A true “patriot” loves America enough to speak out against its corrupt politics. The U.S.A. was born out of protest. Our forefathers (frequently misremembered as servants of god) risked their lives revolting in protest against 18th century England’s abuse of colonial power. If we respect these so-called founders as passionately as our bumper stickers indicate, then why are we so afraid to follow their lead? Why do we balk at the mere thought of calling out those who abuse the power we’ve entrusted them with?
The Internet gives a voice to ordinary Americans, who in past decades had no way to be heard. This summer DailyKos is having a bloggers’ convention in Chicago. But the multi-billion dollar corporations who make their dissent necessary have an economic interest in extinguishing that fire and among all companies in the lucrative airline industry, only JetBlue Airways stepped up to provide travel vouchers for these patriotic bloggers.
No other major corporation dared associate with the DailyKos contributors. Corporate sponsorship instead goes to mainstream news organizations who dupe the good people of our country into thinking the only reasonable way to show our love for America is through blind obedience obedience to the puppets who appear to be running it. Thus Bill O’Reilly bashed the liberal bloggers at DailyKos.com and, by association, JetBlue, comparing them to hateful Nazis and the KKK. Unlike Fox News, DailyKos supports free speech and thus encourages readers to openly express their opinions, even those that are radical. This meant a field day for O’Reilly, who cherry picked the most offensive comments from the blog and presented them to America as the website’s official position. When JetBlue CEO David Barger initially refused to dignify O’Reilly’s witch hunt with a response, O’Reilly sent annoying minion Jesse Watters to ambush Barger outside at apartment as he left for work. On the video, Watters resembles a yelpy Pomeranian as he pesters the bemused CEO. Predictably, JetBlue backed down shortly thereafter, asking the website to remove its name and actually thanking ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ for their concern.
Those familiar with O’Reilly’s gimmicks know that baseless and deceitful rants are a part of his regular repertoire. Like many faces in the mainstream media, O’Reilly was allowed to become famous only after he’d demonstrated an unpatriotic willingness to spin facts into propaganda.
The money that lines O’Reilly’s pockets also makes or breaks a presidential campaign. Most politicians bite their tongues, deferring to corporations because challenging them spells political suicide. Candidates who speak out against corporate campaign funding end up bankrupt like John McCain, or regulated to the sidelines like Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, or Ron Paul. They receive cursory invites to participate in presidential debates, but find themselves incessantly interrupted by Wolf Blitzer whenever they start to make too much sense.
Hillary Clinton, however, still tries to straddle the line between ethical decency and political necessity. Despite her increasing tendency in recent years to pander to omnipotent corporations, Clinton refuses to turn her back on the grassroots Internet movement. Clinton’s website invites fed up viewers to sign a petition calling for an end to O’Reilly’s dishonest reporting.