According To The Guardian, America Is Practically A Dissent Free Zone

According To The Guardian, America Is Practically A Dissent Free Zone: This editorial by the Guardian’s Gary Younge about the lack of dissent is America is so far off the mark you’d think it was written by a space alien observing human beings for the first time. Just look at how far he goes out on a limb he goes to claim that there’s no dissent allowed in America…

“…”This nation is now at war,” said Peter Beinart, the editor of the liberal magazine New Republic. “And in such an environment, domestic political dissent is immoral without a prior statement of national solidarity, a choosing of sides.”

…Dissident voices do exist. While you will rarely hear them on television, most big newspapers have at least one columnist who was opposed to the war, and several magazines have published articles that are critical or revelatory. The problem is not so much that such views are unavailable as that they have been effectively marginalised. Only those sympathetic to them might seek them out, while others looking to form opinions are unlikely to stumble across them. Presumably Sean Penn would not have paid around $125,000 (£76,000) to take out a full-page ad in the New York Times on Friday to write an essay against Bush if he thought he could read it elsewhere.

…The problem for the American media is not so much whether dissent comes in strange packages as whether it comes at all.”

I can just imagine Younge helping the BBC put together a special on this subject. It’d probably go something like this…

(Things start with Gary Younge sitting in a plush office chair)

Gary Younge: Good evening BBC viewers. We’ve prepared this dramatization to show you what things are like in America. While some of it may shock you, we can assure you that the BBC & the Guardian have done painstaking research to insure that this is completely accurate. Let us begin…”

(4 Americans with buck teeth appear in overalls)

Man 4: “Is that dissent I hear?”
Man 2: “Come on everybody, get the tar & feathers!”
Man 3: Whee-haa, we’ll teach those liberals to voice their opinions!

(Cue twanging banjos as they run off stage).

(Barbra Streisand appears)

Barbra Streisand: “I…I…think they’re gone & that makes me want to burst into song!”

(Streisand starts singing)

“America, what has happened to you?
When did the red, white, and blue
Take rights from all but a few….

(Cue Beverly Hillbillies theme song as the 4 bucktoothed men run back in)

Man 1: “There’s someone dissenting…”
Man 2: “And she’s a celebrity!”
Man 4: “Get a rope!”
Man 3: “Wheee-doggies! Let’s go to the celebrity hanging tree! I got a nice thick branch all picked out!”

(Men close in on Streisand as everything fades to black)

That would be about as spot-on as Younge’s ridiculous editorial….

PS: I’ve noticed a number of articles (including this one) trumpeting the fact that the, “American audience figures for BBC World news leapt 28% in the first few weeks of the war”. The audience blossomed for most news sources in the first few weeks of the war. My numbers went up 25%. If I remember correctly, Fox’s numbers were up more than 50%. Then the numbers dropped back to earth once the war was over. I’m sure it’s the same deal for the BBC. So at this point, pointing out that the BBC went up that much without mentioning the context and without also letting people know that their numbers have certainly dropped since then is deliberately misleading….

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