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On Sun, 2 Jul 1995, Steve Snow wrote:
 
> Vigdor, Vigdor, Vigdor...
>
> >   Nonsense.  It not a question of simple "envy" or conspiracy theories its
> > a question of citizens expresing outrage over corporate corruption of the
> > legislative process.
>
> No one is saying you shouldn't express outrage over your perceptions of
> the legislative process. What I do say, though, is that you catch more
> flies if you actually *do* something, rather than just getting mad at the
> fly. There are many, many things people can do -- and, IMHO -- need to do if
> they want to influence policy on any level. If you are content to discribe
> an adversary as an enemy, then you will have an enemy; if you can get
> beyond the black-and-white name-calling and flame-baiting to something
> deeper, then you can begin to achieve something. That is my belief.
 
  Doing something effective is certainly at the core of the matter,
however, the first thing that is necessary is to adequately recognize the
nature of the problem.  This is absolutely essential both to prepare
oneself psychologically to deal with an unprincipled enemy and to asert
appropriate countervailing force.  The identification of the "enemy" is
part of this because one must breat through the propaganda system that
constrains the volition of the public.  Pretending that everything is nice
and that there is no enemy in this case of unconscionable self-serving
corruption of the legislative process, is tantamount to giving up at the
outset.  This is the most fundamental tactic of the industry, documented
in numerous careful studies (e.g., Lindblom, 1977; Herman and Chomsky,
1988), and their supporters particularly in the media do everything they
can to suggest the pressuposition of normalicy that constrains public
volition.
 
 >
>
> Moreover, it a question in thi case of two media
> > representatives defending their advertisers' practices of exploiting
> > the people to the maximum.
> >
>
> Here, Vigdor, is an example of what I mean by the limitations of this
> medium. You do not know me (or Susan Prince, for that matter), yet you
> accuse us of what, to a journalist, is the most heinous of acts --
> mingling journalistic integrity with the aims of advertisers. The very
> act of firing a shot like this tends to make enemies out of adversaries.
> It is a mistaken tack to take, Vigdor, for many reasons, not the least of
> which is that when you attack people whom you don't know, you merely
> close their ears by your accusations and unwarranted use of the language.
> I am surprised that someone such as yourself, who has been on this list
> from its beginning more than two years ago, has not grown more in applying
> telecommunication skills to arguments and online-interaction. And you,
> such a proponent of Computer-Mediated Communication!
>
> As Franklin once told Paine: "Spit into the wind and you spit in your
> own face."
>
> And to keep the record straight, I left The Charlotte Observer 6
> months ago to become project director of Charlotte's Web, a regional
> community network based in Charlotte, NC. (But, of course, journalists
> are like Catholics: you can leave the profession but the profession can
> never leave you. Some might just call me a *lapsed* journalist. ;-) )
 
  The problem has nothing to do with whether or not I know you and Susan
Prince personally, it is a question of following your adversary's
values and defending against the historical scheme.  You state the
problem accurately when you suggest that people such as journalists do
not leave their professional values at the last job, they move on
together with the soul of the person.  The signal here is your insistance
that one presume the good faith of the "enemy" who is by all
discernable evidence presently busy burning down our collective house.
Indeed, your very indigation over my call on this problem is telling
evidence of the heavy psychological predisposition that the people must
overcome.
 
  May I suggest that while I revere Franklin's life of enlightened good
will I also understand the stunning ability of Thomas Paine, who was able
to see through the cultural trance of his time and became the inspiring
beacon that saved the people for their glorious rebirth in the form of a
democracy.  Confronting the grave problems we must face--which are plainly
evident to anyone willing to face the realities that are all around us--is
something more than "spitting in the wind" as you describe the situation,
Steve.
 
  Vigdor