The US Media And Propaganda

| Educate!

Above Photo: From Counterpunch.org.

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 IDark Questions, Part IIDark 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.

  • AlanMacDonald

    Dave, it is NOT “The U.S. Media and Propaganda”, but rather more accurately should be called by its correct name, the “Media/propaganda-sector of the Disguised Global Crony-Capitalist EMPIRE” (only HQed in, and merely ‘posing’ as, our former country).

    It’s critically important to provide accurate reporting to the immensely deluded population of ‘subjects’ living in this EMPIRE, which disguises itself as the country previously known as America.

    In this regard the media/propaganda-sector of the Empire continues to ‘frame’, mis-characterize, and further delude the ‘subjects’ who painfully reside in this former country, that they should think of themselves as ‘American citizens’, which they are clearly NOT (since they have no political representation over what the EMPIRE decides to do), and the media/propaganda-sector of this EMPIRE is also essential in deluding ‘the masses of people’ that they should think of themselves as “patriotic citizens” of America, even while the supposedly ‘we the people’ are further oppressed and tyranized as ‘they the subjects’ of this highly integrated (but well hidden) six-sectored EMPIRE which includes the; corporate, financial, militarist, media/propaganda, extra-legal, and dual-party Vichy-political facade of both the neo-con ‘R’ Vichy party raging idiots, and the smoother lying neoliberal-con-con ‘D’ Vichy party deceitful turncoats of the EMPIRE.

    Any and ALL reporting and analysis by the ‘leftish’, progressive-lite, and supposedly alt media that further ENABLES the EMPIRE by addressing deadly serious ‘issues’ and ‘symptom problems’ of the EMPIRE as being only faults or oversights of; the U.S., America, Wasington, or “our country” is only providing ‘aid, comfort, and cover’ to the actual Disguised Global Crony-Capitalist EMPIRE —- which desperately needs the unintended aid of such ‘leftish’, progressive-lite, and supposedly alt media “useful idiots” to help the underLYING EMPIRE continue fooling, deceiving, and quietly enslaving the uninformed and deluded ‘subjects’ of the EMPIRE.

    IE. Dave, you are not helping the ‘subjects’ of this Empire, but palpably hurting people by using such inaccurate language as calling it “The U.S. Media and Propaganda” rather than the EMPIRE’s media/propaganda-sector!

    Please consider joining the Second (and non-violent) American peoples’ Revolution against EMPIRE, or if you can’t, at least consider not writing anything more that will further help the EMPIRE.

    Thanks greatly,
    Alan MacDonald

  • mwildfire

    This is critically important; it’s why I say the military-industrial complex has metastasized into the corporate-government-media complex. Each wing protects the others–the complicity of the corporate media is absolutely critical to keeping the populace domesticated. Since they are themselves huge corporations, with lots of investment in the arms trade and the “security” (domestic repression) trade now burgeoning and merging with the military, this is not a big reach. This article focused on foreign policy atrocities but there are others that the media ignores. I found it interesting that the phrase “American exceptionalism” was never used here–a notion that had to be invented to justify all the hypocrisy, a notion I find it hard to argue against because it’s absurd on its fac e–there’s nothing legitimate in it to get hold of to argue.

  • mwildfire

    Alan–it’s YOU who are not helping, when you insist that everyone is the enemy who doesn’t choose to use precisely your preferred wording to describe the problem. You are obsessive. Yes, it is an empire, and it does oppress its own subjects (at least the vast majority) but why is it wrong to say “the U.S. media and propaganda” rather than “the EMPIRE’s media/propaganda sector”? Because the word “empire” is not used? Must it be used at least once in every sentence about what’s gone wrong in the USA? Does it have to be capitalized? Does the font matter?

  • il corvo

    Hypocrisy, Doublethink, Propaganda, Incoherence, and Lying. The hallmark of the News/Entertainment Industry which is the Fourth Estate. The Fourth Estates credo: Repeat a lie over and over again and it soon becomes the truth.

  • AlanMacDonald

    Yes, wildfire, it most certainly does matter.

    Let my layout the simplest Basic Program, (or at least subroutine) for you.

    IF there were more that 1/2 of 1% of supposedly progressive people here on Popular Resistance, on Common Dreams, on Truthdig, on Truthout, on Antiwar.com, on TomDispatch, on opEdNews, or on any of the other most selective progressive sites, THEN it would not be necessary to ‘call-out’ an alarm against the coming Empire (as Revere and Paine did).

    I hate to be a Paine, wildfire, but nobody else seems to be hollaring out “Fire” in the burning kitchen of our supposed democracy while the Fires of Empire are burning in plain sight — but are being ignored by any percentage of the deluded ‘subjects’ who would be even minimally required to lift a firehose of Popular Resistance to the fire. [Kevin and Margaret note that only 3.5 % would be enough to do something, but in the most progressive audience here we have < 0.5%]!

    Soooo…, it's not just important, but essential to for some few to be Paines, and to do what you obviously think is; "obsessive", over-Capitalized (in this Capitalist Empire), and apparently 'annoying' to your sensibilities — [at work I remember the common comment, "Never try to teach pigs to sing, because it won't work, and …. it annoys the pigs"]

    Anyway, no wildfire, yes, it may well be annoying to have a few people constantly focusing all the time on 'Empire', but if those few don't light a real wildfire under the rest of the resting herd, then what happens, as in Germany in the 1930's is that the herd keeps comfortably thinking that they are in a modern advanced normal and powerful economic Republic of a 'country' that still has some of the apparent structure, elements, features, and appearances of a leading nation, and the herd does not hear the annoying alarm of the very few ( like Arendt there) that the patriotic look of "Empire abroad entails tyranny at home", until it is to late for the wilderbeasts in the herd to do anything about the wildfire of Empire when it has already metastasized too far for the herd to do anything but take their last shit in the burning woods.

    That's why I'm less than concerned that emphasizing the cancer of Empire annoys the currently comfortable pigs in this consumer paradise of a disguised Empire.

    But, please have another lovely day in paradise.

  • mwildfire

    Nope, McDonald, I do not buy this. You continue to pretend that there are two alternatives: going along with the mythology propagated by corporate media in which the US is a democracy, perhaps even the world’s leading democracy, where truth and justice prevail…or talking about the EMPIRE. In reality the post you are responding to here, as well as so many others I’ve seen your screeds beneath, ARE talking about the empire…many Tom Paines here…one does not need to use that word to point up the awfulness of the country we’re living in, or–often neglected–the suspicious evidence that whoever calls the shots here seems to be running many, or most, other countries as well. I don’t object to your rants pointing out that the US is an empire with all the ugliness of past empires–just your insistence that only your precise analysis, your exact wording is acceptable.

  • AlanMacDonald

    quiet wildfire, before the people of America can absorb and act on any entirely
    logical means suggested by the polite question as to a way to regain their own ‘citizen powers’, the people need to be sparked, even shocked into reality and ignited to actually do ‘anything’ about the fact that they are NOT ‘citizens’ but mere ‘subjects’ of an Empire.

    The people are so blind to their ‘subject-hood’ that they first need to understand that they are only ‘subjects’, and they need to be shocked out of their passivity and ignited into solidarity by being alarmed and alerted (as Paul Revere and Thomas Paine did to our fellow earlier American ‘subjects’ of Empire) to the singular truth that what needs to be confronted is an Empire.

    The true and deep ‘awareness of Empire’ is the only thing that ever shocked, motivated, consolidated, and ignited Americans to the
    truth and actions necessary to confront Empire. Whether the Empire of oppression and subject-hood was the initial British Empire
    prior to the founding of our democratic Republic founded to confront that Empire, or the twin evils of the Nazi Empire and Japanese
    Empire that the “Greatest Generation” successfully confronted.

    But now this Disguised Global Crony-Capitalist Empire which has captured and
    controls our former country is HQed in, and merely ‘posing’ as, that former country of ours “Right here in River City”.

    That is why the first provocative and inflaming question to these phony candidates has to be, “What are you going to do about the Empire — and about the fact that our former country is “acting like a Global Empire” which is the cancerous cause of all the illegal policies abroad, and all our loss of rights in this tyranny at home.