FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Free Press, But for Whom?

by WILLIAM HUGHES

Oswald Spengler in his mighty tome, “Decline of the West,” had some very prophetic things to say about the press. He wrote that the sentimentalist may beam with contentment about it being “constitutionally free,” but the realist will always ask, “At whose disposal is it?”

The wire pullers, he said, know how to use the media “as a weapon to be forged and used for blows” against their enemies. They realize that the “truth” for the great mass of the public is what it “continuously reads and hears” in their controlled outlets. Doesn’t this explain how if you ask school children who their heroes are, they will invariably answer by citing some air headed Hollywood celebrity, whose name and image appears repeatedly in the newspapers, magazines and on television?

“What the press wills, is true. Three weeks of press work, and the truth is acknowledged by everybody,” said Spengler. A prime example of this proposition is how President George Bush’s deeply flawed pro-Iraq War propaganda offensive, thanks to the complicity of the Establishment media, has completely overwhelmed the Congress, with only a handful of gutsy exceptions, like Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), Rep. Ron E. Paul (R-TX), Jim McDermott (D-WA) and David E. Bonior (D-MI).

Spengler argued further, that although much is made of free speech, what that really means is that the press is free to “take notice” of what any individual or group says, or not. “It can condemn,” he wrote, “any truth to death,” simply by not undertaking its communication to the world-“a terrible censorship of silence.” On this point, the right of the Palestinian people to self determination, free of Zionist Israel’s brutal domination, is a classic example. This “truth” has effectively been given a death sentence by the “censorship of silence” scheme.

Meanwhile, War Hawks daily push on the media front for the U.S. to bomb Iraq back to the Stone Age. They pretend, too, that it will all be in America’s interest, while never mentioning the interest of Zionist Israel. Some ideologues regularly depict Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians in the most dehumanizing of terms for their readers. On television and cable, the mud slinging is even worse than in the print media. Only, occasionally, is a dissenting voice permitted, e.g., on the Op Ed page of a newspaper. But even there, the deck is stacked against the truth fully revealing itself. Let me give you an example.

On Oct. 22, an article appeared in the Baltimore Sun, on the Op Ed Page, authored by one Irwin J. Mansdorf. He doesn’t live in Baltimore City. He lives in (triple gasp) Ra’Anana, Israel! Keep in mind, that it isn’t easy to get an Op Ed article published in a town with only one daily newspaper. Mansdorf isn’t known in America as author or essayist. In fact, he describes himself as a “psychologist.”

Now, if the author was Israel Shamir, one of Judaism’s greatest sons, a celebrated writer, intellectual and courageous wordsmith, my critique wouldn’t be necessary. Shamir, who resides in Jaffa Israel, has dared to sharply criticize Ariel “The Butcher” Sharon regime. He called it a “Jewish apartheid state, that deserves to disappear” (April 2, 2002, Media Monitors Network). An ex-Israeli paratrooper, he has championed a “one state solution” for Palestine/Israel. He referred to Palestine as a “living country,” and its people the Palestinians, as “her soul.” No wonder the Sun doesn’t publish Shamir’s essays. It would go against their “censorship of silence” gimmick.

Question: “What was so important about Mansdorf’s article, entitled, ‘Sniper Fits Profile of Terrorist,’ that warranted the Sun to publish it ?” Nothing, that I could see.

Mansdorf made the obvious point that the Beltway Sniper, who has now killed ten innocent victims in the D.C. area, was also “a terrorist.” Then, he tried to politicize the sniper’s killings by drawing a connection between him and the acts of terrors by al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, and the night club bombers in Bali. I think he failed miserably on the latter point. First, the Beltway Sniper is now demanding money before he stops his crime wave; secondly, he is probably just a loner/hater, like the wacky David “Son of Sam” Berkowtiz; and third, he more than likely has no political motives whatsoever. How does the sniper’s profile fit in with the agenda of the other groups he cited? It doesn’t. But, it did give the author an opportunity to draw sympathy for Israelis, who “have been shot by snipers,” which was probably the main reason the Sun published the piece.

Mansdorf said terrorism teaches that “alleged grievances can indeed be settled with violence.” He’s right, but he doesn’t mention any incidents close to his home that belong in that category. He failed to specify names and events, like Ariel Sharon, who on Oct. 14, 1953, commanded an army unit, that reportedly slaughtered 66 innocent civilians in the West Bank village of Qibya (EIR, Jeffrey Steinberg); Menachem Begin, later an Israeli Prime Minister, who helped plan the bombing of the King David Hotel, on July 22, 1946, in Jerusalem, that killed 91 British subjects and injured 46 others (“The Revolt” by Menachem Begin); and, Baruch Goldstein, who murdered 29 Muslim worshippers in a Hebron mosque, on Feb. 25, 1994 (Allan C. Brownfeld, WRMEA, March, 2000). These kind of horrific acts were perpetrated by Zionist zealots committed to what Mansdorf labeled “an ideology of terror.” Yet, he chose to leave all of them out of his article. I wonder why?

I’m afraid Mansdorf’s slanted Op Ed views, published by the Baltimore Sun, is yet another example of the “silence of censorship” phenomena. The learned Spengler was right to warn us about it and how the media can be used to subjugate, not liberate, us from the yoke of the cunning wire pullers.

WILLIAM HUGHES is the author of Baltimore Iconoclast. He can be reached at liamhughes@mindspring.com. (C) WILLIAM HUGHES 2002

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 31, 2016
NEVE GORDON - NICOLA PERUGINI
Human Shields as Preemptive Legal Defense for Killing Civilians
Jim Kavanagh
Turkey Invades Syria, America Spins The Bottle
Dave Lindorff
Ukraine and the Dumbed-Down New York Times Columnist
Pepe Escobar
Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, a Woman of Honor, Confronts Senate of Scoundrels
Jeff Mackler
Playing the Lesser Evil Game to the Hilt
Steve Horn
Dakota Access Pipeline Tribal Liaison Formerly Worked For Agency Issuing Permit
Patrick Cockburn
Has Turkey Overplayed Its Hand in Syria?
John Chuckman
Why Hillary is the Perfect Person to Secure Obama’s Legacy
Manuel E. Yepe
The New Cold War Between the US and China
Stephen Cooper
Ending California’s Machinery of Death
Stacy Keltner - Ashley McFarland
Women, Party Politics, and the Power of the Naked Body
Hiroyuki Hamada - Ikuko Isa
A Letter from Takae, Okinawa
Aidan O'Brien
How Did Syria and the Rest Do in the Olympics?
David Swanson
Arms Dealing Is Subject of Hollywood Comedy
Jesse Jackson
The Politics of Bigotry: Trump and the Black Voter
August 30, 2016
Russell Mokhiber
Matt Funiciello and the Giant Sucking Sound Coming Off Lake Champlain
Mike Whitney
Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?
Alice Bach
Sorrow and Grace in Palestine
Sam Husseini
Why We Should All Remain Seated: the Anti-Muslim Origins of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Richard Moser
Transformative Movement Culture and the Inside/Outside Strategy: Do We Want to Win the Argument or Build the Movement?
Nozomi Hayase
Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy
David Swanson
Fredric Jameson’s War Machine
Jan Oberg
How Did the West Survive a Much Stronger Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?
Linda Gunter
The Racism of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombings
Dmitry Kovalevich
In Ukraine: Independence From the People
Omar Kassem
Turkey Breaks Out in Jarablus as Fear and Loathing Grip Europe
George Wuerthner
A Birthday Gift to the National Parks: the Maine Woods National Monument
Logan Glitterbomb
Indigenous Property Rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline
National Lawyers Guild
Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against Dakota Access Pipeline
Paul Messersmith-Glavin
100 in Anarchist Years
August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail