So, Squeaky Fromme is finally getting out of the big house.

I tried to imagine how she would look after so many years.  Immediately, the spooky, red-hooded killer-dwarf from Nicolas Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now” came to mind.

News of Fromme’s release caught me by surprise.  I figured her intimate association with Charles Manson and her very high profile support of that killer-dwarf would be enough to put her away for a couple centuries.  Not to mention, she had tried to shoot the president of the United States.

Or had she?

Did you know that Ms. Fromme had intentionally removed the cartridge from the chamber of her gun before heading out to intersect with President Ford?

Neither did I; nor did a dozen or so friends I polled.

According to the report, Fromme’s yelling, “It didn’t go off.  It didn’t go off,” while she was being wrestled to the ground — was pure show biz.  She knew damned well it wouldn’t fire.  One of the first admissions she made to police was where she had hidden the round.  A subsequent police search found the cartridge right where she said it was – in her bathroom at home.

OK then, “Squeaky” wasn’t quite as nuts as I thought she was.  Big deal.

But wait, why did it take three decades for me to discover that fact?   I may be nitpicking here, but it seems Ms. Fromme’s intention — or lack thereof — to assassinate the president of the United States would be a rather important part of the story.

Could it be the nation’s news directors and editors of the day didn’t like the idea of a messy mitigating fact screwing up a terrific “good vs evil” story?

Or, as an often-paranoid friend suggests, omitting this pertinent part of the story would provide a little, much-needed political cachet for the Right.  At that time, the Nixon resignation, Vietnam and Watergate were still very much on Americans’ minds.  Anything that could be given an anti-Left spin — no matter how far-fetched — could be somewhat useful.  Imagine the Wall Street Journal faced with the decision whether to run,  “Prominent Member of Counter-Culture Attempts Presidential Assassination” or “Manson Member Makes Clicking Noise and Mean Face at President.”

And, this was back in the relatively innocent, less vertically integrated media of the 70s.  With the decimation of FCC rules prohibiting the concentration of news into too few hands, we’ve wound up with eight corporations controlling eighty-five percent of the news Americans read, listen to, and watch.  Granted, there are plenty of noble-but-broke non-MSM publications — and even a few broadcast organs — that remain pure, choosing stories and topics strictly for their journalistic merit.  But, those are for that endangered species known as the “American News Junky.”  Everybody else gets their opinion-shaping info from the MSM.  And, sadly, everybody‘s vote counts the same.

Remember when “Fair & Balanced — and Apparently On the Take” Fox News pulled an investigative piece about Monsanto Corp’s bovine growth hormone Posilac because Monsanto was a valued Fox advertiser?  Well, Fox kept the Monsanto account, but Fox’ viewers were kept in the dark about Posilac. That was back in ’96.  It’s frightening to think how many stories — or parts of stories — have been kept from us since then.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s