Although I listen to NPR regularly, I never forget that its reporters too are the products of the filtering process that ensures that only a limited range of opinions is even considered, and that they will not see some obvious hypocrisies even if they stare them in the face. While the best NPR reporters, such as Daniel Zwerdling (whose in-depth features are excellent), Nina Totenberg (legal affairs), and those who deal with internal matters and soft features are worth listening to, others who deal with national politics (Don Gonyea and Mara Liaison) and defense and foreign affairs (Tom Gjelten and Dina Temple Raston) might as well be considered outright propagandists rather than reporters, last two being especially atrocious.
I was reminded once again of this when Gjelten did his periodic song-and-dance routine with his “Oh my god! Iran is trying to kill us all!” alarmist rhetoric about the possibility that that country will wage cyberwar on the US or give that technology to groups like Hezbollah. This is as preposterous as the idea that they will wage nuclear war on the US or Israel but that does not deter Gjelten from delivering these somber warnings. Interestingly he did not even mention that just the previous day, there was a report that a cyberattack had disrupted the Iranian oil industry. Who was behind it? The US media is unsurprisingly not that curious to find out. But it seems reminiscent of the Stuxnet virus that attacked Iranian centrifuges some time ago, for which the US and Israel publicly bragged about being behind it.
In other words, it is the US and Israel who are waging cyberwar on Iran, not the other way around, though Gjelten conveniently ignores that fact in his report.
Then we had the other report by Don Gonyea about Obama righteously condemning Syria for tapping the phones and internet communications of its people and using that knowledge to suppress dissent. You would never guess from Gonyea’s report that the Obama administration has created the most massive eavesdropping operation in history that sweeps up all our communication and uses that information to harass people engaged in perfectly legal activities, while cracking down on whistleblowers with a vengeance. It is also creating a massive facility to store all the data it is gathering on us.
The best propaganda media does not do it all the time because then it becomes too obvious and people discount it. It works best when done occasionally by people who have so internalized the system’s values that they don’t even realize that they are propagandists and would be shocked and offended if accused of being so.