Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Gangrene That Killed American Democracy Started With A Permission To Lie With Impunity

The scope of the disaster we have been brought to by a president who is the creation of the free press, freed to lie with impunity, will rapidly become somewhat clearer, though don't expect the mass media which created Donald Trump to report the scope of the disaster.  It won't.  It will lie and millions, tens of millions and hundreds of millions will buy that lie and the fear used to sell it.  

This disaster began in 1964 with the Sullivan Decision in which the liberal Warren Court opted for neutrality in the matter of the media having to correct and compensate public figures for printing and broadcasting false information about public figures.  In that case it was the New York Times which appealed a ruling against it by a Southern Court and instead of saying the Times had to correct the minor misstatements of fact contained in the ad it published and to pay the court costs of the slightly injured party.   The New York Times could have easily absorbed such a cost.   Instead the court, perhaps somewhat addicted to setting up landmarks issued a blanket immunity to the media to lie about public officials without there being any possibility of the lied about person or entity suing.  

That power was used by the corporate media, up to and including the august New York Times, to mostly lie about liberals and  liberal politicians.  Hillary Clinton is the iconic figure in that effort, and we have the massive liar Donald Trump in lieu of her.  

Democracy can't live on a diet of lies, it can only live on a diet of truth, of reality.  The Sullivan and other, similar decisions of judges and justices started American democracy on a diet of lies, the result of that just came to its terminal stage. 

There is absolutely nothing complex or mysterious about this, though it is far easier to see if you saw the entire fifty-three years since that small wound put on the moral foundation of democracy first became infected with lies and the gangrenous lesion that developed spread and has now destroyed everything good about the United States. 

I wonder what Maureen Dowd and the guys who had to retract their series about Hillary Clinton being indicted last year will write about a year from now.  I wonder what Nat Hentoff and Joel Gora will do today.   Maybe they'll put out some of their magical "more speech" to make it all better. 

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