Thursday, August 30, 2012
Junius: Open letter to the legacy media
Had General Washington, after his victory at Yorktown, not only declined to accept General Cornwallis’ sword, but struck his colors and surrendered his own to that baffled gentleman, I daresay that I should find the episode little more unfathomable than the surrender in our own era by the free press to the pretensions of the levelers and statists who are applying themselves so diligently to the task of digging a grave for our hereditary liberties. Where is the zealous spirit of inquiry that hath marked the fourth estate of yore, the determination, the independence – ay, even the contumacy - in the face of shady and self-serving officialdom? When did the truth-seekers throw over their role as the proverbial canary in the coal mine, and league themselves with the very Miasma emanating from the pit of oligarchy that has become our government?
And do not deceive yourselves, ladies and gentlemen of the press, into believing that the First Amendment will somehow be able to thrust its nose from under the pillow with which the present régime is attempting to suffocate our other constitutional rights. A government that does not shrink from arrogating unto itself the office of shepherd to a flock of three hundred millions of sheep is not likely to balk at taking measures to ensure that its charges are not unduly confused or unsettled by strange and unharmonious voices, or beguiled by tunes not previously approved by those in authority.
Yet, sadly, to all appearances, having abdicated your responsibilities, you do not seem overmuch concerned at relinquishing even your own independence; rather, you are only too happy to serve as tyranny’s walking stick, and numerous members of your profession compete for the honor of Grand Marshall in this parade along what a keen observer once called the “road to serfdom”. That this parade includes in its train an abundance of clowns in no way alters the grim and barren landscape of its ultimate destination, or exculpates the putatively serious-minded among you from charges of betraying both your calling and your country.
What a mercy it is that John Peter Zenger has been dead, lo, these many years. Were he alive today, and grappling with the same encroachments upon liberty by the petty tyrants of our epoch that incensed his devotion to freedom in his own time, I doubt not but that his nominal confreres would, instead of standing by his side, be bawling for his condemnation.
Like unto Esau, you have sold your birthright for a mess of pottage. Perhaps that will be a sufficiency to you – in which case, more’s the shame that is your due.