Tuesday, April 22, 2008

When Corporate Media Were Imperial Shills, or: Now and Always

There are certain standards of good journalism we should all expect and demand from major news agencies and wire services. For example, when a news service injects color into a report, it should be the opinion of the person or group being covered in the report, and attribution to the source of that opinion should be made evident by some form of citation, as in the emphasized part of the following example:

Israeli opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu is a maniacal sociopath who not only profited off the Sept. 11 attacks but also played a part, current and former boyfriends said.


The Associated Press usually sticks to that principle, but every once in a while they throw in an editorial opinion, or speculation stated as fact; when they do, it reads like it came from a State Department or Pentagon script, as in the following introductory paragraph from an April 22 headline titled "Suicide car bomber kills 2 US marines in Iraq":

A bomb-rigged truck exploded at a checkpoint Tuesday near the western city of Ramadi, killing two U.S. Marines and wounding three others in an apparent strike by al-Qaida in Iraq in one of its former strongholds. [1]


First of all, there is overwhelming evidence that "al-Qaida" is simply a neocon concoction that doesn't even exist—at least certainly not in the capacity we're led to believe they do. [2]

But let's just assume that the fantastic "al-Qaida" does exist as advertised; here's my question for the editor: How is it "apparent" that it was carried out by "al-Qaida," when there are no quotations or paraphrases in the body of the report justifying the supposition? Sure, AP says that Ramadi was the former stomping grounds of "al-Qaida in Iraq"; but to assume it was the work of "al-Qaida," based on that U.S. government factoid, would still be speculation on the part of the AP editor. And when not accompanied by attribution to the source of the conjecture other than the editor's personal deduction, it becomes journalistic quackery.

Corporate disinfo agents rely on creative editing to deliver the government line with subtlety. In reality, their propaganda falls on unsuspecting and untrained eyes and ears like Israeli terrorists in the West Bank fall on an opportunity to get away with taking pop-shots with US-supplied M-16s at Palestinian children who were either throwing stones or just walking to school—like U.S. and Blackwater artillery and 2-ton bombs fall on Iraq and Afghanistan, razing mosques, hospitals, schools, neighborhoods, and priceless cultural treasures—and like possession of the loot thereafter falls so fluidly and discretely into the hands of the so-called civilized governments and corporations of the West.

The current example of unethical journalism by the world's most prolific and sought-after news agency is not an isolated occurrence: the empire's Ministry of Misinformation manipulates the truth as a matter of course and self-preservation. And it's too easy for them. Corporate media peddle government fraud more effectively and prolifically than ever, and they profit handsomely for it. Billions of us are plugged in to their "programming" every day, and billions of us buy the products and services solicited over their airwaves and in their newspapers and periodicals by their sponsors (who are usually their parent and sister corporations).

Their captivated viewers and readers are easily led to believe that every Iraqi casualty was either an "al-Qaida," a terrorist, an Iranian-sponsored insurgent, or a victim thereof. And it is never revealed how we know that those dead foreigners were what we said they were. They don't carry ID badges and they don't shout, "Al-Qaida rules!" or "Khamenei ownz!" before they're killed, so how do we know their group or foreign state affiliation, if any?

And in the world of imperial corporate media, there are no such things as the Iraqi resistance (to the U.S. occupation), resistance fighters, or even a U.S. occupation; even if there are, the labels are made to appear too mild or otherwise inappropriate by a flurry of inflammatory quotes from "official sources," or by immediately shifting the focus onto some negative act committed last week or even decades ago by the anti-occupation actors.

How convenient for the war profiteers that they never have to account for their crimes. Thanks to corporate media "coverage," only we the occupiers liberators are defending ourselves; everyone else commits terrorism and encroaches on our Divine Right to violently frolic in their backyard. That's the sick and backward mentality being plugged into the consciousness of captivated audiences the world over by mainstream media and think-tanks.

Ari Fleischer, Lead Spokesperson for Freedoms [sic] WatchState-sponsored organized crime would not be possible without the support of disinfo cartels, like News Corp and AP—without agitprop labs, like The Israel Project, the American-Turkish Council (ATC), the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)—without the "intellectual holdings" of the empire, like Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Center for Security Policy, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Freedoms Watch, and Project for a New American Century (PNAC)—without the regime-change engineers and future junta staffers, like the National Council of the Resistance of Iran (NCRI)—and without the politicians on the payrolls of such entities.

We have to fight back. We have to pull the plug on their life-support mechanisms. It's urgent that we expose and correct the dangerous disinfo everywhere it surfaces; state-worshiping media certainly won't do it for us. Writing letters-to-the-editor and op-eds can be effective in getting the truth out to fellow readers, but they rarely if ever make an impact on the way editors report the news. I, personally, have sent dozens if not hundreds of correction requests backed up with mainstream sources, but to no avail: those editors and CEOs usually discard my supplications or just make minor, almost undetectable alterations. Online petitions and the like are usually powerless, no matter how many signatures are collected. People who want to fight back against the fraud need to stop doing business with as many corporate and private sponsors of the offending media and state propaganda mills as possible. Stop buying their products and services.

Granted, due to the almost indomitable influence, power, and presence enjoyed by the Ministry in all political, economic, social, and religious areas, boycotts have been basically ineffective thus far; but they can work if enough people and organizations are made aware of the Mafia's hideous criminality and, in turn, make others aware of it. Start a personal blog and repost other people's media exposés and the like. Become a contributor to open-invitation blogs, newsletters, and truth-digging forums, like Nolan Chart, OpEdNews, WUFYS, and Anti-Neocons. Those sites allow you to post your own articles or blog entries in an editorial capacity with minimal oversight; while sites like ThePeoplesVoice, DissidentVoice, WhatReallyHappened, et al., allow you to submit content which is then evaluated by the site owners and editors who then decide whether your essay (or already-published article from another author) will be published.

Become a member of a free message board community where the majority of posters may not share your view of reality. These forums allow you to get the word out to a wide array of readers from all political persuasions, and allow you to not only post your material but also debate the issues with those who disagree. It's a great opportunity to publicly debunk the state-corporate frauds in real time. The best message boards are the ones that don't rely on corporate advertising to stay afloat; one such site is MyWay.com's Sound Off. Excite.com's message boards are almost identical to the ones at MyWay, only with banner ads and such—a minor nuisance.

Make all your friends and family members—especially those who still fall for the government-media fraud—aware of such invaluable sources of political information and interaction.

Avoid watching CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, or their affiliated networks. The History Channel is a huge fraud that peddles pro-empire propaganda 24/7. Even National Public Radio (NPR) has morphed into a mouthpiece for the warfare-welfare state and the Pentagon. [3] The Real News Network, LinkTV Mosaic, and Democracy Now! are among the best sources for multimedia news.

And if you must read an article from the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, or other Ministry source, don't click on the link that will take you to the original media source of the article: search Google for an independent site that reposted the article. But if you can not avoid entering a Ministry website, leave the site as soon as possible, taking with you the body of the article on your clipboard, and avoid clicking on their advertisements or activating their video players. If a comments section is available, then post a brief but well-sourced rebuttal there; but spend as little time as possible at those sites. And if you repost excerpts of the corporate media-published article for the sake of exposing the fraud, then do what I will be doing from now on: don't give the fraudsters the courtesy of an activated link back to their site.

At the same time, we should reward ethical journalism and conscientious analysis with full attribution using active hyperlinks. Respect their copyright reservations. Lightly shower the messengers with praise and let them know they are doing an invaluable service to their readers and viewers.

If we do these these things, and encourage others to do the same, then I believe we have a fighting chance to take our Republic back from the tyrannical empire and its snake oil salesmen.

Final scene of 'The Truman Show'—a man discovers the reality beyond his secretly-scripted life


[1] apnews[dot]myway[dot]com/article/20080422/D90754300[dot]html
[2] http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/fakealqaeda.html &
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/goldstein.html &
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/182524/718588
[3] http://www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts196.html &
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18353.htm &
http://www.counterpunch.org/solomon03272008.html

2 comments:

  1. Hey DT.

    I just dropped by to leave you a link to this New York Times article, since you've been writing about the media of late. It's noteworthy in that it comes from a mainstream outlet, which makes it a good reference. It reminds me of Carl Cameron's four-part report on Israeli spying, one of those mainstream rarities.

    Hope you're well, man.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, thanks a lot. Likewise.

    That really is a good one. Too rare indeed, but hopefully not too late.

    Keep the fight up.

    ReplyDelete