Monday, September 19, 2005

100 People Screwing Up America

Saturday night I went to my local 24 Hour Super Wal*Mart and picked up a copy of Bernard Goldberg's 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. It's an easy read as far as format and style so therefore I didn't have any problem or difficulty reading it in a day.

The problem came with the content. When you see the quotes and views of the American Left ideology you're not sure whether to laugh, cry, shake your head in disbelief or your fist in anger. These people shape the opinions and views of America's youth by portraying themselves as relevant and intellectual yet their ideas are morally bankrupt, culturally divisive, intellectually shallow, and completely disconnected from mainstream, traditional America.

When I was finished this book it sent a chill down my spine to think of these people as my "fellow Americans."

Bernard Goldberg is one in a growing list of media celebrities and personalities who has made a dramatic shift from the left to the center-right. Actor Ron Silver provided positive commentary on Chris Matthew's HARDBALL coverage of the Republican convention on MSNBC. Ron supported Bill Clinton but jumped on W's team after 9-11 when he saw the Deomcratic left waffling on how to deal with militant Islamic terrorists. He stated that he supports the War on Terror. Comedian, satirist, former regular on Saturday Night Live as well as ABC Monday Night Football commentator Dennis Miller is to young conservatives what Chris Rock is to the left. Dennis made the shift as he noticed how Guilliani had fixed New York City even prior to the attack on the World Trade Center. His stand up routines are a mix of common sense, frank realism, and good ole American sarcasm. While the left trots out Whoopi, Williams, and Carlin for never ending profane and vulgar commentary on conservatives for being black hating, women oppressing, homophobes (yawn)... Miller makes his audiences think.

Goldberg is the author of New York Time's number one bestseller Bias, a behind the scenes expose of the way Big Journalism distorts the news, as well as writing Arrogance. He won six Emmy Awards for his work as a senior correspondant on the CBS program 48 Hours. Currently he reports on HBO's acclaimed Real Sports, where he recently won his eighth Emmy, this one for Outstanding Sports Journalism.

100 People is Bernie's view of who are those that have made contributions to the intellectual decay we see around us. He doesn't just single out leftists, although they do make up the majority of the list. He has listed the former CEO's of Enron and Tyco for greed and corporate looting. Jerry Springer and Howard Stern made the list for smut media being given an actual place in our society. NBA player Latrell Spreewell made the list as being an example of our misplaced priorities in rewarding bad behavior with outrageous salaries if the guy can play a child's game. He even went after his own... namely Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, and Dan Rather. For Walters and Sawyer he views their fluff interviews with people like Anne Hesche and Paris Hilton as journalistic garbage where pop culture is being treated like serious news.

News shows like Dateline NBC, 48 Hours, and 20/20 are more concerned with ratings, acccording to Mr Goldberg, then factual, actual content. He views Dan Rather's hit pieces on President Bush, while ignoring the Swift Boat Vets when it concerned John Kerry, as more proof of the double standard. Case in point... Rather's presention of forged documents regarding the President's military record and then refusing to give a full retraction even after they were proven bogus of the news media as a whole is not interested in reporting news but shaping it to fit their own agenda. No wonder no one trusts the New York Times or network news.

Bernard also laments the complete erosion of values on network television shows. While he states that the Ozzie and Harriet shows of the 1950's didn't have to be as tame and lame as they were he also says that open discusions of sex and cheating as punch lines on sitcoms has gone over the top. Well, then this leads me to a question?

Mr. Goldberg, I believe you when you say you are disgusted by Jerry Springer trash TV, the liberal leaning news bias, and the open acceptance of immorality as "normal" behavior. So why do you defend the ACLU for defending free speech? There's nothing American nor civil about the American Civil Liberties Union. In fact, they attmept to supress speech which they deem as "hate" which usually means Christian. While I applaud you stating that television producers need to be held accountable for programing content as having an effect on society you missed a person from your list of 100 that should have been near the top... Norman Lear!

His characters of Archie Bunker and Maud Finley turned Father Knows Best into the sewer and cesspool we see on television today. Norman made it acceptable to talk about anything on television. So you can stop scratching your head as to why Howard Stern gets away with what he does. Norman made it okay.

Like anyone reading this book I am sure others have said so and so should be on this list. I am equally sure that there are some on the list that many would say, "Why is he/she on Bernard's list?" Michael Savage made the list for his "extreme" views. Extreme? I simply think of him as the conservative's answer to Michael Moore and James Carville. Which brings me to my final point...

Al Gore, Al Franken, Jesse Jackson, Paul Begala... okay I get why those names are there and let me add they should be. Robert Byrd's continued bigot record as a KKK member needs to be documented as has been done in this book.

But #70... Jimmy Swaggart??? Are you kidding? Apparently Bernie didn't care for the fallen from grace televangelist's views of homosexuality. Jimmy has hurt himself more than he has hurt America. I guess my personal dilema is why was he was the only religious leader singled out. No mention of the media circus created by Jim and Tammy Bakker. Pat Robertson has made his fair share of outrageous comments on television as has Jerry Falwell. Can anyone say, "Teletubbies?"

Personally, I wouldn't mention any of those people. While I may agree or disagree with them on certain issues none of them, Swaggart included, have messed up America. If you're looking for a religious leader who has truly messed up America then what about Cardinal Law?

The book is 305 pages in length and can be read in a couple of hours. Its message will have you musing for weeks to come. Published by HarperCollins it sells for about $17 at your local retailer. It's a good read and Bernard Goldberg's engaging and at times sarcastic style is a bit of venting, frustration, and coming full circle with one's own personal ideology and how we got it.


Blogger William said...

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Blogger Anne George said...

Hmmm.......I probably won't leave one since they are all being deleted.

1:15 AM  

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