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We handle cases across the United States. Allen Stewart is licensed to practice law in Texas, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Arizona.

Burning the Base

In the bizarre repertoire of  “Don’t do what I say, or what I do”, leading national Republicans begged a Florida wing nut not burn the Koran last week. Make no mistake; I don’t like the idea of burning any book for any reason. But then again, I’m a book lover. Oh yeah, I like the idea of freedom of thought too. And I like freedom of expression. So, how did we get to the point in our country where some crazy Florida preacher captivates the world by what he’s planning on doing? The answer is easy and troubling. The press turned a marginal monomaniac into a household celebrity…in about a week.

Think about this for a moment. A disturbed unsuccessful preacher becomes so powerful generals and heads of state petition him. Folks, the Florida fruitcake has thirty followers. But, the press pursued the salacious story of “Koran burning” and immediately Reverend Crazy becomes relevant and important. Without the press, he is neither. The United States has more than 310 million people. Before this week only .0000001 percent of Americans ever listened to the Florida fruitcake. Now, he’s something special. But, wait…he’s not special. He’s just nuts and you don’t need a psychology degree to know it.

Why does this guy resonate? The answer lies in the fact that he is following the unwritten national Republican playbook. National Republicans want Americans to be afraid of Islam. They try and convince the weak-minded that President Obama is a Muslim and that Islam perpetrated a plot to put a mosque at Ground Zero. And when some fool follows the lead and goes where the Republicans are pointing, then Sarah Palin, John McCain and Mitch McConnell all beg the nut-job to not take them seriously.

Note to national Republicans…guys like this are in your base. You fuel them. I know it. And you know it. If national elected Republicans deny they know it, then they must think the world is full of fools. Oh, I’m sorry, they will deny it because they do think the rest of us are fools.

But, we are not as foolish as the national press corps. They live for finding fruitcake and feeding it to the rest of us. We don’t like fruitcake. We make that clear every Christmas. Nevertheless, the media must draw an audience any and every way possible. What a miserable business. Find an outlier. Make it important by building it up. Make sure it rides the news cycle sufficiently to draw in viewers. Milk the story you made important. Then, in the end, leave the outlier for a new ridiculous story you’re following to start the perpetual lather machine all over again.

Here’s a newsflash for the national media. More than 310 million Americans would have lived a better life never knowing about the Florida fruitcake. The rest of the world would have been a better, more peaceful, place too. The press should inform us about important things. But first they need to re-learn what is important and what’s just a waste of everyone’s time…or even dangerous to play around with.

But maybe the press is incapable of that degree of introspection. It requires a conscience after all, which seems in short supply in the national modern media.

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