We are in danger in America. We need to give people some basic orientation and instruction about historical accuracy and objective journalism. This would require a huge infusion of cash and nationwide honesty. A national program of this scope would require immense amounts of capital. [Attention: Bill Gates and Warren Buffet]. If this does not happen, our democracy is in serious jeopardy.
If we do not get some sort of objective orientation of this sort, more and more Americans will draw their conclusions of great importance based on the extreme distortions of the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Murdoch, FOX, the Washington Times, etc. The stories told by the extreme right-wingers are being taken as accurate information and historical fact. In a democracy this is very dangerous. Adherence to human rights and justice are dependent on the populous having reliable information. In today's mass media, distortions and lies are receiving a bigger piece of the media pie because the owners of the media have their own selfish agenda (and it is not to have the populace be informed accurately about drugs, health care, the military, the budgets, etc.). And dispensing national distortions is open to this sort of marketing as never before. Shades of Goebbels and the Nazis.
All this distortion of news, history, and objectivity also garners huge audiences and ratings.
It is easy to discern why people are drawn to media stories that portray outrageous fears and exaggerated portrayals, and do it as fiction masquerading as truth. One only has to recall what happened when Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre broadcast "War of the Worlds" nationally. This fictional "news" story of a Martian invasion of the U.S. caused panic and even some suicides.
More comic books and pulp fiction are sold each year than classical literature. More vampire and UFO movies pack the cinema than historical documentaries. The exaggerations of Rush, Beck and Murdoch are the result of refining the Orson Welles portrayal of the 1930s. Hate and sensational media are presented interspersed with what today passes for responsible journalism. FOX even uses promotional phrases about its news "objectivity." Amazing. But people buy it and believe it far too often. Pornography outsells history. No big surprise there.
This has been going on so long that today it is almost impossible to have an intelligent discussion on any subject of importance. Knowing the facts is considered beside the point. Showing how history proves otherwise than these anti-intellectual rants only brings them to say something like, "Oh, don't drag up the past!" That statement is akin to "Don't confuse things with the facts!" Ignoring or being critical of historical fact drives this graduate historian up the wall. A democracy cannot exist very long if this is the "perspective" of the descendants of the KKK, Know-Nothing, John Birch, Joseph McCarthy, House UnAmerican Activities Committee, Father Coughlin's hate radio, Pat Robertson imploring the U.S. to covertly kill the elected leader of Venezuela, Lindbergh and American First, Ford's support of Hitler, DuPont scheming to overthrow the elected government in the U.S., FOX, Limbaugh, Beck, ad infinitum. Today's media, even mainstream media, has no idea what objective journalism is. Today's TV news anchors know little of history. And many of today's "news" people have a definite political bent that they think is salved or corrected by having one liberal and one conservative on the show. Nonsense. Are there no objective journalists left?