Nothing to fear but Chris Hedges himself

Chelsea Georgesen

Attending the Silha CenterâÄôs Spring Ethics Forum featuring journalist Chris Hedges, I expected a riveting account of âÄúThe Propaganda State: The Inordinate Influence of PR on the Press.âÄù It should have been called âÄúThe Propaganda State: Fear-mongering in the Promotion of New Books.âÄù Hedges used every trick in the PR repertoire to demonize todayâÄôs âÄúgotchaâÄù media. Michael Jackson, global warming, Yugoslavia, Maine, George Orwell and Bill Clinton: What do these things have in common? Nothing. In spite of it all, Hedges tries to shock the audience into submission through a rambling narrative sorely lacking in both facts and logical reasoning. Hedges claimed his intention was to shake us out of our paralyzing fear. âÄúIronicâÄù was the word that came to mind after the lecture. Hedges was big on criticism, but he offered surprisingly few solutions to the myriad problems the United States apparently faces. Proposing that corporate capitalism inevitably devolves into totalitarianism is a stretch at best, especially considering the only case studies he utilized were that of Yugoslavia and Nazi Germany. Apparently, we should all brace ourselves for the coming of an omnipotent demagogue that will further erode the individual liberties we take for granted, all thanks to Slick Willy getting in bed not just with Monica but with the corporate lobbyists as well. âÄúItâÄôs close to midnight, and something evilâÄôs lurking in the dark âĦâÄù Surprise! ItâÄôs Fascism! Thanks for the heads up, M.J. Chelsea Georgesen, University undergraduate student