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The US Media and Propaganda

Are the American corporate media largely propaganda organs, or news organizations?

Here are a few points to consider, and then you the reader can decide. Check out how one should objectively answer these questions below, and then check how the US corporate media generally answer them:

1. If ISIS or Al Qaeda deliberately attacks a civilian venue as in Paris, killing dozens of civilians indescriminately, is it terrorism?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: Yes

2. If the US deliberately attacks a a civilian venue as in the case of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing dozens of civilians indescriminately, is it terrorism?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: No

3. If the Chinese government takes control of a tiny island claimed by another nation, expands it, and puts a military installation on it, is it an example of aggression, a violation of international law, and a provocation?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: Yes

4. If the US government takes control and then refuses to relinquish a portion of a tiny
island owned by another country, in this instance Cuba, expands it and puts a military installation on it (as it has done now for decades in the case of Guantanamo Bay on the island of Cuba, is it an example of aggression, a violaton of international law and a provocation?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: No

5. If the leader of a party that wins a national election by a landslide is not herself elected, but announces that she will in fact be making all the important decisions for the newly elected government, as Suu Ky just announced she will do in Myanmar, is it an example of undemocratic behavior, or caudillismo?

Objective answer: Yes
US Media answer: No

6. If the leader of a party steps down as president but then continues behind the scenes to act as the real authority on important issues even though someone else (his brother) was elected president, as Fidel Castro has done in Cuba, is this an example of undemocratic behavior and a kind of caudillismo?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: Yes

7. If a foreign country places missiles pointed at another nation on the territory of a country adjacent to the target country, as the USSR once did in Cuba with respect to the US, is that a threat to the target country?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: Yes

8. If the US places missiles in Poland and points them at Russia, as the US has done, or puts nuclear weapons in Germany also targeting Russia, as the US also does, is this a threat to Russia?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: No

9. If Iran provides military assistance to insurrectionists in a neighboring country like Yemen and those armed fighters, the Houthis, successfully drive an autocrat from power, is that subversion?:

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: Yes

10: If the US provides funds to organizations inside another country, which then
organize protests, marches and bloody assaults, and ultimately drive the elected
government out of office, as the US did in Ukraine, is that subversion?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: No

11. If Iran, a signatory of the International Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, seeks to develop the capability to refine uranium-235 which could someday be used to make a nuclear bomb, but agrees to international supervision and inspections, is that a grave threat to regional stability in the Middle East and to world peace?

Objective answer: No, since there is already a powerful nuclear nation in the
Middle East with the capability of totally obliterating Iran — namely Israel.
Media answer: Yes

12: If Israel, which has never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which refuses to allow
inspections of its nuclear facilities, and which is known to have hundreds of nuclear
weapons as well as the planes and missiles to deliver them anywhere, is that a
grave threat to regional stability in the Middle East and to world peace?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: No

13: If a person discloses discloses, for money, to a foreign power, the inner workings of
the National Security Agency’s signal intercept system, as well as the identities of
hundreds of US undercover intelligence operatives, as just-paroled Israeli spy
Jonathan Pollard did, is he an enemy of the US?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: No

14. If a person discloses, as an act of principle and as a whistleblower, for no compensation, the illegal and unconstitutional spying activites against American citizens of the National Security Agency, as exiled and stateless whistleblower Edward Snowden did, is he an enemy of the US who should face his punishment?

Objective answer: No
US media answer: Yes

15. If pro-ISIS terrorists in Paris are said to have fired kill shots into the heads of
wounded victims of their terror attacks, is that an example of barbarism and a crime
worthy of world-wide condemnation?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: Yes

16: If videos show Israeli Defense Forces firing kill shots into the head of a wounded
Palestinian lying on the street, is that an example of barbarism and a war crime
worthy of world-wide condemnation?

Objective answer: Yes
US media answer: No. (It’s not even worth reporting on)

Clearly one could go on and on with this kind of a list, but the evidence should be obvious and incontrovertible that the mainstream corporate media are working essentially in lockstep supporting US foreign policy in ways that involve presenting the world to the US public in a very warped pro-government manner.

Why this is happening, when these news organizations are, for the most part, not directly funded or controlled by the government as they are in countries where we expect the media to be propaganda arms is a complicated story, long ago explained clearly by experts like Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman.

But whether one reads such analyses or not, the reality should be clear to anyone who pays attention: the US media, particularly when it comes to foreign affairs, but also when it comes to matters like intelligence and domestic spying, cannot be trusted to present the truth, or anything approaching the truth.

I would point out here that solid evidence of this willful disregard for the truth and for truthtelling on the part of the corporate media can be found by looking at just the stories that have been broken here in our own small and virtually penniless news organization, ThisCantBeHappening!. Over the past four years, we have exposed:

* The CIA’s role in orchestrating terrorist sectarian mayhem in Pakistan

* The central role of US law enforcement and intel agencies in coordinating the bloody crushing of the Occupy Movement in cities across the US

* The advance knowledge, and utter lack of concern or action by the FBI regarding a documented plot in Houston by some known but unidentified group or organization to assassinate leaders of that city’s Occupy movement using “suppressed sniper rifle fire.” (The Houston FBI sent memos about this plot to other FBI regional bureaus and to central FBI headquarters but never acted to prevent it and never made any arrests of those involved in the plot.)

* The Obama administration’s deliberate deep-sixing of hard forensic evidence by Turkish coroners showing that Israeli Defense Force members had brutally executed Furkan Dogan [5], a 19-year-old American kid aboard the Gaza Peace Flotilla’s flagship, the Mavi Marmara, and then did nothing to demand punishment for the killers

* The murder, by an FBI agent, of a young Chechen immigrant, Ibragim Todashev, in Florida who was being interrogated by the agent and a Boston cop in his own apartment. (Todashev may have had evidence that the FBI had been working with the Tsarnaev brothers before the Boston Marathon bombing.) Three part series: Dark Questions, Part I, Dark Questions, Part II, Dark Questions, Part III

These and other stories which we reported and published, and which were picked up widely in the alternative media, were never even mentioned by the US corporate media. Nor are most other important breaking news stories reported by other alternative media given any notice in the corporate press. Such information is thus kept largely away from the broader US population which gets its information entirely from mainstream corporate sources.

More articles by:

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).

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