There is a small item below that bothers me. In the message about Dean and Kerry's "fortunes" changing there is this sentence: "Corporate America decided that Dean must be savaged, and its media sector made it happen."
I believe this sentence to have little to do with the truth, although one can understanding the feelings behind it. The sentence implies some kind of organization that acts cohesively, and with a thought out agenda. There is no real evidence such an organization exists, or that some kind of cabal of the wealthy meets regularly to make such decisions.
The reason this is a problem is that it misdirects our attention away from reality to some kind of bogeyman under our collective political beds. In a sense it is the same kind of emotionally driven error in thought that brings false collective thinking which dehumanizes such as the Viet Cong (gooks), or Islamic fundamentalists (terrorists), only in this case it is the Left that is dehumanizing the Right.
Always there are individual human beings, doing basically human activities, and that there "appears" to be collective action is a myth we introduce into the situation that falsifies our understanding. This false understanding then disables our ability to act effectively on the real problems.
For example, it is more real to see that major Media runs around with a kind of herd mentality, for which those individuals are themselves responsible. No one tells them to be this stupid, they do it entirely on their own. We need to hold them responsible, not some imaginary bogeyman - "Corporate America".
If we are going to write letter campaigns, we need to confront the ghouls and empty talking heads that read these news stories for their own impulses of greed and egotism ("see me, I'm a pretty face on the News, and I get paid millions of dollars a year to spout nonsense, while sensationalizing trivial matters to the exclusion of discussing the core problems of the Republic.").
Here is what I have written in my novel in process: American Phoenix:
"He thought of himself as a singer, not as a politician. He tried, with what modest gifts he had, to speak somehow for what he thought of as the spirit of America. He could never claim this however, especially before the media. Even so, he tried to give voice to something deeper. What was remarkable to him was that this attitude took his mind to places in the world of thought he otherwise would have believed impossible.
"To others he was a very ordinary man, running for President, who gave very unusual political speeches. That his speeches were extemporaneous just made things even more mysterious.
"Today he had just a few minutes, perhaps ten or fifteen at the most, to say a few words to a press club in Los Angeles. This is what he found himself saying.
""Our Republic has never been in more danger. This is made all the worse by the fact that we have become used to these most dire circumstances. They have crept upon us while the majority of us have had our attention else where, and we have more and more become used to them as if these tyrannys and corruptions were an acceptable and normal course of events.
""There are four culprits responsible for our tragedy. I will speak of them in order of increasing responsibility.
""First in order of responsibility is we ourselves. The American People sleep, and have so far been far too tolerant of abuses of our way of life. The current crisis is our reward, a wake up call that must be responded to or all our freedoms will soon be lost.
""The second group most liable is our politicians - a community of thoughtless and morally confused liars. They have sold their souls to monied powers, for the benefit of their own ambitions. On such a basis no good can come to our Republic. The public's business is not dealt with in our legislative and executive hallways. Only the needs of a few receive the real work and attention.
""The third group is the monied powers themselves. They serve a dark and cold god called profit, and sacrifice countless lives, even the very heart of the planet, on the altar of their greed and short sightedness. They speak often of freedom, of free markets and free trade, but in the end the only freedom they desire is their own freedom to plunder and abuse.
""One would think that here the causes of our Republic's soon demise has found its root source, but this is not so, for the final culprit is more liable than all the other three put together. It is our so-called free press which must bear ultimate responsibility. In the hearts of our founders they were first in mind when our rights were enumerated. For if those who can speak the truth are guaranteed the highest protection then how can the Republic fall?
""Yet, it is the Press, who, though given the greatest rights, has failed to even begin to carry the corresponding responsibilities. They have been made custodians and stewards of the word, and of the power of truth speaking, that remarkable force that is mightier than the sword. But what have they done with this gift? From them, while the monied powers corrupted our politicians and ruined our way of life, no harsh word was spoken, no warning cry raised high. Instead we had endless infotainment and happy talk, while the house of our Republic burned to the ground and the ravenous jackals of greed began to devour its very foundations.
""The lowest circle in hell would not be sufficient punishment for this catastrophic failure of the most simple and honorable responsibilities: to speak and write the truth.
""Now you might suspect that your offense was to not be sufficiently aggressive, to not go after the politicians effectively. But that is not the case. In fact, the course you did pursue, that of exposing the smallest personal details of those in public life, and of magnifying the most minor character flaws as if politicians were not human beings, this course did much harm. It focused the public's mind on the least important matters, and distracted our leaders from the real tasks. It is hard to imagine a greater dis-service.
""But, the fact is you managed to do just that, to commit an even worse crime.
""It was, by the way, basically a crime of ommission, although it was not so difficult to know what to do. I believe that you did know, and choose not to act properly. I believe you did know and were too lazy, and too greedy, to do what was required of a free press in this age.
""Let me make this as plain as possible, so that there is no confusion. The Public Good is determined by a dialogue about ideas. Our nation is built upon the ideal. The whole fabric of its best nature is a matter of heart based thought activity. And it is ideas that were omitted. Nowhere in the media over these many decades of the decline of our way of life has there been the needed discussions of the fundamental ideas under assault by the various forces armed against our way of life. It is as if the press had no mind at all.
""Of course there were the few exceptions, but the main media, those who cry so loudly when their first amendment privileges are questioned, were silent. Clearly they had no love of our Republic ..."
Howard Dean has joined the list of victims of U.S. corporate media
consolidation. Dean shares this distinction with Dennis Kucinich and the
people of the formerly sovereign state of Iraq, among many others. Dean was
stripped of half his popular support in the space of two weeks in January
while John Kerry - tied in the polls with Carol Moseley-Braun at seven
percent just two months earlier - rose like a genie from a bottle to become
the overnight presidential frontrunner. Both candidates were shocked and
disoriented by the dizzying turns of fortune, and for good reason. Neither
Dean nor Kerry had done anything on their own that could have so
dramatically altered the race. Corporate America decided that Dean must be
savaged, and its media sector made it happen. (snip)