Freedom of the press no more!

A free press is necessary for transparency in government, but with the Bush administration, transparency and free press is a thing of the past.  Very early on in this administration, and perhaps stretching back even to the Clinton administration, the media was given the signal that if they didn’t go with the program of the people in political power access would be restricted and or denied and any attempt at circumventing political authority would be met with dire consequences.

The message given to members of the press from all over the world was their role was reduced to echoing what they were told by politicians on both sides of the aisle.  Since we no longer really have a credible opposition party, that meant the message would be the same no matter who uttered it, with the exception of a few, like the Ron Pauls, Ralph Naders, and others considered nominal and thus easy to ignore.  The message was driven home even more with the advent of the “war on terror” where reporters had to be embedded for their own safety, in order to report on the war and ‘propel the propaganda’.  Failure to do so meant in a war theater death at the hands of US as well as enemy forces.  Al-Jazeerah,  reporters Reuters cameramen were mowed down by the US war machine, either killed and captured.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone that some members of the media, those not “embedded” with the powers that be would be harassed, intimidated and arrested during the Republican Convention in St. Paul.  Amy Goodman’s arrest is the most chilling.  Goodman was arrested in St. Paul, and her arrest was caught on tape.  She was later released  but the producers who work with her were charged with felony counts while covering the convention as producers for Goodman’s show which airs on DemocracyNow!  Their program is a pretty stable alternative media source, which I consider vital for the free press here in the US. It is neither seditious nor a mouthpiece for one party or the other…just people presenting a view which is rarely seen in corporate media.  Her arrest and the subsequent description of it are in the video below.

This should come as no surprise.  The government has been steadily encroaching on the rights of citizens and institutions for some time in it’s lead up to the “war on terror”.  Everyone in the grand scheme of this war and everything we hold dear is expendable by those fighting the war, and members of the press are no exception.  However, it’s good to see the descent into the abyss of fascism chronicled for future generations in order for them to understand how it happened.

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