Truth to Power

We need to label Congress as we do food

People sputter whenever the concept of the Fairness Doctrine is mentioned- and generally, for good reason. While an odious propaganda organ like Fox News, which clearly operates in bad faith and has a demonstrable ill effect on our nation probably wouldn’t (nor shouldn’t) be tolerated in a sane society, we don’t live in such. Nor do we wish to live in a nation where the government, via funding or a Fairness Doctrine, can dictate which ideas are allowed to be broadcast.

Nor can we really force our media to tell the truth. In fact, our courts have held that its basically not against the law to distort or lie during a television broadcast. And none of this matters to those of us who would rather watch animal testing than cable news- we educate ourselves with the wealth of information available via other, non-corporate sources. But I have an idea that will possibly elevate the woeful level of understanding that the average citizen has about their government.

The government passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) in 1990, requiring “most food to bear nutrition labels and prescribes their form and content. They must state, among other things, the number of calories per serving and the amounts of fat, cholesterol, sodium, and fiber.” Now, one can debate if this makes a whits worth of difference in the long run- if people want to eat slop, by all means, eat slop, we’re just giving you information to make a choice. So I purpose doing the same for Congress.

Imagine the next time you turn on cable news or CSPAN, and they are running say, Paul Ryan pitching his really groovy, “serious” plan to hand over Medicare to private insurance and screw the poor, a graphic would pull information from showing that he’s speaking on behalf of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries that hired him to represent them in Congress. When James Inhofe spews out more nonsense about climate change being the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people, you’ll be able to see that he’s simply reading the script handed him by the Koch brothers and the energy industry, his largest benefactors. This is not a radical idea- the information is largely in the public record, and not disputed at all. Now, I’m sure Congress wouldn’t like it, and might try and claim that they are acting on their own, but since nobody in Congress has a brain, spine or heart, I’m sticking with the employer/employee angle.

Oh, wait.

You thought they represented you?

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