I often wonder why the “mainstream media” behaves the way that it does when covering the “news.” There are numerous possible explanations for it, but that is not the purpose of this essay. My purpose here is to discuss the nature and effect of their behavior, and whether it constitutes treason. I don’t say that it is necessarily intentional, but in this case, I believe that intentions are irrelevant in light of the potential results. IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Having said that, let us proceed:
This, according to the ‘Lectric Law Library, is the legal definition of treason:
TREASON – This word imports a betraying, treachery, or breach of allegiance.
The Constitution of the United States, Art. III, defines treason against the United States to consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid or comfort. This offence is punished with death.
This is the only crime (that I know of) in which the Constitution itself prescribes the death penalty. With a crime and punishment this severe, it is critical that we define our terms clearly. What is aid and comfort?
Well, according to the legal dictionary over at FreeDictionary.com, this is:
AID AND COMFORT. The constitution of the United States, art. 8, s. 3, declares, that adhering to the enemies of the United States, giving them aid and comfort, shall be treason. These words, as they are to be understood in the constitution, have not received a full judicial construction. They import, however, help, support, assistance, countenance, encouragement. The word aid, which occurs in the Stat. West. 1, c. 14, is explained by Lord Coke (2 just. 182) as comprehending all persons counselling, abetting, plotting, assenting, consenting, and encouraging to do the act, (and he adds, what is not applicable to the Crime to treason,) who are not present when the act is done, See, also, 1 Burn’s Justice, 5, 6; 4 Bl. Com. 37, 38.
I believe that upon even a cursory examination of the mainstream media’s coverage of the action in Iraq and elsewhere, the case can be made that ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and other major media outlets are guilty of, if not treason, then skirting treason by a hair. The networks have long been biased in their coverage, but with the run-up to Gulf War II they seem to have slowly become unhinged. An extensive gathering of examples can be found here.
A quick survey of the blogosphere and some news outlets will turn up many letters and photos of all the positive accomplishments of our people (both military and civilian) in Iraq. Yes, there are bad things happening. But there are many more good things being accomplished. By and large, the Iraqi people see this, and are grateful for our help in freeing their country and rebuilding their infrastructure.
The media, however, has consistently front-paged the bad news, with only an occasional positive story to leaven the mix. The enemy has picked up on this, and is using it to his advantage. How many videos have you seen lately of kidnap victims? have you ever noticed how close the photographers can get to a terrorist who is in a firefight? Ya think they might even be playing to the cameras?
Al-Jazeera is bad enough, but when the enemy knows that it can wear down the resolve of the American people with the help (conscious or otherwise) of a willing American media, there is not much difference in the end.
When you are providing the vehicle by which the enemy propagandizes to America, and no attempt is even made at a critical analysis, are you not giving aid and comfort? When a well-known reporter has publicly stated that he would not inform American troops of an impending ambush so that he could get a story, is he not describing an act of treason? These are people who seriously had to have a discussion about whether or not wearing U.S. flag on their lapel during broadcasts would violate their “journalistic integrity!”
Consistent negativity. Minimizing accomplishments. Magnifying failures. Running a negative subject into the ground (Abu Ghraib). Constant moral equivalence. I believe, to turn a phrase, that this is a soft treason that can have the same effect as a small rotten spot in the center of a mighty oak. If not dealt with quickly, the tree will eventually fall, rotted from wthin.
No, I am not against free speech. The First Amendment, in concert with the Second, was meant by the Founding Fathers to form the bedrock of our society by guaranteeing the rights enumerated in our Constitution. On the other hand, we don’t need a jingoistic, unthinking propaganda machine for the U.S.; our actions can and do speak for themselves. But if a school is rebuilt or a hospital re-opened, and no-one reports on it, in the minds of many Americans it never happened.Without a true balance to news coverage, the enemy has a much better chance of winning. Ironically, the enemy will show his gratitude to the folks in the media by butchering them, along with all the other Western “infidels.” Let’s clean out that rot, folks. Too much is at stake to ignore it any longer.
cross-posted to Confessions of a Jesus PhreakPowered by Sidelines