The biggest danger in the world, is not the average American who might be in favor of war in order to “liberate” another country. No, the biggest danger in this world is the education system that produced that American. Because it was that system, those schools, that curriculum, and those teachers, who gave that person the tools he would use to interpret the world around him, for the rest of his/her life. Sure, parental figures are important, but reality is, whoever your guardian, they’re probably working 1 or 2 jobs just to keep that roof over your head and the clothes on your back, etc. Your real education today, when its not coming from your loved ones, is coming at you from all sides when it comes to TV and school. And if that school doesn’t teach a person to ask questions, to ask how things work, to seek more information than that which is spoonfed to them, then that person may never learn to do so.
Never has this been more apparent than now. Tabloid newspapers publish embarassingly ignorant headlines depicting the French as the culture which America saved and died for which now turns their back on the United States. With a large photo of Normandy to boot. CBS’s Andy Rooney, who has already received piercing criticism from this journalist, in his old wise age, still has his own program on that network, where he presents news to the public, with his own commentary mixed in. This week Rooney decided to “englighten” the viewers about the French. This man who neither speaks French or has ever lived there longer than his tour of media duty in the 40’s, told millions of CBS watchers about how the French “Have no right to an opinion” because they “owe” the United States for having saved their country and defeated the Germans in WWII.
This same idea has been spreading like wildfire throughout the American media. Whats alarming is not that it’s spreading in a populist, racist, ill-informed, and attention seeking media environment. Rather, it is that so many Americans read this and it appeals to this sensitive memory or this national pride, it touches of some misplaced anger, and the result is poor humor like “Surrender like the French.” This is poor humor because it ignores the sufferring and starvation endured by France during the occupation, and it negates the enormous resistance movement and all those who died for it. It ignores that fact that untold millions of Russians and Germans had already died long before Normandy. It ignores how many millions of innocent Polish, Russians, Germans, Czechs, French, and British died before America finally decided to get involved.
Rooney has a right to his opinion. But once he gets in front of millions to put forth information, he then has a responsibility, to the public. If he presents one side of an arguement or opinion, he must present the otherside, otherwise he’s nothing but a propaganda producing would-be journalist. Furthermore, if he is indeed a journalist, then part of his job is to question public officials and government decisions.
It is not for the journalist or any media to promote or support the decision of elected officials, they have media people to do that for them. No, it’s the media’s role to keep them in check, to make sure their information isn’t full of holes and half-truths. But alas, that’s what a media is supposed to do, it hasn’t been doing that in America or several other countries for quite a long time. There’s a long overdue reform that the people must demand of the very media that seek their attention. Trouble is, if people aren’t educated properly, only schooled in “their” national history and never told the other side of the story, never shown the other truths that are out there, they’ll just keep eating the same spoon-fed government propaganda… and they’ll even say thank you.