Thursday, March 24, 2011
"Managed news, in fact, jeopardizes free and open societies by substituting fiction for facts, carefully filtered reports for truth, and cheerleading propaganda for real journalism."
Whoever first said it, the first casualty of war is truth, and then some as John Pilger once observed saying:
“Journalism is the first casualty. Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship (and willful misreporting) that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries….”
Managed news, in fact, jeopardizes free and open societies by substituting fiction for facts, carefully filtered reports for truth, and cheerleading propaganda for real journalism. As a result, wars of aggression are called liberating ones. Civil liberties are suppressed for our own good, and patriotism means going along with lawless governments, reigning death and destruction on defenseless nations for imperial, not noble, reasons.
Media support backs them, notably in America where dominant electronic and print reporting marches in lockstep with government policy, right or wrong.
As a result, dominant information sources (the major media) are in crisis as leading media scholar/critic/activist Robert McChesney once observed, saying:
“Going to war is arguably the single most important decision any society can make. The track record of the US news media in the twentieth century is that they often went along with fraudulent efforts to get the nation into one war or another” from WW I to today.
Each time with no exceptions, “administration(s) in power believed that (truth wouldn’t enlist) support (for) war. So they lied. The Pentagon Papers (exposed it about Southeast Asia) in shocking detail.”
Post-9/11 through Obama’s war on Libya, “the very debate over whether to go to war” is absent. Obama decides. The media salute, and public opinion is manipulated to say amen. Never discussed are justifiable reasons, choosing diplomacy over militarism, America acting as judge, jury and executioner, and cui bono fruits of war. Without them, they’d be none.
Said another way, absent the power and profit benefits, who’d wage them, especially capitalist America, generously enriching war profiteers that fund politicians for bottom line friendly policies.
As a result, government is unaccountable to the electorate. Democracy is the best money can buy, and wars are always imperial, not liberating ones, especially ones America wages.
Today, round the clock media coverage supports them. Long before television, media critic AJ Liebling said, “People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news.” Today it’s mostly TV, the dominant managed news source, supporting power, not truth, functioning as a propaganda system for elitist interests, especially on matters of war and peace.
A March 21 New York Times editorial headlined, “At War in Libya” highlights it, saying:
“Col Muammar el-Qaddafi has long been a thug and a murderer who has never paid for his many crimes, including the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.” Thug and murderer, yes. Downing Pan Am Flight 103 proved false. He had nothing to do with it, clear evidence The Times suppresses to willfully lie to readers...