cans is no match for the tragedy of thensnail darter.nWhat’s most ominous is the behaviornof the Institutionahzed Hyenas—thenAmerican media. Immediately afternProfessor George Wald pronounced thenThree Mile Island accident a holocaust,nWalter Cronkite, on the six o’clocknnews, embraced the superannuated hippiesnin their musty gear fetched fromnthe attic, and the Vietnam-style dansenmacabre avec le.s placards had begun.nThiisotto voce enunciations of scholarsnand experts of doubts about whethernany real danger to human life had evernexisted in Harrisburg, or that radiationnwas one thing to science and quitenanother to the press, were flatly ignored.nThe media decreed that:n— if the authorities feel confused andnsound contradictory in the midst ofna crisis, it means villainy, indolence,ncover-up;n—big, greedy nuclear business hasnsome cabalistic means to not glownlike everybody else in the event of ancatastrophe;n—America should believe the panicmongersnof cheap melodrama, andnnot those in science, industry andngovernment who oppose and contradictnthem.nThis attitude was the signal for annavalanche of antinuke agit-prop literaturenand the simultaneous suppressionnof any other point of view. The NewnYork Times, writing in the aftermathnof The China Syndrome’s splash, noticednthat the nuclear industry’s inadvertencenwas a matter of hypothesisnand assumption, whereas instances ofnthe effectiveness, scrupulousness andnefficiency of controls abounded. Butnthe Times’ movie reviewer, in unisonnwith reviewers across the entire pressnspectrum, exalted the movie as beingnfully redeemed from falsehood and distortionnby its beguiling storytelling.nWhich amounts to saying that a lie isnjustified and pardonable if it is told sonthriUingly well that the audience acceptsnit. Moreover, the same Times reportednthat at a press conference in Chicago, annuclear scientist who was opposed tonthe movie’s message was thrown out ofnthe room by a Columbia Pictures (thenmovie’s producer) public relations man.nIf it had happened to a spokesman fornliberal causes, the liberal press wouldnhave given it a front page headline as angrave infringement of the freedom ofnopinion; in this instance, the incidentnwas not pursued. One Peter Cleary, anCitizens for a Better Environment antinuclearnscientist, wrote in the ChicagonTribune:n”Accidents in 1970 and 1971 atnCommonwealth Edison’s Dresden reactornwere used as the basis of thenfilm The China Syndrome. In realnlife, of course, the accidents did notngo as far as they do in the film.”nBut the same Chicago Tribune headlinesna Harris Survey dramatically:n”Concern over Atom Growing,” althoughnthe report, in smaller print, de­nComment continued from page 5nscribes “the unwillingness of a 57 ton40 percent majority of Americans tondeclare a moratorium on nuclearnpower,” while “by 68 to 29 percent, anmajority would ‘allow nuclear powernplants to be built . . .’ ” The same paper’snmovie reviewer, enthusiastic aboutnThe China Syndrome, asks rhetorically:n”Do films have an obligation to be fair.'”n—as if oblivious to Goebbels, who oncensaid: “Truth is a degenerate Jewish inventionnto contaminate the nation’snwill,” or Lenin, who wrote: “Truth isnwhat serves the proletariat.” The ChicagonTribune hack seems unaware thatnunfairness in arts is a sin against bothntruth and art; he advocates “socialistnrealism” for the American culture—andnwe are afraid that, unwittingly, he hasnthus become the spokesman for thenAmerican media on this issue.nTherefore, the fundamental questionnis: Why should we believe those who arenagainst and not those who are for.’nranee, the largest bordello empire on earth, some new, intertwined politicalnpotentialities become obvious.)nIn the end, it’s all a strange, if not tragic, contradiction of democratic capitalism.nWhy, at its most advanced stage, does it still remunerate with money,nwork, thrift, enterprise, innovation, reliability and courage in economic life,nwhile, at the same time, lavishly granting fame and millionaire wealth tonvulgarity, destruction, sham, wickedness, lies, expediency, obsequiousnessnto fads, stupidity, meanness, bestiality in culture.’ In short—why does it rewardnthe ugly beautiful people with exorbitant success.’ It was not always thus;nas it stands now, capitalism is, in the long run, the loser, in spite of someninstant bonanzas for the record companies and TV corporations. With thenhelp of a perverted First Amendment, which was not conceived as a privilege,nbut as a principle of mutual obligation, an insidiously mighty group exploitsna bogus populistic rhetoric in order to accrue immense wealth and use it toncorrupt the American culture. The only real title to populism is the sharingnof people’s historic condition and needs. Nothing is further from that than thenmultibillion dollar entertainment industries run by the ugly beautiful peoplenwho fraudulently claim solidarity with the American people. Since the liberalnculture that backs them is by now a dogmatic orthodoxy, anyone who opposesnthem must be branded as reactionary, redneck, low-brow, yahoo, etc. Which,nin turn, makes a merciless struggle inevitable.nnn—Leopold Tyrmandn35nChronicles of Culturen