John F. Kennedy once observed that "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion, without the discomfort of thought."In its most lethal form, comfortable opinion often comes packaged as something else.
By way of example, FoundingBloggers.com recently captured the before and afterglow of a live CNN remote, videotaped at last week's Chicago TEA party. As Wendy Davis pointed out in Tuesday's Daily Online Examiner, CNN subsequently demanded that You Tube pull FoundingBloggers' behind-the-scenes expose (which You Tube did), but it has since reappeared.
I strongly advise you to watch it, regardless of your stand on the patriotism of taxes.
But before doing so, I would ask that you do so with eyes that see every American as a valuable human being, quite frequently holding an opinion that is, at a minimum, worth learning more about.
CNN reporter/propagandist Susan Roesgen clearly did NOT go into the crowd with this belief, nor did she comprehend (or accept) that the Party was based on the TEA acronym of TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY. She instead chose to read only certain signs aloud, and when she selected one father holding his 2-year-old daughter to interview, Roesgen was armed with arguments, disguised as questions.
When asked why he was there, the citizen begins to discuss Lincoln's defense of liberty, only to be cut off with the question, "What does this have to do with taxes? Do you realize that you're eligible for a $400 credit?"
The interviewee tried to continue. "Lincoln believed that people have the right to share in the fruits of their own labor, and that government should not take it." To which Roesgen abruptly cuts him off again, shrieking "Did you know that the State of Lincoln gets $50 billion out of this stimulus?"
Her pedantic glance back at the camera while making this statement makes her appear to be a spokesperson for the bailout. Seriously, you've GOT to see it.
Finally, when the citizen attempted to clarify once more, Roesgen disengaged, and went back to the camera, providing CNN's shrinking TV audience with her summation that, as anyone could see, the demonstration was "anti-government, anti-CNN, since this is highly promoted by the right wing, conservative network Fox."
Wow. I guess that says everything you needed to know about the Chicago TEA Party, right?
Wrong. Cameras continued to roll AFTER the remote concluded -- but they weren't CNN cameras, they were public cameras. And what it caught was a breathtaking confrontation between Roesgen and an unidentified female from the audience.
At 2:55 into the video, the passionate American CLEARLY states her belief as to why many in the audience are exasperated. See if YOU catch it -- I mean REALLY catch it, because Roesgen didn't -- or, more likely, didn't understand it. As the cameras continued to roll, the animated and increasingly frustrated woman tries again to bring the topic to the forefront, when she points to one of MANY signs held in the crowd that attempted to boldly finger the culprit of our nation's nearly 100-year-old malady.
I'm being discreet for a reason (or at least as discreet as I can be). From other reports I have read, a full 10% of the people in attendance at the various TEA parties are of the firm mind that the culprit is NOT Democrat or Republican, CNN or Fox, black or white, Christian or Muslim, or even "rich" or poor.
In fact, they believe it's not American at all.
So, before the Internet gets "turned off" (now, wouldn't THAT be a crazy idea? ) -- leaving us once again sedated with the controlled charade of TV opinion disguised as news -- I invite you to begin your own personal journey of discovery.
Because TV -- even TV news -- remains a scripted window to a world we are being allowed to see.
Look behind the camera.
And be prepared to be uncomfortable.