|Wednesday, September 15, 2004
11:09 - Well, at least they're being honest now
One interesting side effect of the CBS/memo-forgery thing is that now that everyone is spinning madly over it, with every news organization but CBS holding interviews with bloggers demonstrating the memos' falsity, and CBS itself continuing to insist upon their authenticity and calling their opponents "partisan hacks" and such, is that it's seemingly made a lot of people lower their guard. There's no longer any pretense being made about media bias, or the purported lack thereof: it's all a given now, now that what we're discussing is so much more focused on a single event and person.
This past weekend, for example, we had the release of the Democrats' "Fortunate Son" video, which is founded upon the forged documents and features Dan Rather (as though anyone could possibly imagine that a coincidence). Under normal circumstances, wouldn't a news organ trying to dispel accusations of bias refuse to put its most prominent anchorperson in such proximity with a political party and its advertising? Wouldn't it shy away from anything that even looks like an endorsement? But that seems not to even matter anymore—everybody knows Dan Rather is staunchly opinionated toward one side now, and the only question in the air is whether he has any actual journalistic integrity left at all. It's really quite a stunning development, I think.
In other words, the edifice of the "impartial media" really has fallen, very suddenly. The mask has dropped. And of course there'll be no putting it back on.
So now that these bodies of authority over the information we consume are no longer hiding the fact that they're hiding things from us, we get stuff like this stunning admission—nay, taunt—by members of the Borders Bookstore employees' union, instructing employees to do everything in their power to prevent customers from buying the anti-Kerry book Unfit for Command.
You guys don’t actually HAVE to sell the thing!
Just “carelessly” hide the boxes, “accidentally” drop them off pallets, “forget” to stock the ones you have, and then suggest a nice Al Franken or Micheal Moore book as a substitute. Borders wants those recommends, remember?
I don’t care if these Neandertals in fancy suits get mad at me, they aren’t regular customers anyway. Other than “Left Behind” books, they don’t read. Anything you can do to make them feel unwelcome is only fair. They are the people pushing retailers to cut costs, don’t forget. And they would censor your speech, your books, your music in a heartbeat, so give them a taste of it!
Don’t get mad, get even!
We've been increasingly suspecting that the bookstores might be doing something like this, but it seemed far too far-fetched to be more than a conspiracy theory; after all, the first commenter at Kevin's site said (several weeks ago), "I'm a little surprised by this, that a huge conglomo-mega-corp would do this. I'm sure it had more to do with whoever stocked that table than corporate guidelines if I had to guess."
Well, I guess sometimes one can't overestimate how weird reality can be.
Don't you just love it, though? "And they would censor your speech, your books, your music in a heartbeat, so give them a taste of it!" Where have we heard this kind of language before? They'll kill you as soon as look at you! Don't feel bad, they're not even human! They don't feel pain!
Just remember, this isn't censorship, because it's by the good guys. For a good cause. With good intentions.
I swear, the more hysterical these people get about how evil their opponents are, the more people they're going to end up driving away from their side of the aisle for good. Not everyone is so willfully blind as to forever ignore the discrepancies between what they see and what they're told.
UPDATE: Kevin found an official statement from the Borders Union website that's just a scream to read. Unintentionally so, I think... but it's so hard to tell.