L. Neil Smith's

Number 7, April 1996

The "Morning Guys"

By L. Neil Smith

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

         Like lots of people, I use a radio to wake me every morning because it's preferable to being jolted from a sound sleep by the annoying buzz of an alarm clock.
         At least, I think it is.
         Having exhausted the alternatives, I finally settled on one of the most powerful stations on the planet, though I live 65 miles north of the vile blot on the Grand Prairie where it's located. That way, as I make coffee, scramble eggs, and toast English muffins, I can find out what the weather's like at the Federico Pena Memorial Trash Compactor, out near the Kansas border, hear everything about baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and 49-man squamish -- whether I want to or not -- and listen to the official version of what's going on in the world.
         Always bearing in mind, of course, that the principal purpose for the mass media in America is to convey government lies and threats to the taxpaying public.
         The folks who taught me this simple fact of life -- some of them, anyway -- are Gus Mircos, Steve Kelley, Carol McKinley, Marc Stout, Al Verley, and Scott Cortelyou: the "morning guys" on KOA. They're the same ones who taught me something you can easily confirm yourself, by tuning in almost any station, anywhere you live: you don't have to have the ethics of a pit viper, the taste of Roseanne, an IQ smaller than your shoe size, and Alzheimer's Disease -- not to mention an abysmal ignorance of history, economics, and the Bill of Rights -- to work in radio before nine o'clock in the morning, but it sure helps.
         And if at heart you're a vicious schoolyard bully who delights in piling onto whoever's being beaten up at the moment by the government or by the national media (which amount to pretty much the same thing, anyway) in the spirit of Don Henley's immortal "Dirty Laundry", sooner or later, they're gonna make you a star.
         Just now Gus, Steve, Carol, Marc, Al, and Scott are teaching me something else, as well: that -- to judge from the way they've been blathering about events in Jordan, Montana, where a group of presumed militia-types calling themselves the "Freemen" have holed up and are being besieged by the usual jackbooted thugs -- they didn't learn a damned thing from what happened at Ruby Ridge and Waco.
         But hey, Gus, Steve, Carol, Marc, Al, and Scott, this isn't about "Freemen", it's about you. As a non-militia member, non-Republican, non-conservative, admirer of Nat Hentoff, a lifelong opponent of the death penalty, censorship of any kind, anti-abortion laws, and the War on Drugs (just so you'll think you know where I'm coming from), I have some so-far unanswered (and pretty much unasked) questions for you.
         Like, whatever these people in Montana have done (and who can tell, the way you're covering it?) can it be any worse than smashing your way into a man's home, because he said he wanted to be left alone, and blasting him to death, claiming he was about to shoot you -- from where he cowered on the floor of a closet with both wrists broken -- the way you let local cops get away with in Thornton not many years ago, dismissing the victim as "a nobody"?
         And hey, Gus, Steve, Carol, Marc, Al, and Scott, whatever these people in Montana have done, can it be any worse than murdering an innocent individual on trumped-up drug charges the way police in southern California did a couple of years ago, so the county and state could steal his expensive beachfront property?
         And hey, Gus, Steve, Carol, Marc, Al, and Scott, whatever these people in Montana have done, can it be any worse than responding to a noise complaint -- as the cops did in Philadelphia a few years ago -- by dropping an oil-drum full of explosives on the house in question, destroying 60 other homes in the neighborhood around it, and killing 11 individuals in the process?
         And hey, Gus, Steve, Carol, Marc, Al, and Scott, whatever these people in Montana have done, can it be any worse than shooting a little boy in the back -- and his dog -- blowing his mother's head off with a scoped, high-powered rifle as she held her baby in her arms, and then giving the uniformed murderers a medal for it?
         And hey, Gus, Steve, Carol, Marc, Al, and Scott, whatever these people in Montana have done, can it be any worse than incinerating 81 worshippers in their church -- more than a dozen of them children -- prosecuting the surviving victims, and, when they've been acquitted, sending them to prison anyway, for 40 years?
         Then hey, Gus, Steve, Carol, Marc, Al, and Scott, is it any wonder that these people in Montana might wish to divorce themselves from the government responsible not only for these atrocities, but for the illegal policies -- still unchanged to any significant degree -- that made them possible? Is it any wonder that these people in Montana wish to have nothing more to do with a government morally indistinguishable from that of Nazi Germany; differing from it -- so far -- merely in terms of the quantity of the brutal murders it's committed?
         And while we're asking loaded questions, Gus, Steve, Carol, Marc, Al, and Scott, what the hell ever happened to adversary journalism, and the tradition of media taking the side of the people, rather than that of a corrupt and bloodthirsty police state?
         Never mind, Gus, Steve, Carol, Marc, Al, and Scott, I know you don't have any answers to my questions. In fact, I know you don't have any answers at all.
         Science demonstrated 30 years ago that you can teach things to a flatworm, one of the lowliest lifeforms known to evolution. Nobody's ever demonstrated the same thing about an even lowlier form of life: the "morning guys" on the radio.

L. NEIL SMITH is the award-winning author of 20 books including The Probability Broach, The Crystal Empire, Henry Martyn, The Lando Calrissian Adventures, Pallas, and (forthcoming) Lever Action and Bretta Martyn. Permission to redistribute this article is herewith granted by the author, provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety, and appropriate credit given.

Now Soliciting Your Opinions!

The Libertarian Enterprise is soliciting your opinions for a "Letters to The Editors" section. Show us you have a clue, and send your news to the caring editors with "Opinions Page" in the title of your email.

Next to advance to the next article, or Index to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 7, April, 1996.