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Tue April 5, 2011
Commentary: the Fourth Estate as Hollywood Blockbuster
By Gershon Siegel
Santa Fe, NM – Remember back when FOX News had acquired the Fourth Estate and the previous administration was having its way with us? Even then, as we bent over and "assumed the position," we were still amused. No doubt Bush's presidency will be remembered as much funnier compared with Obama's. We had us an honest-to-God silver-spoon-in-mouth-member of the oligarchy in all his clueless, clumsy arrogance and "he killed," as they say in the comedy clubs.
Didn't you split a gut as our commander-in-cowboy stood before the "Mission Accomplished" sign, dressed in green pilot uniform and accessorized cod-piece? Surely you chortled as Bush hammed it up for the cameras looking for WMDs beneath his desk?
Obama's big joke is on those who voted for him. How can you laugh at a man who so thoroughly fooled us? First, he convinces the left he's one of them. Next, the Right totally believes he's a communist! Talk about range! He's the "Sean Penn" of politics. You thought you voted for a intelligent, eloquent, progressive - but all you got was just another corporatist.
Presidents must be picked from some secret Central Casting department. Once Nixon lost his audience over Watergate they figured they needed someone more believable. Jimmy Carter had just wrapped up his Georgia Governor's role and he was former nuclear submarine captain - Maybe they thought he'd promote the nuclear power industry. Who knew he'd install solar panels on the White House? No wonder the Studio didn't renew his contract.
Besides, Carter lacked a real leading man's charisma. He was too humble. The President's number one job is to burnish the American Brand. We need a Big Daddy persona affirming the nation's rightful Manifest Destiny - not someone asking us to put on sweaters, turn down our thermostats and conserve energy.
After four years of America's malaise under Carter, it was time to call in a "real" actor. Like the calvary to rescue, Reagan wasted no time in removing those solar panels from the White House and killing Carter's solar tax credits. Imagine the disaster for the plutocracy if America now possessed a mature solar industry and was no longer dependant on fossil fuels.
Reagan had the luckest timing and even got to take credit for the Soviet Union's fall because while visiting West Berlin in 1987 he dramatically brayed, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," just as it was about to crumble from its own weight. Carter, never as lucky, got no credit even though it was his administration that snookered Moscow into a bankrupting war with Afghanistan.
Reagan, ever the consummate actor, made statecraft look so easy. In a blink - he turned the world's largest creditor nation into its largest debtor. Still, his cult-members want his likeness chiseled into Mount Rushmore. Fortunately, there's still a bit of space left between Roosevelt and Lincoln. Perhaps the Reagan idolizers would be satisfied with a little relief sculpture?
Don't get me wrong - I don't want to live in some totalitarian state without free elections. Who'd want to be in a place like North Korean where the government propaganda is so powerful it can brainwash its citizens into believing that their incompetent, cue-card reading ruler, is a demi-god sent from heaven to protect them from their enemies?
I'm grateful to live in a "free" society where our "free" media edifies me daily with salacious news of celebrity lives. God preserve America's noble Fourth Estate, even if FOX News has acquired it. Besides, who remembers what the Fourth Estate is - let alone what purpose it serves?