Thursday, April 28, 2016

Holy Crap, I Agree With Spiro Agnew


Or, rather, Agnew agrees with me:
...
Now what do Americans know of the men who wield this power? Of the men who produce and direct the network news, the nation knows practically nothing. Of the commentators, most Americans know little other than that they reflect an urbane and assured presence, seemingly well-informed on every important matter. We do know that to a man these commentators and producers live and work in the geographical and intellectual confines of Washington, D.C., or New York City, the latter of which James Reston terms "the most unrepresentative community in the entire United States."

Both communities bask in their own provincialism, their own parochialism. We can deduce that these men read the same newspapers. They draw their political and social views from the same sources. Worse, they talk constantly to one another, thereby providing artificial reinforcement to their shared viewpoints...

Perhaps the place to start looking for a credibility gap is not in the offices of the Government in Washington but in the studios of the networks in New York. Television may have destroyed the old stereotypes, but has it not created new ones in their places? What has this "passionate" pursuit of controversy done to the politics of progress through local compromise essential to the functioning of a democratic society?

The members of Congress or the Senate who follow their principles and philosophy quietly in a spirit of compromise are unknown to many Americans, while the loudest and most extreme dissenters on every issue are known to every man in the street...
Sure, Agnew's remarks were the poison fruit of the fever swamp of the Nixon Administration's epic paranoia and pathological hatred of the press and dissent in any form.  And the issue at-hand was the war in Vietnam and not Donald Trump's junk. And, sure, it took nearly half a century, the rise of Fox News and Hate Radio and the complete capitulation of the mainstream media to wingnut demands that their madness, paranoia, racism and idiocy never be called out for the facts to finally fit the sophistry. 

But  the tempora and the mores have finally caught up with crooked ol' Spiro T.'s paranoia-mongering about the media.

Funny old world.  

6 comments:

Habitat Vic said...

Not for nothing, but about a year later in 1970, Nixon's Executive Producer for Media came up with a 15-page plan to combat those "Nattering Nabobs" of Liberal Media. It was titled “A Plan for Putting the GOP on TV News,” and is in the Nixon Library in San Clemente. Among the reasons given for the presumed success if there ever was a GOP TV: "People are lazy. With television you just sit—watch—listen. The thinking is done for you.”

That Nixon staffer was none other than Roger Ailes, who went on to do precisely what he said. He just called it Fox News instead of GOP TV. Of course, other members of the media couldn't DARE call out Fox News for its Republican/conservative bias. Even though its in writing by its fucking founder/president 46 years ago and in a Presidential Library.

keith gargus said...

Wasn't the only horror hatched in the Nixon WH. The concept of the imperial presidency was obsessively nurtured by a young staffer named Dick Cheney.

Jimbo said...

Both great comments above and it does show how the vileness of the Nixon Presidency from the Southern Strategy to the machinations of cynical manipulators like Ailes and Cheney have poisoned American politics for nearly 50 years. But, it should be noted that the words in that speech most likely came from the pen of William Safire, the walking thesaurus for the NYT and not from the profoundly stupid mind of Spiro T. Agnew who merely mouthed them.

RUKidding said...

So much of the current Mess, Inc, is directly related to Tricky's Admin, and the fact that Ford pardoned that criminal rat bastard. Ergo, no consequences. Get away with any old crime you like. And the GOP jumped right into it because the water's fine.

Whatever known Crook Spiro (hero and role model to many in the GOP, especially "my" Rep Daryll Issa, yet another known criminal serving in congress) said in the Way Back machine that might make some sense now is a bit irrelevant seeing as how Tricky and Sprio's crooked ways and means have been made manifest X 1 bazillion. No doubt both would be so proud (not snark) of what the GOP has become. It was their fetid wet dream back in the day.

Fritz Strand said...

Agnew won the Maryland governorship before being picked by Nixon for VP because of a split Democratic ticket and a campaign using the tune 'Chicago's My Kind of Town' turned into 'Ted Agnew is my Kind of Guy'. I have to grab a barf bucket every time I remember that nightmare of an era.

John Robinson said...

It's the very height of political cleverness* to condemn something that doesn't exist and then work tirelessly to bring that something into existence. The GOP has mastered that art.

*well, at least as far as the GOP goes.