Here is the remainder of teh message that was
truncated wihout warning when i sent it. I hope that
this will reach you complete.
***The Truth about Pim Fortuyn
The bitter pill was yet to come for the Dutch. As the
world's media started to report on the tragedy came
more disbelief: Pim Fortuyn was being described by the
world press as a "Hard Right Winger", "The Dutch Le
Pen", "anti-muslim", "Racist". The only correct
description I read or heard was "Populist". That Pim
It was stunning to read the New York Times report
"Fortuyn's rise mirrored a right-wing resurgence in
several European countries, lately highlighted by the
anti-immigrant Jean Marie Le Pen's surprise showing in
the first round of French presidential elections."
Was the Times talking about the same Pim that the
Dutch endeared as he would appear on every talk show,
always dressed to the nice with his sharp wit at hand.
Was this the same Pim the country had enjoyed for ten
years as a writer of many political books and weekly
columns always aimed squarely at exposing the
underbelly of Dutch politics, which is mostly played
out behind closed doors in the Hague. All Dutch know
it, but Pim wasn't afraid to say it. .
Morning news shows clips of foreign coverage. Most
shocking was what I saw from the Bigs in the US.
Without fail all three major networks, ABC, NBC, CBS
labeled Pim Fortuyn as ultra right and/or racist. With
phrases such as "running on an anti muslim platform"
or "the Dutch Le Pen" .
It isn't hard to trace this back to quotes from Prime
Minister Kok , who positioned Fortuyn as "hard
right" at the beginning of the campaign.
Furthermore there was the Volkskrant article  from
several months ago. In that interview Pim was quoted
saying that he feels Islam is a "backward culture" for
ridiculing homosexuality and proclaiming homosexuals
as "lower than pigs". Pim was openly gay.
In fact Pim Fortuyn never called for a ban on
immigration or removal of Muslims. Unfortunately the
memes were set, and the largest news organizations in
the world are copying incorrect information and
propagating it shamelessly.
What Pim did do, was start the public debate about
immigration and standard of living in the Netherlands,
which is the second most densely populated country in
The wave was unstoppable. Where France had marched on
the streets in protest against Le Pen, the Dutch had
gone a step further and just stopped the problem with
This is not the truth.
The Dutch were so outraged that something beautiful
happened. Accross all ages, race and religion, people
joined hands in unison. Thousands waiting hours in
front of city halls throughout the country, so they
could sign the makeshift condolence registers, tens of
thousands more marching in peaceful demonstrations
with the mayor of their city at the head of the
procession. For that is the real Dutch way, the
'working together' Polder Model.
This country is still in a deep state of shock. That
will pass, life will return to normal. It already has
in many ways.
***Lessons to learn
The Pim Fortuyn controversey started right here. In a
country with three public television stations and ten
commercial stations all fighting for severly depressed
market share and share of the evaporating advertising
It's a tinderbox. Programming budgets are at an all
time low, most programming wouldn't make it on the air
without help of non-spot advertising, or product
placement. Fact checking is just too expensive and any
resources available are in the Middle East.
Catching the wave of the day and getting the right
soundbite is more important, because it means ratings,
which means more money, means more budget, means..
And it all started with a newspaper interview.
A full day after the tragedy, the Times got back on
track. At least one individual reporter did: Marlise
Simons in the NY Times revealed  the kernel of what
sparked the controversey over Pim Fortuyn. I checked
her translation against the original article . Spot
on: "During the interview he was asked why he was so
critical of Muslim immigrants. He said he found it
shameful that foreign Islamic clergy here used
offensive language against gays in this country, and
that Muslim men tried to impose medieval rural customs
in the Netherlands. "How can you respect a culture if
the woman has to walk several steps behind her man,
has to stay in the kitchen and keep her mouth shut,"
***There Are no Secrets
This has been the tagline of my weblog for years.
Now that the Internet has empowered any man or woman
to have a voice, the truth can be found.
I tried screaming at my TV, telling the news anchor he
was wrong! I have first hand information! Yelling at
the newspapers doesn't help much either. Writing on
the Web does.
Pim Fortuyn will never be Prime Minister or take a
seat in the Dutch parliament. He was poised to be the
leader of the largest political party in this country.
But his work can and must continue. For Pim was all
about truth. He wasn't afraid to speak his mind, which
was directly connected to his heart. He spoke for many
and was respected by even more. Only the misinformed
could find fault.
Our task here is to ensure the truth remains openly
We have the tools to do this. My weblog is already
making a dent in the misperceptions of Pim and the
political climate in the Netherlands. And that happens
through collaboration and information flow.
The Big Lie is all around us. It lives in the sense of
security we have about our lives and surroundings.
Just as the US was shaken to the bone over the
possibility of attacks on US soil. Now nuclear threats
But the Big Lie also lives at the office and in
schools. The news reports we're out of a recesssion,
yet thousands lose their jobs. The principal ensures
your child is safe in the hallways of school.
The business community found the Big Lie in the
Andersen and Enron scandals.
The Catholic church is in the middle of disaster
recovery from The Big Lie.
You are safe to walk on the protected grounds of the
national state broadcast facilities
Professional wrestling isn't real either
And the sky won't fall on our heads.
We clamor to media as our security blanket. We want to
feel safe and secure.
Does the record breaking $43 million opening day of
Spiderman not show that we are in desperate search of
good feelings about our towns and cities. That Spidey
will swoop down and save us from peril when the chips
are really down?
I point once again to the Zen TV experiment . if
you have not done this, please at least read about it
. The four hours you as an average citizen spend
in front of the television is what keeps the general
popualtion shackled to the teat of the beast. You are
not relaxing when you watch, you are being fed.
And the diet is not healthy.
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