Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hush hush at EPA

It's amazing how far the Bushists will go to keep the truth from seeing the light of day.

"Please do not respond to questions or make any statements," the June 16 e-mail said, advising staff to direct questioners to senior staff members cleared to answer questions from outside the agency.
If you saw this in a private corporation (and I have), you'd know that the bosses were trying to keep the message consistent, top-down, and unpolluted by any inconvenient truths. A business would say this, too:
EPA press director Roxanne Smith rejected that characterization, saying the e-mail was about efficiency, not secrecy.
This of course is more of the bullshit that we Americans have become so inured to in the decades past. We've smelled this barnyard so often that we have olfactory fatigue, and it hardly outrages us any more.

I read an interesting article about China last week in Newsweek. Even though I found its main thesis less than compelling, it offered this take on China's response to national humiliations in the first half of the 20th century:
To ignore China's national failure came to be seen as unpatriotic.
We on the other hand revel in our national public culture of exceptionalism, where it's politically dangerous even to acknowledge that we have a problem. To rationalize the variance of rhetoric with reality requires our current culture of blatant bullshit.

Frankly, with so many in the media happy to sing lullabies to the bullshit, I'm not sure there's a way out for our country without the kind of economic, social, and political upheaval that no one will enjoy.

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