Gore Vidal on the media
Every donation made during this campaign will be matched
$1,044 raised so far
| 0
| 50k
| 100k
| 150k
| 200k
campaign starts: December 1
campaign ends: December 31

Gore Vidal on the media

Pt 7 of 7. Have TV journalists learned anything from the last several years? -   July 11, 2007
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

An awesome daily supply of genuine, un-spun world news - Chris Attwell
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


Gore Vidal is the author of twenty-two novels and has written films including the classics Ben-Hur and Suddenly, Last Summer. He is recently the author of The Last Empire and Inventing a Nation.


Says Vidal: "Everybody with an IQ above room temperature is on to the con act of our media. They are obeying bigger, richer interests than informing the public -- which is the last thing that corporate America has ever been interested in doing."


Gore Vidal on the mediaPAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR: The economic structure of television makes what I'm going to ask difficult to accomplish. But do you think television journalists have learned anything from this last four years?

GORE VIDAL: Well, they've always been lazy, and they're not used to getting to the heart of problems, of matters. They're not used to investigating anything. Socrates tells us that the unexamined life is not worth living, and that is an absolute truth. Those who want to examine life don't go in for journalism, because they're not allowed to. So they've got to be very careful. They have to think about tenure if they're at a university. They've got to think about, you know, the publisher and advertisers. So it's a difficult row to hoe, and we have no intellectual tradition of any kind in the United States. I even told Arthur Schlesinger, �You know, Arthur, one Schlesinger does not make a spring.� He was horrified.

JAY: What do you think is the significance of what we're trying to do?

VIDAL: Well, I'm all for it. I wouldn't be sitting here today if I didn't like the notion. And it's apt to catch on. It's when the news starts to break, how two presidential elections, 2000 and 2004, were stolen and The New York Times would not review the book written about it by Congressman Conyers, nor Washington Post, nor Wall Street Journal, the great instruments of news were silent. Well, they're saying, �We don't give a goddamn about the United States. Just stew in your own juice. Leave us alone. We have corporate figures to add up now, and we have certain things we want to put in place, and we may have a couple of candidates for you dumdums, but you probably won't like them.� You know, I've been around the ruling class all my life, and I've been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country. And the Republican machine became so good at transmitting its own feelings about the world to the enemy, to the liberals, once anyone, any of the right wing hear what I just said, he'll say, �Oh, the liberals have always hated America. We know that. They despise family values, because they're only interested in gang bangs and drugs and so forth.� This is the way they deal. And whenever they have a real coward for president, like Bush himself, and you have a hero like Kerry, �Oh, he's a coward. Didn't you know that? We've got five guys who were in Vietnam with him.� What they do is whatever is their transgression, whatever are their faults, they lie and apply it to the other person. That confuses everything. If I were an average voter in the United States, I wouldn't know who was telling the truth, whether Kerry really had run away and didn't get purple hearts, or whether Junior, you know, had actually learned how to fly a plane.

JAY: And television news covers the lies like news.

VIDAL: Yes. It has a lock on it.

JAY: You've been touring the country after your new book.

VIDAL: Well, no, I was touring it before the last congressional election to raise money for the Democratic Party. Not that I like the Democratic Party, but we have to have the semblance of a second party to get rid of these others.

JAY: What do you hear from people?

VIDAL: Well, I've never heard cries of rage so loud. It's when I'm in New Mexico or West Virginia. I've covered the whole country by now.

JAY: Our project's fundamentally motivated out of our own concern for what the future holds, especially in terms of what democratic rights we do have and the way the media has played such a destructive role. What do you think is the potential for what we're doing? What do you make of the project?

VIDAL: Well, the potential is enormous. There's not anyone with an IQ above, you know, lowest room temperature who isn't interested in something like this. Everybody is on to the con act of our media, that they are obeying bigger, richer interests than informing the public, which is the last thing that corporate America has ever been interested in doing. So I think, you know, the sky's the limit to the amount of audience you can get. And one of the secrets is, aside from telling the truth�which most people in America hate because they've been brought up on advertising, and they think the truth is just something irrelevant, irrelevant, you know. Everybody lies. You know, I love that line. So it's alright to steal the election. Well, that isn't what the world's about. And I think it's really come down to we're going to be blown up one of these days. We have now acquired so many enemies with so much power in the world that, well, they're going to take a couple of cracks at us. I would rather have Real News here telling us just where it was they struck, where it is, intelligence says they may strike again, and maybe why they're doing it�we blew up their mosque, we killed their president, or whatever it was that set them off. What our fictional news does now�and this is--all it is is fiction, whether it's CNN or CBS or NBC, it's all fiction. The people making this junk know that. The viewers suspect it. But where are they going to turn to? Where are they going to find out? They can't all go out and get a, you know, subscription to The Nation, which would help straighten them out, at least in print. So you're going to be the only alternative, and the word will start to spread. Look at the speed with which, you know, just by telling jokes, John Stewart and company, got the attention of everybody. And now they say, well, most of the real news that the people know about they get from the satirizing of it that Stewart does. And very funny he is, too. In other words you build a better mousetrap, and the mouse will come to your door.

JAY: Thank you.


Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com


Latest Stories

Planned Parenthood and the Long Line of Violence Against Women and Abortion Providers
Will Hillary Clinton Do More For Black America Than Did Obama?
How the Criminal Justice System Protects Police
How Jurors Are Being Selected for the Trial of William Porter
Climate Protesters Defy State of Emergency in Paris
Protesters March to Inner Harbor Demanding Justice in First Day of Freddie Gray Case
Huey P. Newton and the Untold Story of the Black Panther Party
Days of Revolt: The Moral Bankruptcy of the Left on Prostitution
Neighborhood Where Freddie Gray Arrested Apprehensive as Trials Begin
Ousting Assad is Counterproductive and Illegal, Says Congresswoman
Potential Jurors Scrutinized in Freddie Gray Trial
Fossil Fuel Reps Invited to COP21 While Protest is Banned in Paris
Who is Supporting Trump?
Sheltering Liberation: A Short History of Maroon Settlements
HBCU's and Maryland Clash Over Higher Ed
Iraq War a War Crime - Pushed by Cheney Over Objections of Joint Chiefs and CIA - John Kiriakou on Reality Asserts Itself (7/10)
Wilkerson: The Hypocrisy of U.S. Syria Policy (2/2)
Richard Nixon, Ted Cruz and the Abuse of Power
A Sea of Blood - John Kiriakou on Reality Asserts Itself (6/10)
Behind the Music with TRNN's Stephen Janis
The Blind Spots in Alberta's Climate Change Plan
Vulture Capitalists Are the Real Winners of Argentina's Elections
Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Prevent 9/11? - John Kiriakou on Reality Asserts Itself (5/10)
Eddie Conway Talks Indigenous People's Day and Political Prisoners
Indigenous Peoples' History is More Complicated Than a Holiday Myth
The Iraqi Pissing Match - John Kiriakou on RAI (4/10)
Turkey's Intentions Behind the Downing of a Russian Jet
Policing on Trial as Freddie Gray Case Set to Begin
Is America Powerless to Stop Pfizer Merger?
The Unbreakable Spirit of Gilmor Homes

RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting