Thursday, June 02, 2005

Now the debate begins about 'the right thing'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - So there are some hounds out there that still think Richard Nixon was an ok guy and didn't deserve getting forced from office.

I suppose for them it's easy to overlook that virtually every single member of his administration went to jail for all kinds of crimes.

But now the right-wing nut jobs are starting in on W. Mark Felt, saying he betrayed the FBI, etc... by confirming for Woodward and Bernstein what was going on in the highest offices of the government. The last crackpot theory I heard was that he should have gone to the grand jury - not the press.

Well, excuuuuuuse me, at Steve Martin says. If you fast rewind to that time in history, all of the official investigating organizations were giving Nixon & Company a pass. It took the press (in this case the Washington Post) to get the truth out in such a fashion that the public found its ire and the rest, is history.

I started as a journalist at that time, watching the fall of Spiro T. Agnew, John Mitchell and a dozen others, doing my own local investigative work that I still believe made my little towns better places for people to live. Yup, I found corruption, liars and all kinds of nasty stuff. I wrote about it and the people (government, mostly) decided what needed to be fixed.

But that brings us to the sad state of affairs of today in the USSA.

The press has been fragmented into the mess we call 'media,' diluting the voices of truth and in many cases having truth overwhelmed by shouting voices like Rush Limbaugh and some of the other wingnuts. So many people have trouble hearing.

Worse, I believe that people like George W. and others at the national level are probably the most skilled liars I have ever seen in my journalistic career.

Bill Clinton, it's true, did say that he never had sex with Monica Lewinsky. But somehow that lie (and the obvious reason for it) pales to George W. lying to get us into a war that has cost us thousands of American casualities and pushed the nation to the brink of bankruptcy. How many children are going to pay the price because of less money to schools and public health?

And Social Security? How can the president run around the nation claiming crisis there where if we weren't in a war we could RAISE benefits?

Because as liars go, he makes Nixon look like an amateur.

If Mark Felt's family makes a boodle of money off a book about Watergate and Felt's role in bringing the public to its senses, good for them.

I'll buy the book,watch a made-for-tv movie (starring Matthew Modine or some lesser luminary, no doubt) and even take part in panel discussions defending the notion that people - even those in high places - need to tell the truth, be honorable, do the right thing.

W. Mark Felt did.

Good for him.

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