To the Editor:
The terrorist bombing of a satirical magazine in France last week has implications beyond the fear that this was only a warm-up for what these so called fundamentalist Islamists have in store for the United States.
The pack mentality of the corporate media has explored this albeit important story 24/7 from every angle. Good journalists should. But by devoting every resource to one important story what have their employers missed, or maybe we should ask what is being conveniently overlooked?
The reality is a lot of people prefer the foibles of Honey Boo Boo, the weird Housewives of wherever or the game of the week to anything journalists put forth including the news story of the day. Escapism is the name of that game. Others will face and deal with reality in their stead.
Those less interested in events of the day are at least as likely if not more so to be affected by them. The dismantling of Wall Street regulation, so called Fair Trade agreements, environmental pollution and more happen simply because many citizens refuse to pay attention or to vote.
Because Charlie Hebdo was there, the Onion is there, the Detroit Free Press/Detroit News is there and the television and digital media reporters are there terrorists and others are afraid of those citizens who do pay attention.
It is the right to state an opinion such as this, the right to express, the right to condemn and to poke fun that is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It is what those who want to control us fear most and why they attack. The more we get involved the stronger our defense.
The media, particularly in this country, may be largely corporate owned and commercially driven but it is also comprised of a diminishing number of dedicated reporters and editors who daily serve as a check on our government and at times their own bosses. It is their constitutional mandate.
The media has its sins and its sinners just like any other occupation. It is left up to the public, and at times the courts, to sort the credible from the not so credible. But, without its unfettered ability to probe all the dark places only despots and terrorists win.
With world attention focused on the attack in France the time is right for shining a bright light on those who would seek to chill or corrupt free speech, including our own United States Supreme Court.
In its Jan. 21, 2010, Citizens United decision, the Court sided with the monied interests and multi-national corporations to extend human rights to corporations and qualify money as free speech – thereby diluting our concept of both.
Several states and municipalities have since taken action in support of a Constitutional Amendment to overturn these US Supreme Court actions. Search Move to Amend to learn more and participate in the effort.