The politics of fear


Published: Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 9:30 p.m.
Ron Cunningham was exactly right in his 1-22 column statement that politics is a battle to see who can divide the populace, which is a crying shame.
The politics of fear are used by both parties, though Republicans seem particularly adept at using fear of the unknown to frighten someone into a check mark.
What was not mentioned in the column was the role the media plays. Since the end of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, there has been no check on bias in the media. The O'Reilly Factor, a reactionary program, airs questionable "facts" and all, on a "Fair and Balanced" network with no true counterbalance. Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh makes racist and class-baiting statements with no fear of being called on the carpet.
Each program lambastes "mainstream media" as being liberal, while they are the "conservative underdogs."
Nothing is more mainstream than being the ratings leader, which these conservative programs are. Media outlets, like this newspaper, its parent (the New York Times) and the Washington Post are browbeaten by critics into "non-partisanship," stories are adjusted to "even out" coverage and facts are of secondary concern.
As a perfect example, indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff did not donate one dollar to Democratic legislators. However, columnists throughout the nation call him a "bipartisan problem."
When you mourn the politics of fear ruining our government and dividing our people, please remember, voters might be too swamped with negativity to fight back, but the media isn't throwing them the life preserver of true objectivity, and that indictment includes this newspaper.
Paul Kincaid, Gainesville

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top