October 16, 2009


Sam Smith - If you see and hear a lot in the media about volunteerism and community service in the coming days, it's no accident. Major media - ranging from Time magazine to a whole string of TV shows - are secretly serving as propaganda pimps for the Obama White House which has chosen community service as its cause of the week.

Time has already run 21 ways you can volunteer; USA Today had a long article and the list of TV program pimps is so lengthy, we've left it until later and below.

None of this has been admitted by the conventional media, but its cover was blown by a working document of the Entertainment Industry Foundation discovered by Big Hollywood webster Jim Nolte.

According to the document, there will be an "unprecedented week-long of television programming on all four leading broadcast networks - ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and all affiliated broadcast and cable properties . . . beginning October 19" with "organically" created storylines pushing community service.

Of course, this is not the first time the media has surrendered its independence to the White House. The whole notion of the an "embedded media" in Iraq and Afghanistan involves capitulation of journalistic principles for better views of the action.

This now includes, for example, no photos of dead bodies. Grossly underplayed was a story of the military changing its position last month on the issue from discouraging such photos to a rule from Regional Command East at Bagram Air Field stating that "media will not be allowed to photograph or record video of U.S. personnel killed in action." Before the media was not prohibited from covering casualties subject to a bunch of conditions. Clearly the press seemed wimpish enough for the Pentagon to up the ante.

Then you have the Washington Post's pay to play salons at which lobbyists and others could spend an evening with Obama officials for a significant fee. And it wasn't alone, as Politico reported. The Wall Street Journal "is charging a $7,500 for its two-day CEO Council in November, an elite gathering that will include the paper's top editors and high-profile speakers like Tony Blair, Rupert Murdoch, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. And for a few thousand dollars, The Economist can open the door to intimate off-the-record meet-and-greets with world leaders."

From a journalistic point of view, all the above is cowardly, corrupt and creepy. But the idea of a whole week dedicated to spinning things on TV the way Obama wants them deserves a special honor in the gallery of pimpdom.

Between Oct. 19-25 there will be "more than 60 network TV shows spotlighting "the power and personal benefits of service."

So what's the problem with that?

First, if you do it for volunteerism you do it for other things - like expanding the war in Afghanistan.

Second, Obama may have more on his plate than volunteerism. On July 2, 2008, speaking in Colorado Springs, he stated, "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

In 2006, Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, wrote a book called "The Plan: Big Ideas for America" that called for three months of compulsory civil service for all young Americans. In it he said:

"It's time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, All Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service. . .

"Here's how it would work. Young people will know that between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service. They'll be asked to report for three months of basic civil defense training in their state or community, where they will learn what to do in the event of biochemical, nuclear or conventional attack; how to assist others in an evacuation; how to respond when a levee breaks or we're hit by a natural disaster. These young people will be available to address their communities' most pressing needs."

During the last campaign we noted that Obama favors a national service plan that appears to be in sync with one being promoted by a new coalition that would make national service mandatory by 2020, and with a bill for such mandatory national service introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel.

At one point the Obama/Biden campaign website announced that Obama and Biden would expand Americorps and the Peace Corps with "a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year. . . " When questions began to be raised, the words disappeared from the site.

Up to the last minute, the national service bill in Congress contained a provision for a commission that would consider "a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people" and a possible requirement for "all individuals in the United States" to perform such service.

As the DC Examiner noted of the draft legislation, "Lurking behind the feel-good rhetoric spouted by the measure's advocates is a bill that on closer inspection reveals multiple provisions that together create a strong odor of creepy authoritarianism. . .

"The bill . . . summons up unsettling memories of World War II-era paramilitary groups by saying the new program should "combine the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service," while establishing 'campuses' that serve as 'operational headquarters,' complete with 'superintendents and 'uniforms' for all participants. It allows for the elimination of all age restrictions in order to involve Americans at all stages of life. And it calls for creation of 'a permanent cadre' in a 'National Community Civilian Corps.'"

"But that's not all. The bill also calls for 'youth engagement zones' in which 'service learning' is 'a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.' This updated form of voluntary community service is also to be 'integrated into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula' at all levels of schooling. Sounds like a government curriculum for government approved 'service learning,' which is nothing less than indoctrination."

Add to this the fact that Obama's education secretary helped to militarize a number of Chicago public schools and there clearly is something worth worrying about here.

Further, one of the ways bad ideas get momentum is when world leaders share them. Thus this report from the Guardian last April is worth noting:

[] Every young person will have to do 50 hours' voluntary work by the age of 19 if Labor wins the next election. Gordon Brown said a plan for compulsory community service would be included in Labor's manifesto. Under the scheme, the work - which could include helping charities in the UK and abroad - is likely to become part of the national curriculum. It would be integrated into moves to make everyone stay in education or training until 18 by 2011. Writing in the News of the World, the prime minister said he wanted community service to be 'a normal part of growing up in Britain.'"

Mr Brown proposed the idea of a National Youth Service to channel teenagers into voluntary work last year. It is due to be formally launched in September, and would become compulsory if Labor was re-elected. []

Obama may be on the same path: first boost volunteerism, then make it mandatory. But if it's true, don't count on the American media to tell you; it will be too busy pimping for the White House.

TV programs that have signed on to the Obama propaganda effort

Home Videos
Brothers and Sisters
Dancing With the Stars
Desperate Housewives
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Grey's Anatomy
Modern Family
Private Practice
The Forgotten
Ugly Betty
All My Children
General Hospital
One Life to Live
The View
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
30 Rock
Access Hollywood
The Jay Leno Show
The Office
Accidentally on Purpose
Cold Case
Criminal Minds
Gary Unmarried
Ghost Whisperer
The New Adventures of Old Christine
Rules of Engagement
Two and a Half Men
Late Show With David Letterman
America's Most Wanted
Lie to Me
Major League Baseball
So You Think You Can Dance?
TeenNick HALO Awards
Army Wives
Wizards of Waverly Place
Hannah Montana
The Suite Life on Deck
Jerry Springer