FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

All the News That’s Fit to Fake

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

Okay, so we know now that the Bush administration has been using all kinds of devious means to push propaganda on the American public-fake news generated by the Pentagon for overseas, and ultimately, courtesy of blowback, U.S. consumption, fake news reports by fake reporters peddled to local TV stations, bought reporters and syndicated columnists paid to shill for the administration’s policies, and even fake reporters salted into the White House press corps to ask puffball questions if the president or press secretary start getting too much heat.

But why is this all happening?

Sure the administration should take some of the blame for this Soviet-style manipulation of public opinion.

But what about the press itself?

This column already made the point that if the White House press corps were doing its job and asking tough, probing questions, James Guckert, aka Jeff Gannon, would have stood out like a stallion with a hard-on…er, excuse me…a sore thumb.

But what about the “Karen and Mike Show,” those fake “news reports” by fake reporters which were sent directly to local TV stations across the country by the DEA and the Department of Health and Human Services, where they were often aired without question as local reports on administration activities. Do local news shows have so little concern about the content of their programs that they would just run a report by a reporter they don’t even know without fact-checking it and checking on the credentials of the reporter? Of course not! They had to know that the reports they were broadcasting were from government agencies and were nothing but blatant propaganda. This is the video equivalent of publishing press releases verbatim.

And what newspaper would do that?

Oops! Lots of newspapers do that-and not just government press releases. They publish corporate press releases verbatim, too. Just scan the business pages of the New York Times.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the American media weren’t so sanctimonious about itself. Look at how the talking heads of journalism and the big names in news management came down on CBS for its failure to fully check out those internal memos from Bush’s AWOL National Guard days. We still don’t even know for certain that those documents were faked-they may well have been real-and moreover, there’s good reason to believe that they were at worst just recreations of what actually had been written about the president’s sorry record of service in the Guard. And yet “60 Minutes,” under withering criticism by the rest of the media for its failure to do due diligence, ended up firing or asking for the resignation of several senior staffers.

So where are the mass resignations of editors of the news outlets that ran the reports by “Karen Ryan” and “Mike Morris,” or whoever they are, the journalistic poseurs from the Bush administration who fobbed off their television reports on the public? I haven’t heard of a single firing or resignation.

Then, of course, there’s Fox TV, which hasn’t met a government press or calculated leak that it didn’t believe and rush onto the air, unworried about its veracity. Nobody’s resigning in disgrace from Fox. Why bother-the whole operation is a running disgrace. And CNN isn’t much better either.

The real culprit in this massive propaganda scam, though, has to be the public, which seems to take little interest in actively evaluating the news it is being spoon-fed. Unlike the people of the former Soviet Union, or the people of China, who developed a completely cynical view of the media in those two nations, and who long ago learned how to weed out the occasional truth from between the lines of lies and misrepresentations, the American public is almost completely passive and gullible, accepting the garbage that passes for news each day as the gospel truth.

At least the Soviet Union had its samizdat press, and China has its xiaodau xiaoxi (grapevine).

How do average, ordinary Americans get the truth?

Do we even want to hear it?

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
Joshua Frank
Richard Holbrooke and the Obama Doctrine
Margaret Kimberley
Liberal Hate for the Green Party
John Davis
Lost Peoples of the Lake
Alex Richardson-Price
The Fight for a Six Hour Workday
John Wight
Why Palestine Matters, Even on the Pitch
Brian Cloughley
Hillary Clinton’s War Policy
Patrick Cockburn
A Battle to the Death in Syria
David Rosen
The Great Fear: Miscegenation, Race “Pollution” and the 2016 Election
Ben Debney
Worthy and Unworthy Victims of Child Abuse
David Barouh
Liberal Myths: Would Al Gore Have Invaded Iraq?
Graham Peebles
Democratic Revolution Sweeps Ethiopia
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
How Parasitic Finance Capital Has Turned Iran’s Economy Into a Case of Casino Capitalism
David Swanson
The Unbearable Awesomeness of the U.S. Military
Robert Fantina
The Olympics: Nationalism at its Worst
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail