just a bit of hypocrisy and vindictiveness as well. After all this is a man who has published editorials endorsing placing restriction on "the peoples right to keep and bear arms" so as to protect themselves in their homes and against crime and the tyranny of government and yet drives home to a gated community with armed guards every evening. After all why should he dirty his hands with a firearm when he can pay someone else to do it for him. He doesn't have to worry about home invasions or criminals wandering the streets outside of his house so why would anyone else.
I would guess that Mr Bratten is one of those individuals who feels secure and righteous in his opinion because after all he doesn't know or associate with anyone who disagrees with it. Like so many of the rest of the would be elite, the likes of Mr. Bratten have placed themselves above the rest of society and by doing so have convinced themselves that like George Orwell's pigs they are "more equal than others." Not living in the real world and experiencing its day to day struggles have produced an insular and arrogant attitude as regards the rest of us simple folks. Unless of course we agree with them. Get a clue Mr. Bratten we don't and there are a lot more of us than you would like.
As the global financial crisis deepens and leads to inevitable breaking point there are a vast number of folks out there who will angrily ask; "Why didn't anyone tell us this was happening?" And then they are going to start looking around for those whose responsibility it was to keep them better informed.