If You Want To Get Lied To…
Watch the evening news on television. I started casually stating this to my friends and family soon after Kerry was defeated and found the results extremely interesting, a remarkably consistent bland acceptance of the fact, perhaps a few small nods, followed by a long polite silence that always produced a change of subject. Been reading too much Chomsky—something like that—was always the inevitable silent response.
ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS Newshour, CNN, MSNBC and FOX are propaganda broadcasters for corporate America. This true statement also produces an inevitable polite silence to be followed yet again by a change in subject, for many reasons most Americans simply will not believe that Almighty America would produce such a sewer of childish lying and culpability, such a phenomena could only exist in fiction. Been reading too much Orwell, they silently intone, and move on.
They’ll be calling you a radical, a liberal, as the pop song used to say, they surely have all these years and it gives me great satisfaction that two recent events have demonstrated how utterly right I’ve been all along, if the truth happens to be radical and liberal in this day age then I’ll wear those labels proudly, thank you very much.
The first is the “military analyst scandal” meshed together from perfectly well-known facts by the New York Times last month. The great blogger Glenn Greenwald has been doggedly keeping this story of deadly propaganda alive, and although of course there has been a 100% blackout of how CNN and CBS were knowingly fed lies and distortions by paid Pentagon “military analysts” to help start the Iraq war that may not last if Harry Reid holds hearings on the subject.
Americans would be extremely interested to know how a trillion dollars is blown to hell as hundreds of thousands are killed for nothing but shame and horror, partly because they were fed lies on television news by paid Pentagon hacks. Orwell couldn’t have written it better.
The second is an amazing media analysis Media Matters Action Network where I was stunned—even for me—at the utter vapidity and rank descent into hackdom that Lou Dobbs has plunged his career into. I had assumed like most Americans who remotely knew his show that Lou Dobbs Tonight was basically his recap of financial and current news, not this clown show of rank offensive lying and goading of the immigration issue.
With 94 broadcasts last year Lou Dobbs beamed out vapid distortions on immigration and crime in an endless parade of goading falsehoods, this isn’t anything remotely close to journalism, it’s simply being a GOP political front for some of the most offensive, racist and destructive politics in the land. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, deficit, inflation, employment, global warming, health care…look out for the scary brown people! The Mexicans have done this to us, build the tortilla curtain now!
The press has the power to bamboozle its constituency, the American people. And they have, over and over again. After all the bitter defeats of these last years with so much wasted and so many dead it’s easy to believe this statement, but the truth cannot be hidden, no matter how hard the networks try, and if they have succeeded in the past it is no guarantee—not in the least—that they will succeed in the future.
Bush if the most unpopular modern President ever with record numbers of Americans saying the country is on the wrong track, Democrats winning special elections all the while, despite and endless broadcast of enabling propaganda by network television. How did that happen?
Americans are learning to distrust their traditional news sources more and more, and if the precise facts about how they were lied to about the Iraq war and how Lou Dobbs has transformed his show into a rank immigration platform aren’t widely known at least the perception that something has gone horribly wrong has definitely sunk in, the following sentences coalescing into reality for more and more Americans every day.
If you want to get lied to, watch American television news. It’s become nothing but corporate propaganda.