The Corporate Media And The ‘Resistance’ to Peace
Above: The media and pro-war propaganda from Black Agenda Report.
Note: The inadequate and biased coverage of the corporate media in its coverage of Venezuela in general and the Embassy Protection Collective specifically demonstrated how the media is complicit in the militaristic policy of the US government. People need to question the coverage of outlets like the New York Times Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC, among others when it comes to covering US foreign policy as too often they report the opposite of the truth.
More on media coverage:
The “Resistance” to peace being waged by the capitalist class and the corporate media is the greatest threat faced by humanity today.
“The corporate media has shaped the consciousness and behavior of the masses with clear directives from the U.S. military apparatus.”
For the lords of capital, the Trump administration is insufficiently hawkish. Trump can send an aircraft carrier strike force to the Persian Gulf to intimidate Iran amid the ongoing evisceration of the Iran nuclear deal. He can attempt a coup and impose crippling sanctions on the democratically elected government of Venezuela and intensify sanctions against Venezuela’s strongest ally, Cuba. Yet none of this satisfies the thirst for the carnage that resides in the “Deep State” and the military industrial complex. Peace is the primary threat to the U.S. empire’s profit-driven objectives. Under Trump, the ruling class believes that there is too much of it.
Some on the left may interpret this analysis as a “pro-Trump” position that labels the billionaire real estate magnate a champion of peace. Such political immaturity has led us into dangerous territory. The corporate media has fixated the eyes of millions of Americans on the big orange menace to boost ratings and create an endless “pied piper” from which to place a blinder on the bipartisan consensus on war and austerity. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow recently called National Security Advisor John Bolton a “human being” who thought he was coming in to work to overthrow the Venezuelan government before Russia intervened to stop Trump. The New York Times followed Maddow’s lead by calling Trump out on his policies toward Iran, Venezuela, and the DPRK. Trump has supposedly been “challenged” by these sworn enemies of the U.S. and has been unable to muster a coherent militarist response to their resistance to U.S. domination.
“The New York Times is the mouthpiece of the War Party.”
The corporate media is an integral part of the War Party, which is led by the Democratic Party and many of its former neocon adversaries. The New York Times is the mouthpiece of the War Party. It pollutes the minds of its readers yet brands itself as an objective and credible source of journalism. David Sanger and Edward Wong’s article is filled with coded messages to the Trump administration that its inability to wage war correctly against the DPRK, Venezuela, and Iran is an embarrassment to the war apparatus. Sanger and Wong lament that “Mr. Trump’s problems with all three countries reveal a common pattern: taking an aggressive, maximalist position without a clear plan to carry it through, followed by a fundamental lack of consensus in the administration about whether the United States should be more interventionist or less.”
The New York Times prefers that “maximalist” positions are carried through to their logical conclusion. That conclusion is the destabilization of the DPRK, Iran, and Venezuela. The New York Times prefers regime change over all else and wants to rid the planet of any sovereign nation that refuses to give up its self-determination and respect for international law. Sanger and Wong believe that the U.S. is international law. Trump defies U.S. global supremacy because he fails to provide “real world solutions” toward the goal of destroying Iran, Venezuela, and the DPRK. Indeed, as the corporate tools of empire point out, the DPRK is launching ballistic missiles, Iran is once again a “potential” threat to develop a nuclear weapon, and Venezuela is still governed by Nicolas Maduro. The New York Times points out these “failures” not to urge Trump to advocate for peace but rather to urge him to wage war more effectively.
“The New York Times prefers regime change over all else and wants to rid the planet of any sovereign nation that refuses to give up its self-determination.”
Malcolm X warned that the media conditions us to hate the oppressed and love those doing the oppressing. The reality of present-day U.S. imperialism is in fact much worse than Malcolm’s historic warning. It isn’t just that corporate media such as The New York Times demonize the people of Venezuela, Iran, and the DPRK while valorizing U.S. objectives around the world. We aren’t merely being told to love the oppressor. The corporate media has shaped the consciousness and behavior of the masses with clear directives from the U.S. military apparatus.
This has been an enduring theme of the Trump administration. Sanger and Wong cite former officials such as Jeffery Prescott, a proud member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former adviser to Obama’s national security team, to argue that Trump is indeed less effective than Obama when it comes to war. Prescott is a think-tank mogul who has made a career championing the precise means from which the U.S. should assert global dominance. Think-tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations are concerned that Trump’s empty threats weaken the U.S.’ standing in the world, anger European allies, and lead to the administration being forced into temporary détentes with “rogue” nations such as the DPRK.
“The corporate media was quite pleased with Trump, however, when his administration lobbed bombs on Syria two years in a row.”
Indeed, Prescott and military think-tankers like him have enormous influence over the corporate media. When Trump decided to hold a summit with Kim Jong-Un in 2018, the Democrat-affiliated corporate media became enraged that the U.S. was ceding ground to a “dictatorship.” Trump’s policy of troop removal from Afghanistan and Syria earlier this year garnered similar hostility from the corporate media. The corporate media was quite pleased with Trump, however, when his administration lobbed bombs on Syria two years in a row. In these cases, Trump was “presidential” and the weapons he deployed were “beautiful” in the eyes of so-called corporate journalists and their owners in the military industrial complex. The think-tanks make no fuss in the media so long as bombs are raining down on humanity.
The corporate media has become so entangled with the aims of the U.S. warfare state that the right-wing Fox News has become more credible on U.S. foreign policy than MSNBCor CNN. Tucker Carlson has brought on left journalists such as Anya Parampil for honest discussions about U.S. meddling in Venezuela. Rachel Maddow, on the other hand continues to promote the conspiracy of Russiagate even in the aftermath of the Mueller report’s findings of no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Neither MSNBCnor CNNwill bring on journalists such as Anya Parampil, Aaron Mate, or Stephen Cohen to tell the truth about U.S. imperial policy. NBC’s William Arkin resigned from the corporate outlet earlier in 2019 out of disgust the corporation’s lust for war. In his resignation letter, Arkin wrote :
“We shouldn‘t get out of Syria? We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don’t even get me stated with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?”
“In this period of U.S. imperial decline, the corporate media is nothing but an instrument of ideological conversion and discipline.”
Arkin’s resignation is a clear indication that the corporate media is not interested in journalism. Journalists do not saddle themselves to power, they question it. Journalists do not seek favors from the rulers of society. They seek the truth and disseminate it regardless of the consequences. In this period of U.S. imperial decline, the corporate media is nothing but an instrument of ideological conversion and discipline. That is why Julian Assange and Mumia Abu-Jamal remain locked in prison and why Rachel Maddow and Wolf Blitzer continue to collect millions of dollars per year spreading lies and conspiracies.
The corporate media is a leading force in the “Resistance” to peace being waged by the U.S. imperial albatross. Major corporate networks read line for line from the “Deep State” playbook and cloak the drive to war in American exceptionalist garb. The playbook says that the overthrow of Venezuela is a “humanitarian” concern and that Trump is weak for aligning himself with “strongmen” like Putin or Kim Jung-Un. It further asserts that the U.S. is the “democratic” civilizer of backwards people and the only nation capable of soothing the predations of the White Man’s Burden. The suffering of oppressed peoples abroad at the hands of U.S. empire is thus promoted as a morally superior venture. Trump has been a failure in this regard in large part because American exceptionalism, whose ideological foundation is the White Man’s Burden, is rapidly losing legitimacy in the presence of mass misery.
Black households have a median income of 40,000 USD and a median net worth of 1,700 USD . Eighty percent of all households in the U.S. lives paycheck to paycheck. U.S. consumer debt is 13.5 trillion USD. The U.S. military budget is 750 billion USD. The corporate media showers the U.S. military with praise while completely ignoring the needs of the masses. It is no wonder that Joe Biden is the corporate media’s favorite for the 2020 election. Not only is he a war hawk, but Biden also maintains a close relationship with Comcast executives. The corporate media trusts that the former vice president won’t challenge the health insurance monopolies, military contractors, or the banks. Trump’s volatility and unpredictability, while profitable for the corporate media and in no way a threat to the interests of the banks, certainly impedes the maintenance of an Empire of exceptionalism.
“Major corporate networks read line for line from the ‘Deep State’ playbook and cloak the drive to war in American exceptionalist garb.”
Corporate outlets defend the supposedly exceptional character of the U.S. imperial nation-state at the expense of Black Americans and working-class people the world over. The “Resistance” to peace being waged by the capitalist class and the corporate media is the greatest threat faced by humanity today. The main objective of the “Resistance” is to create the conditions for dangerous and potentially nuclear wars with Russia and China. Forget about universal healthcare, community control of the police, or a living wage. What matters is the bottom line, which the corporate media believes will be best served by waging a “resistance” movement that pushes Trump to wage war correctly and for Biden or some other more palatable candidate to take his place. Only then can true Americans,or those who believe it is their God-given right to spill blood in the name of war and austerity, spread their exceptionally destructive way of life around the world free from pesky “Russians,” the new euphemism for anyone who dares to utter the idea of peace.
Danny Haiphong is an activist and journalist in the New York City area. He and Roberto Sirvent are co-authors of the book entitled American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News — From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror (Skyhorse Publishing ). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @SpiritofHo.