Thinking Magazine #25 02-11-94

Letter to Thinking Magazine

Sometimes I get mail and phone calls about what I write. Lately I've got some interesting ones. This one came in by email over the Internet.

   To: Marc Perkel
   From: Andrew Kennedy
   Re: Thinking Magazine

        I'm always uneasy about starting email threads with people I
   don't know, but I figger you wouldn't have posted your Internet
   address if you didn't expect some feedback... so here goes...

        YOUR VIEWS SUCK! Hardly a word you wrote was one I agreed with.
   And, like every true American, I feel that any view that is in
   contradiction with my own is incorrect.


        I found your magazine provocative, stimulating, and damn
   interesting. You present your views QUITE well, and seem to have
   researched things quite a bit. "Thinking Magazine" is anything but a
   misnomer. Keep up the good work!

                                        Long live Lenin

   P.S. I too am a nerd... but, like a true nerd, I spend my money on
        computer equipment and on charitable causes, like the Hubble
        telescope (God knows we needed it fixed.... where would we have
        been had we not seen that city-in-the-sky a.k.a. Heaven?
        Probably would have resorted to another flooze story with
        doctored pictures. Hooray for NASA.)

One thing Andrew and I do agree on is the Hubble telescope. After losing the Mars probe, (a serious tragedy in the world of nerds) NASA really needed a success. Not only that, the Hubble, when working correctly, can literally look back to the beginning of time and space itself. The Hubble repairs were so successful that it is now operating significantly better than it was originally designed to.

Mind Worms

I've been real frustrated lately with the Washington press corps. It really pisses me off because they are doing everything they can to make Clinton look bad. Fortunately, he's doing such a good job that the public isn't buying it. But the real forces behind the media bias are the big money interests in the health insurance industry.

But, you listen to all these reports about Whitewater, and you ask, "But Marc, isn't there some truth to this? Why would they be making such a big deal about this if it weren't at least basically true?"

Americans are trusting people. We want to believe that we have a free press. We need to believe that we have a free press. But reporters, like most of the rest of us, are herd animals - they follow the leaders. So, if you want to control the press, all you have to do is to control a few key people.

For example, we all know Sam Donaldson of ABC. Seems like a nice guy. Usually a fair reporter, but very much against the Clinton health care plan. In fact, Sam speaks about it regularly at events and is paid $30,000 a speech for his services - by the insurance industry.

Now, does all this money influence Sam? Makes you wonder, doesn't it. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Bobby Inman was right! When he exposed the relationship between the Republican party and the press he was declared a nut. But I saw his press conference on C-Span, and he's hardly a nut. They had to smear him to avoid the real question about what is going on the media. You'll notice in all the press coverage, the question they never asked was, "Did William Safire and Bob Dole have a deal? I believe the answer is, Yes!

But, back to media lies. Like I said, most people are trusting and are shocked when they've been had by a real scam. As a result, Cat and I got together and put together an example of how press lies are created. The new phrase for the day is "Mind Worm", and it may be one of the most important concepts you'll ever learn!

==[ Mind Worms ]==

Was the Press Involved In the Death of the President's Mother?

"Was The Press involved in the death of President Clinton's mother?" That question continues to remain unanswered.

In spite of the well known animosity between the press and the Clinton administration, the press continues to deny that they had anything to do with the death of Virginia Kelley, mother of the President.

By refusing to ask the justice department to name an independent prosecutor to look into the matter, and by continuing to stonewall allegations of wrongdoing, the press has turned a seemingly small scandal into one involving the potential abuse of the First Amendment.

Even in the unlikely event that the press does call for an investigation into allegations against itself, the justice department will probably claim that they can't appoint one because there is no longer a special prosecutor law on the books. They might also claim that the special prosecutor law was meant to facilitate investigations into government culpability, not media crimes. If it were argued that the press as presently constituted in the United States is actually a wing of the government, it is probable that the Justice Department will fall back on another defense, claiming that before you appoint a special prosecutor, you have to actually charge someone with a crime.

Barney Frank (D. Mass) wants to revive the independent counsel law, ramming it through the House without allowing a vote on whether it should cover Congress as well as the Executive branch. Noble as his intentions may be, that law could actually help a cover-up of press involvement in the death of Mrs. Kelley, because a "Lawrence Walsh style" prosecutor could keep vital documents that may link the press to this death under wraps for years.

But, in spite of these problems, some say that appointing a special prosecutor to look into these charges is necessary. "These charges are far too serious and the credibility of the press is so damaged that only an impartial special prosecutor can clear the press in the mind of the public," someone like Bob Dole might say if he were asked. "We can't let these procedural details get in the way."

Disturbing Coincidence

There is a long history of media involvement with Mrs. Kelley. Members of the press have been seen lurking around her ever since her son began seeking office. Many of these same reporters were also close to JFK, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy in the months before they were assassinated, thus raising disturbing questions about the possibility of a link between these events!

New questions are now being raised about the death of former Speaker of the House Thomas (Tip) O'Neil, who also died suddenly, just one day before the unexpected death of Virginia Kelley. As a mathematician from NASA might have stated, "The odds of these two people dying within hours of each other could be as high as a million to one." Odds like this could raise the question of a media assassination conspiracy.

The trail does not end there. In Vince Foster's suicide note, this long-time friend and colleague of the Clintons clearly stated that the press had caused him to seek oblivion in death. Knowing that, can one continue to doubt that pressure from the press may have contributed to the death of Mrs. Kelley? There is no evidence, yet, to link these two deaths. But serious questions about such press-related deaths continue to dog reporters and to cut into the media's ability to influence and control the minds of the public.

The Vince Foster suicide followed the untimely death of the father of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. This death occurred during the crucial period when the First Lady was formulating the Clinton health care plan, a plan that many members of the press oppose.

No "smoking gun" evidence linking the press with the death of the First Lady's father, has surfaced -- yet. But questions have been asked, and they demand answers.

Some researchers may conclude that the timing of these deaths is merely a coincidence. But many people find it hard to believe that all of these people, each one the target of a continual onslaught of press scrutiny, just "happened" to die within a short and politically important period of time.

The Implications of Press-Related Assassinations

If it were concluded that the press were linked to the so called "Clinton Cluster" deaths, the implications would be staggering. What kind of a society would we have if press death squads roamed the streets eliminating their political opposition and maintaining full control of the news we read, watch, or listen to every day?. How would we ever know what was true or not? Under a tightly controlled media working in unison to spin events to the benefit of unseen and unknown masters, how could we call America a free society?

In the early days of the Soviet Union, Lenin might have said, "The first step in a revolution is to seize the Telegraph." Is that what has happened here? Is this a prelude to a Coup d'Etat? Are we citizens just guinea pigs in a vast mind control experiment? And doesn't the prospect of press-related assassination threaten democracy and freedom as we know it? Is it possible for the news media, to tell a lie often enough, convincingly enough, to convince whole populations that what they are promoting is true? Could this be the beginning of the end of freedom on planet Earth? The possibilities are chilling indeed!

A History of Deception

Compounding the effect of these charges is a history of misleading information originating in the news media. With the ethical standard of the press and public opinion of press ethics at all time lows, more people than ever before are likely to believe allegations such as these, in spite of the fact that there isn't a shred of hard evidence connecting the press with any these deaths -- yet.

The public's current distrust of the press may have its roots back in the 1992 elections, when reporters seemingly conspired in an attempt to distract the public from the real issues of the presidential campaign. This apparent conspiracy may have started with the "Flowers Affair," when a tabloid newspaper called "The Star" briefly turned away from reporting alleged sightings of Elvis Presley and paid a woman known as Gennifer Flowers $150,000 to say that she had sex with then-Governor Clinton.

This story opened the door to a new journalistic tactic, "leveraged reporting." Leveraged reporting occurs when reporters for reputable media outlets want to cover a scandal-based story that by itself simply isn't credible enough to publish, so they get a "shady" publisher to run with the story, and then report that the other publication ran a scandalous story and then give the full details of the scandal to their readers. Not only does leveraged reporting allow political bias to be expressed under cover of newsgathering, it saves leg-work for reporters, as each press organization covers what was in the others' reports, until the story becomes self-perpetuating and the press is essentially self-feeding.

One example of the awesome power of the self-feeding story was the Clinton haircut hoax. When this story broke, the media dived in like flies on their favorite food. The coverage, in news articles, editorial pages, and opinion columns, went on for weeks, until "Newsday" broke the story that none of it was true. Once this happened, the story instantly disappeared with barely a word of correction, much less an apology.

By mid-1993, it seems, the combination of leveraged reporting and self-feeding stories presented the press with a temptation they could not put aside in the name of ethics. The media had tasted power -- and wanted more! Wily reporters probably realized at this point that they had within their grasp the potential to control public thought. It no longer mattered if what they said was fact, as long as they could get someone to say it was, and they could write a believable story about it. It was as if the press had suddenly awakened from a decades-long dream that its mission was to present truth, realized that it had the power to change reality -- and decided that it liked that power.

Vince Foster's only crime was that he was inexperienced at damage control. But to the press he was like a deer about to be devoured by a pride of lions -- themselves. In the last days before his suicide, Foster knew the press was closing in on him. His final message to the living make it clear that it was the press who drove him to his death. Of course, the press had to report the death, and a troop of well-trained morgue-jockeys handled the story with the media's characteristic blend of unctuous tact and simulated shock. Foster's suicide note, however, posed a real problem for the press. Suicide notes always make good copy, but the press didn't rush to print Foster's message because the idea of the public seeing blood on their hands disturbed them. This is something they had to cover up!

The Cover UP

To try to conceal the real reasons for the Foster suicide, press spin doctors may have had to come up with a new explanation for the death that absolved them -- and was believable enough to sell to the public. That explanation seems to have been the "Whitewater scandal".

If so, the Whitewater scandal became big news not in its own right, but because it redefined the reason for Vince Foster's death. Key reporters could well have decided to cover over the implications raised by Foster's press-related death by simply getting together and saying, "Let's raise questions about his death. Let's say that it was a suspicious death. Let's create a cloud over this man by declaring that he was hiding some secret knowledge about the Clintons." If this were so, the media could kill two birds with one stone. They could conceal their relationship to Foster's death and attack the President at the same time.

A Motive for Murder?

"But why," a patient reader may ask, "would the press do this? What would motivate the press to go as far as murder?"

Even though there isn't a single piece of hard evidence other than the Foster suicide note that directly links the press to any deaths among President Clinton's family and friends, people cannot be stopped from asking the question, "Why?"

Why? Is it greed? Is it power? Or is it BOTH?

One hypothetical reason for the apparent animosity between the press and the President -- an animosity so strong it might lead to murder -- was recently described in the following letter to the editor that appeared in the "Springfield News Leader."

If the points the author makes are true, then the motive could be as simple -- and as complex -- as a violent culture clash. The realization that a country hick from Arkansas is smarter than many in the New York/Washington insider culture may be enough to drive certain reporters to the brink of cultural warfare, leading them to initiate their own brand of "ethnic cleansing," as it were.

Of course, that letter only represents one person's opinion. It may or may not be true. Other people might look to simpler, less ideological motives.

One of these simple motives is money. Inside the Washington Beltway, wages for the press are rather high. Many journalists' salaries run into the millions of dollars and it is this income category that the Clinton tax increase hits the hardest. President Clinton has taken a lot of money out of reporters' pockets and some journalists are none to happy about that. And it's common knowledge that when money is involved, people end up dead.

A third possible motive, and a notably controversial one, is the so-called "Brass Check" theory. According to the writings of former California gubernatorial candidate Upton Sinclair -- himself both an apostate reporter and the victim of numerous failed press-assassination attempts -- reporters are a species of prostitute. As Sinclair described it, in his youth, when a bordello customer paid the house madame for the sexual services he was about to receive, he was given a brass check, a metal token designating the room of the prostitute who would serve him. The prostitute herself did not receive money from the customer, and if one were to look only at the transaction between the customer and the whore, it would appear as if no money had changed hands. So it is, said Sinclair, with advertisers, publishers, and reporters: the advertiser pays the publisher, not the journalist, but the journalist serves the advertiser as readily as the whore does her john.

On the one hand, Brass Check journalism can prevent reporters from covering stories unfavorable to their corporate media sponsors; on the other hand, it can result in trained packs of attack-journalists baying at the heels of those whom the corporate sponsors see fit to demolish.

Have the Clintons angered some powerful corporate media sponsor? And if they have, would the press obey such a master to the extent of committing murder?

The first question may never be answered, but the second was, decades ago, when George Seldes, an internationally acclaimed reporter, blew the whistle on his own profession with his classic investigation of publisher William Randolph Hearst's involvement in the press-death of Italy's Senor Fiat.

Murder-by-media has been committed in the past. Without the eternal vigilance of the American public, it can be committed in the future. No reasonable person could deny that given sufficient motivation, the press can indeed kill.

Not Guilty . . . By Reason of Diminished Competence?

Of course, establishing a number of possible motives and making a series of allegations doesn't prove anything. The deaths listed above may be mere coincidences and the media's low taste for scandal may simply be evidence of mass stupidity.

Some observers, taking the concept of press stupidity one step further, have claimed that the press is not intelligent enough to engage in concerted attacks upon the Clintons and their associates. According to these theorists, reporters demonstrate a primitive herd instinct and often behave less like human beings than like a school of fish, moving about in unison, darting first left then right, seemingly with no sense of where they are going or what they are doing.

If this is true, the press may not be competent to stand trial for the deaths of Mrs. Kelley and Mr. Rodham, and its connection to the death of Vince Foster -- despite the victim's identification of the perpetrators -- may well be plea-bargained down to a charge of negligent homicide.

In the courtroom of public opinion, the jury is still out . . .

Beating up on the Democrats

As you can imagine, I was not happy when the Democrats in congress called for a special prosecutor. The first Democrat to call for a special prosecutor was Patrick Moynahan. Patrick Moynahan takes more contributions from insurance company PACs than anyone else in congress. It is a coincidence that he would be the Democrat to call for a special prosecutor?

Anyhow, I got rather hot at the Democrats. You Republican readers out there will get a kick out of these next two letters.

==[ What are you doing? ]==
After sending this letter I decided that I wasn't nasty enough. In fact, I wanted to see how nasty a letter I could write. I knew that there was a lot of Democrats who really didn't like what happened, and I wanted to let them feel some real pain so that it wouldn't happen again.

==[ Toldja So! ]==

What the Press Doesn't Tell You

Due to the process of protecting the Whitewater story, the press could hardly report about a few little problems that Bob Dole had. You see, if it were known that Bob Dole committed much more serious offenses than Clinton is being accused of, it would take the steam out of the story. So what the press won't tell you, Thinking Magazine will.

Doesn't it make you wonder why the press is crucifying Clinton over losing about $70,000 while at the same time ignoring Clinton's primary accuser's scandal involving hundreds of thousands of dollars? Besides, seems like a good deal for Dole to pay a $100,000 fine for $500,000 in illegal campaign money that he didn't have to give back. Hardly discourages this kind of thing, doesn't it.

Whither Tonya Harding

Can you believe it that they would even CONSIDER letting her go to the Olympics after her attack on Nancy Kerrigan? How did I end up in the reality, I ask myself. This is a world where lawyers rule.

"Innocent till proven guilty." That's fine if your talking about convicting her of a crime, but going to the Olympics is another matter. I think that trying to break the legs of an opponent is "unsprotsman like". So call me too conservative, that's how I feel!

Although I think she needs to be tried in court for her crimes, the evidence is very strong against her. You have four confessions and all of them pointing towards Harding. She was the beneficiary of the assault. It was he money used to pay the hit men. And there's phone records and handwritten notes. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what happened.

So Tonya, you BITCH! I hope you ROT!

Country Nerd Living

Well, Vicki and I bought the farm! We just purchased an 80 acre piece of land out in the woods three miles from a small town called Fair Grove, Missouri. Fair Grove is 12 miles north of Springfield and has a population of about 900.

We're in the process of designing and building a house. We hope to be in by October. It's going to be a busy year and I may not be able to write an issue of Thinking Magazine every month. It's an election year and I'm doing more computer shows than I've done in previous years and it will be interesting indeed!

But, it will be fun. The house is going to be over 5000 square feet. It will be a three story house with the bottom floor as the software business. The building site is on the side of a hill overlooking a pond. The office will be at ground level on the pond side (east) with the house being at ground level on the west side. It's almost too good to be true.

It all started when Vicki wanted to buy a new sofa, and the one she wanted was too big for the space where she wanted to put it. Well, one think led to another and now it looks like we're going another $300,000 in debt. Looking back, maybe I should have let her buy the sofa. <grin>


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