The Media Run In Packs

19 January 2004

Plunder, Politicians and Lapdogs

by Craig J. Cantoni

Iowans are voting today in the Democratic primary for the candidate who they think is best qualified to lead the nation. Ha, ha, ha.

In reality, they are voting for the candidate who is best qualified to plunder the nation and give them free stuff in the form of farm subsidies, tariffs on imported agricultural products and more of other people’s money for education, Social Security and Medicare. They don’t care if the rest of the nation has to pay higher prices for food and if their entitlement bills are sent to future generations.

Sadly, Iowa does not have the market cornered in greed and self-interest.

Listen carefully to politicians from both parties in your state and you will see that the theme is the same. Other than such serious issues as national security, war and immigration, the theme is always about plunder. It is about the distribution of loot and not about liberty and personal responsibility.

At the sight of plunder, the lapdogs in the pack media salivate, bark their approval and wag their furry tails. Don’t believe me? Then try to remember one reporter who has asked a politician what he will do to advance liberty and personal responsibility, or why he thinks it is okay to take money from disfavored groups and give it to favored groups. Politicians know that they would be met with growls of disapproval from the pack media and be characterized as mean-spirited extremists if they advocated the founding values of the nation.

The standard exchange is like this:

Pack media: ”What will you do about the uninsured?”

Politician: ”I think it’s a tragedy that in the wealthiest nation 40 million Americans can’t afford health insurance. I will see that every person has health insurance.”

Pack media: ”Yap, yap. Lap, lap. Wag, wag.”

Now imagine this exchange:

Pack media: ”What will you do about the uninsured?”

Politician: ”I’d fix the problems caused by the government killing a free market in health insurance and health care 60 years ago. I’d make sure that there is a consumer-is-king market in health insurance and health care, like there is in food, shelter, clothing and transportation.”

Pack media: ”Grrrrrr.”

You will never hear the pack media ask a question such as the following:

”You advocate more spending on Social Security and Medicare. But a clerk with a young family who earns $84 a day at the local convenience store has about $12 of her earnings taken to pay the Social Security and Medicare of the wealthiest group of Americans, the elderly. Does this strike you as wrong?”

Or this:

”You advocate the nationalization of health care. To be intellectually consistent, why aren’t you advocating the nationalization of food, shelter and clothing? If nationalization is such a good idea, why shouldn’t all Americans buy their food at government commissaries, live in government housing and wear government uniforms?”

For sure, a member of the pack media will never write a story line like the following:

”Mary Jones, a twenty-something, is one of the 40 million Americans without health insurance. She spends $750 a year on double lattes and muffins at Starbucks, $1,125 on buying lunch at a deli instead of bringing a sandwich to work, $2,000 on $4.50 drinks after work, $1,820 on cigarettes, $5,700 on loan payments and expenses for her new car, $1,250 on concert tickets, $960 on cell phone charges, and $400 on CD’s. That comes to a whopping $14,005. If she spent $4,000 of that on a high-deductible, catastrophic health insurance policy, she could invest the remaining $10,005 in the stock market. If she did that every year for 40 years, she would have a nest egg of $2.8 million when she retires, assuming that the government wouldn’t confiscate most of it in taxes.”

Why won’t the pack media write such story lines? Why won’t it stop being lapdogs for the government and start being watchdogs for liberty and personal responsibility? Three reasons:

One, the pack media would have to know something about economics and about the moral, philosophical and historical foundations of capitalism and our constitutional republic. Such important subjects are not taught in government K-12 schools or in journalism school.

Two, such story lines would go against the pack media’s belief in redistribution and collectivism, which are fancy words for plunder.

And three, lapdogs live to please their master.

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Mr. Cantoni is not a lapdog. He is an author, columnist and founder of Honest Americans Against Legal Theft (HAALT). You can reach him at

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