Monday, September 27, 2010

Good advice, like history, repeats itself

Extremists in politics, hunting for communists, trawl for votes on an ocean of fear.

Soon enough, we see that these demagogues will stop at nothing, just so long as the consequences make folks more fearful, more angry and looking to them for protection against . . . Them.

Soon enough, some journalist calls them on it. And then, the response to the allegation becomes another opportunity to throw red meat to the booboisie.

And the accuser is thrust into the ranks of Them.

Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Tea Party Patriots, Sen. Joseph McCarthy . . . they're pretty much all the same. And how do you deal with them when they try to turn you into Them?

Above is the advice the editors of Broadcasting-Telecasting had in the edition of April 12, 1954. It was good advice in the context of 1954 and Federal Communications Commission "equal time" requirements for broadcasters.

It's good advice now, too. We just need to adapt the principles to the age of the Internet and cable news channels.

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