“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”–Carl Sagan
My friend Simon Wood has a new post exposing (for the umpteen zillionth time) the corporate media as
an active tool of disinformation and misinformation, [that] must be boycotted completely, starved of the funding and clicks for ad revenue needed for survival. Why – after all – would anyone spend time or money reading analyses proven to be intentionally misleading?
That’s a rhetorical question of course, but one that has very specific answers nonetheless: because (1) corporate media is ubiquitous, and (2) once you fall victim to lies and deceptions, it’s incredibly difficult to admit to yourself you’ve been duped and change your mind accordingly.
Simon Wood’s post recounts in detail just a few of the countless facts that reveal the incestuous and depraved relationship between corporate media and the state—a relationship originally conceived to be adversarial by design, but is now anything but.
This is proof in black and white that part of the work paid for by the Pentagon and then disseminated throughout the corporate media to achieve US strategic aims includes the production of fake films intended to deceive you – the trusting, unwitting reader – into further supporting Western military actions, giving you the impression that you are on the right side, destroying an evil, implacable enemy. It also motivates those taken in by these lies to (often viciously) attack anyone questioning the official line.
The obvious question that should arise even to the most rabid supporter of Western military interventions is this: If they’ve deceived you before, what would stop them trying to do it again now with similar fake videos and fake stories, all created to support and sustain a narrative that evokes enormous outrage and keeps public opposition at bay.
The answer is absolutely nothing at all would stop them. In fact, there is plenty of evidence that what happened in Iraq is precisely what has also been occurring with regard to Syria for a decade.
The Pentagon and the CIA are barred by law from operating on US soil. But that has never stopped them. They routinely engage in propaganda campaigns to shape public opinion in the interests of the deep state. They are the deep state—a key nexus of unelected, unaccountable permanent power structures in our “democracy.” Hell, journalist Carl Bernstein revealed back in 1977 that more than 400 journalists and news executives were on the CIA payroll at news outlets including the New York Times, Time and the TV networks. Collective yawning and selective amnesia promptly ensued. It always does.
It is important to note that the biggest problem here is not Rupert Murdoch’s rabid right-wing media empire, although that is indeed a big problem. John Pilger sums it up nicely in this must-read work:
The most effective propaganda is found not in the Sun or on Fox News – but beneath a liberal halo. When the New York Times published claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, its fake evidence was believed, because it wasn’t Fox News; it was the New York Times.
The same is true of the Washington Post and the Guardian, both of which have played a critical role in conditioning their readers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All three liberal newspapers have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia – when, in fact, the fascist led coup in Ukraine was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato.
Does anyone really believe that state propaganda stops with US militarism? Hahaha. Sure.
Look instead and open your mind to credible non-corporate organizations that deal in source material… and to independent writers and analysts that have proved their credibility, accuracy and honesty through their work over time, not from riding the now-dead reputation of the brand of their employer. Treat them with the same skepticism as any mainstream source.
I agree with Simon in principle, but the fact remains that tasking individuals with solving deep-rooted, systemic and structural problems is a very, very tall order. That’s particularly true in this case, because it’s so difficult to see that there is any problem in the first place, and even more difficult to accept that a big part of that problem is staring right back at us in our mirrors.
US citizens are among the most propagandized populations in the world in all of history, and that will almost certainly continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. These programs are sophisticated and unrelenting. Basic media literacy, skepticism and critical thinking are not staples of public education in the US for a reason.
Question everything. Every goddamn thing. It’s not going to fix anything, but I think we should probably do it anyway. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to know even the most uncomfortable truths about what our government does and who it serves over its lies.