Look out, kid--it's somethin' you did--
God knows what--
but you're doin' it again...
So there I was, minding my own business--well, at least as much as I ever mind my own business, when she said-- and I kid you not-- "I blame the media on everything."
I was aghast. I was agog. I awash with astonishment.
But mostly, I was just amused.
I run into this kind of thing on an almost daily basis, and usually from people who seem to be from the same planet as me. And I'm always reminded of Jack Nicholson's line to Karen Black in Five Easy Pieces: "Everything would be just fine if you didn't open your mouth." Unlike Jack, I've refrained from beating the crap out of a steering wheel to emphasize the retort.
I smiled thinly, and asked her, "Doesn't that fall under the category of shooting the messenger?"
She was on a roll now, eyes flashing ice and voice speaking from another plane. "No," she hissed, "and I'll tell you why. The media just tells us every day we deserve this and it's everyone else's fault we don't have it. And I'll tell you what else," she leaned in, as if to impart the secret of life to me, "the Democrats started it all.."
And with that, she scurried away, back to her daily routine of marking inventory down to sale prices in the vain hope that the company will turn around, if not in this quarter, then the next.
You think I'm making this up. Folks, you can't even buy this kind of material.
I guess I'm a member of that nebulous entity known as the media. And I'll readily admit to recording history--it's called writing. And I'll even cop to injecting an opinion here and there. But I am at a loss to explain how I, or my peers (Fox News notwithstanding)
am responsible for global unrest, the war in Iraq, the Katrina debacle, the AIDS pandemic, obscene oil company profits, Hollywood divorces and pregnancies, illegal wiretaps, or even the fact that Joey is still on the air.
The fact is this. The Administration has gotten all the spin they can get from 9/11 and Bush squandered his self-proclaimed "political collateral", so it's time to blame --once again-- the media. The even sadder fact is that they are, in fact, the media--self-contained in their own version of the universe. Make no mistake about it--these guys are masters of manipulation.
She was right about one thing, though. You can blame it on the media.
She just bet on the wrong horse--the one that refers to any whisper of dissent as "culture wars."