SOFTENING THE WORDS OF WAR

Putting a fabric softener in your wash is one thing, but America's media establishment appears to be running some of their biggest stories through a word softener.

Putting a fabric softener in your wash is one thing, but America’s media establishment appears to be running some of their biggest stories through a word softener.

Consider the big story of mushrooming public rage about the Bush’s war in Iraq. Two-thirds of Americans disapprove of the way its being handled, 66 percent say it was a mistake to go into Iraq in the first place, 58 percent say Bush lied about his reasons going there, 58 percent say that being in Iraq is not worth the lives it is costing, and 73 percent say we should be bringing our troops home.

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Public anger is so great that Bush can’t travel among the people, instead delivering his speeches on military bases or to invitation-only audiences in guarded cocoons. Meanwhile, outside, not a day goes by without sizable war protests in every region of the country.

Yet, the armchair media barons either are oblivious to the depth of the public sentiment or are deliberately toning it down. Their stories are filled with such ridiculous newspeak as: “The public is increasingly disenchanted with the conflict.” Disenchanted? No, no – characters in a Harlequin romance novel get “disenchanted,” not us war opponents. We get horrified, disgusted, and outraged. Also, Iraq is not a “conflict” – its a hellacious, brutal war!

Then we hear various pundits say that the public is “war weary” or suffering “Iraq fatigue” – as though we’re bored with a TV show, a toy, or a game. But we’re not fatigued or weary – we’re mad as hell, appalled, revolted, embarrassed, nauseated by our so-called leaders!

This is Jim Hightower saying… Terms like “weary” and “disenchanted” cast you and me as passive, spoiled-brat consumers of national policy. The hell with that – we’re citizens, not consumers – and an agitated, passionate citizenry is the only hope of changing disastrous national policies, whether the media elites like it or not.

Sources:
“Pentagon has new front,” Austin American-Statesman, October 31, 2006.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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