Tuesday, October 25, 2005

PROPAGANDA PEDDLED AS NEWS

Not Iraq, silly. We're talking about the homegrown war on drugs, with the hometown newspaper used to push propaganda.

Tuesday's Springfield News-Leader includes a local-front story by Linda Leicht on a talk given by a former agent of the mythical Drug Enforcement "Agency."

Michael McManus openly acknowledged his mission: get this message to the media:
"When you put the drug wars on the front page, drug use will go down," he told the audience gathered for "Danger in Our Backyard: Meth in the Ozarks," a symposium sponsored by the Females Leaders In Philanthropy.
The story seems to have it all -- horrified college kids from Evangel University; a local good-deeds leader endorsing the former drug man's message -- but it goes too far when it includes quotes from a pair of police officers from Ash Grove, that bustling barrio of evil drug doers:
James Inlow and Chris Hanak, both police officers in Ash Grove, said the reality of drugs, especially meth, in the community is even uglier than that picture.

"Every day I stop people on drugs," said Hanak, describing a recent stop that involved a man who had his young child in the car, as well as used needles.

"Drugs are the root of all evil," added Inlow, who has been in law enforcement for 12 years. The first year on the force he busted one meth lab. "Now it's common to run across several."
Leicht, the person who keyboarded the story, allowed herself a bit of hyperbole with this sentence:
Meth was the focus of the program, but McManus pointed out that there are many drugs young people will encounter, and those who profit from the sale of those drugs are involved in all of them.
The local woman who sells pot to her friends is also peddling heroin, it seems, and the only solution is "more aggressive enforcement, longer jail terms, more drug testing and more money."

Michael McManus also told the gathering, "Drugs is not about people feeling good." Such foolishness from an old drug warrior who should know better. We keep telling kids that drugs don't make people feel good -- that drugs could easily kill them -- and we're dismayed when they experiment, survive and realize that they've been lied to.

Cocaine in the '70s. Crack in the '80s. Meth in the '90s and beyond. The targeted drug changes, but the hype remains the same. And we still love our booze and our fags.

5 comments:

JJ said...

Yep, it's called "journalganda," Ron.
For a full definition of journalganda, go to Charles Madigan's latest on the Chicago Tribune's website:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0510250027oct25,1,3935425.column?coll=chi-opinionfront-hed

Gay said...

Does anyone remember the movie, "Reefer Madness?" Deja Vu!

Anonymous said...

Is anyone surprised that the Snooze-Loser printed this crap? Go back to the God beat, Linda.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it about time for the News Loosers annual "Halloween is the work of the devil" article. Usually, Linda writes it.

Anonymous said...

Sending Linda Leicht to cover a drug conference with any expectation that she would understand the issues (let alone be able to cogently write about them) is like sending a vegetarian reporter out to review a steakhouse. I almost feel sorry for her; it's her editors who really ought to know better.