Skip to comments.Free Republic and the New Media
Posted on 09/26/2004 9:47:57 PM PDT by blogblogginaway
It all started in 1988. President Ronald Reagan's second term was ending, Americans were ready to launch the presidency of George H.W. Bush, and in Sacramento, California, a "loveable little fuzzball" stepped behind a microphone, replacing Morton Downey, Jr, and giving us his brand of conservative truth. It was astonishing. It was exhilarating. And it was unheard at the time. Before 1988, Americans had been treated with the nightly news from the "Big Media."
The "Big Media" owned the airwaves of our televisions. Every morning, noon, and night we were fed stories, pictures, and commentary from a leftist press. A media content in spreading the truth that served its purpose, giving us little tidbits of salacious information, but not reporting the full story. Facts had been withheld to give the unaware their view of the world and how it should be. Their mission: Save the world by keeping people ignorant of the truth. And just like the song, "Along Came Mary," along came Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh perforated our eardrums with common sense and startling commentary. His sharp wit and sarcastic humor brought a smile on our faces. His love of country and support of our troops spurred a belief that was held in the majority of Americans' minds. America loved it. They loved Limbaugh. They loved the truth. In fact, America loved the truth so much they gave him his own television show in 1992. This opened the door to audiences that had never heard from Limbaugh before. A chance to spread "a disease caused by casual contact." A chance to open American eyes to the "Big Media."
CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN hadn't seen the like of it. They were in shock and awe. They were furious. They were overwhelmed at the number of stations Limbaugh overtook. They didn't know how to respond to this "loveable little fuzzball." So they did what they always do: Manipulate the facts and distort the truth about Limbaugh. Before long, his books were on shelves, spreading more conservative views on topics of interest to Americans, topics such as National Security, Feminism, Abortion, and Liberalism. Now, even more Americans had become aware of Rush Limbaugh. Suddenly, the "Big Media" had to compete for the attention of the American people. As Rush said before, "There wasn't any of this fifteen years ago. I know. I was there at the creation." He was. And we are forever grateful.
Through all of this, a cable news channel was created. Fox News, a channel that reported the whole story. They were young and brash, and in 1996, they gave a young, fire-breather his debut on Hannity & Colmes. Sean Hannity began to slice and dice liberalism on a cable news network. His efforts in broadcast journalism led him to his own radio show on September 10, 2001. Not only does he reach millions on his television show, but is second only to Rush Limbaugh in talk radio with nearly 400 stations across the nation. As conservatives, we were starting to get a stranglehold on the old monopoly of the "Big Media." We were fighting mad and it was showing.
And there would be more to follow. More talk show hosts to come. More conservative news, exposing the truth of the spin in the "Big Media." There would be the internet, the new age of conservative news, opinions, commentary, and information throughout the globe. Soon, a gutsy, young journalist would risk it all and shake the foundations of the White House from the internet. Matt Drudge, a no nonsense libertarian, uncovered what no "Big Media" would uncover. He would expose the corruption and debauchery under the desk in the Oval Office.
Matt Drudge was the beginning of the internet and the new media. Now, Americans of all stripes of red, white, and blue could access news. In the last year, Drudge has had nearly three billion visitors to his site. Drudge began the wave of the conservative future. No longer did conservatives have to call in to their favorite talk radio program to express their frustration of the liberal media. No longer did they have to sit idly by their televisions throwing pillows at the television while ranting and raving at the blatant media partisanship. Now they had a new outlet. They had a forum called Free Republic.
Through the brainchild of Jim Robinson, a forum was created where Americans of all flavors could rant, rave, and could even continue the pursuit of conservatism while crushing the socialistic tyranny of the "Big Media." In a statement on their website, Jim Robinson states, "In our continuing fight for freedom, for America and our constitution and against totalitarianism, socialism, tyranny, terrorism, etc., Free Republic stands firmly on the side of right, i.e., the conservative side." And in that statement, sums up the mission of conservatism and Free Republic. Now we're dangerous to the "Big Media." Now we're available to everyone. We're in homes, in offices, and in laptop computers. We've become an infectious disease that will debilitate the Democratic Party and liberalism's veined effort to garnish power. We're putting a stranglehold on a defunct enterprise known as CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN.
From Anchorage, AK to Miami, FL, we're spread across the United States in search of one crushing blow to end the "Big Media's" tyranny over the news, to stop the lies, and end the oppression of facts from news commentary, such as 60 Minutes. We're here to mobilize and stop the incestuous relationship with the Democratic Party and their socialistic tendencies. In a nutshell, we are here to end liberalism's final, desperate grip on a media that has become so partisan they've lost all objectivity.
But the media doesn't know the full power of Free Republic. The media doesn't know it is made of up individuals across the globe. "Amateurs" of all walks of life, willing to make the leap in refuting liberal terrorism in the press. From housewives to airline pilots, from ministers to talk show hosts, and from architects to engineers, comprise diversity so great that the media's group of so-called experts can't keep up. We even have our own range of military personnel from every branch of service, willing to battle lies and distortions within the media elite. And as much as we hate to admit it, we have lawyers that lurk, lawyers that Freep, and lawyers that make sure no lawsuit is left behind.
From our makeup, we are Americans: Conservative Americans. Americans united in one common goal: We won't stop till the mission is complete. For we are the new media. We are the new truth in America. We are the amateurs that have rocked the status quo. These merry bands of amateurs, known as Freepers, have shown their expertise at exposing the truth. This forum called Free Republic will supercede the admonishment of the liberal media and conquer all those that oppose us. After all, we are the best in the world. I've said it before and I'll say it again: "Free Republic is made up of some of the finest minds I'll ever know." And for that, I am forever grateful for their expertise. I am forever grateful for this new media.
Dan Ratter=The DNC=CBS=John Kerry=World Communist Elitists and their Politboro
Long Live The Pajamamuhajaden!
My tag-line is my commentary on this outstanding, eloquent, well-reasoned essay: Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat!
Thanks for the post! And a bump for Free Republic!
Victor Davis Hanson: "The Fall" (of Dan). VDH at his best today.
Nat Review ^
September 24, 2004
Dan Rather's initial, furious street-side defense of an amateurish forgery smug, huffy, self-righteous brings to mind one of those bad movies about the Paris barricades, especially the grainy, black-and-white shots of powdered and wigged aristocrats on their way to the Guillotine, yelling out of their carriages at pitchfork-carrying peasants.
Worse than being duped, worse than cobbling together a highly politicized hit-piece during a war and in the waning days of an election, worse than the shady nature of the "unimpeachable" sources and the likely sordid origins of the story, and worse even than the pathetic nature of CBS's "expert" witnesses worse than all that was Rather's ten-day denial of reality, culminating in the surreal half-admission that the phony documents could not be verified as accurate. That's the equivalent of saying that a corpse cannot be proven to be alive.
Commentators have envisioned Rather's fall as symbolic of a "paradigm shift" and the "end of the era" an event that has crystallized the much larger and ongoing demise of the old establishment media. Allegories from the French Revolution and the emperor without any clothes to the curtain scene in The Wizard of Oz have been evoked to illustrate Rather's dilemma and the hypocrisy of all that went before. We have come a long way since the 1960s: The once-revolutionary pigs taking over the manor are now bloated and strutting on two legs as they feast on silver inside the farmhouse.
First CBS went into denial; then it tried to smear its critics; next it emulated the Nixonian two-step; and finally it stonewalled altogether, hoping that the 24-hour news buzz would fade before it ultimately did. Meanwhile, more and more Americans yawn and have already switched the channel to cable news. We keep waiting for Mike Wallace on Sunday's 60 Minutes to stare down Dan Rather on the set of Tuesday's 60 Minutes, sticking his mike in Dan's face, springing on him a long list of his previously unknown sins, capped off with the zoom shot on a fidgety, sweating Rather, as the tick, tick, tick fades into a primetime commercial.
The Big Three may deride the newsreaders at Fox as blond bimbos, but millions of Americans learned long ago that there are probably more liberals on Fox than conservatives on PBS, NPR, CBS, ABC, and NBC combined and the former are honest about politics in a way the latter are not.
The New York Times talks about standards and "journalistic integrity," but given its recent public record no one was surprised by the existence of a Jayson Blair, or by the fact that under Howell Raines a once-grand paper became a caricature of 19th-century yellow journalism, with possibly fewer daily readers than Matt Drudge. Elites may lament that someone who did not go to the Columbia School of Journalism can affect more readers than the Times, but instead of the usual aristocratic snarls they should ask themselves how and why that came about and why, for example, watching a PBS documentary by Bill Moyers or listening to Garrison Keillor on NPR is now to endure a publicly subsidized extension of their silly rants at lectures and in op-eds.
It has taken a lot to end the credibility of the liberal dynasty, inasmuch as there were many prior provocations Peter Arnett airing a blatantly dishonest 1998 mythodrama on CNN about Americans using Sarin gas in Laos; Dan Rather giving a flawed 1988 account of American grotesqueries in Vietnam (The Wall Within), replete with phony veterans spinning lies about horrific war crimes. But then we have not quite seen anything like the shamelessness of airing forged documents backed by unhinged witnesses and verified by suspect "experts" all in a time of war and with the intent of smearing a sitting conservative president.
True, given his history and influence, Dan Rather was the most logical person to pull all that off and so now he is the right person to take the collective fall for the sins of his brethren. How strange that bloggers are far more representative of democratic culture than Rather; that dittoheads are grassroots in a way that NPR is not; and that cable news is more honest in its politicking than Peter Jennings. No wonder CBS has gone from being controversial to annoying, and soon irrelevant the ultimate sin given the corporate bottom line.
Hypocrisy and aristocratic smugness are drawing the ancient regime to its death. Rather's now-ossified generation came of age in the heady Vietnam era, on the apparent premise that Main Street, USA, and the Kiwanis had given us Vietnam, Watergate, racism, and the other isms and phobias and that only hip, swashbuckling 60s-types could tell the American people the "truth" about what the "establishment" was up to.
Ever so incrementally along this inevitable road to Rathergate, John Kerry's searing Cambodia-patrol story, and Kitty Kelley's Reagan and Bush pseudographies, many Americans began to worry about the ends-justifying-the-means culture of the sanctimonious Left. The counterculture was defended on the dubious premise that the activists needed to fight fire with fire as they exposed everything from Nixon's lies to the embarrassing Pentagon Papers.
But in the process there also began a professional devolution, as questionable legal and ethical methods were excused in the name of the greater good. We got the Ellsberg pilfered documents, the blank check of "unnamed sources," trips to Hanoi and Paris to meet the enemy, Peter Arnett broadcasting gloom and doom live from Baghdad all culminating in the two-bit forgeries used for the "higher" cause of unseating George Bush. Daniel Ellsberg, Jane Fonda, and CBS may have done things that were legally wrong (like the latter's promulgating fraudulent government documents to defame a government official), but in postmodern logic they were morally "right" given their superior knowledge, character, and progressive intentions.
We do not expect any more citations of sources in Bob Woodward's "inside" history, even when he uncovers thought processes buried deep inside someone's brain; after all, he discovered Deep Throat and broke Watergate. The list of plagiarist historians is long and growing, yet mitigating circumstances are advanced since such mendacity is useful in exposing the bad gun and bomb lobbies or praising the good Kennedys.
Wasn't it wrong that Jimmy Carter campaigned for a Peace Prize by venomous criticism of his country on the eve of war and was praised for it by the Nobel committee, which gave him the medal at that precise time? No problem, he builds houses for the poor and loves the U.N. Who cares that Teresa Heinz-Kerry and John Edwards rant on about those who are "un-American"? They, of all people, can't be employing McCarthyesque invective, can they?
But the regime is crumbling on campuses as well. Too many university professors in the humanities dropped long ago their allegiance to the disinterested search for truth, or to teaching students facts and methods. How could one be so constrained and parochial when a war was raging on, and millions of youth needed to be prepared as ideological warriors in the struggle to remake our culture? Meanwhile, teaching loads decreased, annual tuition soared higher than the rate of inflation, and the baccalaureate no longer reflected much erudition. Surely, progressive academics, of all people, would not stand by while their curriculum was politicized, free speech suppressed, their part-time lecturers systematically exploited, their working-class students priced out of the market, and their research tainted with bias?
The U.N. also seems to be going the way of CBS. Only a little over a quarter of our citizenry feels that the organization reflects American values. Kofi Annan was blind to the greatest financial scandal of our time, one that contributed to the deaths of thousands in Iraq and enriched cronies, including perhaps his own son. He survives only because a biased media has judged that his progressivism warrants shielding him from the type of scrutiny afforded Halliburton.
Under Mr. Annan, the U.N. won't say a word about Tibet or do anything about the thousands butchered in Africa how can it when murdering states such as Cuba, Algeria, and Iran are on its committees overseeing human rights? Kofi Annan's U.N. has lost its ideals, become counterfeit, and thus is now mostly irrelevant.
Those who profess to be Democrats are reaching historically low numbers. Many prominent Democrats are hypocrites: Feminists Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton were uncouth womanizers; the principled war critic Senator Byrd cut his teeth in the Klan; and the self-proclaimed moralists Senators Harkin and Kennedy have both been caught in postmodern problems with the truth. Being rich and a lawyer helps too. Most prominent Democrats and their enablers are either lawyers or multimillionaires, and now often both. Running a hardware store may explain your Republicanism; inheriting the profits from a chain of 1,000 hardware franchises will likely make you a new Democrat.
If we wonder why CBS is in trouble, why no one trusts the universities or the U.N., or why the Democrats may soon lose the Senate, the House, the presidency, and the Supreme Court, the answer has a lot to do with arrogant hypocrisy the idea that how one lives need have nothing to do with what one professes, that idealistic rhetoric can provide psychological cover for privilege and preference, and that rules need not apply for those self-proclaimed as smarter and nicer than the rest of us. But none of us none get a pass simply because we claim that we are more moral, educated, or sophisticated than most.
In the meantime, as this unclean tale slowly reaches it end and it will CBS soon may have to decide between having Dan Rather and having an audience. Dan Rather, in his abject non-professionalism and in his overweening arrogance, has become the symbol of all that has gone so terribly wrong with our once-romantic but now confused, compromised, and aging generation of change. Such are the wages for those who destroy timeless rules and proven protocols for short-term expediency and thus find no sanctuary in their own hour of need.
Mr. Rather would do well to remember Leo Amery's famous evocation of Cromwell, when he once bade Neville Chamberlain to get out:
"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go."
So, Dan, go, and let us have done with you in the name of God, go now.
Victor Davis Hanson is a visiting professor for the month of September and a fellow of Hillsdale College.
Hot damn! Couldn't be better for FR, except for all the trolls this exposure is bringing.
And here's to you, Mr. Robinson! Jesus loves you and so do we.
Bloggers are ruining the internet. What are "bloggers"? They're fat--usually gothic--losers who keep web logs instead of hanging out with friends because they wet the bed and don't have any. A web log is a type of online diary where people who aren't important can pretend to be by writing to an imaginary audience. Girls are notorious for keeping these. On a typical site, you'll find a 17 year old girl with hundreds of webcam pictures of herself pasted everywhere, an Amazon wish list so they can exploit wankers that visit their site, and about 2 gigs worth of text documenting every time they took a shit, had an epiphany about taking a shit or ate something (all written in extremely stylish, yet IMPOSSIBLE TO READ micro-font).
courtesy of Maddox
We should have an official, pre-determined RALLY POINT in case this webpage ever goes down..... another webpage, somewhere.
There's no way around that one. Deal with it.
Bump for Viet-Boat-Rider! Great article! Way oughtta my league!
Let me know when you find it!
Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.
Victor nails a lot of folks.
One is maintained on Yahoo. I have used it a few times when FR was down due to technical reasons.
When freerepublic.com is down, for whatever reason, head to the following yahoo group where freepers communicate:
*suggest you bookmark the link!
WELCOME TO FREE REPUBLIC - where the TRUTH will set you free!
Aren't you a sweetheart! Southern Bell I suppose too?! Thank you...AFE
Thank you bh!!
FD is small compared to FR, but the folks are friendly, and most of the HTML-tagged stuff I have works there, unlike the UBB-based forums, which require reformatting.