WASHINGTON -- Thanks to the masters of the media, Americans know more about how Anna Nicole Smith died than they do about terrorists dying to kill the rest of us. Pay tribute to the Fourth Estate, former Vice President Al Gore and his pals in Tinsletown for explaining that humans in general, and Americans in particular, are responsible for global warming. Credit the potentates of the press with revealing that hundreds of American servicemen are petitioning Congress to get us out of Iraq. And be grateful to Hollywood producers and their media lackeys for reporting the exciting "discovery" that Easter didn't really happen.
What has passed for news these last seven days can more accurately be described as salacious sensationalism -- as in "all Anna, all the time" -- and some of it is hype or tripe -- as in the gushing over Gore and his Oscar. But twisted news aimed at our culture or Judeo-Christian heritage can also be dangerous.
Most people would likely describe the Anna Nicole Smith coverage as prurient, but few would call it dangerous. Yet, radical Islamic Web sites cite it as proof of American decadence. Whether the nonstop Anna "news" motivates young jihadists to become suicide bombers, like the one who killed himself and 22 others while Vice President Dick Cheney was visiting Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on Tuesday, we will probably never know.
The hyperventilated propaganda attendant to Gore's Academy Award for "An Inconvenient Truth" can't be characterized as dangerous, but it was hardly truth. Though he blames Americans first for failing to reduce greenhouse gasses by using less electricity and conserving fuel, his adoring press pals ignored Gore's well-documented penchant for corporate aircraft instead of commercial airlines and his astronomical home energy use. The Tennessee Center for Policy Research pointed out that the Gores' 20-room mansion in Nashville consumes more gas and electricity in a month than the average American household uses in a year. But Katie Couric of CBS News fretted that the Oscars may have given Gore's critics "ammunition to reject a school of thought that's been validated by countless scientists worldwide." It's a good thing that America-bashing hypocrisy isn't a crime.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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