Mass Media: An Orchestrated Tsunami of Lies
by David Sims
HERE’S A QUOTE from a recent article about our current president and the media: “Trump calls the media dishonest, an agenda-filled group of reporters who take aim at him and his administration. Baron disagrees. In an interview with Recode, Baron said reporters aren’t engaged in war with Trump. He said they’re performing their function.”
The evidence that the media are owned/operated by people who are fundamentally dishonest isn’t their adversarial relationship to a president, although you can gather hints of their dishonesty from the fact that they are more adversarial to center-right presidents than they are to presidents so far to the left that they are next door neighbors with communism.
No, rather the evidence that the media are owned/operated by people who are fundamentally dishonest is found in the lies they tell, in their choices of what to cover and to what to turn a blind eye, by their abuses of emphasis, by their inexcusable omissions of important details, by the way they sometimes deceive their audiences by speaking the truth as if through a mouthful of garbage, so that it emerges with a stinking odor that makes most people want to disbelieve it. And so on. I’ve observed the mass media for many years, and I will readily concede that I don’t know all of their propaganda tricks.
Having said that, I will also admit that a (probably small) proportion of journalists are honest people who want to do a good job. But even this group can’t behave honestly. Not if they want to keep their jobs, that is.
It is a fact that most treason, both grand and petty, occurs for no reason more than the traitor’s desire to keep his regular paycheck. A threat to the paycheck will make most people pretend to believe every lie they ever heard — including the majority of that minority of journalists who are, or rather who want to be, honest as they do their jobs.
The media’s bosses impose a spectrum of allowed opinion, outside of which special techniques of presentation must be used. These special techniques include mockery, ridicule, spoofing, sarcasm, insults, shouting down, censorship, turning off microphones, tricks of lighting, blacklisting, using camera angles to make a little group look like a big group or vice versa, taking photos when someone’s facial expression is least charismatic, using an old photo of a child to garner sympathy for the criminal that the child later became, breaking for a commercial and then losing the interviewee, studio audience shills who applaud or boo as prompted, etc.
The media’s bosses, also, have political goals that they pursue without regard to whether the most expedient means of pursuit is by truth or by falsehood. One of those goals is gun control. For whatever reason, the bosses of the mass media want Congress to pass nationwide gun control legislation. They take advantage of controversial news stories that offer themselves a chance to create a narrative, almost always substantially false, that they think will lead the American public to favor gun control, so that more members of Congress will vote in favor of gun control.
And, furthermore, the media are effectively a monopoly. They aren’t (quite) a business monopoly, since there are still a number of telecommunications conglomerates at the top of the corporate food chain. But a financial basis is not unique to monopolies. Other bases can be found. Like shared ethnicity, for example. Anything that causes the whole edifice of the mass media to proceed in policy lockstep can be construed as a monopoly adverse to the interests of the general public.
There are videos that YouTubers put together that illustrate the fact that policy lockstep really is a media phenomenon. They consist of segments in which different news anchorpersons introduce a news story, and all of them start off with exactly the same words. Different channels. Different cities. Different networks. But the same words.
The mainstream media should long ago have been broken up under the Sherman and Clayton Acts, and laws made pursuant to them. That the media have not been so treated ranks as one of the largest failures of government in the history of the United States.
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