This belief, that lies can beat truth if they're louder, is behind so many of our problems today. The health care crisis. The climate crisis. The Iraq War. Our sucky political system. And we're seeing it all over today's news:
- The Pentagon is on TV right now, pretending that happy talk about Iraq can overcome the reality on the ground.
- David Vitter (right) thinks he can throw his wife (the one who'd said she would castrate him) in a leopard-print dress and the press will ignore his preference -- to wear diapers for hookers.
- Right-wing morons are selling businesses on the idea that they can beat back a true "blog attack" by flooding the zone with negative comments.
When reality intrudes, they press back with media. It's what they do. It's how they roll. The fact that TV and print reporters buy this crap, that they run with it, merely destroys their own credibility. As the TV ad says, "People are Smart." Smart enough not to take a sudden change in advertising direction at face value.
Thanks to the Internet, you don't have to take it anymore, you don't have to believe it anymore. If the reality on your ground disagrees with the spin you're getting from the major media, you can go around it and find the true facts for yourself.
This is central to the whole generational Thesis, and how each new Thesis brings with it a new medium which first tells the truth, then gradually learns to lie as the Thesis reaches excess. A generation ago, in the Summer of 1967, the Johnson Administration's talk of "turning the corner" began failing because TV showed that the situation on the ground was different. A generation before, all the newspaper and nattering about the recession being only "a little depression" was shown to be a lie by movies.
A generation from now, perhaps, politicians will feel so much in
control of what we can learn via the Internet that they will think they
can lie here with impunity. But reality will again intrude, we'll lose
faith in both the medium and the message, and we'll look for new
That is the way of the world, both the political world and the media world. In the end, reality wins. And if CNN wants to continue selling lies, if Fox wants to continue selling lies, if ABC, NBC, and CBS want to continue selling lies, it is they who will suffer.
We're not gonna take it.