The manipulation of American culture through the media
The programming of the masses
The freedom of the American press is an object many of us cherish. We proudly compare ourselves to other countries which by our standards, seem to be victims of state sponsored propaganda.
Despite this notion, the freedom of our press is more hype than reality. With the exception of a few independent newsletters and micro publishers, there is no free press in America.
The illusion of freedom of the press has perhaps never been better articulated by anyone, than was stated by journalist John Swinton.
In the late 19th century, he was honored a banquet given him by his peers. A toast was made by one of his fellows to the independent press. Swinton responded with the truth about what he had learned about the American press:
There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.
There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.
The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?
We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.
( Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)
More than 100 years later, his words are more true than they ever have been. The mainstream press presents only a superficial, one sided view of what occurs in the world. What is accepted by the public as news, is little more than an amalgam of falsehoods, half-truths, and propaganda. Plainly stated, the goal of the mainstream media is to manipulate your though patterns, so that you will continue to be malleable, impressionable sheep, content with your lot.
The illusion that we have a free and independent press, hinges upon the fact that censorship is not accomplished with violent force today, but with the prudent use of economics by those who have the means and the agenda to accomplish it. Those who “report” what passes for news, accept without criticality whatever the government feeds them.
When an American President justifies war by claiming that the enemy has “weapons of mass destruction,” the press reports it as fact. Later, when the undeniable truth surfaces that the President has lied, the press will then publish the government's new justification, again uncritically. By the time the charade has been fully disclosed, America is committed and the American people must resign themselves to the fait accompli. Most Americans know they are being lied to and yet, despite this history of betrayal by the media, America continues to drink from the poisoned trough of mainstream “news,” and the cycle repeats itself.
News “anchors” who are not practicing journalists but are mere teleprompter readers, command huge salaries. Network news anchors, are paid millions of dollars to sell you on the idea that they can be trusted. They are mere TV stars, entertaining you as your critical thinking skills fall asleep before them.
As the majority of American's turn from the fantasy world called the news to entertain themselves with mindless television programs, they are lulled to sleep, unaware or uncaring that they is being led like like so many cattle. They are "programmed" with faux news, entertainment "programs," and commercials, all of which steal a bit of their human dignity, and force them into the pen with the others. As they sit passively before the electronic opium box, they are distracted from the truth about their condition. They are slaves and they will defend their electronic chains as necessary diversions.
The amount of money poured into the mass media for the purpose of deceiving Americans is staggering. Consider just one American corporation's efforts at manipulating public opinion. General Electric, which at one time touted that “We bring good things to life” also kills them through weapons production. That GE also happens to own 80% of NBC is seen by most to be coincidence. The same corporation which control our media, also control our political leaders, making the illusion complete.
We all want to have leaders we can look up to, depend upon and trust. Unless we have a news media with integrity that reports according to truth and not commercial agenda, such a thing can never be. The facts are that the government lies and the media covers for them. We all want to believe that America is the freest nation on earth, but until there is a triumph of fact over fiction in our press, we can never be truly free.