Friday, May 24, 2019

Blaming Politicians For Doing Dumb Things Promoted By The Media Is Putting The Biggest Part Of The Blame In The Wrong Place

Reading this Politico article talking about the role that the then Senator Joe Biden played in creating some of the worst of the drug legislation of the 1980s and 90s, the first thing I thought was that Biden, as so many politicians inevitably do, was surfing the cultural waves created by media.   

The issue of crack cocaine was largely fueled by, yes, the introduction of a new form of cocaine that had its own peculiar venues of harming people.    But the hysteria about it, the thing that led to the legislation, was largely media driven, Phil Donahue and other talk show hosts and magazine show hosts getting the hot guests on to fuel ratings, the authors of books on the hot new topic of the danger of crack, and the coverage of the face of crack use, largely presented as a Black face, largely as poor people, as the Politico article points out, presenting it as a menace largely because of the people who were using it as the affluent users of powder cocaine weren't presented by their relatives and friends in the media, in the publishing industry in journalism as being the clear and present danger that the media presented the use of crack as being.   

That many of those who became temporary media celebrities over the issue were doctors and researchers who pushed those distorted images of what was not much different from the use of powered cocaine was certainly a huge part of why politicians were swept up in the media campaign and who, unsurprisingly, wrote legislation to address what they were told were new and unique dangers to the country and the public.

As I've written earlier this week, I have long had serious misgivings about Joe Biden's political career, his wisdom, his integrity, and, since his infamously and stupendously stupid 1987 plagiarizing of that speech by Neil Kinnock, his intelligence, but I am not going to single him out for doing what politicians job is, politicians whose careers depend on the shifting mood of the public, that shifting being hugely influenced by those decisions of what to put on TV and the radio and in books and magazine articles by the media.   

If you want to know why Biden and is colleagues did things that turned out to be such a disaster, it was largely at the result of what happened in the programming offices of the Phil Donahue Show, the network and cabloid shows, radio shows, and the other venues of media driving the thing. 

Since the article relates how the anti-crack legislation sponsored and promoted by Biden in the 80s and 90s relates to the very real and incredibly deadly epidemic of opioid overdoses and deaths we are going through now, that certainly was even more due to the decisions of the same talk shows and news outlets to fall for the opioid producers declaration of an "under-treated pain epidemic" sold largely by the same methods though with far more obviously evil intent.  The "under-treated pain epidemic" was a media campaign pushed by drug pushers, directly.  Drug pushers of the same, affluent,white, elite class, notoriously many of them holding MD degrees and their families owning the very companies pushing the drugs they certainly knew their customers would become addicted to and, inevitably, a significant percentage of those would go on to use other opioids when they couldn't get their legal, doctor prescribed fixes.   

Again, the media's role in creating the public demand for regulatory and legal changes that permitted the very drug pushers to get America addicted to drugs, was central to pressuring politicians to change laws and put the screws to reluctant regulators to make the drugs available.  

And since they had an enormous role in all of this, especially in the "free speech - free press" rulings that allowed drug companies to advertise even the most dangerous of drugs directly to consumers A CENTRAL PILLAR IN GETTING US ADDICTED TO SO MANY DRUGS the Supreme Court is even more to blame than the politicians who have to bow to pubic pressure that will come with that drug advertising.  And along with that any deputed "civil liberties" group which filed briefs with the court and who testified in favor of the disaster of direct to consumer advertising of drugs.  And, yes, I do mean the goddamned ACLU.  

The idiocy that corporations are "persons" and enjoy the natural rights of real, naturally produced human beings is one of those Constitutional disasters, though it is one that can't be blamed except most indirectly on the fabled founders.  It, as well, is a creation of the Supreme Court.  But though it, also, played a central role in all of these disasters,  I'll go on about that another time. 

As the Politico article notes, Biden seems to realize that his legislation was a disaster, I have no evidence to present that any of the media and others who created both of these disasters have learned a goddamned thing that will keep them from doing it again, the media is certainly not about to take its rightful share of the blame.  The Supreme Court never, ever says it's sorry.  The ACLU brags about the role they took in it on their website.   Being "First Amendment" means never, ever having to say you're sorry.  They blame the politicians who caved to the public pressure brought by those media organizations and drug corporations they freed to create that public pressure.  And if a politician didn't cave to public pressure, they'd be the first to slam them for not being responsive to the voters. 

No comments:

Post a Comment