To me, one of the most disgusting things about the American media is their cheerful refusal to wonder about the human costs of government policies, even when the policies are self-evidently harmful and stupid.
Watching media reactions to the hysteria over the Christmas Day terrorism aboard a jet bound for Detroit, I could find nothing implying the faintest skepticism or even curiosity about the government’s initial plan to force airline passengers to remain in their seats with nothing in their laps during the final hour of flight. No one asked why the last hour was any more important, in this respect, than any other hour. No one made the relevant observation that the government’s agents had failed to prevent the terrorist from boarding the plane, but the passengers on the plane had foiled his scheme – by leaping from their seats and attacking him. And no one wondered about the harm that the government’s new idea would do to normal passengers – until a Fox News broadcast took up the issue on the afternoon of December 28.
“Aha!” I thought, “finally!” as the presiding journalist, Greg Jarrett, did what no one else was doing – interviewing a representative from an airline travelers’ group. She pointed out that being required to sit in your seat for a solid hour represented a serious hardship for everyone, but especially people with health problems – blood clots, prostate difficulties, you can think of more. But you know what Jarrett’s comment was? “Well, maybe they shouldn’t fly.”
I ask you, if there was a law against scathing exposes of the cruelties of government, would there be enough evidence to convict Fox News?