Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pageantry, History, and Change

By Alan Caruba

Last week ended in pageantry that altered history in ways the whole world could take notice, vicariously participate, and absorb into the collective conscience. On Friday the heir to the British throne married and a former commoner became the future queen of England. The world rejoiced.

On Sunday, Pope John Paul was beatified, a step toward sainthood, in an expedited Vatican process that was a response to the crowds who gathered at his funeral on April 8, 2005 and cried out “Santos Subito!” Sainthood now.

The evening before was the annual black-tie White House Correspondent’s Association Dinner, a gathering whose humble beginnings reflected the job of covering the presidency. The Association was formed in 1914 in response to news that President Wilson wanted to hold regular press conferences, but wasn’t sure who should attend. The reporters wanted to make sure they made that decision. They held their first dinner in 1920 and, in 1924, Calvin Coolidge was the first President to attend.

Today the dinner is a glitzy affair and can be watched on C-SPAN. As Dana Milbank of The Washington Post noted in an April 29 commentary, the dinner has spawned twenty parties around the event, sponsored by corporations and media organizations who invite film and television celebrities who are also guests at the dinner. It’s a chance for star-struck reporters to rub shoulders with them.

“The correspondent’s association dinner was a minor annoyance for years,” wrote Milbank, “when it was a ‘nerd prom’ for journalists and a few minor celebrities. But as with so much else in this town, the event has spun out of control. Now awash in lobbyists and corporate money, it is another display of Washington’s excesses.”

What ties the dinner together with the beatification ceremony the following day was inadvertently touched upon by Wall Street Journal columnist, Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, historian, best selling author, and a national treasure.

Writing about Pope John Paul’s historic visit to his native Poland in June 1979, Noonan noted that the Mass he conducted was attended by easily a million or more Poles, but when “Everyone at the Mass went home and put on state-controlled television to see the coverage of the great event, they knew millions had been there, they knew what was said, they knew everyone there was part of a spiritual uprising. But the state-run TV had nothing. State-run TV had a few people in the mud and a picture of the pope.”

“Everyone looked at the propaganda of the state, at its lack of truthfulness and its disrespect for reality, and they thought: It’s all lies. Everything the government says is a lie. The government itself is a lie.”

Poland along with Eastern Europe was still in the iron grip of the Soviet Union as it had been since the end of World War Two. In Poland, however, resistance had begun in the form of the Solidarity Movement. Lech Walessa, its leader, told Noonon “We knew…communism could not be reformed. But we knew the minute he touched the foundations of communism, it would collapse.”

The collapse that came began with the failure of the Polish state-controlled press to tell the truth.

While the United States does not have a state-controlled press, the rise of many news and news analysis sites on the Internet has made it clear to a growing body of Americans that the mainstream news media (MSM) has failed or refused to report the truth.

The election of President Barack Obama in 2008 is now largely attributed to the slavish adoration and biased reporting that lifted him from virtual obscurity and put him in the Oval Office.

The release of an obviously fraudulent “birth certificate” this past week evoked virtually no outrage in the MSM. Instead they demanded that the issue of Obama’s eligibility to hold the highest office in the land had been settled. It had taken nearly two years since an initial, comparable certificate had been put out by his campaign to get a repeat of that fraud.

The trust that was formerly given the MSM has been steadily eroded for years and with good reason.

Milbank wrote that he did not fault any one host for throwing a party “or any journalist for attending. Many of them are friends. There’s nothing inherently wrong with savoring Johnnie Walker Blue with the politicians we cover. But the cumulative effect is icky.”

That’s a pretty good description of the nation’s mood about President Obama and those charged with reporting on him. It’s “icky.”

This is a President who is calling for higher taxes in the midst of a severe recession, increasing inflation, $4 a gallon gasoline at the pump, a distressed housing market, and high unemployment.

This is a President who will not let our vast national reserves of oil and coal be developed for America’s use. This is a President advocating high speed trains, wind and solar power, electric cars. He shuns our allies and thinks he can pick the winners and losers in the “Arab spring” as despots are being overthrown and challenged.

Not only has our federal government been debased by a Marxist regime, but those charged with reporting on it have allowed themselves to be seduced by it.

“Santos Subito!” is a call for a renewed spiritual faith and the spiritual values that Americans of all faiths want and need in order to replace the quasi-communist regime in Washington, D.C.

© Alan Caruba, 2011


Gustav said...

Since I haven't observed you talking about the so-called "birther" issue before, I was surprised to see you declare the recent release obviously fraudulent.

I appreciate the candor of your opinion. The prior inability of the public to obtain any access even to a fraudulent record was, as one writer has observed, a demonstration that our democratic institutions are broken. The problem of the "activist old media" needs solving, as does the creeping affection of Americans for socialism.

Alan Caruba said...

@Gustav: I often wait until everyone else has had their say--as in the case of the birth certificate--and then I provide my own.

In point of fact, I have written since Jan 2, 2009 that I thought Obama's biography was a complete fabrication. It's ust taken others time to catch up.