I was going to title this diary, "Why Edward Snowden, Anthony Weiner, the Mayor of San Diego, and the Royal Baby can all go to Hell!" but I didn't want people to think I was really having bitter, evil feelings towards newly born George Alexander Louis Windsor of Cambridge. In fact, I'm happy for George and his parents Will and Kate and I wish them nothing but the best in their future family endeavors. But if you're wondering why I'm linking the royal baby to Edward Snowden and Anthony Weiner, you'll probably quickly realize this is actually a rant against the mainstream media.
As I'm pretty sure most of you are aware by now, there has been a full scale assault on the civil liberties and civil rights of Americans by many forms and branches of government, whether it be on the national level with the egregious use of the PATRIOT Act to spy on Americans, or the Supreme Court striking down one of the main pillars of the Voting Rights Act, as well as numerous state governments tamping down on the rights of minorities, the elderly, and young people to vote, and the hacking of the rights of women to determine their own reproductive freedom. These horrific actions were spotlighted in the filibuster of Texas' sweeping abortion restrictions law by Wendy Davis and the subsequent protests in the state capital, and the acquittal of George Zimmerman in his murder case involving Trayvon Martin. Just prior to that, a contracted employee doing work for the NSA leaked information revealing the government was keeping extensive electronic records on nearly every American who accessed a cell phone or logged on to the internet. For a while, it had Americans up in arms about unlawful spying of personal information and had government officials on edge about why they needed to monitor every American in the name of national security.
And then the unthinkable happened. The leaker revealed himself to be Edward Snowden.
From that point on, the story shifted from being about intrusive government spying on ordinary Americans to a "Where's Waldo"-type story about the whereabouts of Edward Snowden, all but cheerleaded by a compliant news media. Instead of getting a useful discussion about the merits of electronic surveillance in the post-911 era, we got reporters running around Moscow's airport and hopping planes to Cuba in the hope of seeing Edward Snowden on board. Once again, the mainstream media was chasing small branches on a tree while ignoring the forest in front of them.
Occasionally, the real world would rear its ugly head from the streets of Cairo and the courthouse in Samford, Florida, and after the George Zimmerman acquittal and nationwide protests which followed, it looked as though the mainstream media would finally have to mediate a real discussion on issues of race and justice.
But then, the Duchess of Cambridge went into labor.
Boy, were the media so over this racial justice story. It's time to talk about the British royal family. The same monarchy we fought to get our independence from over 200 years ago. Granted, after the very heavy news about the assault on the rights of minorities and women, sometimes it's good to take a break, but once again the media went way overboard with their coverage with round the clock coverage on CNN and Fox News, and even MSNBC went in on the royal baby action.
But just as that story was winding down, up came more tales of scandal and salaciousness from a couple of former congressmen; this time with prurient details.
First it was the mayor of San Diego, who is alleged by several of his female staffers of making inappropriate sexual advances towards them, including physically groping them in their private parts and whispering sexual innuendo in their ears. While the mayor has admitted to having "control issues" with regard to these activities and says he is seeking treatment for these issues, he has yet to resign from office.
But almost immediately after these revelations came even more revelations from a disgraced former congressman who is seeking redemption by running for mayor of New York City. In this case, it was Anthony Weiner, who was forced to resign from office after photos of his covered but bulging...um....namesake were revealed online. As it turned out, he was the one who revealed those photos. After being out of office and out of the spotlight for about two years, he announced he would run for mayor of New York City, and it appeared voters were willing to forgive his indiscretions.
But last week he hastily assembled a press conference in which he revealed that more photos of his...namesake were posted online, and this time it was not covered. Worse yet, these photos and salacious texts were posted after he had resigned from office. Needless to say, the mainstream media had a field day with these stories, and it gave them ample opportunity to bloviate about stuff that has little relevance to anyone except those people living in the New York City and San Diego areas. Meanwhile, the states of the Old Confederacy are passing draconian voting rights and abortion rights laws intended to hurt minorities and women, yet narry a peep is being made about these issues by the mainstream media. Also, strikes by fast food workers demanding living wages are sprouting up across the country, yet few outlets dare report on these.
Gil Scot Heron once said, "the revolution will not be televised." I'm not sure if he meant that the media would not be interested in it, but it appears that something is going on out there. But it appears the revolution will literally have to crash the news desks in order for them to cover it.