cj#316> Vigdor: Budget Propaganda; Online News


Richard Moore

Date: Fri, 17 Nov 1995
From: Vigdor Schreibman - FINS <•••@••.•••>
To: Multiple recipients of list <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Information Age Promises

----------------Original Message Posted in Multiple Lists-----------------
-------Republication is Authorized Only When Message is Kept Intact-------

FINS: Communicating the Emerging Philosophy of The Information Age
Vol III, Issue No. 22 (116 lines)                         November 20, 1995


                *   Propaganda war over balancing the federal budget

                *   Press transition to electronic information systems


Information Age Promises
By Vigdor Schreibman

  The promised "train wreck" between President Clinton and Congress was
delivered on time by the Republican majority in Congress and the outcome has
wrapped itself tightly around their collective necks, according to polls.
The G.O.P. is now desperately looking for something to hang on the President
to get themselves out of that self-inflicted squeeze.

  They have already started a propaganda war of fabricated images of the
President, painted as the villain.  The story is now being spoon feed to the
Press, through their own trusted information gathering tools.  A Cable-TV
monitor loaded with political propaganda in full color and animated graphics
is attacking the President right in the Press Gallery of the U.S. Senate.

  I watched that very setup in amazement last week, installed some time ago
in the Senate, Periodical Press Gallery, at the Capitol. Quite ingenious.
Democrats and Republicans each have a channel reserved for use by
their respective policy committees, I was told by a senior member of the
Press Gallery.  While I watched, the Gingrich Republicans were panning the
President as a man who has "NEVER" promised to balance the budget,
presupposing that he was responsible for the current financial crisis.

  It must be said that President Bill Clinton was not responsible for any
part of that fiscal adventure.  Nor is the situation "largely driven by the
cost of the great entitlements that go ... across the board to almost all
Americans" as stated The Washington Post Nov 16.  The administrations of
President Ronald Reagan and George Bush, supported by the media, increased
the national debt by several trillion dollars largely thrown away on
appalling causes.  At this point in the nation's nightmare, Republicans and
their allies in the media wish to disregard the most obvious causes of the
problem.  The cost of interest on the national debt was projected by the
Congressional Budget Office to be greater than the entire deficit in 1995.

  They now want to fabricate a case against President Bill Clinton, who
inherited the existing situation derived from unprecedented deficit spending.
But the President is fighting to prevent Gingrich Republicans from dumping
the oceanic sea of red ink onto the backs of the least able 80 percent of
American families while those most wealthy families that benefited most from
that grievous conduct would be rewarded with even greater tax benefits.

  The Press should not be a party to such political abuse both because it is
morally wrong and because they cannot hope to prosper economically by such
behavior.  Americans are already deeply cynical about the role of the Press,
and newspapers are flocking to the Internet for a new lease on life, but
media owners are not mining the rich possibilities of the new media.
Consequently, the promise of public journalism remains sorely neglected, and
no compelling need for everyone to go on-line has been demonstrated.  Indeed,
"Despite the hype over electronic commerce, most reliable projections say
consumer purchases on the Internet by 2000 will be half the market for blow
dryers," Author David Kline was quoted in Investor's Business Daily Nov 13.

  Cyberspace pundits have expressed their dismay, for instance, at the
neglected promise of interactivity.  Instead of creative "experiments in
interactive innovation" what we seem to be getting, are "more electronic
billboards," says Noah Shachtman, Vice President of Strategic Planning, at
Newman Communications in an on-line message Nov 15.  R.W. "Johnny" Apple,
senior New York Times correspondent, gave the annual Newton Minow Lecture at
Northwestern University, Nov 2. Apple expressed the opinion that current
on-line news offerings, are "too much like" the traditional newspapers in
terms of stories covered and methods of coverage, Nate Zelnick, Editor of
Internet Business Report, commented on-line Nov 5. Similarly, the old "media
aristocracy" want to carry their one-to-many practices and business plans
into the future by disregarding the many-to many realities of new media
dynamics, observed Vin Crosbie CEO of FreeMark Communications, on-line Oct 5.

  This disappointing story about the shocking realities of the Information
Age began in 1981, when Anne Heanue, of the American Library Association
Washington Office, started preparing the now famous ALA chronology "Less
Access to Less Information by and about the U.S. Government."  The great
challenge remains, however, and like it or not those who are frozen in time
will be supplanted by the fundamental evolution and change that is coming.

  While some on-line magazines are folding others are being created.  The
Wall Street Journal ran a story Nov 13, about Michael Kinsley, now co-host of
CNN's "Crossfire," who is joining Microsoft to create and edit a new on-line
journal of cultural and political commentary.  Journalist Jerry Landy
announced "The Liberty Tree," Nov 1, a fully moderated ejournal of news,
comment and critical writing "about popular mass media in America"
<•••@••.•••>. The Cyberspace Society announced its listserv
Nov 3, to support the democratic mission <•••@••.•••>.

  In order to secure the promise of cyberspace, however, an infrastructure
is required to support a balance of economic prosperity, social equity,
and ecological integrity, which are interdependent links to the peaceful
coexistence and well being of the people, and survival of the biosphere of
Plant Earth.  President Bill Clinton and minority leader Rep. Dick Gephart
agree that the choice of priorities for the future should be made by the
people. The heart of this choice is a desirable information infrastucture.

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Federal Information News Syndicate, Vigdor Schreibman, Editor & Publisher,
18 - 9th Street NE #206, Washington, DC 20002-6042.  Copyright 1995 FINS.


 Posted by      Richard K. Moore <•••@••.•••>
                Wexford, Ireland (USA citizen)
                Editor: The Cyberjournal (@CPSR.ORG)

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