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).

February 09, 2016
Andrew Levine
Hillary Says the Darndest Things
Paul Street
Kill King Capital
Ben Burgis
Lesser Evil Voting and Hillary Clinton’s War on the Poor
Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?
Fran Quigley
How Corporations Killed Medicine
Ted Rall
How Bernie Can Pay for His Agenda: Slash the Military
Kristin Kolb
The Greatest Bear Rainforest Agreement? A Love Affair, Deferred
Joseph Natoli
Politics and Techno-Consciousness
Hrishikesh Joshi
Selective Attention to Diversity: the Case of Cruz and Rubio
Stavros Mavroudeas
Why Syriza is Sinking in Greece
David Macaray
Attention Peyton Manning: Leave Football and Concentrate on Pizza
Arvin Paranjpe
Opening Your Heart
Kathleen Wallace
Boys, Hell, and the Politics of Vagina Voting
Brian Foley
Interview With a Bernie Broad: We Need to Start Focusing on Positions and Stop Relying on Sexism
February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail