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Do Orwell-ocrats Own 9-11? By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, March 05, 2004


WHO OWNS 9-11?  AND WHO OWNS HISTORY in general, the right to evoke the past and use pieces of it in creating the present?

The first television campaign ad for President George W. Bush came under partisan attack in the Leftist media because it included a few solemn, dignified frames of devastation from the World Trade Center, destroyed by terrorists on September 11, 2001.

Among the attacking voices were fat-cat Fire Fighters Union bosses feasting on caviar in ritzy Bal Harbour, Florida, who have endorsed Democratic presidential candidate-apparent Senator John Kerry (D.-Mass.) but for no specified reason accused President Bush of “demeaning the memory” of firefighters who died on 9-11. (The real reason is clear enough – the Democrat fat-cats are exploiting these dead heroes, unable to speak for themselves, as a handy political weapon with which to beat Mr. Bush.)

NBC and its offspring networks out-hustled their rival giants in interviewing selected 9-11 victim family members who called the President’s ad “exploitation” of a tragedy.  Those carefully chosen by NBC stressed that Democratic candidate Senator John Kerry was not likewise exploitative in his campaign use of 9-11, but that Republican President Bush was.

My impression of these interviews is that NBC and a few Democratic family members were exploiting the tragedy of 9-11 to make partisan attacks against the President.

Let’s pull back the camera to see a bigger picture. Those who lost loved ones in the World Trade Center have suffered enormous pain and grief.

Some, doubtless, unconsciously blame themselves for sending loved ones off to work on 9-11 to bring home the bacon for them. Some have tried to bury their pain and guilt by forgetting….or by displacing their guilt and anger onto a President who, they prefer to believe, somehow might have prevented the terrorist attacks.

But their loved ones were not the only Americans attacked on 9-11. We ALL were attacked. Nobody should have a monopoly controlling whether and how this shattering event in our history, this rip in the fabric of our society, can be discussed. It belongs to all of us. And each of us needs to address this unresolved tragedy in our own ways.

What angers me is that the dominant Leftist networks – the ones willing to shove a female singer’s bare breast in our childrens’ faces – have become censors over 9-11 footage. They have buried it.  They will not re-air or reawaken the horror, nor will they permit others to do so.

As this column opined on February 4th about the big networks: They will broadcast Janet Jackson’s breast and dancers simulating sex acts, but they will not re-air footage of Americans jumping to their deaths from the burning World Trade Center towers on 9-11 or being ground into gory hamburger inside as those towers pancaked down into rubble.

Because such video became verboten in the establishment media, Democratic candidate John F. Kerry during the South Carolina debate... could declare that President Bush has “exaggerated” the threat terrorism poses to us. When Kerry uttered this nonsense (knowing as he does what a handful of terrorists now could do to our society and economy if armed with nerve gas or germs or a tactical nuclear weapon), Kerry’s sheep-like Democratic followers nodded in brain-dead agreement.

The media has largely succeeded into putting America to sleep with hypnosis and by blacking out information that would shock the nation out of lethargy. The Left is yet again trying to steal our political show by misdirecting our attention and by controlling what Americans are permitted to see.

The motive behind this censorship by the big three Leftist networks ABC, CBS and NBC is self-evident.  Re-airing this footage would remind Americans that we are at war, which in turn would strengthen public support for our wartime Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush.  Because the aim of all three of these networks is to defeat Mr. Bush this November, they will oppose, attack and thereby try to stifle even the tiniest reminder of 9-11 – even a few frames in a Bush campaign ad.

In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, frail hero Winston Smith worked in the totalitarian government’s history office. His job was to re-write the official history constantly so that, no matter what happened, the record always depicted Big Brother as all-knowing, accurately prophetic and infallible.

The essence of totalitarianism, said Orwell through his fiction, is that “those who control the present control the past, and those who control the past control the future.”

This is precisely what America’s dominant Leftist networks are doing through their control of the images of the attack on America on 9-11. By making those images vanish, they have created an emotional amnesia in America that favors the election of Democratic candidate John “Forget” Kerry.

To appreciate how surreal this is, imagine that during World War II the news networks relentlessly criticized President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s war effort. Imagine that, as during Vietnam, every American casualty and family’s grief was given vast media attention, and every American mistake was played to the hilt. But at the same time, imagine that these networks controlled the only film footage of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and refused to allow it to be shown to remind Americans why they were at war. That is what the Leftist media today is doing to President Bush and the War on Terror.

The networks doubtless would reply that they are private companies who own the footage they recorded on September 11, 2001; if they choose not to re-air this videotape that is their private property, they have that right. This is half true.

But these networks got much of that footage (while amateurs could not) because ABC, CBS and NBC with their special government-issued Press Photographer passes were allowed through police cordons. They were given those press passes so that they could provide news and information to the public, not keep it from the public. They were to be the public’s eyes as a Fourth Estate, not censors hiding and manipulating the news to serve their own special political interests.

Nor is network censorship limited to 9-11. As this column noted on January 28th, NBC is in possession of video of a young John F. Kerry on “Meet the Press” in 1971 making the most horrific false accusations against American soldiers in Vietnam and confessing that he also committed war crimes and atrocities. Why has NBC refused to re-air that footage that could discredit Kerry in the eyes of millions of Americans? 

One of these big three networks also reportedly did a videotaped interview with a young AP reporter rumored to have had a sexual affair with Kerry from 2001 to 2003.  The young woman, hiding in Africa, afterwards reportedly denied this affair. But rumor was that in this network interview she confirmed and gave details of the affair. This network has not aired the interview. It has been spiked, deep-sixed, disappeared – perhaps to help Kerry, perhaps to blackmail him at some future date.

Call me cynical, but I suspect that this young woman’s interview would have aired if it exonerated Kerry. And I suspect that any of these networks would rush to air any past interview that could damage President Bush, just as surely as how they have and will rush to suppress and conceal information that could damage Senator Kerry.

What the networks are doing is news control designed to gain a Leftist political victory this November. News control and censorship is a way of re-writing history, just like in 1984. And the history and truth they are thereby stealing belongs not to them but to you. By stealing your past, they are trying to control your future and steal your government.

And as for those loved ones who died in the terrorist attacks of 9-11, the most “demeaning” things someone can do is to erase them from our national memory, erase the history of the attack that killed them, and erase the effort to bring the terrorists who planned their murders to justice? 

All this is being done cynically in order to help elect a Democrat President this November? By their re-writing of history, Senator Kerry and his allies in the Leftist media are engaging in the most demeaning, dehumanizing, Orwellian politics imaginable.


Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.


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