Wednesday, April 23, 2008

When Corporate Media Were Imperial Shills, or: Now and Always

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There are certain standards of good journalism we should all expect and demand from major news agencies and wire services. For example, when a news service injects color into a report, it should be the opinion of the person or group being covered in the report, and attribution to the source of that opinion should be made evident by some form of citation, as in the emphasized part of the following example:

Israeli opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu is a sociopathic maniac who not only profited off the Sept. 11 attacks but also played a part, current and former boyfriends said.

The Associated Press usually sticks to that principle, but every once in a while they throw in an editorial opinion, or speculation stated as fact; when they do, it reads like it came from a State Department or Pentagon script (only it's delivered more tepidly), as in the following introductory paragraph from an April 22 headline titled "Suicide car bomber kills 2 US marines in Iraq":

A bomb-rigged truck exploded at a checkpoint Tuesday near the western city of Ramadi, killing two U.S. Marines and wounding three others in an apparent strike by al-Qaida in Iraq in one of its former strongholds. 1

Question: How is it "apparent" that it was carried out by "al-Qaida," when there are no quotations or paraphrases in the body of the report justifying the supposition? Sure, AP says that Ramadi was a former hangout for "al-Qaeda" in Iraq; but to assume it was al-Qaeda, based on that U.S. government factoid, would still be pure speculation on the part of the AP editor. And when not accompanied by attribution to the source of the conjecture, as the above, it becomes journalistic quackery.

Disinfo agents rely on their creative editing to deliver the government line with subtlety. But in reality, those talking points land on unsuspecting and untrained eyes and ears like Israeli terrorists in the West Bank fall on an opportunity to get away with taking pop-shots with US-supplied M-16s at Palestinian children who were either throwing stones or just walking to school; like U.S. and Blackwater artillery and 2-ton bombs fall on Iraq and Afghanistan, razing mosques, hospitals, schools, neighborhoods, and priceless cultural treasures; and like possession of the loot thereafter falls so fluidly and discretely into the hands of the so-called civilized governments and corporations of the West.

It's too easy too. Corporate media peddle government fraud more effectively and prolifically than ever, and they profit handsomely for it. Billions of us are plugged in to their programming every day, and billions of us buy the products and services solicited over their airwaves and in their newspapers and periodicals by their sponsors (who are usually their parent and sister corporations).

Their captivated viewers and readers are led to believe that every Iraqi casualty was either an al-Qaeda, a terrorist, an Iranian-sponsored insurgent, or a victim thereof. And it is never revealed how we know that those dead foreigners were what we said they were. They don't carry ID badges and they don't shout, "Al-Qaeda rules!" or "Khomanei ownz!" before they're killed, so how do we know their group or foreign state affiliation, if any?

Also, there are no such things as the Iraqi resistance (to the U.S. occupation), resistance fighters, or even a U.S. occupation; even if there are, the labels are made to appear too mild or otherwise inappropriate, by a flurry of inflammatory quotes from "official sources"—or by immediately shifting the focus onto some negative act committed last week or even decades ago by the anti-occupation actors.

It's convenient for the war profiteers that they never have to account for their crimes. Thanks to corporate media "coverage," only we the occupiers liberators are defending ourselves; everyone else commits terrorism and encroaches on our Divine Right to violently frollicke in their backyard.

That's the sick mentality being plugged into the consciousness of captivated audiences the world over by mainstream media and think-tanks.

The current example of unethical journalism by the world's most prolific and sought-after news agency is not an isolated occurrence: the larger Ministry of Misinformation manipulates the truth as a matter of course and self-preservation.

None of the malfeasance and crimes against humanity and theft of Liberty would be possible without the support of disinfo cartels, like News Corp and AP—without agitprop labs, like The Israel Project, the American-Turkish Council (ATC), the American-Israeli Pulic Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)—without the "intellectual holdings" of the empire, like Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Center for Security Policy, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Freedoms Watch, and Project for a New American Century (PNAC)—without the regime-change engineers and future junta staffers, like the National Council of the Resistance of Iran (NCRI)—and without the politicians on the payrolls and advisory boards of such entities, like Joe Lieberman.

This constitutional Republic is almost but a memory. It's urgent that we expose and correct the dangerous disinfo everywhere it surfaces; state-worshiping media certainly won't do it for us.

Due to the almost indomitable influence, power, and presence enjoyed by the Ministry in all political, economic, social, and religious areas, boycotts have been basically ineffective thus far; but they can work if enough people and organizations are made aware of the Mafia's hideous criminality and, in turn, make several others aware of it. Start a blog and repost other people's media exposés and the like.

Specific petitions and the like are usually powerless, no matter how many signatures are collected. People who want to fight back need to stop doing business with as many corporate and private sponsors of the offending media and state propaganda mills as possible.

Tip: If you must read an article from the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, or other, don't click on the link that will take you to the original media source of the article: search Google for an independent site that reposted the article. But if you can not avoid entering a Ministry website, leave the site as soon as possible, taking with you the body of the article on your clipboard, and avoid clicking on their advertisements or activating their video players. And if you repost excerpts of the corporate media-published article for the sake of exposing the fraud, then do what I am doing from now on: don't give the fraudsters the courtesy of an activated link back to their site.


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