FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

America’s Media Leads the Charge

by MIKE WHITNEY

“The blood-dimmed tide is loosed,
And everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned”

W.B.Yeats

The American media is the principal facilitator of aggression in the world today. No administration would be so reckless as to start a war without its tacit endorsement, and that endorsement can be anticipated with mathematical predictability.

Many believe that this is the “Great Lesson” of Viet Nam, that we should never support hostilities without the implicit backing of the “free press”. This judgment does not take into consideration the criminality of killing 3 million Vietnamese (17% of the population) in their own country during a civil war that established the principle of self determination.

The brutal deaths of people in the third world and the subsequent destruction of their environment never factor into the calculus of whether a war is worth fighting. That is just liberal sentimentality.

The real reasons are much more transparent, relating to basic themes of ideology, domination and plunder. That hasn’t changed.

Achieving these goals is no small challenge, but without the collaborative efforts of the media it’s virtually impossible. Their role is just as indispensable as the extraordinary weaponry that is designed to grind enemies into dust.

Many people have some idea of how the media dragooned the American people into the Iraq War. They may know of the calculated disinformation being cooked up in the offices of New York Times or propagated in the Pentagon wing of the Associated Press. They may even know something of how polls were manipulated to obfuscate the fact that one week before the war, 65% of the American people wanted to allow the weapons inspectors more time to continue their job, or that 70% were against intervention without the backing of the UN.

These are tough facts to “bury,” but the media performed brilliantly, transforming a healthy resistance to murder into a “groundswell of support” for all out war.

There’s really no chance that the “mistakes” of the Viet Nam era will be repeated, the centrist voices of reason have been culled out and replaced with the high pitched baying of right wing fanatics. And, in the trenches, where it counts the most, the information gathering team has been successfully schooled in the language that reflects the accepted values of the people at the top. Therefore, when you have a brutal (unelected) dictator like Musharraf in Pakistan, or a human rights abuser like Karimov in Uzbekistan, they are depicted in flowing prose as “our friends in the war on Terror”. Whereas, the democratically elected leaders who have “fallen from grace” with Washington (because they won’t ascribe to an economic regimen that surrenders all tangible assets to transnational corporations) get a predictable drubbing by America’s reporters.

This is how one succeeds in American media, by accepting the language of the “masters” and twisting the news to fit their sordid world view. After all, we may have to go into Venezuela or Iran, so we need to know that the ground work has already been done, that the “right people” have already been demonized.

It’s really not fair to dignify the reporting in America’s papers of record as “journalism”, most of that appears to happening by serious writers “eking by” outside the mainstream. The world of conventional journalism has deteriorated into a “knocking shop” for writers who don’t mind slipping into “the spiked heels and fishnets” for a fat check at the end of each month.

They are every bit as responsible for the bloodletting in Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti as anyone sitting in the Pentagon War Room.

 

More articles by:

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Weekend Edition
February 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Richard D. Wolff
Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story
Paul Street
Where’s the Beef Stroganoff? Eight Sacrilegious Reflections on Russiagate
Jeffrey St. Clair
They Came, They Saw, They Tweeted
Andrew Levine
Their Meddlers and Ours
Charles Pierson
Nuclear Nonproliferation, American Style
Joseph Essertier
Why Japan’s Ultranationalists Hate the Olympic Truce
W. T. Whitney
US and Allies Look to Military Intervention in Venezuela
John Laforge
Maybe All Threats of Mass Destruction are “Mentally Deranged”
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning
David Rosen
For Some Reason, Being White Still Matters
Robert Fantina
Nikki Haley: the U.S. Embarrassment at the United Nations
Joyce Nelson
Why Mueller’s Indictments Are Hugely Important
Joshua Frank
Pearl Jam, Will You Help Stop Sen. Tester From Destroying Montana’s Public Lands?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Attack on Historical Perspective
Conn Hallinan
Immigration and the Italian Elections
George Ochenski
The Great Danger of Anthropocentricity
Pete Dolack
China Can’t Save Capitalism from Environmental Destruction
Joseph Natoli
Broken Lives
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Did Russia Vote For Trump?
Geoff Dutton
One Regime to Rule Them All
Torkil Lauesen – Gabriel Kuhn
Radical Theory and Academia: a Thorny Relationship
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Work of Persuasion
Thomas Klikauer
Umberto Eco and Germany’s New Fascism
George Burchett
La Folie Des Grandeurs
Howard Lisnoff
Minister of War
Eileen Appelbaum
Why Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Ramzy Baroud
More Than a Fight over Couscous: Why the Palestinian Narrative Must Be Embraced
Jill Richardson
Mass Shootings Shouldn’t Be the Only Time We Talk About Mental Illness
Jessicah Pierre
Racism is Killing African American Mothers
Steve Horn
Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests
David Griscom
When ‘Fake News’ is Good For Business
Barton Kunstler
Brainwashed Nation
Griffin Bird
I’m an Eagle Scout and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness
Edward Curtin
The Coming Wars to End All Wars
Missy Comley Beattie
Message To New Activists
Jonah Raskin
Literary Hubbub in Sonoma: Novel about Mrs. Jack London Roils the Faithful
Binoy Kampmark
Frontiersman of the Internet: John Perry Barlow
Chelli Stanley
The Mirrors of Palestine
James McEnteer
How Brexit Won World War Two
Ralph Nader
Absorbing the Irresistible Consumer Reports Magazine
Cesar Chelala
A Word I Shouldn’t Use
Louis Proyect
Marx at the Movies
Osha Neumann
A White Guy Watches “The Black Panther”
Stephen Cooper
Rebel Talk with Nattali Rize: the Interview
David Yearsley
Market Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail