When my libertarian friends railed against the FCC’s seizing authority over the Internet right before Christmas, I honestly didn’t get what all of the fuss was about. In the aftermath of the tragedy in Tucson, I get it. I really get it.
Imagine if Saturday’s shooting would have occurred in Internet-less world. The Sheriff would have linked the shooter to the Tea Party, and the mainstream media would run with it, embellishing the narrative to include Sarah Palin, talk radio, Arizona’s immigration law, racism, and efforts to repeal the health care mandate and all the other crazy stuff that got thrown on the pile last Saturday in the world series of bullshit.
CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, AP, Reuters – the media would report the Palin causal connection as fact, while the opinion pages would describe the tea parties as Klan rallies held in ammo dumps. Columnists and Congressmen would demand new prohibitions on guns, speech, association, and privacy, and legislatures would eagerly comply with hurried legislation in response to the clear and present danger posed by a “vast right-wing conspiracy” whose 20 Arizona victims are just the tip of the coming iceberg.
It is now quite clear that the Tucson narrative fabricated by the left was entirely wrong; ideology played no part in this tragic shooting whatsoever. Rather, an individual who was mentally ill set out to avenge a perceived personal slight when he tried to assassinate a Congresswoman for not adequately answering his previously asked question about grammar and word meanings.
But why do we know that? How did we come too learn the truth that it was a psychotic obsession with the meaning of words, and not our “toxic tone” in political debate that caused 20 people to be shot? The Internet, that’s how we know; that is the only reason we know. The same Internet that the Government will soon censor, license, regulate, and monitor your usage of – the FCC’s Internet.
We did not learn the truth of Tucson from major news outlets, editorial writers, civic leaders, elected officials, law enforcement, President, or Secretary of State, all of whom either parroted the lie or only begrudgingly acknowledged facts that others had discovered and tweeted, shared, reposted, and liked.
No, we learned the truth of Tucson from Youtube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, texting, and from thousands of bloggers who exposed the tea-party-did-it narrative as a vindictive partisan fraud within hours of its transparently coordinated launch.
Unfazed, MSM outlets continued to promote the big lie for days later, easily traversing the declining ethical half-lives that separate speculation from denial from deception from propaganda from delusion. As of this writing, they remain in a delusional state – trapped in a fantasy world of their own making where millions of tea-bots lurk locked-and-loaded and waiting for the fillings in their molars to vibrate with the low frequency signal from Palin and Beck to open fire.
Do you realize how close we came to our own American Kristallnacht? If the FCC had already developed its capability to block content – as it aims to do - which of the two Tucson narratives do you think would be suppressed in the name of “net neutrality”: the statist party line wherein Sarah Palin and the tea party caused a massacre, or the alternative where a drug abusing mentally ill loner tried to kill a Congresswoman over an inadequate answer to his concern about grammar? When the bandwidth is prioritized by FCC, will you read about Tucson at Dr. Tim’s Moment of Clarity or Paul Krugman’s Daily Dose of Donkey Dung?
We would never know he was an atheist, a lunatic, a loner, a left-inspired anarchist drop-out with a history of violent threats and unstable impulses. We would know only what the government propagandist wants us to know – tea party did it. They would photoshop a Gadsden Flag hat on that bald head in his mug shot. It would be a blatant lie, a slander of the most despicable sort, a reckless smear whose sole purpose is to create the illusion of crisis requisite to convince the American people to cede more of our liberty to a government whose appetite for control is insatiable.
This is not paranoid speculation; we have just witnessed the new depths to which the left will sink to achieve their aims. For days now, we have read for ourselves the statist narrative that would have gone uncontroverted but for a free and unregulated Internet. It is one thing for members of the media to jump to a wrong conclusion in a panic; such indiscretions are forgivable in the age of instant news and analysis.
But it is quite another to participate in a sustained coordinated campaign to distort, suppress, and misrepresent the truth. Not just some, but all of the major news outlets participated in the Tucson “toxic tone” conspiracy. None of them – not one – has apologized for the bile and invective they cast about and the character assassinations they unleashed without a scintilla of evidence to justify their charges.
It is because they have no remorse, no shame, no integrity. That is why they are broke and failing, no other reason. They are not sorry for what they have done, and they will not be, because they believe their ends justify any means. They do not see that they have done wrong; only that it did not work; thwarted again by the Internet and the millions of freethinkers who use it. These are the kind of people who go to work at FCC when their papers close down; regulating that Internet that ruined their cushy lives to insure it fits the correct statist notion of “neutrality”.
Now that we know what that term will mean shortly, Jerod Louchner’s bizarre question to Congresswoman Giffords is positively chilling: “what is government if words have no meaning?” And here, my friends, is the adequate answer to his question: it is force - raw, brute, pure force. Fight back.
“Moment Of Clarity” is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website www.timnerenz.com to find your moment and order his new book, “Tooth Fairy Government.”