UPRISING: US Propaganda Outlets Omit Black Lives Matter Protests

It’s hard for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty to sell the USA as a shining example of civil liberties and democracy when the internet is drowning in pics of police violence, writes Yasha Levine. 

By Yasha Levine
The GrayZone

It looks like the main U.S. regime propaganda outlet, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), is censoring and downplaying the orgy of police violence that’s being unleashed against people protesting killer cops and the murder of George Floyd.

Here’s the front page of the RFE/RL English-language portal from June 5, 2020. (Thanks to Bryan MacDonald for catching it.)

Notice anything missing?

Now compare it to other state-funded media. For example, here’s Germany’s Deutsche Welle — also for June 5:

And the BBC for the same day:

It’s hard not to notice a difference: Both the BBC and Deutsche Welle carry multiple front-page stories about the protests, while there is absolutely nothing on America’s premier regime propaganda outlet.

With a budget that hovers around $100 million, RFE/RL broadcasts to something like to 22 countries in 26 languages. And the same censorship regime extends to just about every RFE/RL language division.

I’ve looked at about a dozen of them. Most have no coverage of the protests at all. A couple — like the Russian and Afghanistan division — do have a tiny protest stories, but they are given very little attention.


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In the case of RFE/RL’s Russian coverage, the protests are presented from the most reactionary perspective possible: denying racism and blaming the violence on organized armed anarchist communist groups — aka Antifa.

In short: Radio Liberty (originally known as “Radio Liberation from Bolshevism”) blames everything on radical anarchist bolsheviks!

On the whole, these protests are not treated as the major political event that they are, and the police violence appears to be majorly downplayed all across the board.

All this isn’t that surprising.

The history of United States regime propaganda starts more or less with Radio Liberation and Radio Free Europe — which are today combined into one entity: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty.

These outlets started in the early 1950s as covert psychological warfare and espionage ops run out of Europe by the CIA. They employed a whole army of immigrants — Nazi collaborators, anti-communists, fascists, prisoners of war — and were explicitly set up to inflame and weaponize nationalism against communism and the Soviet Union.

After they were exposed in a series of reports in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a weak movement to shut these propaganda ops down completely — an effort driven by Senator J. William Fulbright. But instead of getting canned, the went “legit” and were expanded.

In the 1970s, RFE/RL came out of the shadows and began operating in the open, with funding annually appropriated Congress.

From then on, RFE/RL was supposed to get more professional and objective. And they frequently were. (Well, aside from the glorification of fascists, anti-Semites, and Nazi collabos.) I personally know people who work there and they’re good journalists.

Still, this regime media outfit has stayed true to its original purpose: to promote the interests of American Empire. And the bloody police repression of protesters taking place in cities all across the USA right now really fucks with its central ideological and rhetorical weapon.

It’s hard to sell America as a shining example of civil liberties and human rights and orderly democracy when the internet is drowning in pics of killer cops and soldiers beating down on anyone in sight. So, the censorship is really not that hard to get!

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

This article is from The GrayZone and first appeared on the author’s newsletter, Immigrants as a Weapon.

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8 comments for “UPRISING: US Propaganda Outlets Omit Black Lives Matter Protests

  1. Andrew Thomas
    June 12, 2020 at 14:43

    RFE and Radio Liberty have never been anything but propaganda outlets for the military/ industrial/ intelligence complex. The fact that its “coverage” of events is completely exposed as such should be an object lesson for anyone who listens to that swill abroad and is still taking it seriously. People who are in this country and hoping to get something besides dueling (sometimes) hysterical narratives about foreign events, none of which are grounded in fact, and any domestic news at all from the MSM that is not grounded in myth and establishment spin on one side, and myth and ludicrous thigh-slapping lies on the other, is going to have to dig deep and with serious critical intelligence, which is not exactly encouraged by any part of the mainstream culture. We reside in a country where reality is a fluid concept and truth isn’t useful 90% of the time because it doesn’t fit any narrative useful to our overlords, and lies are regarded as legitimate political weapons, and the ends that justify the means are simply winning.

  2. Jeff Harrison
    June 12, 2020 at 00:38

    At this point if the American people don’t know that their government is lying to their faces, there is no hope for them.

    • John R
      June 12, 2020 at 08:56

      You got that right. And then remember to vote for a presidential candidate that will not represent you in November. It’s actually not a voting for but a voting against that we have. What a frigging joke.

    • Zeke Krahlin
      June 13, 2020 at 03:15

      There was never any hope for this country, founded on genocide and slavery.

    • AnneR
      June 13, 2020 at 09:52

      JH – I should think (judging by what my late husband’s FB “friends” post), they are aware ONLY when the violence comes home and then only on occasion (if there’d been no video recording of Mr Floyd’s murder, there’d be little to no protest except perhaps in Minneapolis itself, as in Ferguson after Michael Brown’s death, and all but no news coverage after the initial protests). When American violence is visited, as it is regularly and barbarically, atrociously, definitely ever since 1944, on what was once called the “Third World” peoples and their lands, the vast majority of the population remain (willingly?) ignorant of US war criminality, barbarity, presuming, along with Albright that – hey, we’re the exceptional, indispensable nation delivering freedom, democracy, MickyD’s with our bombs, napalm, agent orange, depleted uranium…..And our military (sorry, warriors [do they wear Scando helmets?]) are “heroes.”

      Anyway, who gives F***? It’s over there – and those people are not, you know, “civilized” ‘cos they’re not of Euro paleskinned background.

      It would be comforting – in a sick way – were these people other than bourgeois and well educated (often very expensively). Can’t put it down to ignorance. My late husband would say its due to stupidity, i.e. wilful ignorance.

      I know that this is a bit off topic – but not really. It’s all part of the same syndrome…

    • VallejoD
      June 15, 2020 at 13:12

      You said it. I’m 72, born with the national security state. Then a couple of years ago I looked up the stats on the USA and the USSR in 1945. What I (unsurprisingly) realized was that the USSR posed ZERO threat to the west. The USSR had just paid a staggering price in blood and infrastructure to destroy the Nazis for us, while America sat fat and sassy, protected by two oceans.

      The Soviets reward for saving Western civilization? An economically ruinous arms race by the USA.

      The Cold War was a total LIE. In my 8th decade of life I’ve finally realized that my government has lied to me every day of my life.

  3. Tim
    June 11, 2020 at 19:58

    I wish that all this RFE money could go to giving Americans a true education. Our lawmakers are criminals.

  4. jo6pac
    June 11, 2020 at 19:31

    I’m not surprised because if there is no news in lame stream corp. owned media that means it isn’t happening;-)

Comments are closed.