How did Saturday’s 9-11 remembrance story become 2,000 RW lunatic fringers marching and screaming at a padlocked building, one moronic book burning pastor in need of a shave and a social media sensation woman ex-politician who quit on her state as Governor to write a Facebook page alongside a narcissistic megalomaniac talk show host with a Nazi God complex?
How did the mainstream media allow this lot to hijack a national day of service and mourning almost as vilely as the 19 Saudi terrorists hijacked four planes and crashed them into buildings and a Pennsylvania field?
Why were the families of those victims forced to hurry up, grieve quickly and leave lower Manhattan before Islamo-/xenophobic thugs arrived and ruined their day?
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Why were the 2,500 who gathered for a silent evening before candlelight prayer vigil at both sites and in support of religious tolerance not given the same press fanfare?
Why did the Jumbotron image of disgraced former UN Ambassador John Bolton egging on the crazies get more coverage?
Why is this Astroturf group of corporate and right wing politically sponsored thugs allowed to garner so much air time and attention?
Where is the FCC and other regulators? Why are they not sanctioning and fining those who spread outright lies and disinformation disguised as ‘news’ as vociferously as they go after a network for allowing a soldier who let loose an F-bomb on live telly as an RPG landed feet away?
Why does every other civilised democracy in the world except the one that holds itself up as the model of perfection to the rest of the world, have specific laws forbidding hate speech and actions like what we saw? If they were in the UK, their leaders and instigators would be sitting in jail cells.
The 2,000 were not exercising their right to ‘free speech,’ they were espousing irrational hatred and contempt, egged on by an international conservative media group with no respect for truth or dignity.
In contrast to the sombre ceremonies we saw at Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania, why were far more television coverage minutes given to irrational crazies vs those struggling day-by-day to survive the loss of loved ones.
And where is the sense of perspective? Yes it was a tragedy. 3,000+ died and, two office towers were destroyed but there is apparently a series of office buildings being rebuilt on that “hallowed ground” that will in all likelihood see people engaged in commercial activity. Why is a centre for multi-faith and cultural learning and prayer two and one half blocks away such a danger to the memory of 9-11 families when bond traders on the remnants of their gravesite are not?
We’re talking perspective and how it has been completely lost as both sides scream at each other.
And speaking of perspective, when will the USA get it that their loss, indeed magnified by the television machine, is no greater or more precious than anyone else’s?
As my friend, the then American historical director of the Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam explained a few days after the disaster (when we all thought 5,000 plus were lost), to Bush appointed Ambassador-in-waiting Sobol during a VIP tour, “Sir, let’s have a little perspective. More than 55-million people lost their lives during World Wars on this continent. That is the equivalent of a 9-11 a day, every day for 30-years.”
America and her values are dying before our eyes and my fellow members of the media are more interested in getting the call from Keith or Rachel, Greta or Chris for a 5-minute snarky pundit stand-up than getting the real story right.
I wept quietly for multiple sets of 9-11 victims, those who would steal this day as their own from the families and the lost values of our profession on Saturday.
Denis G Campbell is the American Editor of UK Progressive. He is a political and business pundit contributor to both BBC television and radio. Denis specializes in translating the American electoral and governing process for UK and EU audiences and vice versa, contributing regularly on UK elections and issues to the Huffington Post. He has contributed to newspapers and magazines around the globe. In his “spare” time, he is managing director of Target Point Ltd focused on social media, communication strategy, leveraging technology, corporate change and building world class selling organisations. Denis has lived in the EU since 1998.