The column by Mathew Miller in the
Post Standard (Jan. 22,2000) was distressing to say the least. In it he attempts
to say that Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey, head of the Office of
National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) was right in trying to influence the media
to change the content of our TV shows because he feels the message is a good
czar?" Journalists use the term because no one can
alphabet-soup in the phrase "Director of the ONDCP." But this
after revelations that Gen. Barry McCaffrey has been paying the
inject his reefer-madness worldview into primetime TV shows, the
abbreviation is obvious: it's the Office of National Drug Censorship
We now know that those scary overdose scenes on "ER"
were bought and paid
for out of McCaffrey's billion-dollar
drug-war-chest. What kinds of
drug-scare themes and Drug War
endorsements can we expect on TV shows in
weeks to come?
How about a
Martin Luther King special that shows racial profiling and high
African-American incarceration rates in a favorable light?
4th-of-July TV movie endorsing no-knock drug raids, clarifying the
seizing property from legally innocent citizens, and featuring a
appearance by Georgia Congressman Bob Barr to show how free/fair
can be cancelled for the good of all citizens.
Maybe we'll see a
light-hearted "LA Law" episode on those wacky cops in the
of Los Angeles. Student study guides, supplied by the DEA,
include "Knowing when extortion should be ignored" and "Corruption?
heck. It's for a good cause."
For the edification of Californians and
those in other states that passed
those pesky medical marijuana bills that
McCaffrey hates so much, CBS will
feature the authoritative legal
documentary "States-rights: Old idea, bad
And for his grand
finale, to be aired nationwide on Veterans' Day, Gen.
McCaffrey can rig a
heroic script for a TV mini-series depicting a
full-scale military invasion
of Colombia. The "TV Guide" program synopsis:
"Watch piles of coca
leaf blazing in the tropical sun while peasants scurry
into the jungle to
plant corn and beans instead."
According to confidential sources, the
Clinton administration, having
defended McCaffrey's payola program, is
planning to use his novel approach
to aid enforcement of other laws, as
well. Their priorities are
predictable. For programs to air
between April 1 and April 15th,
broadcasters will be paid hefty sums by the
IRS to insert subliminal
messages into prime-time shows: "I WANT TO
PAY MY TAXES. I WANT TO PAY MY
An anonymous Clinton
aide projects wide applications of McCaffrey's approach
"An ounce of brainwashing is worth a pound of enforcement,"
American law and politics may never be the same. Thanks,
McCaffrey's ostensible "anti-drug" messages are also pro-Drug-War
supporting a burgeoning federal drug-enforcement bureaucracy (at
it's 36 times the size of the inflation-adjusted 1970 drug
Irrational fear of drugs leads to an irrational embracing of a Drug
which, in its totality, is morally questionable at best, and morally
reprehensible in many respects. U.S. media should spend as much time
describing the drug prohibition problem as they do the drug addiction
problem. They are equally serious.
ABC-TV has already pulled out of
their arrangement with McCaffrey saying it was not comfortable with his
demanding to review shows before they aired. In his Drug War zeal, McCaffrey has
betrayed democracy, which thrives on the free flow of information and
opinion. Government-hired speech defeats the First Amendment as
effectively as direct censorship. In a free society, the government must
follow, not shape, the will of the people. McCaffrey should
Paul Bischke & Nicolas
ReconsiDer: Forum on Drug
205 Onondaga Ave.
Syracuse, NY. 13207