The Sunday after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Commissioner of the National Football League, Peter Rozell, decided to allow the games to be played.
I had problems with that decision. But, after watching the passing of a 93 year old President of the United States, Gerald Ford, and the non-stop coverage of his body being moved around Palm Springs, and the interruption by CBS-TV of the Sun Bowl game between Missouri and Oregon State, I believe it is a good time for reflection.
The Executive Branch of our Federal Government is co-equal to Congress, and perhaps, less-equal to the Supreme Court. However, since George Washington, most of the national press has been very wary of the "imperial" presidency.
The media was very critical of Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, and the power they held over the U.S. Congress.
Vietnam and Watergate were a result of the excess of this new presidential power, we were told.
Yet, with the advent of Entertainment Tonight, and the mix of news and entertainment, the media is treating the natural death of a decent and old former president as if it were the passing of a King.
So, while the media plays "slap-down" with the Bush White House, they are building up the institution of the presidency and the death of a past leader to the hushed tones of respect, like the citizens of Japan honored Emperor Hirohito prior to losing WW II.
Sure, the President has the power to declare war, but Congress has the right to cut off the purse strings.
The power of the media and the press should be used to protect us from the making of a King.
The average citizen is supposed to have as much clout as any representative.
The Media therefore is part of the problem not the solution.
Sometimes, I see a bumper sticker which states, "Kill Your TV." While this is a little extreme, I wish Katie Couric and CBS-TV would have taken this week off.
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