Long ago in America we had three major TV networks from which to glean our news. As a child of the 60s, I remember watching all three networks and truly the choice of which news network to watch depended on personal preferences on the news anchors, not the political angle of the reporting. Each network covered pretty much the same stories and the competition seemed to be on which network would hit the airwaves with the story first.
The Benghazi saga illuminates a bigger picture problem than just the potential cover-up of the events that transpired September 11, 2012. When cable news networks try to bury news stories for political reasons, obfuscate or “spin” (LIE), then more is at stake than just a public disservice to the viewing public.
Living around the Army my entire adult life, I became a compulsive channel-flipper when big news stories break. Boy, during Grenada, CNN had come into existence by then, so there was an added news source, beyond the big 3 and the initial Reagan black-out on reporting had me glued to the TV hoping for some news. Grenada affected my life personally, because my husband had deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division. Once news dribbled out and the Reagan administration provided news updates, well, all the networks provided pretty much the same facts. Grenada was over quickly, but I did receive a letter in the mail that my husband wrote on the back of what looked like a C-ration box and honestly I don’t remember when MREs replaced the C-rations (which I thought were much better truthfully- just a side note, lol). This mail was brought back to Fort Bragg and stuck into envelopes and mailed to our homes, courtesy of the Army. As time went on, I remember Desert Storm living with no TV news, because we were living in Germany and my husband deployed from there. We lived in leased military quarters and had no AFN and my German is lamentably bad, so German TV news was useless. I listened to AFN radio and relied mostly on much slower press accounts of the war.
Watching the news in the past 20 years evolve with the advent of the internet and deepening political divide in America, it’s alarming to me to flip through the channels and see the wide disparity on not only how news stories get covered, but what news stories get covered, the amount of coverage and the disparity on how some news networks choose to bury stories for sheer partisan political purposes. Long ago we used to deride Pravda (that Soviet-era propaganda tool) as a reprehensible tactic to keep a people living in darkness by political deception. Imagine my alarm when I’ll skim through the online English edition of Pravda occasionally and their reporting on many American news stories seems to offer a more honest, truthful accounting than many of our own prominent news outlets.
There’s a big picture crisis brewing in America, when we calmly accept lies for political advantage over demanding the truth. When you can get two completely removed realities at the same time, by just flipping the news channels, well, it sets the stage for political manipulation of the public on a massive scale. This rivals anything that even Stalin or other communist regimes imagined. While I’m disgusted with what looks like a Benghazi cover-up, I’m worrying more about the big picture problem of the American public’s willingness to buy into wholesale lying to fit partisan political agendas. If we the people don’t care about the truth, who will?