By Colin Benjamin
September 24th, 2008
McCain, a notorious deregulation advocate, helped create the permissiveness that led to the current meltdown; how can he be solution when he was part of the problem, columnist argues....
In a real democracy its leaders are elected by a people properly informed by its press.
But in the United States, that ideal has been corrupted and abrogated by a compromised, propagandist press that has misled this nation into the disaster of the last eight years. Media are at it again.
As Friday's presidential debate draws near, amid the backdrop of last week's Wall Street meltdown, the American people's collective ignorance on why this disaster occurred, and the politicians who caused it, is chilling.
At the end of last week, after stumbling and mumbling for days incoherently trying to find a tone of authenticity during this financial catastrophe, John McCain stated: "People like Senator Obama have been too busy gaming the system and haven't ever done a thing to actually challenge the system. We've heard a lot of words from Senator Obama over the course of the campaign. But maybe just this once he could spare us the lectures, and admit to his poor judgment in contributing to these problems. The crisis on Wall Street started in the Washington culture of lobbying and influence peddling, and he was square in the middle of it."
That Senator McCain has, largely, gotten away with these blatant, bold-face lies is evidence of journalistic malpractice of the highest order. How is it that this increasingly senile sounding, serial liar is allowed to get away with misrepresenting Senator Barack Obama’s record, while concealing his sordid dossier of graft and corruption?
Only yesterday it was reported that McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis had been receiving $15,000 in secret payments to his firm per month from Freddie Mac until last month; this contradicts McCain’s lie Sunday that Davis has had no association with Freddie Mac for years. What makes it even more odious is that apparently Davis has been getting paid though he hasn’t been performing any work for Freddie Mac. Let’s see how McCain explains this and how it escapes investigation.
For weeks now, I have written about Senator McCain's involvement in the Reagan Era deregulation movement, which is the stepping stone that led us into this financial quicksand. McCain’s involvement as a congressional "lobbyist" and "influence peddler" for Charles Keating, the man who defrauded so many, including the elderly, of their life savings is clear. Senator McCain was one of the "Keating Five" senators who all received slaps on the wrist reprimands from the Senate Ethics Committee. Senator McCain was chided for exercising "poor judgment" when he interceded to "influence" federal regulators on Keating's behalf, in a failed attempt to give congressional cover to his friend and benefactor.
All of these unprincipled political prostitutes sold their services to Keating, in an attempt to shield him from federal regulators investigating him as a major figure in the larger infamous Savings and Loan Scandals. The Savings and Loan Scandals cost the country $160.1 billion.
$124.6 billion was taken from the pockets of American taxpayers. If history is any indication, the taxpayers are about to get the shaft again. Especially, since the media has been derelict in contextually informing the public of these abuses and the involvement of impostors like Senator McCain.
These violations of the public trust are a direct result of the deregulation movement that Senator McCain championed alongside the GOP's favorite B- movie actor and pseudo-cowboy: Ronald Reagan. Make no mistake about it—Wall Street's current crisis is part and parcel of that same ideological perversion: the illogical idea that the markets should be free of any regulation and oversight. The reason behind this failed financial philosophy is now abundantly clear: with no policing of these markets, speculators and swindlers were given a free pass at "gaming the system."
Question: given Senator McCain's record of schmoozing lobbyists—he has 83 of them on his campaign staff—and corporate crooks like Charles Keating why isn't media informing the public of these relevant facts? Could it be because of the "he's a 'war hero' narrative" that the propaganda press has spoon-fed the public? In a future column, we'll explore whether Senator McCain is really a "war hero."
In the last two presidential elections, the press misinformed the public into voting for these "conservative" neo-con artists who have taken this country to the brink of insolvency. During the 2000 Presidential Election the most flagrant violation in any democracy was allowed to stand when the vote of Black Floridians was stolen by Republicans like Kathleen Harris, with the help of Bush's minions and his brother Governor Jeb Bush.
Where was the insightful in-depth investigation of this suppression of democracy? Why didn't the media look into the evidence of vote-fixing by companies like Diebold in the 2004 Presidential Elections?
In the 2004 Presidential Elections, the media facilitated the "Swift-Boating" of Senator John Kerry. Here is a man who received five medals, three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. Yet, he was made to look like an emasculated sissy, unlike the chicken hawks—Cheney alone received five deferments—who reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If media had properly educated the public about Kerry’s military honors the American people wouldn't have been fooled by the "Swift-Boaters."
Much of the catastrophe of the last eight years can be traced to the thievery in 2000. America's propaganda press is largely to blame for the docile and complacent reaction of the public. History will judge America harshly for media's mis-education of the America people during this period.
Unfortunately, media is still betraying the American people, by allowing Senator McCain to cover-up his congressional history of fraud.
It's time to challenge Senator McCain's deceptions and media's misguided manipulations.
Benjamin is a member of The Black Star News’s Editorial Board