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Pornographic News
By Bridget Gibson (birdgibson@hotmail.com)

The function of the press is very high. It is almost holy. It ought to serve as a forum for the people, through which the people may know freely what is going on. To misstate or suppress the news is a breach of trust
- Louis D. Brandeis

Each day my television delivers my dose of pornography. It comes unbidden into my home, filling the air with all the lurid details of someone's misdeeds and twisted perversions. It weaves its dirty little stories into the breakfast, lunch and dinner table of the American public. It tosses its nasty blanket over the news. It is presented by the well-groomed men and the sassy blonde women with their painted faces. The hard sell of sex and the hard shell of distraction are the mighty obfuscation of anything that may truly affect the viewer. The thin veil that would normally separate the public from sexually explicit material, the censorship ratings that prevent the viewing of the underage or innocent, does not apply to the news.

I have learned more about the variety of methods of obtaining sex, performing sex, the variety of sexual partners and the places of availability from the "news" than I can enumerate. Several years ago, former Attorney General, Edwin Meese, performed a study on pornography. I now am left wondering if Mr. Meese performed this study to learn how the seamy side of sex could be sold to the public. The question of propriety and how to deliver the inappropriate into my house seems never to be discussed. The offhand way that the newscasters deliver these strokes of nastiness appears most bizarre. Never a blush, never a warning, never a caution to the viewer and their minor children that the "following material may be sexually explicit."

The "news" stories weave on and on. Ken Starr brought the lurid details to the dinner tables of America. Gary Condit became synonymous with sexual misconduct. Now we watch the disrobing of the priests of the Catholic Church. It would appear that the media has found a very convenient way to avoid their responsibility of delivering the events and details that an informed public needs to know regarding its country and the world. The great shell game played by the evening news is done so adroitly that David Copperfield would be jealous. While you are distracted with stories that do not affect your life, the real news rarely gets a footnote.

You, the viewer, have been deceived in a massive way.

When our politicians joyously announced the passage of the NAFTA and FTAA, you were never told what those agreements would mean to your way of life, the security of your employment, the future of your family and country.

You are never told of the way that the behind the scenes manipulation of the stock market has led to the loss of billions for the public.

You were never told how the passage of grants from OPIC to Enron would cost the American public billions of dollars. You probably do not even know what OPIC is.

You never heard about the findings of the Gore Commission report on terrorism in 2000.

You never heard about the continued embargoes of Iraq and the bombing missions that have continued from 1991 through today.

You never heard about the true findings of NORC regarding the actual count of Florida's votes in the election that ended by a partisan court's ruling.

You are not hearing about the negotiations that are continuing right now for a pipeline through Afghanistan.

You never hear about the $3-5 Billion given to Israel annually to supply it with American weapons.

You are not hearing about the CIA-backed coup in Venezuela.

You are not hearing that Chile has refused to allow American troops into her country.

You are not hearing that world opinion against the United States is at an all-time high.

You are not hearing that your way of life is in grave danger because of American policies and greedy and inept politicians.

You are not hearing about the USA Patriot Act and how it has taken a knife to your Constitutional rights.

Now, you are left wondering how you can learn of these things. Whether you know it or not, you do have control. Your voice does matter. Your country depends on you. This country is made of individuals and every one of us must demand the truth from our media. We must not allow the continual coverage of things that do not affect our lives to be "sold" to us as "news."

It starts with you putting your local newspapers and television stations on notice. It continues with you contacting the sponsors of these programs and letting them know that their products cannot be sold to you by their promotion of lies and distortions.

You must monitor your airwaves. You must let the corporations that are accessing public airwaves know that they are on borrowed time. Tell them that issues are important to you and your family. Demand your airwaves back. Force them to tell you the truth about the daily workings of our country.

As long as you sit comfortably in front of the flickering screen that delivers its daily dose of sex, you will not hear the details of the real news that will change your lives. This is happening to you now. The devastation of September 11, 2001, did not begin on that morning. There were many steps to the moment that the Trade Towers fell, but you did not hear them. You were caught unaware and left in shock to witness the end of life as we knew it.

You are being left in the dark again, my friends. But each of your hands holds the power to turn on the light. Pull the switch and pull the plug on the media blackout that you are experiencing.

Demand full coverage of our "wars." Demand full coverage of our policies. Demand full coverage of the daily activities in our nation's capital. Hold the media accountable for their part in the deceit of the American public.

We are a strong nation made of individuals with love for our country. We are strong enough to hear the truth. Only with the truth will we be armed with the knowledge to change the future into one of peace and prosperity for all.