Shady journalists fish
The stink of the recent political climate
is, for once, not the politicians' fault but that of the popular practices
of too many spin doctors and
Two examples come to mind: political mudslinging
over Enron's collapse and the decision to change a part of the national
consciousness in a
Sometimes, the media's en masse zealotry
for opportunism and the spin doctors' web of half-truths is dizzying (in
the nauseous sense of the
The recent bandwagon of indicating President
Bush as a key player in an alleged Enron scandal gives cause to wonder
whether the media is
The story goes that because Bush accepted
campaign money from Enron, he did not act on its behalf when it came time
to soften the fall.
According to his critics, he is responsible
for the little guy that lost his 401(k) plan.
President Bush deserves accolades for the
way he has handled the situation, if for no other reason than that he had
the dignity, ethics and moral
principles to avoid even the appearance
of being bought off. That is something former President Bill Clinton would
not have even considered.
Bush, however, is getting nothing but
heat and criticism.
Why? Aside from the fact that Enron is
entirely at fault for its own demise, the presidency was not created to
bail out companies that can't
manage their funds. Furthermore, there
is no guarantee that anything could have been done to help Enron -- the
hole it dug for itself was pretty
Even if the government could have helped,
is it really a good idea for the government to bail out every corporation
that is run poorly and set the
precedent that large companies no longer
have to worry about good business management?
"Don't worry about doing something stupid,
Mama Sam will make it better."
In a time when politics and politicians
are synonymous with crime and criminals, our president shows the moral
strength not to use his power
and influence to help out a campaign contributor
... and is criticized for it.
How can the media be considered free when
it is a slave to, not just the dollar, but its own glory? Has the need
to create a story become so great
that an act of character in a politician
is perverted this way?
If so, it's easy to see that the authors
of the First Amendment's dream of a free press has gone unfulfilled.
The lust for another story stinks of a
junkie's need for his next fix. Their drug of choice has enslaved them,
and all of America suffers for it.
In part because of the media's influence,
the search for political correctness has reached a new level of lunacy.
The now-famous picture of three
firefighters raising the American flag
over the rubble of World Trade Center has become the subject for a firefighter
memorial sculpture, with a
few major differences.
The original three firefighters were white,
and because it's not popular or politically correct to be white, the content
of the picture was changed to
depict an African-American, a Hispanic
and an Anglo.
In principle, this is a great idea. It
is an excellent depiction of unity through this tragedy and an ingenious
artistic interpretation. It is also,
however, a bad idea.
First, what about Asian-Americans? What
about Indian-Americans, Native Americans and the scores upon scores of
us of mixed heritage? Are
we not good enough to be in that sculpture?
If race truly does not matter, as the sculpture would try to depict, than
why is it not okay to have three
Second, it is wrong to depict what did
not happen. That photo has become a part of the national consciousness
the way the Iwo Jima photo has,
the way Neil Armstrong walking on the
moon has, the way "Four score and seven years ago" has, not to mention
the way we now all think -- in
unison -- "Ask not what your country can
do for you, but what you can do for your country."
Third, who decides which man gets to stay
in the sculpture? How will it be decided? Imagine being one of the firefighters
who is taken out of the
photo. How would it feel to have that
moment of heroism altered because you were the wrong ethnicity?
We owe it to those firefighters and to
ourselves to keep the truth unchanged. We should not introduce an issue
of race into something that was
not about race.
Thank you, President Bush, for restoring
honor and dignity to the White House, and thank you, firefighters, for
all that you have done --
regardless of race.