Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our "Magicians" - Keeping US in the Dark

Now they tell us (h/t to the Chimp). (Emphasis marks are mine - Ed.)

Keeping You in the Dark By Bob Patterson Nov 14 2008 Magicians astound their audiences by seeming to do something that is impossible. Professional magicians have a code of honor and don’t reveal how they do what they do. The secret shows why it is called “a trick.” Politicians like to take money from the citizens and they don’t like it when people point out how the trick is done, when they do ii. They, like magicians, like to keep the suckers – excuse me that word should have been “citizens” – in the dark. At the beginning of “Travels with Charlie,” John Steinbeck recounts the time he bumped into John Gunther while they were both returning back to the USA from a working trip to Poland. Gunter specialized in meeting influential politicians and reporting on what they were doing. Steinbeck preferred to travel among the ordinary folks and get his material from them. The man in the street, even if he is very well informed, quite often (always?) doesn’t really know what his country’s leaders are planning until they make an announcement. The politicians don’t like to tell journalists what the real deal is because the citizenry might object. Professional journalists are often fed a ration of spin and get hearty appreciation from their contacts for the hard work they do of relaying the official version to the public. These days bloggers have to play the Steinbeck role and relay the mood of the country to their audience. The journalists often get stonewalled and the bloggers get table scraps, if they are lucky. While visiting in Australia, this columnist spoke to a fellow who is very well informed about American economics. He offered his opinion that the fat cats in the USA are being offered profits for investments in bonds. They take their money out of the stock market in huge sums and put it into a sure thing. When they sell, the value of the ordinary citizen’s stocks tend to go down. The big guys are guaranteed some profit and the little people feel the pain. If a blogger reports on this interpretation of current economic trends, the conservative pundits will issue a “prove it!” challenge. Since it is “hearsay” it will be dismissed. The big news organizations, which are usually owned by fat cats, are cutting their news staffs in a major way. Thus the odds that some reporter will have the time and opportunity to do a story on the attraction of bonds for big investors are very slim and there is always the possibility that the publisher can quash any such stories if they do get written. Where is this going? If the trend continues, the politicians will have a much smaller chance of having the secret of their “tricks” revealed and thus be free to rake in more public cash even during a “recession” (or worse?). Harry Houdini said: “How the early priests came into possession of these secrets does not appear, and if there were ever any records of this kind the Church would hardly allow them to become public.” Now, the disk jockey will play Doris Day’s version of “It’s Magic” and we will disappear. Have an “abracadabra!” type week. - - - - - - - - Bob Patterson has been a police beat reporter in Pennsylvania, Nevada, and California. He has been an editor in Santa Monica and currently is eking out a meager existence freelancing in the Los Angeles area. Contact Bob at World's Laziest Journalist.

Wasn't that fun? And for their next trick . . . . Suzan

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