“Some are more equal than others!” “Two legs bad,four legs good!” Such phrases from the writings of the British writer George Orwell, notably his two classics ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm,’ have entered the English language and describe how journalism and literature have been too often corrupted by a totalitarian mindset.
I often think of Orwell when I read the KC Star. Most recently I saw a wonderful example of the “Ministry of Truth” (i.e. “Propaganda Ministry”) mentality from ‘1984’ when the paper’s publisher, Mi-Ai Parrish (did I tell you that henceforth I wish to be addressed as “Kunta Kinte” Sutherland, after the protagonist of ‘Roots,’ the 1977 mini-series) published its mission statement in last Sunday’s paper.
There are actually five separate bullet points listed but for purposes of today’s post I will only deal with the first of them since it is so blatantly and outrageously false:
“TO HOLD THE POWERFUL ACCOUNTABLE AND GIVE VOICE TO THE VOICELESS.”
The current Star Editorial Board, like prior boards, are handmaidens of the city’s Establishment. The fact that past publishers of the paper have hung out at such populist stomping grounds as the Kansas City Country Club and the River Club gives the lie to any notion that the Star’s goal is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. (Jim Hale and Art Brisbane, call your office!)
In fact, their usual attitude towards the ruling corporate/banking/legal/political elite is one of groveling sycophancy. I should preface this by saying this is true only if one “Gets with the program,” i.e. accepts their agenda. My own background is from “deep within the belly of the beast,” but I have called baloney on the usual self-dealing and the self-congratulation that goes with it for some reason—and thus have become a “non-person” in the Star’s eyes.
In practical terms, the result of this outlook is very simple. “Liberal” Democrats are endorsed for virtually every office in Missouri. “Moderate” Republicans are endorsed for every office in Kansas. Partisanship is far less important than “Economic development” i.e. crony capitalism for the backers of politicians favored by the KC Star. Corruption and abuse of power are actively concealed by the Star if they threaten to embarrass their a- – h- – – buddies like Paul Morrison (disgraced former Kansas AG), Charles Carlsen (disgraced former Johnson County Community College President), and Harry Wiggins (disgraced former Missouri State Senator).
“Give voice to the voiceless?”
Every minority favored by the P.C. police is given a respectful hearing at the Star. And while African Americans were given short shrift in the past, it’s hard to say that they are completely voiceless since the mayor, congressman, and president are now all African-American.
Gay people are now treated with dignity and their achievements recognized (as well they should be by a major purveyor of advertising, since gays were the original double-income, no-kids couples). Hispanics, Asians, etc. are all recognized for their contributions to the community. (And this is all as it should be.)
However, this love of diversity extends to every group but one.
They have problematic political and social attitudes.(‘Duck Dynasty’anyone?) They don’t do what they’re told by their betters, i.e., go along with schemes of social engineering and taxation designed to benefit the groups the Star does favor. The next time you read a Star editorial or opinion column denouncing the “Tea Party” (as they routinely denounced the “Religious Right” and ‘neo-cons’ in the past), substitute the phrase “red neck whites” and see if that doesn’t work just as well.
By using such code words for social class differences, the Star shows the depth of its sincerity in seeking to “Give voice to the voiceless!”