Here's the one thing: The paradigm is about to change — in fact, I've got evidence that it may already be starting.
First, take Charlie Rangel — the perfect example of sleazy government. He's the head of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, yet he has allegedly failed to pay some taxes and is also part of an open ethics investigation.
Watch what happened when a citizen, not a journalist, approached with some questions:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON MATTERA, HOTAIR.COM: Hey, Congressman Rangel.
REP. CHARLIE RANGEL, D-N.Y.: Yes?
MATTERA: Jason Mattera.
RANGEL: How are you?
MATTERA: I'm from Brooklyn, New York.
RANGEL: Good to see you. Welcome to the nation's capital.
MATTERA: Great to meet you, sir.
RANGEL: What are you doing in Brooklyn?
MATTERA: Well, I'm here just enjoying my time in the Capitol. You know I was wondering, with Americans struggling to pay their bills, losing their jobs, why the hell do you drive a taxpayer-subsidized Cadillac? Use four rent-controlled apartments below market rate and fail to pay taxes on rental properties?
You write the tax code.
RANGEL: Why don't you mind your goddamned business?
MATTERA: No, I'm serious. Why are you such a disgrace?
Hey, I have my tax returns. Can you write "Rangel ruled" just so I will be can free from other penalties?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OK, granted, that may have been a little uncomfortable because Rangel was ambushed. But the bigger issue is that we now have citizens doing the job that the media just won't do.
Remember when the media was known as the "fourth branch of government" because they actually served as a check against the government's power? Ah, the good old days. Now we actually need to have citizens roaming the halls of Congress to ask questions the media should've been asking months ago!
Since the year started, the mainstream media Web sites — ABC, CBS and NBC — didn't cover the Rangel controversy once, even though there was a vote to try to strip him of his chairmanship last month. For comparison, those same sites covered "Octomom" dozens of times; NBC alone had 30 references to her.
The next piece of evidence I have comes from Texas, where a guy wrote a letter to the IRS, listing all the taxes he's already paid and saying they shouldn't be surprised if he comes up a little short on Tax Day this year.
To be fair, Ed Barnett wrote the letter as a satire; he will pay his taxes and won't end up going to jail over this.
But soon someone will do time to demonstrate what a lot of us are feeling: If the Charlie Rangels and Tim Geithners of the country don't have to pay their taxes, why should I?
And if they can't figure out the tax code, then maybe it's too complex and we should streamline it with a fair tax.
What both these stories show is that when the people can't trust the government they turn to the media. And if the media continues to fail them as well, they do what Americans have been doing for hundreds of years now: They turn to themselves. And the paradigm changes.
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