Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

CNN Is Drinking the Tea

Pygmies casting such long shadows is a sign of how late in the day it has become.

CNN is drinking the “Tea,” a libation as lethal as Jim Jones’ cool-aid in Jonestown, and, in its infinite tolerance, purveying this deadly potion to the public.

As U.S. politics boil to extreme temperatures, CNN’s apparent pull-back from a liberal slant (not liberal bias, regardless of right-wing noise to the contrary) would be laudable if it meant letting facts speak for themselves so that We The People, with time to cool off and reflect, can sort out things and come to our senses.

But we found that vox populi is anything but vox dei. To now, the  American public has had an innate grasp of ultimate good sense, returning always to moderation after petty flirtations with extremism. Such was largely due to the contest of ideas, what Milton of old described as “winds of doctrine let loose to play upon the earth,” for so would “truth be in the field (and) we do injuriously to misdoubt her strength.” God, I love dead poets.

But CNN of late has taken a lesser path, deeming it unfair to the political right wing not to let them harp on at length on CNN’s portion of the airwaves in addition to its free-range rants on Fox News. Blitzer, Cafferty & Co are giving insanity a boost by over-airing fools like Glenn Beck and their own drum-beat of vitriol on the head of Obama.

Fox has no wish to temper its plague of poison news, a drip-drip of steady lies and innuendo on anything deemed outside their circle of No. Since the disaster in Haiti, CNN spent countless hours covering related stories. Not FauX News: flipping channels to see what was up on that Evil Empire found them ever in mid-rant on Reid, Pelosi, and Obama–and that’s just for starters. To say they have a “news gathering” team is to mis-name revisionism and rumor-mongering.

Thus America is now caught between non-stop mud-slinging from Fox and a CNN fearful of the Right’s empty accusation that liberals never give them an even shake–a misreading of the necessary give-and-take that informs our democracy so that reasoned judgments may be made. Otherwise, even democratic societies become no better than Pavlov’s Dog, slobbering assent at every ding-dong of idle comment.

CNN‘s Jack Cafferty is a crank or like a drunk on a barstool, leaving bystanders to wonder which way he’s going to fall. And it hurts to see the usually even-minded David Gergen, advisor to both sides of the aisle for decades, become Chicken Little over a sky that isn’t falling–though if all news sources get on the same page, we may well see a full-fledged run on government institutions that will make bank panics seem like, well, a tea party.

When America listens to the likes of Glenn Beck, it is time to say that pygmies casting such long shadows is a sign of how late in the day it has become–though not too late for real and balanced journalism and to derive the benefits therefrom. But this will not happen if CNN merely joins in the panic.

The radical right doesn’t know that to start a war is one thing, and ending it is another. Portland’s Museum has a portrait of a very tired Washington after Valley Forge, where he lost 3000 men in a costly victory and making the early patriots wonder if theirs was a worthwhile cause. Not far from him is Ulysses Grant in marble but with flagging sword, and the artist had to fashion a more heroic Grant suitable for placement in the nation’s capital.  Such is war, and none is more ruinous and despicable than that of countrymen fighting each other.

Thus we are in what Lincoln would call another great civil war. Obama cannot undo in one year what was eight in the making, but the Grand Old Party would rather have us all fail than to forge workable compromises.

This no time for CNN to turn into wusses. They should know that things can turn around in a heartbeat, the way Bush’s limping presidency found resuscitation in 9/11. Heaven forfend similar disaster should recur, but the White House, and this one in particular, being the nerve center of the world and ever the Home of Bad Luck, surely will have its own opportunity to pull us back together as friends, not foes.

Obama is neither lame nor dying. We’ve a lot to learn about this man, but don’t look for it in the current GOP Book of the Dead. This is only Chapter One of Obama’s tenure and things are daunting, but America’s been here before.

In the meantime, CNN, stop drinking the Tea.

2 Responses to “CNN Is Drinking the Tea”

  1. Right on John, right on.

  2. Frank Cafferty was just a local sneering, longtime, NYC news hack until CNN “elevated?” him to national commentator status. CNN has been nipping at Fox News’s heels for some time now in an attempt to capture the viewership of what the lovely Liz Cheney calls, “the resurgent, righteous minority on the rise.”
    CNN has long been distorting facts, casting long ominous shadows and “purveying this deadly potion to the public.” Nicely said, John.

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