Media

Flag-Waving to Death

In American politics and media, anyone who questions the concept of “American Exceptionalism” is banished to the margins of society. But this self-aggrandizing notion has always contained a large measure of self-deception, ignoring the suffering inflicted on other peoples and on U.S. soldiers, as Gary G. Kohls notes.

Gauging Sympathy for Snowden

As the U.S. media turns on NSA leaker Edward Snowden – and as many Americans say they’re happy to trade some privacy for more security – samples of public opinion abroad are more sympathetic. An online poll by a major German daily reflects that sentiment, writes ex-Danish intelligence analyst Frank S. Grevil.

Sanitizing Nelson Mandela

When Nelson Mandela was a dedicated freedom-fighter against white-ruled South Africa, he was almost as much a “non-person” in the U.S. media as he was in South Africa’s press. Only after Mandela pulled back from demands about redistributing wealth was he embraced as a mass media icon, Danny Schechter reports.

Demonizing Iran, Again

Despite Iran’s election of relative moderate Hassan Rouhani to be the new president, the demonization of Iran continues, with dubious claims about Iranian-linked “terrorism” against the U.S. and its allies. This renewed propaganda campaign threatens the success of negotiations with Iran, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Slippery Slope into Syrian War

The neocons and much of the mainstream U.S. news media are eager for another U.S.-sponsored “regime change” in the Middle East – this time in Syria – and President Obama has acquiesced to shipping guns to the rebels. But this slippery slope has hidden dangers, says Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

The Painful Truths Told by Phil Agee

Truly objective journalism would value facts and accuracy above all else, but the mainstream U.S. press – while pretending to be “objective” – treasures faux patriotism much more, as is evident with recent whistleblowers as it was with the hostility toward the late Phil Agee who exposed CIA crimes, as William Blum recalls.

Should Israel Be Boycotted?

When Apartheid South Africa faced boycotts in the 1980s, it often argued that some black African governments treated their black citizens worse. Now Israel is making the same case regarding its oppression of Palestinians, that Arabs are worse off in, say, Syria, an argument that Lawrence Davidson assesses.

US ‘Semi-Official’ News Agencies

After a brief flurry of aggressive journalism in the 1970s, the mainstream U.S. press has grown steadily more tame, transforming itself into what might be called the government’s “semi-official” news agencies – another “secret” brought out by the case of Edward Snowden, as media critic Jeff Cohen notes.

Selling the Fake IRS ‘Scandal’

Despite the Tea Party wallowing in its “victimhood,” the evidence now shows no “targeting” of right-wing groups. The IRS also used word searches for “progressive” and “occupy” to weed out political groups seeking tax-exempt status, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

The IRS Non-Scandal ‘Scandal’

The IRS “scandal” stampeded Official Washington, including much of the mainstream press which portrayed the Tea Party as the “victim” of partisan abuse. But the dust has finally cleared and it appears there never was a “scandal,” just a clunky attempt to achieve bureaucratic consistency, Beverly Bandler reports.