The Media’s Job includes asking questions, researching and HOLDING
ALL Elected Officials and their Appointees ACCOUNTABLE
Democracies Thrive on Dissent
By Eileen Fleming
On Thursday, America’s newspaper of record, The New York Times reported The BEST OF LATE NIGHT.
THIS AMERICAN Reporter expresses great gratitude because last night, I turned the TV off after Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, to do a yoga nidra and sleep soundly.
But THANKS to The New York Times, this morning I was inspired and encouraged hearing Jacob Paul “Jake” Tapper, American journalist, cartoonist, author and Chief Washington Correspondent for CNN, state:
What Mr. Trump #TheInvigorator has done for CNN has also been like a shot in the arm for This American Reporter whose role models include Mark Twain, Edward R. Murrow, Izzy Stone and Brenda Starr!
A few Mark Twain Quotes
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read at all.
Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
America’s most forward thinking founding father, Thomas Paine warned that if the majority of the people were denied the truth and the ideas of truth, it was time to storm the “Bastille of words” for “True democracy is never handed down by elites. It is always fought for and struggled for” and dissent is the only thing that can keep a democracy healthy.
“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.” – Edward R. Murrow
In 1958, journalist Edward R. Murrow gave a speech at the Radio-Television News Directors Association, which nailed the network television establishment and its emphasis on popular entertainment over programs that would enlighten and educate the public.
That speech was the climax of the 2005 motion picture Good Night, And Good Luck
Isidor Feinstein, better known as I. F. Stone or Izzy Stone was an independent radical investigative journalist who noted:
“All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.”
“I made no claims to inside stuff. I tried to give information, which could be documented, so the reader could check it for himself…
“Reporters tend to be absorbed by the bureaucracies they cover; they take on the habits, attitudes, and even accents of the military or the diplomatic corps. Should a reporter resist the pressure; there are many ways to get rid of him…
“But a reporter covering the whole capital on his own — particularly if he is his own employer — is immune from these pressures.”
“The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. In order for somebody to win an important, major fight 100 years hence, a lot of other people have got to be willing – for the sheer fun and joy of it – to go right ahead and fight, knowing you’re going to lose. You mustn’t feel like a martyr. You’ve got to enjoy it.”
Stone’s peers and colleagues viewed him as a pariah.
Stone spent his career challenging government deception and press complicity and confronted deceptions and outright lies of the American government in a time when nobody else had the integrity, ethics and guts to do it.
Izzy Stone was one lone voice out of the wilderness of spin that emanated out of D.C., but he lived long enough to see himself vindicated on “searing issues such as the Holocaust and fascism, the McCarthy purges, the nuclear arms race, the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and the endless struggle between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Brenda Starr, REPORTER
I am a nurse by education but I became a reporter in 2005, during my first of eight trips to both sides of Israel’s Wall in Palestine after nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu tells me:
President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’ Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection.
When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways.
From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.
Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs…
When I asked Vanunu about his hometown he replied, “Have you seen the DOROTHY DAY movie The Man who Knew Too Much? It was filmed where I grew up.”
I laughed and said, “You mean DORIS Day and she sang Que Sera Sera!”
“Yeah, that’s the one,” Vanunu replied, but I was already imagining what would DOROTHY DAY write about Vanunu and Palestine today?
Dorothy Day was a 20th century socialist muckraker who agitated State and Church in her newspaper THE CATHOLIC WORKER.
I told Vanunu:
When I was a child, my dream was to grow up and become a Brenda Starr! She was a comic book character with red hair and an ace investigative journalist! Brenda was the star reporter for the metropolitan daily called THE FLASH! When I was a kid I traveled the world with Brenda Starr solving mysteries and unearthing scoops searching for unusual and usually dangerous stories.
All during my time in Israel Palestine I have been remembering my childhood and childish dream. But when you just said Dorothy Day, my dream all of a sudden grew up! When I return to America I am going to establish an Internet newspaper to help me tell your story and the reasons WHY there is a Christian Exodus from the Holy Land today! I will become media because corporate media is not reporting all that they should and I am pissed off at my government for what they are colluding in!
Vanunu had never heard of Brenda Starr and he looked at me as if I were crazy. But three weeks after my first trip to Jerusalem I established WeAreWideAwake with this Mission Statement:
WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed  times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.
We who Are Wide Awake are compelled by the “fierce urgency of Now” [Rev MLK, Jr.] to raise awareness and promote the human dialogue about many of the crucial issues of our day: the state of our Union and in protection of democracy, what life is like under military occupation in Palestine, the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land, and spirituality-from a Theologically Liberated Christian Anarchist POV.
THAT DAY we call 911 irrevocably altered my life and shortly thereafter I realized my childhood dream because The Media was NOT asking my questions!
HOWEVER, Mr. Trump #TheInvigorator has lit the fire of dissent in which Late Night comics, Mainstream Media and This American little but Real Media can thrive!
Eileen Fleming, is THIS AMERICAN
Author, Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” is the Senior Non-Arab Correspondent and Health Reporter for TADN, she ran for US HOUSE in 2012 on a Platform that included ending federal regulations on cannabis, to establish every June 8 to be known as USS LIBERTY Remembrance Day, and to end USA collusion in Israel’s nuclear deceptions and military occupation of Palestine.
Eileen Fleming’s contact information is HERE
- Response to Israeli expert on whistleblowers and The Matter of Mordechai Vanunu - September 19, 2020
- America’s 19th 9/11, Stand or Fall - September 3, 2020
- USS Liberty Survivors of The Six-Day War Read and Write - August 2, 2020