George is a freelance writer, commentator, voice actor, and audio-video producer based in Austin, TX.
Any objective analysis must conclude that the protection granted to the press in the First Amendment of our beloved Bill of Rights has been utterly wasted on today’s traditional media industry.
Here we confront the modern American dilemma. Much of the nation acts perplexed as to why our society no longer seems to work quite right — but considers the routine defiance of our Constitution to be virtually inconsequential.
The bold declarations contained in the Bill of Rights are clear and concise. But, more importantly, they are timeless axioms intended to be the glue which binds the Constitution, ensuring its efficacy. Once the tenets of the Bill of Rights are ignored or become twisted to mean something other than what was intended, the Constitution quickly becomes unraveled and is bit by bit rendered meaningless.
Unfortunately, we appear to have forgotten that those first Ten Amendments were necessarily added to our Constitution to guarantee its ratification. In sum, without the Bill of Rights there would be no Constitution. You cannot have one without the other.
No wonder our system of governance no longer harmoniously works. Once the rights which were codified to protect free men are considered flippant and left to the whimsical interpretations of the day, why should we expect anything less than trouble?
The problem is that large swaths of the population are indifferent about the whole matter. To our collective detriment, many a contemporary citizen has come to believe that government exists to provide for him. Blinded to the reality that he could ever possibly need protection from his government, he has become dependent and subservient. In essence, the state is now his master, because he has relegated himself to life as a lowly creature intended to serve the will of the state.
Rather than acting as an agent of protection against an intrusive government, today’s mainstream media — or big media, as I call it — seeks at best merely to entertain us. At worst, it has become an unofficial agent of the state, acting almost exclusively on its behalf.
Whether or not big media intends to promote the government is irrelevant, for the net effect exists regardless. The point is that it has defied the system as it was designed, begetting a serious problem.
Fortunately, even those who torment us cannot defy the natural order of things, so again we find the rules of cause and effect at work. As man, in his natural state, seeks to be free and resists the authoritarian nature of the state, inevitably alternative media was born.
The rise of a new press is nothing less than an attempt to re-establish a free press — an essential component of a free society. Sadly, this too has also been misconstrued and confused in the public mind. In our modern age, everything is politicized precisely because government has involved itself in virtually all aspects of life. Having willingly assumed a supporting role in advancing the concept of government which infinitely expands in size and scope, big media has been a central player in this phenomenon.
Big media joins together with government, academia, and various corporate interests to constitute what Angelo Codevilla succinctly identified as “the Elite Ruling Class” in his prodigious essay on the subject.
This relatively minute class is adept at manipulating that plurality of Americans who have come to view the state as an entity that does “for them” rather than “to them,” creating a self-perpetuating momentum. Over time, modern society has become conditioned to adopt whatever this ruling class chooses to foist upon it. Anything goes, from light bulbs to TSA pat-downs.
Used as a tool to keep the whole sordid system propped up, one of big media’s primary roles is to simply parrot big government’s daily proclamations, aiding in creating the perception of omnipotence.
Of course, they do much more than that — constantly distracting the populace with endless circuses, and obfuscating the importance of what is happening in the world around us by presenting entertainment as information and information as entertainment.
Not coincidentally, the protestations voiced by alternative media sources are merely presented as just more political squabbling. Reduced to just part of the overall noise in an age of too much information, sound objections are easily lost among the incessant trivial chatter.
Alternative media is seen by the forces that would squash it as a fool’s errand. In reality, this emerging free press is a byproduct of the ongoing epic battle driven by man’s innate desire to be free.
Today, the dynamics of that struggle have become significantly more fluid as technology and social media rapidly change the relationship between citizens and their governments. From the Tea Party in America to political unrest in places like Egypt, the dramatic results are evident throughout the world.
In large part, alternative media has helped fuel the Tea Party movement, America’s latest manifestation of man pushing back against the state. As exemplified in Rick Santelli’s spontaneous rant, these sources provided a catalyst, ultimately helping to animate the enormous discontent that had long been simmering within the citizenry.
For the Tea Party to continue to advance its demands of smaller government and constitutional adherence, it must learn to wield this new media as a sword, just as the elite ruling class has done with traditional media outlets.
To maximize effectiveness, the new breed of constitutional conservative activists, like-minded legislators, and alternative media must all work in concert. For one thing, it will prove incumbent upon conservatives to walk the walk. They must strive to understand whom and what their dollars ultimately support — and spend judiciously and accordingly.
It will not do to keep propping up media sources, their advertisers, and corporate interests who do the bidding of the ruling class. Starving the beast will prove essential to defeating it.
Of course, the other side has the right to their opinion too. It’s just they need to finance the dissemination of those opinions exclusively on the backs of those unfortunate souls who buy into their poppycock.
All hail the free press!