Tonawanda News

Opinion

October 11, 2013

Money, media and apathy got us in this mess

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — The changing media landscape plays another central role in this eroding of citizen democracy. The number of news reporters whose job it once was to serve as watchdogs for taxpayers and the public has been depleted by 50 percent in some news organizations over the last five years or so.

There’s just a lot more room for political shenanigans to go undetected. And the media that remains — mostly broadcast and national — is aimed at building up the “conflict industry” — overstating or even creating conflict in every story to generate ratings.

And Americans must understand that in the end, they also contribute to this mess by their apathy. The current status quo in Congress shouldn’t be tolerated. There should be massive rallies calling for the ouster of those who would subvert our representative democracy into a road-kill republic, where only the vultures win.

But it isn’t easy for the average citizen. They’re busy trying to keep afloat in an economy that has offered more work for less pay. It’s time consuming to be informed and more so to act on that information.

But unfortunately, becoming informed and active is our best option. Other strategies have so far offered very little success or progress. One commentator urged action by citizens to “scare the hell” out of these people in Washington. That can’t come too soon.

Maybe that’s what World War II vets were thinking when they knocked down the shutdown barricades at the World War II memorial in Washington Tuesday. They were “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.”

We hope this shutdown makes clear to political leaders what’s at stake. It may be more than just the next election.

-- The Mankato Free Press

Text Only
Opinion
  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014