Crushing the media


by Ralph Peters [author, novelist]

The Obama administration’s un-American attempt to vilify Fox News only increased the network’s popularity. But this White House debacle can’t be judged in isolation: There’s a global leftwing assault on the freedom of information.

Intense leftist sentiment in most of the international media isn’t enough. Extremists seek total control.

The one thing leftists just can’t bear is criticism. (Mass murder’s fine, but don’t stray from the party line.) As early as the French Revolution, the left grasped that a free press is inherently subversive to its doctrines.

The Obama administration’s aborted Fox hunt simply aligned our government with the hounds of the global left. Our Constitution and common sense frustrated the White House apparatchiks — but other leftist and radical regimes are crushing press freedoms, murdering dissenting journalists and turning the media into a state weapon.

In country after country where Obama’s been tapping re-set buttons, the media are under assault:

* In Russia, journalists and human-rights bloggers continue to be murdered in cold blood by the agents of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Dozens of such assassinations have failed to lead to a single conviction — in a police state where such killings are hardly spontaneous.

The parameters of what’s permissible in the Russian media grow ever narrower. Propaganda’s back in full force, and the body count rises. Obama looks away.

* In Venezuela, strongman Hugo Chavez has been gutting a once-vibrant media since 2002. Regime thugs invade newsrooms, rough up journalists and wreck machinery. As for those who resist, well, accidents happen. Since August, Chavez has revoked the licenses of 34 more radio and TV stations. Obama looks away.

* In Argentina, the Kirchner mini-dynasty, faced with the disastrous effects of its pseudo-populist looting, assaults the media through bogus tax investigations (a Putin technique), the manipulation of paper supplies and monopoly charges. The key Clarin media group — which supported the Kirchners before they wrecked the economy — is now under attack.

Enraged by the exposure of their incompetence, the Kirchners are determined to dominate the press. Obama looks away.

* In Iran, journalists and bloggers fighting for democracy have been murdered, raped, tortured and imprisoned in the wake of last June’s phony elections. Obama looks away.

* In Cairo, our president praised the tolerance of Islam. The result? Slight to begin with, press freedoms have been rolled back from Egypt to the Palestinian badlands. Bloodcurdling lies about Israel are fine, but don’t ask for open elections. Obama looks away.

* The only countries in the Muslim world in which press freedom has increased are Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama looks away.

So the White House temper tantrum over the popularity of Fox News is perfectly understandable: It’s just leftists being leftists. They fear that leftwing theories, long discredited in practice, will die like vampires if exposed to the light of day.

For decades, the left has “owned” our media (as well as our schools and universities). Even today, Fox News remains the single national voice of dissent in television. Every other broadcast or cable network that presents the news demonstrates a left-of-center bias, from the button-down liberalism of ABC through the soft-core activism of CNN to the screwball extremism of MSNBC.

If the left’s vision for humanity is so superior, you’d think leftists could live with alternative views. But the left is totalitarian at heart and can no more tolerate debate than al Qaeda’s fanatics can accept religious diversity.

The American media elected Obama. No presidential candidate’s past ever went so deliberately underexposed. So the attack on Fox may simply have been payback to the networks that are hemorrhaging viewers, the equivalent for the media of a night in the Lincoln bedroom.

Whatever the rationale, Team Obama’s apparatchiks were fully in step with the global left’s war on freedom of speech. ExileStreet

NY Post / copyright 2009 NY Post

Ralph Peters new novel, “The War After Armageddon,” is on the street. He is Fox News’ strategic analyst. His most recent book is “Looking For Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World.”

Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of 19 books, as well as of hundreds of essays and articles, written both under his own name and as Owen Parry. He is a frequent columnist for the New York Post and other publications.

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