An “Ipsos Public Affairs” survey just released reports that those who distrust the media outnumber those that are trusting by a factor of 2:1, the same ratio as for the US Congress. Having long since given up on the likes of CNN, FoxNews and MSNBC, except to occasionally view how they are busy aiding and abetting propaganda, I am left to wonder if the likes of Wolf Blitzer or Bill O’Reilly reported this in their primetime spinfotainment spots?
We have long since not had an effective “Fourth Estate” in the United States. Between segments on celebrity drivel or the latest tragedy we are spoonfed propaganda on, in particular, our foreign entanglements and economic meltdown. Individuals that support the prevailing line from our corporate media are lionized, those that see through the spin are ridiculed. Think on the 2007/2008 collapse. It is a big lie that “nobody saw it coming”. Those that did were ignored or laughed at, particularly by our corporatist media and their cronies in the financial sector and government. The likes of Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson and Timothy Geithner get a free ride by comparison. And what about our foreign affairs? Anyone that has the temerity to address blowback regarding 9/11, Iran or the Arab world can expect a trashing, even though they are merely restating the view expressed by the 9/11 Commission and the CIA!
In discussing “Propaganda in a Democratic Society” in “Brave New World Revisited”, published in 1958, Aldous Huxley had it about right: “Propaganda in favor of action that is consonant with enlightened self-interest appeals to reason by means of logical arguments based upon the best available evidence fully and honestly set forth. Propaganda in favor of action dictated by the impulses that are below self-interest offers false, garbled or incomplete evidence, avoids logical argument and seeks to influence its victims by the mere repetition of catchwords, by the furious denunciation of foreign or domestic scapegoats, and by cunningly associating the lowest passions with the highest ideals, so that atrocities come to be perpetrated in the name of God and the most cynical kind of Realpolitik is treated as a matter of religious principle and patriotic duty.” This is a less sterile version of what I have previously posted relating to the Institute for Propaganda Analysis. But if you spend a few minutes listening to propagandists on the television, radio or internet you will quickly recognize the style.
The real tragedy in all this is that the propagandists are hiding the truth from the public, with dire long-term consequences. American foreign policy in the Middle East is a train wreck, our militaristic adventurism is harming our national security, the national security state is trashing the Bill of Rights, the war on drugs is an abject failure that is enriching organized crime, our healthcare system is delivering Albanian-style life expectancy (its true – see the CIA factbook, they rank 51st and we are 50th!), our manufacturing base has been trashed, energy policies are being set by base emotionalism, pay-to-play crony crapitalism is rampant and Fed policies will very likely lead to a de facto default by dollar debasement. But given how the media is owned and controlled in America, it is no surprise that it has devolved into its current condition.
I do hope that our propagandists are proud of their craft, after all it takes a lot of talent to do what they do and I am sure they are well rewarded. I know I would also have to be well medicated to do what they do, too. That said, I do rest a bit better knowing that I am very likely in the majority when it comes to distrusting the media and look forward to when “The Fourth Estate” returns to its proper role.