Our indispensable press corps

By Dogtown Commoner | Posted at 10:29 pm, October 21st, 2007 | Topic: politics, the press

I’m glad that the media are staying vigilant against threats to our nation:

“This is going to be the most amazing blindside in American history,” said Tracy Westen, CEO of the Center for Governmental Studies, a Los Angeles-based nonpartisan research organization. “It’s like a tsunami that’s coming in 2009, and we know it’s coming but nobody is paying attention.”

My God! Scary! What terrifying event is she talking about, which will be the “most amazing blindside in American History”? (Yes, that means it will be a more amazing blindside than the assassinations of Lincoln and JFK, than the 1906 earthquake, than Pearl Harbor, than 9/11, than Katrina, than…)

It turns out Ms. Westen is talking about the switchover from analog to digital television broadcast, which may cause some of the estimated 19 percent of Americans without cable or satellite service to be left temporarily without TV after the switch, unless they upgrade their TV in the next 15 months.

Before you get too alarmed, though, rest assured that our elected officials are duly concerned about this major national security threat:

Many homes may lose complete access to television in the transition. … We cannot allow this to happen — people need television access to get news in an emergency scenario,” said Congressman Joe Baca, D-San Bernardino.

I feel safer already, knowing that Representative Baca is on the case, and that the press is doing its part to scare people into buying fancier new TVs.

Westen and Baca probably would probably be shocked to hear that some Americans don’t have a television of any kind. That’s right — no television at all! How can people even survive such privation? And I wonder if it has occurred to Baca that you can’t count on having electricity in an “emergency scenario,” and that his alarmism would be better directed toward making sure people have hand-cranked or battery-powered radios.

But silly me, I almost forgot that the Declaration of Independence says that we are endowed with “certain unalienable rights,” and among these are life, liberty, and uninterrupted television.