National Emergency Alert Test Was a Total Failure: America Failed It

November 10th, 2011

“Yesterday’s National Emergency Alert exercise was a test alright, but the feds weren’t testing their system. They were testing the public. The public failed.”

Yesterday’s unprecedented federal test of the National Emergency Alert system was a total failure according to a report by ABC News. Here are a just a few of the things that went wrong:

‘Today, at 2 p.m. ET the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Communications Commission held its first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.

While many viewers and listeners experienced the test without a hitch, as soon as 2 p.m. ET hit there were reports of problems in cities across the country. Some people never saw an alert, others said the audio was distorted and there were even claims that Lady Gaga’s song “Paparazzi” was playing instead of the correct audio.

On KABC-TV in Los Angeles, a screen flashed with the EAS graphic for several minutes, but there was no audio or information given. Shortly after the EAS alert failed, KABC ran the alert in full with the audio.

The alert was supposed to run for about 30 seconds. However, for many stations it lasted much longer.

In Washington, D.C., WJLA-TV was stuck on the EAS slate for four minutes and WMAL-FM had dead air for nearly two minutes before the test finally ran. Once the test started, the audio was garbled.’

As a libertarian without the faintest bit of confidence in the ability of the bloated regime in Washington to do anything right, I am thoroughly unsurprised by this news and I absolutely relish listening to the mainstream media establishment admitting to the incompetence of a government that they want to manage every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave, feed us, clothe us, and then make the rest of the world as “lucky” as we are to have Washington looking out for us.

But something far more important and far more ominous went wrong yesterday. It doesn’t have anything to do with garbled transmissions or other technical difficulties. What went wrong was the lack of public outcry. Everyone was focused on Joe Paterno and Kim Kardashian. Everyone was fixated on the media circus surrounding Herman Cain and his five harassment accusations. Sex and scandal are the bread and butter of the mainstream media, which is in the end, no better than the tabloid media, and in fact worse, because at least the tabloid media doesn’t purport to be serious journalism.

Yet while acting as self-anointed guardians of the truth, the mainstream media’s standard operating procedure is to distract the public from substantial issues that most dramatically affect the most people’s lives by turning its attention to issues that are far less historical in significance and pandering to its insatiable lust for scandal and sex in every article and headline. I’m reminded of Wynand’s news paper conglomerate in Ayn Rand’s novel, The Fountainhead. Those who’ve read it will understand exactly what I mean.

Yesterday’s National Emergency Alert exercise was a test alright, but the feds weren’t testing their system. They were testing the public. The public failed. At least in the age of information, when the public cares enough about an issue, we can force the mainstream media to address it. We can make them look stupid for burying it by making such a fuss online, via independent and social media, that the mainstream press cannot ignore it. That’s what we should have done in the days leading up to this test. I did what I could. I wrote:

“And with all of these legitimate concerns and controversies, with all the legal and moral ramifications, with the practical objections, with all the unprecedented historical meaning and implications of such an event as the nationwide disruption of the entire country’s television and radio broadcasts– especially as the nation’s Congress discusses multiple pieces of legislation that would expand Washington’s role in governing the use of the Internet– you would think that this event just might warrant a little more coverage from the national media, a little more controversy, a little more debate!”

That was my summary after listing one overarching reason to oppose this test and three other important ones: it was illegal, it was immoral, and it would be ineffective. Guess whose prediction turned out right? When you understand just a very few fundamental principles of human action (as most libertarians do), you begin to develop uncanny powers of prediction. Men like Peter Schiff, Gerald Celente, and Congressman Ron Paul are practically economic prophets for that reason.

Here’s my next prediction: if the American people continue to sit by and allow Washington to ignore its charter document, the U.S. Constitution; to overstep its bounds and rule us like subjects; to trample on our liberties and appropriate our property for its use; to drown us in lobbyists’ ink and an alphabet soup of new agencies with no proper limits on their power and the full force of the Fed’s printing presses to fund their activities… they will suddenly find themselves living in a police state under martial law as a result of the inevitable civil disorder to follow the coming monetary collapse.

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About the Author: Wes

Wesley Messamore, 24, is an independent journalist and political activist who believes in the Founding Father's vision of a free, enlightened, and moral America. He also blogs at