Exclusive: As the West is sucked deeper into the Syrian conflict and starts a new Cold War with Russia, the mainstream news media has collapsed as a vehicle for reliable information, creating a danger for the world, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
Does any intelligent person look at a New York Times article about Russia or Vladimir Putin these days and expect to read an objective, balanced account? Or will it be laced with a predictable blend of contempt and ridicule? And is it any different at The Washington Post, NPR, MSNBC, CNN or almost any mainstream U.S. news outlet?
And it’s not just Russia. The same trend holds true for Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Nicaragua and other countries and movements that have fallen onto the U.S. government’s “enemies list.” We saw the same pattern with Saddam Hussein and Iraq before the 2003 U.S. invasion; with Muammar Gaddafi and Libya before the U.S.-orchestrated bombing campaign in 2011; and with President Viktor Yanukovych and Ukraine before the U.S.-backed coup in 2014.
That is not to say that these countries and leaders don’t deserve criticism; they do. But the proper role of the press corps – at least as I was taught during my early years at The Associated Press – was to treat all evidence objectively and all sides fairly. Just because you might not like someone doesn’t mean your feelings should show through or the facts should be forced through a prism of bias.
In those “old days,” that sort of behavior was deemed unprofessional and you would expect a senior editor to come down hard on you. Now, however, it seems that you’d only get punished if you quoted some dissident or allowed such a person onto an op-ed page or a talk show, someone who didn’t share Official Washington’s “group think” about the “enemy.” Deviation from “group think” has become the real disqualifier.
Yet, this conformity should be shocking and unacceptable in a country that prides itself on freedom of thought and speech. Indeed, much of the criticism of “enemy” states is that they supposedly practice various forms of censorship and permit only regime-friendly propaganda to reach the public.
But when was the last time you heard anyone in the U.S. mainstream say anything positive or even nuanced about Russian President Putin. He can only be portrayed as some shirtless buffoon or the devil incarnate. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got widespread praise in 2014 when she likened him to Hitler.
Or when has anyone in the U.S. media been allowed to suggest that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his supporters might actually have reason to fear what the U.S. press lovingly calls the “moderate” rebels – though they often operate under the military command of Sunni extremist groups, such as Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Obama’s ‘Moderate’ Syrian Deception.“]
For the first three years of the Syrian civil war, the only permissible U.S. narrative was how the brutal Assad was slaughtering peaceful “moderates,” even though Defense Intelligence Agency analysts and other insiders had long been warning about the involvement of violent jihadists in the movement from the uprising’s beginning in 2011.
But that story was kept from the American people until the Islamic State started chopping off the heads of Western hostages in 2014 – and since then, the mainstream U.S. media has only reported the fuller story in a half-hearted and garbled way. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Hidden Origins of Syria’s Civil War.” ]
Reason for Conformity
The reason for this conformity among journalists is simple: If you repeat the conventional wisdom, you might find yourself with a lucrative gig as a big-shot foreign correspondent, a regular TV talking head, or a “visiting scholar” at a major think tank. However, if you don’t say what’s expected, your career prospects aren’t very bright.
If you somehow were to find yourself in a mainstream setting and even mildly challenged the “group think,” you should expect to be denounced as a fill-in-the-blank “apologist” or “stooge.” A well-paid avatar of the conventional wisdom might even accuse you of being on the payroll of the despised leader. And, you wouldn’t likely get invited back.
But the West’s demonization of foreign “enemies” is not only an affront to free speech and meaningful democracy, it is also dangerous because it empowers unscrupulous American and European leaders to undertake violent and ill-considered actions that get lots of people killed and that spread hatred against the West.
The most obvious recent example was the Iraq War, which was justified by a barrage of false and misleading claims about Iraq which were mostly swallowed whole by a passive and complicit Western press corps.
Key to that disaster was the demonization of Saddam Hussein, who was subjected to such unrelenting propaganda that almost no one dared question the baseless charges hurled at him about hiding WMD and collaborating with Al Qaeda. To do so would have made you a “Saddam apologist” or worse.
The few who did dare raise their voices faced accusations of treason or were subjected to character assassination. Yet, even after their skepticism was vindicated as the pre-invasion accusations collapsed, there was very little reappraisal. Most of the skeptics remained marginalized and virtually everyone who got the WMD story wrong escaped accountability.
For instance, Washington Post editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt, who repeatedly reported Iraq’s WMD as “flat fact,” suffered not a whit and remains in the same prestigious job, still enforcing one-sided “group thinks” about “enemies.”
An example of how Hiatt and the Post continue to play the same role as neocon propagandists was on display last year in an editorial condemning Putin’s government for shutting down Russian activities of the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy and requiring foreign-funded groups seeking to influence Russian politics to register as foreign agents.
In the Post’s editorial and a companion op-ed by NED President Carl Gershman, you were led to believe that Putin was delusional, paranoid and “power mad” in his concern that outside money funneled into non-governmental organizations was a threat to Russian sovereignty.
However, the Post and Gershman left out a few salient facts, such as the fact that NED is funded by the U.S. government and was the brainchild of Ronald Reagan’s CIA Director William J. Casey in 1983 to partially replace the CIA’s historic role in creating propaganda and political fronts inside targeted nations.
Also missing was the fact that Gershman himself announced in another Post op-ed that he saw Ukraine, prior to the 2014 coup, as “the biggest prize” and a steppingstone toward achieving Putin’s ouster in Russia. The Post also forgot to mention that the Russian law about “foreign agents” was modeled after a U.S. statute entitled the Foreign Agent Registration Act. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Why Russia Shut Down NED Fronts.”]
All those points would have given the Post’s readers a fuller and fairer understanding of why Putin and Russia acted as they did, but that would have messed up the desired propaganda narrative seeking to demonize Putin. The goal was not to inform the American people but to manipulate them into a new Cold War hostility toward Russia.
We’ve seen a similar pattern with the U.S. government’s “information warfare” around high-profile incidents. In the “old days’ – at least when I arrived in Washington in the late 1970s – there was much more skepticism among journalists about the official line from the White House or State Department. Indeed, it was a point of pride among journalists not to simply accept whatever the spokesmen or officials were saying, but to check it out.
There was plenty of enough evidence – from the Tonkin Gulf lies to the Watergate cover-up – to justify a critical examination of government claims. But that tradition has been lost, too. Despite the costly deceptions before the Iraq War, the Times, the Post and other mainstream outlets simply accept whatever accusations the U.S. government hurls against “enemies.” Beyond the gullibility, there is even hostility toward those of us who insist on seeing real evidence.
Examples of this continuing pattern include the acceptance of the U.S. government line on the sarin gas attack outside Damascus, Syria, on Aug. 21, 2013, and the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. The first was blamed on Syria’s Assad and the second on Russia’s Putin – quite convenient even though U.S. officials refused to present any solid evidence to support their claims.
Reasons for Doubt
In both cases, there were obvious reasons to doubt the Official Story. Assad had just invited United Nations inspectors in to examine what he claimed were rebel chemical attacks, so why would he pick that time to launch a sarin attack just miles from where the inspectors were staying? Putin was trying to maintain a low profile for Russian support to Ukrainians resisting the U.S.-backed coup, but provision of a large, sophisticated and powerful anti-aircraft battery lumbering around eastern Ukraine would just have invited detection.
Further, in both cases, there was dissent among U.S. intelligence analysts, some of whom objected at least to the rushes to judgment and offered different explanations for the incidents, pointing the blame in other possible directions. The dissent caused the Obama administration to resort to a new concoction called a “Government Assessment” – essentially a propaganda document – rather than a classic “Intelligence Assessment,” which would express the consensus views of the 16 intelligence agencies and include areas of disagreement.
So, there were plenty of reasons for Washington journalists to smell a rat or at least insist upon hard evidence to make the case against Assad and Putin. Instead, given the demonized views of Assad and Putin, mainstream journalists unanimously fell in line behind the Official Story. They even ignored or buried evidence that undermined the government’s tales.
Regarding the Syrian case, there was little interest in the scientific discovery that the one sarin-laden rocket (recovered by the U.N.) had a range of only about two kilometers (destroying Washington’s claims about the Syrian government firing many rockets from eight or nine kilometers away). [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Was Turkey Behind Syria-Sarin Attack?”]
Regarding the MH-17 case, a blind eye was turned to a Dutch intelligence report that concluded that there were several operational Buk anti-aircraft missile batteries in eastern Ukraine but they were all under the control of the Ukrainian military and that the rebels had no weapon that could reach the 33,000-foot altitude where MH-17 was flying. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Ever-Curiouser MH-17 Case.”]
Though both those cases remain open and one cannot rule out new evidence emerging that bolsters the U.S. government’s version of events, the fact that there are substantive reasons to doubt the Official Story should be reflected in how the mainstream Western media deals with these two sensitive issues, but the inconvenient facts are instead brushed aside or ignored (much as happened with Iraq’s WMD).
In short, there has been a system-wide collapse of the Western news media as a professional entity in dealing with foreign crises. So, as the world plunges deeper into crises inside Syria and on Russia’s border, the West’s citizens are going in almost blind without the eyes and ears of independent journalists on the ground and with major news outlets delivering incessant propaganda from Washington and other capitals.
Instead of facts, the West’s mainstream media trafficks in demonization.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
I DONT WATCH TV…..NEXT
It’s ALL in Orwell. Four legs, good; two legs bad (Animal Farm). We’ve always been at war with East Asia (1984).
It is also used to cover your actions. THe events of March 2011 were a Color Revolutionn, as they are known, ordered by Obama personally under his signature. A “Finding”, signed by him personally, was required for a “Covert Operation”. We do not need DIA analysts.
But the Color Revolutions were not peaceful. death squads were used under Operation Nicaragua to kill the organisers of counter demonstrations and opponents on the internet, Muslim Brotherhood terrorist gangs to kill and kidnap opponents of it and their relatives, and the CIA sniper technique was used to prevent the police using their riot control techniques.
In August a second”Finding” was signed ordering all-out attacks by the Jihadist paramilitaries they had recruited and trained. A second one was required for the military Covert Operation,
The Atrocity Stories of peaceful demonstrations and the Syrian army gunning them down were to cover this, after all the use of Jihadists would have been very badly received by Western publics after 9/11 !!!!
Readers should realise that demonization is the Fourth Law of Psychological Warfare. Demonise someone personally – the enemy country’s ruler or leader. It works. The textbook example is the demonisation of the pro-British and Vritish related, with Germany full of his British royal relatiives, Wilhelm II of Germany.
1) Use emotion 2) Use moral outrage 3) Invent atrocities $) Demonise an individual.
The only trouble it runs out of control as the Sheeple go on believing it.
“Why you sillly people, you didn’t believe that did you ? We only told you that to get you to fight thwe war”/
Dick Crossman on WW1
I truly believe that there is going to come a time where the world has alternatives to the western economic system and then we will see if countries decide to stay with the countries that have bullied them for so long, the western countries, or go with the new alternatives. I just believe that if there are alternatives to our way of doing things in the world that we are going to get a rude awakening at some point.
Ivanhoe and What I Learned about US Militarism
For the sake of argument let us accept that the United States is highly militarized, that it is a civilization that is economically, culturally, and politically enmeshed in the purveyance of lethal state violence, that this is a problem, and that there are reasons for and a history of our militarism. And let us not be satisfied that reasons of empire, religion, class, or of state tell the whole story of our wars. They do not seem sufficient to support in the popular mind the use of lethal violence or great sacrifice. I do not see people soldiering-up for such reasons. As to reasons of “human nature” such as fear or greed, they seem not to be helpful in themselves. Just why and how much we fear one thing and not another still needs explanation. We have, for example, the aptitude for laughter. But just why and what we find funny and even how we laugh are the sorts of questions I want analogously to ask about the ancestry and causes, if you will, of U.S. militarism.
This interest in the roots of U.S. militarism led me these last few years to read Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, published in 1819 and subtitled perhaps without irony, A Romance. Historians tell us that readers in the ante-bellum South were fond of Walter Scott’s writings. Readers in the North also found Scott important. Henry Cabot Lodge is boasted to have read all of Scott’s works by the age of ten. Lodge was from Boston and was one of the hawks who promoted the Spanish-American War along with Theodore Roosevelt, also a reader of Scott. Mark Twain is said to have suggested that Ivanhoe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin are the books that precipitated our Civil War. An important mid-20th Century Southern writer, Walker Percy, remarked in an interview that if you want to understand Southern men for the last 100 years read Ivanhoe. For him and others the Black Knight was the personification of heroism and chivalry, along with Robert E. Lee.
I took up Percy’s suggestion in hopes that Ivanhoe would be helpful for understanding 19th Century American militarism, and maybe also 20th Century militarism. For those who are unfamiliar with Ivanhoe as I was a little introduction may be helpful. The scene is England, the late 12th Century. A Crusade has just ended and the all-too-absent king, Richard the Lion-Hearted, has yet to return. The cast of characters is extensive: Ivanhoe, Knight and the son of Cedric the Saxon, disinherited by his father for joining the Norman led crusade, a man of action and few words; Gurth, the swine-herd and Cedric’s thrall, soon promoted to squire, an unlikely social mobility; Wamba, son of Witless, Jester and loyal Thrall of Cedric; the Jew, Isaac of York, and his daughter, the too beautiful Rebecca the Healer; the Templar Knight, Brian Bois-Guilbert, a serial killer (my characterization) recently returned from the holy crusade, whose heart is warmed by Rebecca; Baron Front-de-Boeuf, Knight and Torturer; Locksley, the unsurpassed archer and leader of the direct Democracy in Sherwood Forest; the fighting hermit Friar; the well feted Abbot, to mention a few.
The story opens with travelers making their way to Ashby to watch or participate in the jousting tournament and melee, the latter an armed and lethal brawl. They stop for a night at Cedric’s, and then proceed to Ashby where Ivanhoe prevails in the jousting tournament. The Black Knight appears on the second day during the melee, but only in cameo to even the odds during the brawl, and Locksley shows his stuff in the archery contest. Ivanhoe’s side is victorious in the melee but he is severely wounded, and while returning to Cedric’s stronghold Ivanhoe, Cedric, Rebecca, who is nursing Ivanhoe’s wound, Isaac and others are kidnapped by the Templar, Bois-Guilbert, and associates, and taken to Front-de-Boeuf’s Castle. The castle falls in a great battle to the alliance of Cedric’s Saxons and Locksley’s brigands all led by the Black Knight. Bois-Guilbert escapes with Rebecca to the Knights Templar castle where Rebecca is tried for bewitching him. So it goes.
The heart of the book for me is the amazing colloquy between the captives, Rebecca and Ivanhoe, as she describes the battle below to the bedridden Ivanhoe, and especially the exploits of the Black Knight. Ivanhoe declares that he would “…endure ten years’ captivity to fight one day by that good knight’s side….” Rebecca asks why this “impatient yearning … to inflict wounds on others…?” He answers, “We [knights] live not…longer than while we are victorious and renowned.” “What is it,” she asks, “valiant knight, save an offering to a demon of vain glory? What remains to you as a prize of all the blood you have spilled…of all the tears which your deeds have caused…?”
“Glory,” asserts Ivanhoe.
She probes further, “Is there such virtue in the rude rhymes of a wandering bard, that domestic love, kindly affection, peace and happiness, are so wildly bartered…?” It is too much for Ivanhoe. Rebecca can never understand for she is twice blinded: she is a woman and she is “not a Christian.” (Scott seems to side with Ivanhoe when he relates Rebecca’s after-thoughts as she laments both her sex and her fallen tribe and that there is no current Gideon to fight for the Jews.)
Some of the elements in Scott’s Merry England that American readers may have found to resonate with their circumstances or may just have seemed natural to readers include an environment of militarism, violence and male domination, supported by a sense of chivalry or at least “face” and by myths of Manichean worlds of good and evil, and a state of social hierarchies with their forms of deference and insider/outsider relationships, and at one limit of the latter, the Other. Let’s begin with militarism, violence and male domination.
As Scott introduces the characters he describes the armament of each, even including Wamba’s mock sword. In the background is the recent crusade from which three of the major characters have returned: the Black Knight, Brian the Templar, and Ivanhoe. There is an undertone of violence as the parties head to Ashby: the enmity between Cedric the Saxon and his Norman guests, Ivanhoe’s mortal animosity towards Brian, Brian’s instructions to his entourage to harm Isaac, and the looming festivities at Ashby. Everyone seems to have an enemy and be an enemy, Normans and Saxons, loyalists to John and loyalists to Richard, Christians and Moslems, Christians and Jews, the nascent nationalists dressed in Sherwood Green and civil and even church authority.
It is a man’s world. With the exception of Rebecca all the major characters are male. Violence is men’s business. Chivalry itself is men’s business with, it is true, female love and approval as a prize to be had and to strive for, but it is men who seek that prize, along with the perhaps greater prizes of honor and glory. Of course things have changed in some places in the 20th Century and one wonders how female readers might receive and might have received Scott’s tale.
Hierarchies abound. The reader is immediately informed that Gurth and Wamba are encumbered by metal collars indicating their status as thralls of Cedric which grants them protection as Cedric’s possessions but also insecurity as objects of his capriciousness. Almost immediately we are treated to a chance meeting between Brian and these thralls whose impertinence bestirs Brian’s threats to them of bodily harm.
Scott also describes some of the struggles for ascendance within and between hierarchies: Richard’s loyalists and John’s accomplices, Normans and Saxons, socially and economically disinherited brigands and the reigning aristocracy of arms.
Scott depicts a Manichean society, a society which, in the minds of its inhabitants, divides the world into good and evil, everyone has and is an enemy, Saxons and Normans, Christians and Moslems, the monarchy and the barons, the men of Sherwood Forest standing against Prince John and the barons. In ante-bellum America we had the North and the South, more recently America and communists. Today enemies and hatreds abound. Members of both sides of these pairs tend to see those of the other side as villainous. It is a sort of tribalism, the ins and the outs. In the case of nations, this world view becomes a tribalism writ large.
Finally we have the ultimate outsider, Everyman’s outsider, the Other. Within structures of insider/outsider relations of Normans and Saxons, of knightly aristocracy and their minions, of Christians and the rest, there are those who are reviled by Saxon and Norman, thralls and barons, and by all who are good Christians, the Jews of Merry England. But even their status is ambiguous as the aristocracy is sometimes dependent on the Jews for loans to support its machinations, just as some Americans have been economically dependent on their slaves.
I do not believe that this discussion of Ivanhoe plumbs fully the elements which may have resonated in America, it is hopefully a start. As a preface to an understanding of U.S. militarism it offers a sort of Gordian Knot with its cultural strands in need unraveling.
It seems to me that from the genius of Scott’s pen a literary mirror was created in this medieval romance of English and American society of his own time, and also, by some happenstance, a mirror of later 19th and 20th Century U.S. society. We might well ask in reading Ivanhoe, as we are so easily transported by the language and dialogue, the characterizations and other descriptions, how and why this transformation works so well? How and why Scott’s depiction of a civilization and social order so violent and destructive of itself and others seemed and seems so heroic? How is it, in other words, that violence and dystopia become romantic? Even as a jaded and defensive reader I confess that I grew excited at the coming of the melee, and quivered with something like awe when the Black Knight revealed himself as Richard, the King.
In attempting to use Ivanhoe to untie the knot of current U.S. militarism I first considered chivalry, our history of dueling, President Johnson’s alleged need to not be the first president to lose a war, the importance of face and face-saving. I considered the importance of social hierarchy in my own life, for example, how compelling it seemed at one time when it was said that the administration knew best about the dangers of Vietnam, and the unspoken corollary that the administration would act in the country’s best interests. It seems that a hallmark and perhaps from some points of view the beauty of hierarchy is in the deference it promotes and the invisibility of such deference. It also struck me how easily and pervasively the spirit of dehumanization is manifest, how many Others, domestic and foreign, inhabit our lives. All of these elements contribute it seems to our militarism.
But it is the existence and creation of Manichean worlds in children’s stories, in our popular culture, our entertainment, our politics, and in many of our religious teachings which seem to be the building blocks of our many hatreds and which greatly contribute to the stagnation our moral sentiments. It is these divisions of the world into us and the Other, and then into good and evil, which justified for many the March through Georgia, our Native American holocaust, the World War II fire bombings, our use of atomic bombs, and countless and unknown individual atrocities. To paraphrase a recent US vice president, once the intensity of vilification reaches a certain level the gloves come off. The hero then is one who fights against evil, and the glory is greatest in the defeat of evil.
This also suggests that it is not just Scott’s great genius that captured these facets of our current world views. It seems unfortunately that we have not advanced much in the last 190 years when dealing with the world. This “happenstance” needs further interrogation. So it is that we need to understand better the history of our vilifications and how they allow, authorize and even require the use of lethal force, and thus are an important foundation of U.S. militarism. At best we must get beyond these Manichean images of ourselves and the world to more nuanced visions, beyond good and evil, as it were.
Joel Garb, November 2015
speaking of propaganda, consortium news is not free from it. its articles on the so-called climate change, which was global warming, which was global cooling, aren’t they the official line? and they use the same tactics.
Citizens of value and legitimacy, and that rules out 97% of American citizens, should select one of the five or six megacorporations that own 90% of the news media/print, at a time. Covertly eradicate it’s infrstructure, and kill it’s employees. Then do the same with the next one, until all five or six of them are annihilated. That’s just one way to deal with Totalitarian oppression.
RocetStar, while you go do that, I’ll wait here and put a pot of coffee on. Seriously by us going all Robespierre on their media asses, we would prove to be no better than them, and besides it didn’t end well for little Maximilien. Oh, and BTW, for the good of the cause, maybe stay away from the Bernie rally’s. Other than that your idea is tempting.
I also wonder to what extent the CIA has infiltrated all the MSM media management and published journalists? Did anyone read the articles your YT videos about Frankfurter Allegemeine’s former managing editor Udo Ulfkotte? He published a bestselling book about how the CIA bribed him and all the other journalists for Germany’s leading news outlets to write propagandistic pro-US government articles about War on Terror, Iraq, Afghanistan, anti-Russia, etc. His book is called ‘Gekaufte Journalisten’ (‘Bought Journalists’), you can see it on Amazon. But holy crap if the CIA is bribing Europe’s leading newspapers like Allegemeine, then you can imagine the amount of bribing and control being done here in USA.
Oh and one other thought: at least we still have the blessing of the internet and quality, objective journalism websites like this :-)
Thanks for the book referral. Here is a link to a Carl Bernstein article describing how the press works with the CIA all the time, and for a very long time at that.
and your right, we’re screwed.
I think it was back during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 that I realized how dishonest, jingoistic and manipulative the American MSM is during wartime: it was during that war that I lost any respect or trust in the American MSM. Specifically, it was NPR’s shilling for the invasion of Iraq that was so dishonest and lopsided. They ooohed and ahhhed about the high-tech weapon systems and guided laser bombs that were used to bomb Iraq. That was also the war which began the strict control of the press corps: no more objectivity. You are ’embedded’ with a military detachment. This assures you see only what they want you to see, and write what they want written–or as this article points out more broadly, you’re out of a job or removed from wartime reporting duty.
Let’s face it: America’s MSM is a steaming pile of propagandistic shit. It only reports what the feds/CIA/State Dept/Potus allow. How is it any different from Communist Russia in this regard? It isn’t. The only difference may be that instead of in your face blatant repression, the American capitalist government tries to keep the iron fist of thought control and media control quite hidden. But be assured, the iron fist demanding the MSM report only what Washington’s career pols and military power elite will allow. But the downhill spiral into more brazen disinformation and blatant lying about what Syria, Ukraine, Libya wars are really about has really gone into hyper-drive. It’s really important for we readers to realize the MSM has in truth become another battleground, not unlike the physical war fronts: the news information war now being fought is to manipulate you, to make you see these wars and invasions as they do, to see them as good, noble, proper, etc–and of course to get you to hate Putin, Russia, Assad, Muslims, Chinese, etc. The days of the USA being a ‘world leader’ of justice and freedom are long gone: the USA is a major threat to other nations, and quite against peace, justice, liberty, etc.
To point out, you have a picture of Putin where there should be a picture of Fred Hiatt.
Thanks for the excellent article!
There is no reporting of real news from MSM….only propaganda …….Thank you ! Paul Wolfowitz…..
Last siting of Wolfie was on the post shrub administration entertainment tour where he sang “let me lick your comb,while Condie Rice played the piano as accompaniment.
First up was the shrub himself,with his painting of himself looking under the table for the non existent WMD,as Karl Rove narrated,we make our own reality.
Rumsfeld held a talk on probabilities,while the dark prince himself,the dead Pearl rose from a coffin.
This and many more, Yoo and Scooters lawspeak,and Rodriguez laughfest at detainee torture tapes,were last seen playing Tel Aviv in 09.
Robert, I agree with you. But, as you’ve been arguing for a long time, there is a huge difference between citing other people’s sins and destroying a country to make the point or to save the innocent. There is a huge difference between, on the one hand, painting someone like Saddam Hussein into a monster–which he most certainly was and whom the West had been egging on and supporting until the Zionist lobby decided it was time for him to go–and invading Iraq to begin the Neocon rampage of the Middle East that’s still going on today.
The Syrian government bears no resemblance to Saddam Hussein’s circle of pure cut-throats, who was heavily financed by Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait to destroy Iran and still failed. Whatever its failings in the pre-war run-up to its destruction, the Syrian government’s main sin, apart from not moving fast enough on structural reforms, was to have bocked Israel’s view of the Rhine, as the old expression goes. A Jewish-only race colony is dictating how the United States should handle the Middle East and what its priorities should be. Syria stood in the way of Israel and of Saudi Arabia.
None of this augurs well for America’s future if it persists in the illusion of being the only nation that counts in the world, while it is looking more and more like a lost beacon on the high seas.
YES AND…NOT REALLY!
The tempo of demonization has been increased as Robert
Parry documents above.
The media were never really “fair”. Even in my younger days, I
would EXPECT coverage of a story in a liberal democratic
newspaper (eg owned by the NY Times etc.) to reflect
the “group think” of the government. Not only were
articles’ content effected but such things as its
placement (where on page one? where on an
inner page?above or below the paper’s fold?) to be major
factors. I never looked to articles as balanced reports.
For that I must look elsewhere?
The public in general must also be greatly influenced by these
unbalanced “reports” even with no special sensitivity to the
As I recall, the reports of war “victories” one was always
fed at the movies were particularly one-sided. There is
a voice of the narrator I still hear if I have problems
getting to sleep. I believe it was the same guy who did
promos for “The March of Dimes”.l These were highly
unbalanced and were done specifically to heighten the
“loyal” enthusiasm (jingoism) of the vox populi.
Noam Chomsky’s books MANUFACTURED CONSENT” and
NECESSARY ILLUSIONS document these facts aboust
our “free press.” Michael Adams and Christopher
Mayhew document the ruined careers via charges of
“antisemitism” of any journalist/reporter who criticised
Israel in the UK in their book “TO PUBLISH IT NOT…)
(Mayhew eventually resigned the British Labor party
which in his time had been taken over by Zionists.)
—Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA
Unfortunatey, Noam Chomsky has turned out to be a fake who should have stuck to linguistics, his real speciality, though his ideas even there are colored by the same infantile notions that have fed his politics. Not only has he come out against an academic boycott of the Jewish-only race colony of Israel, but he has recenly expressed support for Hillary Clinton in the spirit of dumping Donald Trump.
Liberals and most progressives and leftists live in the past.
In Latin America, as soon as they get into power they start playing games with big finance they can’t possibly win, thinking they can even fudge financial figures like their predecessors without thinking that the other, right-wing thieves in the same gang might blow the whistle on them just to get them out of the way. Brazil is a prime example, but so is Argentina. What big disappointments these have become!
Leftists and drunkard revolutionaries interpret everything, from politics to history, from a Eurocentric perspective that by now should have been thrown in the waste basket. They’ve been interpreting the world like that since the 19th century.
I am a certainly not right-wing. But I can clearly see that the age of so-called “progressive” ideas has been a sham, another form of Westernism that has helped ruin the world. A whole galaxy of humanity existed a century and a half ago, before the West began dominating the world and this back-and-forth between ideologies began. Let’s try to gain a sense of perspective. And let us find a new path, PLEASE, as at least some people are trying to do now!
Not only foreign news, domestic ones also fell victim to the new trend. Data literally disappeared from the news in March 2012.
Shortly after I pointed this out to my students, I got fired from my college-teaching job. My students had a failing rate of 40%, but even the ones who failed expressed amazement and satisfaction regarding the quality of my classes.
Nobody ever cared to tell me why I lost my job. I was repeatedly told, it was none of my business. And yes,they ruled out even a false claim of sexual harassment.
It’s not just the U.S. media. A leading headline in this morning’s edition of the Guardian reads “Russian athletes may be among 31 with positive doping tests”. Click onto the story and a subtitle reads “Total of 31 new positives come from 12 countries and six different sports”.
Whereas I can quite believe there ‘may be’ Russian athletes among the number, it shouldn’t be news, as the Russian government admitted there were problems last November http://time.com/4108526/russia-doping-problem/. But what about the other 11 countries suspected of involvement? Why don’t they merit a mention?
Wherever the other athletes ‘may’ or ‘may not’ come from one thing is certain, the Guardian would never have run the story under the headline “British (U.S.) athletes may be among 31 with positive doping tests” despite the fact such speculation is just as valid. Both countries have long histories of doping in sport.
Unfortunately, we already know that there ‘may be’ athletes competing in the Olympics using performance enhancing drugs. That’s what the tests were about. Exactly who they are and exactly where they come from is the news part. This type of idle speculation is not news but blatant anti-Russian propaganda.
It’s all been a lie. How many people know that on 12/8/99 a Memphis jury found that Martin Luther King had been assassinated through a government conspiracy. Hardly, any mention of it by the MSM. Ask any American over the age of fifty if they ever heard of the 1967 Israeli attack upon the USS Liberty. Almost always the answer is no, in fact never do I come across anyone who has ever even heard of the USS Liberty, let alone know about the Israeli deadly assault that occurred back in the sixties. Before the Internet, most Americans were sold on the idea, that Israel’s fight with the Palestintian’s was a two thousand year old war of the two cultures, and that the crazy Arab’s were suicidal. Thanks MSM for degrading a whole nation of people who have been displaced by their Zionist overlords. The MSM cut their teeth on both Kennedy assassinations. I truly believe that by the MSM echoing the official lonegunman narrative to the American public, that this primed the deep state to go even deeper with their lies. Why, doesn’t the MSM delve into computer voting machine hacking? Maybe, because then America would find out how we really don’t have a vote for the highest office in the land. Finally if you are one to accept the Bureau of Labor Statistics economic reports, well then I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. It’s all lies, but then when wasn’t it all lies?
Joe, yes, yes, and yes. You got it ! But hey….you forgot the big one ….9/11.
Your right, you gave us the punchline. I believe that all of what I wrote about above, was a prelude and a learning experience which was used to roll out the 9/11 attack. Sometimes I wonder what was the bigger goal, reaping havoc through out the Middle East (Yinon Plan) or screwing down on civil liberties (Patriot Act, etc). A team of assassins is one kind of thing, but a team of reporters is priceless, in order to carry out a grand conspiracy. All news agencies should be small and privately owned. Oh wait, that would be un-American to impose a regulation on business…sorry. We have a corporately controlled free press, and by being corporately owned there is no free press.
The Standard Toolbox of Societal Control that the “elite” applies on the population has been in development at least since the pharaoh Ramses took this name (son of Ra, the god protecting Egypt) to solidify his control over the population, or since the print media were invented, not to mention radio and TV. Thus, it is not a big deal really: why would anyone give you the news without a catch and for free? What is the function of the “news”?
Once one adopts the axiom: news is lies, then one becomes intellectually free. Easy! But the road to physical freedom is much more difficult and dangerous.
Take all news with a garnish of “why are they saying this” and “cui bono” and you have made the first step toward freedom; take the news as granted truths and you remain a happy slave (the red pill – blue pill cliché).
Everything you said right there is potentially true, but without the news what would be left to talk about.
I like the word “potentially”, like there is no single truth in this world. It either is or is not true.
Okay there’s a thirty percent chance for a potential rain storm tomorrow night, but there’s this low air mast coming up from our neighbors to the south of us, which could drive the potential rain storm north, and then we dodge the bullet. This all has the potential that we may have a nice day tomorrow, or maybe not. In any case, have a good one, not a bad one.
Thank you Joe, much appreciated. I wish a nice and sunny day for you too.
Thank you Joe Tedesky for the comment about MLK. It is quite true, and is not well reported in the MSM. An attorney named William Pepper, whose early life reminds me of Bernie Sanders, marched with Martin, and won the case you’re referring to in Memphis. It was reported in the newspaper of record (NYT’s) as a small event, deep within the paper. Mr. Pepper also has been working with Sirhan Sirhan’s parol hearings which were recently denied. I, with a great sense of honor, link William Pepper, Mark Lane (who recently died), and Jim Garrison as great American attorneys, working diligently against all odds, for the ideals I know you and I were raised with, and that Robert Parry is fighting so diligently for, on this site.
Bob you have done your homework well. I always have a hard time remembering attorney Peppers name, so I’m glad you gave it to us. Also, I wasn’t aware of the passing of Mark Lane, he certainly was a great person. It is to bad that more people don’t know about these truth tellers, but then there was you.
Joe,MLK was a hero,and maybe his murder was govt sanctioned,(I doubt that),but who made up that jury?Inner city Black Memphis residents?
Remember OJ?Guilty as sin,but innocent to the overwhelmingly black jury.
And of course whitey is just as bad if not worse.
Prejudice is human wide.
Ask Bernie Sanders about prejudice.The lying media won’t touch it.
dahoit, while you bring up inconvenient details about the Memphis jury, that doesn’t explain the lack of reporting by the MSM, that this story deserved. Look, when the establishment wants to run with a false narrative, then it’s a false narrative we get. This, in my opinion is wrong. It is wrong because in a true free press society we should have an objective press, which conveys the depth of a story from all sides of that story’s development. The USS Liberty story is the most awful of all, since most Americans never even heard about it. When MLK was shot did anyone from the MSM ever talk about how the shrubs were cut down within 24 hours to hide where the sniper may have been positioned? Has the MSM ever mentioned the name Thane Eugene Cesar, when reporting on the assassination of RFK? And what a convoluted road we go down when discussing Lee Harvey Oswald. I’m sure you understand where I am coming from with my comments, and there is nothing wrong with arguing about the Memphis jury, but honest reporting is hard to find. Welcome to Consortiumnews.
“Democracy is popular because of the illusion of choice and participation it provides, but when you live in a society in which most people’s knowledge of the world extends as far as sports, sitcoms, reality shows, and celebrity gossip, democracy becomes a very dangerous idea. Until people are properly educated and informed, instead of indoctrinated to be ignorant mindless consumers, democracy is nothing more than a clever tool used by the ruling class to subjugate the rest of of us.”
– Gavin Nascimento.
Thomas, thank you and Gavin for those so true words. Oh …those are the Sheeple.
And in late breaking news at the NYT:
“U.S. Pursues Charges Against Russians in Doping Scandal”
Do we have the infamous “standing”??
Yeah,we are arbiters of the world.Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds to head committee of investigation.
The lying times is bringing up the Chinese Cultural Revolution as relevant to todays import,but won’t print pictures of the marvel of modern China,the new economic powerhouse of our planet,from whom that revolution sprang.
No Mao,no miracle.The nationalist who kicked out the imperialists and brought China into the modern world.
The American media is a terrible pox on our nation,and is directly responsible for the chaos of the planet today.
Heads should roll.
But BB was never found guilty of said chargers. Sorry the second bottle of whine and dinner on the oven all I have to say great run down and comments;)
Very well put. Now it would be easy for mass media to get the facts and hard for politicians to hide the facts, if we had an institution of policy analysis to counter groupthink and media conformity by conducting analyses of every region by every discipline, protecting all viewpoints, conducting moderated textual debates, and producing analyses of the impact of policy alternatives, which might be called a federal College of Policy Analysis.
It is likely that mass media and oligarchy-controlled politicians do not care for the truth, and even regard it as an enemy, but steps should be taken to create this independent but federally funded institution. Congress has proven throughout our history its inability to conduct rational public debate of policy, and has left critical foreign policy matters to the groupthink of equally inept administrations. So we should have a fourth branch of federal government able to rationally debate policies with the broadest range of skills and viewpoints, and without the congressional bias of electoral demagoguery or the executive bias of military/security influence.
Erik….Bravo on those ideas. One could only hope that they would come to fruition . But as “No good deed goes unpunished” no good idea ever gets passed in Congress without being politicized. Nonetheless, much as they brought “Truth in Advertising ” laws years back, as you espouse we now need a Truth in Media law. I can hear them now…..all the lobbyists running down the halls of Congress to buy votes. Persevere!
Excellent article, and those journalist that support writing the government party line without question, like Iraq WMD, need to live with the faces of the millions of dead people that resulted from that war…that continues….shame on them just shame on them. Thank you for this excellent article!
Jane, I like the way you expressed your thoughts on the great article. I fully agree with Bob Parry…. it is a blind following of the Govt. ( WH and State Dept. ) accusations …making the Media out to be cheerleaders , much as they were prior to the invasion of Iraq. There is MUCH more to it then meets the eye though. I trust you’re on to the devious machinations of the Neocons…and the State Dept. is loaded with them. I’ve noticed that the talking heads have certain amounts of sheets of what they essentially read from to report (?) the news. I suspect that the notes are printed from the vetted origins of AP Reuters and other sources . When I say vetted….I’m talking the whole article is spun and any elements of truth are obfuscated and/or slanted from the corporate HQ’s . Thank God for the Internet and alternative news sources. You might look up SOTT.org. and Global research.com ( or Org) …. Russia Insider is good as is RT News. Persevere!
To add just a bit: the demonizers don’t just demonize foreigners. Look at the NYTimes or the WaPo and you see that they demonize Donald Trump on a scale equaling or exceeding the demonization of Assad or Putin. And now with fictitiious Brock/Clinton-planted “news” from Nevada they’re beginning the same operation against Bernie Sanders.
I have spread this article very widely among friends and associates, calling it “a decent”
and clear analysis of demonization and a western media “COLLAPSE” –that they all ought to carefully read.
But I indicated to them, and herein to YOU, that I think the true “collapse” has been in the reading/watching public…..
AND that, in my view, Western media has not “collapsed” at all–I wish it would–IT HAS BEEN SUBVERTED.
What we are witnessing is not amorally neutral failure of our media in my opinion. Western media has been
SUBVERTED. This is a fact and the subversion is intentional….and has perpetrators…..
I am actually quite sure you agree with this assessment, but I wish you would say so………..
2LT Dennis Morrisseau USArmy [armor – Vietnam era] ANTI-WAR retired.
POB 177 W Pawlet, VT 05775
802 645 9727 [email protected]
Dennis, thank you for your astute observations. Yes, well over 90% of all our (Western) media has been subverted as it is owned by big corporations….and the reasons and tie-in are dark and devious. I have blasted certain statements on the reporting(?) news stations via F/B , or by going to their web pages and giving them a blast on the “Contact Us” section. Of course I never get back a reply back. Nonetheless….I have sent this article to several friends, and put it on my F/B page. I am also a Vietnam era vet…USN , Sub service. Persevere !
The Zionists own or control every American MSM and many internet outlets in America, Europe and South America.
Yes there is corporate co sponsorship in some cases,as war is good for them,and the MIC is our largest export,along with cigarettes.Wapo has Lockheed Martin news content now.
Dancing around these facts is amusing,but dumb.
Agreed that MSM are controlled by money (from advertisers and direct influence)and more recently subverted by political organizations and probably dark state agencies. The constant propaganda reflecting whatever the admin says is no coincidence. I hear of more people (although not a large fraction) simply dropping broadcast media and mass media altogether, but attractions (nature shows, pseudo-debates) keep many glued to the set in their spare time. I watch no MSM at all unless forced in an airport, when I am appalled at the outright 1984 propaganda.
All mass media should be seized as threats to public security and given temporarily to state universities, until constitutional amendments require mass media and elections to be funded solely by registered, limited, and traced individual donations, and a reformed Congress passes laws to establish and require mass media corporations to ensure balance. diversity, and absence of influence by political parties and government agencies. This will eliminate advertising and commercial influence.
Although George Seldes’ wonderful memoir should provide caution against thinking there was some previous golden age of objective journalistic practice, it does seem obvious that current mainstream news reporting is astonishingly bad.
The mergers and consolidation of news organizations allowed in the mid-1990s seem to be a starting point for the lurch into outright propaganda. Perhaps a future Consortium article could explore this legislative effort, the attempts to rationalize the policy, and the effects of narrow corporate ownership of the “news”.
Another starting point could be the embedding of reporters with the troops. Now it seems the entirety of the MSM is embedded with the Beltway.
Spot on jaycee, Mr Parry nicely lists cases of biased journalism but he does not explain how things came to be like this and even less why. Both jaycee and Sfomarco provide hints as to how, but the “future Consortium article” should try to answer why. In my personal view, the answer to why would explain why the US is in the trouble it is, economic, moral (official torture policy) etc, unless we are going to pretend that a few tweaks to the media reporting and similar would fix the big problems (such as regulatory capture and the repellence of the Glass-Steagall Act for example). In other words, media reporting is a symptom of a wider issue rather than a problem in itself. Perhaps, the US society is not prepared to face the truths any more and prefers an easy way out of uncomfortable reality by fudging through media. I just believe that if people really wanted the truth, the media would not be able to be lying so much. Therefore, a part of the responsibility is with the audience, their preference for mental & emotional comfort over truth.
I absolutely agree that this is a part of a wider problem, and not limited to the US only. Western Europe has gone down this way too. I personally think this is a generational change. Of course it is a common trait for old farts like myself to blame the younger generations, but there is enough evidence that the new generations in the West are more conformist. In case of Russia and the Russians, this generational gap is even wider since the former Soviet Union was in fact a very conservative place in social terms. My Western counterparts of the same age are in fact very different from me, and I find many more common values and interests with people 15-20 years older that myself. This also does not help with mutual understanding between Russia and the West. Maybe the new Sanders generation in the US will change this and starts to value the freedom and truth once again.
Hello Oleg, it is true that there are similar situations in other countries but I had in mind the specific situation of US. This is my explanation of the root cause, of which MSM lying is just a symptom.
Since around WW2 the US has been “living” beyond its means. The malaise comes in the form of increased spending and lower taxes (what a way to make a US President popular). The way to achieve these two opposites is to charge the deficit to the national credit card with the main trading partners, such as the Japanese (before), the Saudi Barbarians (less and less) and the Chinese (steady). Now, the US could do this because the US$ is the World’s reserve currency. Other nations chose US$ as a reserve currency as the means of international trade and because the US$ was considered a benchmark of stability (yes, there used to be a time when US$=gold). In other words, guaranteed no coin-clipping, PM dilution, or paper printing, like many other nations throughout history did.
There is this famous Trump statement: U.S. will never default “because you print THE MONEY”. I understood this statement as Trump’s irony, he is not stupid. The US has been printing money and diluting all debts for a while now, both external and internal debts. But printing money is a one trick pony, or even worse, you can do such trick only once in the history of US$ and then never again.
To make the long story short, once the US$ was separated from gold all barriers to prudent finances were brought down. For example, the US created the most powerful military in the World, without the population being taxed any more. Debt exploded everywhere, debt has always been included in the GDP, everything looked like booming. The problem was not the separation of US$ from gold by itself, the problem was that this was a signal to the finance industry that all constraints are off, thus it was followed by de-regulation after de-regulation, regulatory capture, speculators getting the right to pillage your bank savings (prevented by Glass-Steagall before) and so on and so on. If you jaywalked the street you would get a fine, but if you embezzled millions or even billions you were just capable or too big to fail (or jail). In the empire of debt, those holding cash are not kings, they are idiots. No matter how many US$ the Fed printed they were still gobbled up by the creditors, but not any more. There is a propensity in humanity to believe that if they are getting away with something questionable then why would not they (as long as it works who is asking questions); also that the good times will last forever.
But as things operate in life, there is a morning after the wild spending party. The US party is getting close to its end and SOMEONE in the US society will have to pick up the tab for all the broken inventory. The party ends when it runs out of fools willing to take US$ for the reserve. The US could go for one last dash at printing quadrillions of US$, to wipe of external debts (print and buy the bonds back as Trump suggests), but this could collapse the internal finances as well.
In summary, in the empire of debt, lies are the currency. Out of control debt is the cancer of the soul of every society. The Western MSM just show symptoms of this cancer.
In her anti-Trump tweets, liberal/progressive designated savior Elizabeth Warren listed “praises Putin” alongside sexism, racism, xenophobia, and inciting violence as the soon-to-be nominee’s sins. Clearly, inside the Beltway, trying to work constructively with Russia is the attribute of a monster.
Fortunately, David, the Internet – as well as other alternative media – has overtaken the Lame Stream Media, waking more and more people up across the globe .. even in the US. Websites – including VeteransToday.com, TomatoBubble.com, etc. – have gone viral worldwide, sparking anti-war and other protests everywhere.
Veterans Today – through exposures of the Khazarian Mafia and the Rothschild Banking Cartel in both digital and in print – has awakened many active Military and veterans to the evil of both these global crime syndicates. TomatoBubble.com’s manager and columnist Mike S. King has awakened a large number of Americans to the true character of the Rothschilds and the Roosevelts, as well as Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin, in both editorials and in books that he has written. Of the books Mr. King has authored, “The Bad War” is the best, as it completely exposes the propaganda/lies of the two World Wars (both instigated by the RBC). Without these and other anti-Globalist, anti-NWO and anti-war media, the world would be in the worst of shape.
Is there a danger when the MSM factually reports a story wrong for months on by just repeating the Administration narrative (rhetorical question).
Here is a blatant example, it is widely repeated that Iran’s missile tests violate U.N. sanctions, international law, or are just called ‘illicit’. This was first stated by Kerry when he got Congress to pass new sanctions against them and the blogosphere litup with the notion that Iran is well on its way to violating their recently minted nuclear deal.
Now here’s the problem. They are doing no such thing. Resolution 2231 explicitly rescinded all previous U.N. sanctions against Iran, including 1929, and replaced it with the wording calling on Iran to restrain from testing ballistic missiles. I got clued into this because I read that the Russians pointed this out when they voted against the U.S. complaint. I read resolution 2231 and found that they were correct.
So our media watchdogs obediently echoed the Administration’s claims for months because they cannot read and they won’t even take a second look if someone else does that work for them because it’s the evil Russians. See ‘termination 7 (a)’ and ‘Annex B. section 3’ of 2231 to see for yourself.
Iran is merely taking advantage of the agreement and the Administration is seeking political cover and getting the mobs angry. This is really shameless.