attempt to link our household to world events. Newscasters were seen
as purveyors of truth; reporters objectively conveying the facts.
They were a far cry from today's actors and actresses, dressed and
primped for the camera, for whom celebrity status is more important
than the information they impart.
The recent reveal of manipulated press is appalling, and the
deception, in the "guise" of truth, disheartening. The celebratory
"fall" of the statue of Saddam Hussein, replete with media created
audiences photographed through narrow angle lenses, and the "rescue"
of Jessica Lynch, with marines gun-blasting their way into a hospital
they knew to be unarmed, is criminal. Both incidents drive home the
painful realization: honest journalism is in decline, if not already
gasping its last breath.
A number of years ago, National Geographic magazine ran a photo
cover showing the pyramids of Egypt. To the uneducated eye, the cover
was pleasing enough. What was not revealed, was that the photo had
been altered. The view of the two pyramids together from that angle
was physically impossible. The stalwart journal of "honest"
photographic essays, had fallen under the hands of graphic impress. A
furor rose in the journalistic community. National Geographic's "sin"
was a small drop in an increasingly large bucket.
Try a vacation on www.whitehouse.gov. What at one time, was a
rather banal Web site, with information about tours and some
background on the First Family, has become a media event in and onto
itself. Each day postings of the latest Bush "event" are uploaded
with photographs, sound bites, audio and video recordings. These are
presented as news items, but they are not objective reporting. It is
wholesale hijacking of the media for the aggrandizement of the office
and its political maneuvers.
What is true and what is an illusion? Who and what can be trusted?
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote June 2
to loosen rules governing media cross-ownership. The 1966
Telecommunications Act, forbids any one company from owning both a
newspaper and a broadcast-media outlet in any single community, and