Congressman’s assault on student reflects establishment’s wider assault against new media


Andrew Steele
America 20xy
June 15, 2010

Because cameras are more widely available to the average consumer and because of the popularity of user fed sites like YouTube, (along with the obvious propaganda of the mainstream media creating a thirsty market for raw information) citizen journalists have become abundant in America over the past decade.  Often videos of confrontations with important figures go viral on the net through the efforts of countless bloggers who faithfully spread the information to the farthest corners of the web.

This phenomenon has weakened the controlled media’s power to influence and shape reality, as well as the power of politicians to control their exposure through that media.

When powerful people lose control, they really lose control.

Congressman Bob Etheridge of North Carolina assaulted a student on a public street the other day simply for asking him, “What do you think of Obama’s agenda?” Since then, many writers of “progressive” blogs have been eager to defend Etheridge by speculating that the students involved were GOP plants.  Regardless of whether or not that’s true, (no proof of that yet), the majority of citizen journalists aren’t.  The Congressman’s reaction is a perfect illustration of just how on edge the new media has put members of the establishment, who are desperate to reel in the information revolution and put the plebes back in their places.

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This real life version of  The Empire Strikes Back is seen not only in physical altercations like the one that happened with Congressman Etheridge, (more often instigated by control freak cops who place the rights of citizens second to their own egos and abuse their authority) but also in the mainstream media’s increasingly desperate attacks on average Americans.  For instance, this week MSNBC is set to air “Rise of the Radical Right”which groundlessly tries to portray civic minded citizens and peaceful protesters as violent extremists.

While the new media’s power has increased, the old media’s assaults have transformed from arrogant ridicule of bloggers and the grassroots leaders they support to all out smear campaigns.   Since Rand Paul’s primary victory in Kentucky, for example, the media from both sides of the controlled paradigm have been in full battle mode, unsuccessfully trying from every angle to diminish his popularity by fraudulently implying that he’s a racist and harping on trivialities…all to little avail.

As the old media becomes more desperate to regain its footing,  the attacks–whether they be physical, or in the form of sensationalized hit-pieces– are going to increase and become more vicious.

Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Obviously some members of the establishment have decided that if they’re going to go down, they’re going to do it kicking and screaming.


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