I was raised in a Democratic home in New England in the 1960s. The Kennedys were our heroes. Jack was so handsome, he and his lovely bride brought such class to the executive mansion. Why, they had cello recitals there by Pablo Casals! Such a far cry from that dowdy Mamie Eisenhower and that scurrilous, red-baiting Dick Nixon, who said such terrible things about the wonderful Helen Gahagan Douglas, calling her "pink" and all.
But Camelot was all a lie. The happy couple? Jack Kennedy used the Secret Service as lookouts to warn him when Jackie was in the building as he fornicated his way through virtually every room in the White House and such remote locations as the pool at Bing Crosby's California ranch, screwing Mafia molls and carloads of bimbos so numerous the security details gave up even trying to keep track of their names.
A docile press covered up his physical ailments along with his reckless womanizing.
Kennedy fared so poorly in his Vienna meetings with Khrushchev that the Russian dictator read him as a playboy pushover, triggering the Cuban Missile Crisis.
("Cover-ups are impossible!" cry those who insist there are no conspiracies. "Do you know how many people would have had to keep their mouths shut?" Oh, about as many as agreed not to photograph FDR in his wheelchair.)
Then Kennedy was shot, and a bunch of has-been political windbags were assembled into the Warren Commission and given the assignment of reassuring the American people that it was all a fluke, a lone wacko gunman, nothing to look at here, move along, which they proceeded to do, ignoring much of the relevant evidence.
Those who believe they've been lying to us since the '60s - about the need for every one of our foreign wars, for starters - have moved on to talk radio and the Internet. Make no mistake, some of the stuff you'll find on the Internet on these and other topics is unfounded fear-mongering and paranoid delusion. The point is that many readers have moved on because they believe the mainstream media for decades have wielded their near-monopoly power by refusing to address controversial topics.
Personally, I have no problem believing 15-odd suicidal Muslims, viewing the United States as the main obstacle to the mainstream Muslim goal of spreading Sharia around the globe, hijacked four airliners and blew up the twin towers of the World Trade Center. But just as the mainstream press went to the wall to defend the Warren Commission report and dismiss all skeptics as "conspiracy nuts," so the public now widely mistrusts official assurances that "No questions remain" about Sept. 11.
And don't get me started on the presumption that we now need the blue-gloved TSA goons to keep us safe. Their very reason for existence is to violate the Fourth Amendment, and they fail the vast majority of audits when a government watchdog tries to sneak a bomb past them, whereupon they move heaven and earth to keep the results secret. A few bombs set off among the crowds outside their checkpoints would cripple aviation nearly as effectively as bringing down a plane, rendering their whole enterprise fruitless.
From time to time, the school and health districts send out news releases that childhood immunizations - "shots" - are being offered free or at low cost. These notices may carry an addendum that the shots are required when children reach a certain age.
But in the era of the Internet, the average reader is only a few clicks away from some fairly credible websites that will point out such shots are not required, at all. They're required only for attendance at the government youth propaganda camps. And even then there are exemptions, although Big Pharma is continually trying to narrow them.
These same websites will point out the way the enormous epidemic of autism diagnoses has paralleled the skyrocketing number of recommended childhood vaccinations in recent decades, the fact that many such shots are given to infants so young their immune systems are unlikely to generate any of the intended antibodies, the fact that autism spectrum disorder mimics with curious exactitude the symptoms of mercury poisoning, and the fact that containers of childhood vaccines long contained the mercury preservative thimerosal, and may still.
The Internet reader can find tons of material online on the danger of vaccinations - up to and including a recent New Zealand study showing much higher rates of asthma and allergies among vaccinated kids (http://tinyurl.com/7qoby63 ; http://tinyurl.com/bor9zeq)
The point here is not which side will eventually be proved right. The point is that the daily newspaper and the local radio and TV stations cheerfully promote endlessly more vaccinations as entirely good and safe and efficacious, without mentioning a word about this well-documented controversy.
Once again, the impression is conveyed that the Lamestream Media promote the government line, suppressing and ignoring any contravening data.
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Columnist Diana West writes from Washington, demurring that "I can't claim the expertise to judge as definitively as I am quoted doing," in my column of last week, whether the Polish government was in fact "assassinated" in the suspicious Smolensk plane crash of 2010.
In her most recent column on the subject, Ms. West writes: "In this worst-case scenario, Russian air controllers incorrectly informed Polish pilots they were on the proper glide path when that wasn't true. On purpose? If so, the world has witnessed mass assassination of a government. And done nothing."
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and author of the novel "The Black Arrow" and "Send in the Waco Killers." See www.vinsuprynowicz.com.