A watchful press is supposed to be the ultimate fallback that keeps the three branches of government honest, but is the press actually watchful and faithful to their role?
A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize; it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny. … Under dictatorship the press is bound to languish, and the loudspeaker and the film to become more important. But where free institutions are indigenous to the soil and men have the habit of liberty, the press will continue to be the Fourth Estate, the vigilant guardian of the rights of the ordinary citizen.
~ Winston Churchill [1874-1965]
Trust in the news media is at an all-time low. Is there any disagreement in that assessment? Alternatives to the mainstream media have sprung up as much over necessity as over ease in doing so has increased.
Unfortunately, the trend has taken the more established news media in the opposite direction of what it should. Instead, they have become more biased, more interested in clicks and likes (resulting in clickbait) and extremely less reliable. Some have more or less simply become mouth pieces of the administration or the military industrial complex or paid propagandists for billionaires.
There once was a time when news actually was a loss leader for the television networks. News was expected to be objective and fair. We still see remnants of the goal in objectivity when a reporter says an arrested person was an “alleged” criminal. Journalism was expected to be so objective that university courses sometimes called journalism a “science”.
Of course, human beings have emotions, needs and wants. Oftentimes, those things overcome objectivity, and money starts to influence stories. Indeed, CNN and other networks proved that news could be a money-maker, and suddenly the end goal was not about objective reporting but about making money.
This is the very definition of corruption.
To say that most of the “news” media have become liberal propagandists is an understatement.
Of course, it isn’t just the liberal media. Fox News purportedly offers a different viewpoint to counterbalance the perceived liberal bias in the media. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but I guess two wrongs do make a right-wing news channel. President Barak Obama said something to the effect of he wouldn’t vote for himself either if he watched Fox News all the time.
Most consider Fox News a propaganda arm of the Republican Party. Perhaps it started out that way, but these days that doesn’t seem all that certain. I always wondered why so many ex-generals and such were invited on as guests, particularly one who always seemed to want to bomb everyone and everything in existence. Finally, someone pointed out that in reality Fox News more parrots the military industrial complex, but in particular the Pentagon. Suddenly, its investment in retired generals made a lot more sense.
There is a lot in the news today, and I mean a lot. Here is an episode of Unfilter that is quite long, as they cover hacking (Russian and otherwise), “fake” news and where the really dangerous fake news is as well as some related topics. I wanted to cut out segments of it and only present portions, but I found I could not. The main segment is about 1 hr 12 min long (there is an additional overtime segment that is not fully related to the topic at hand). The language at times is a bit rough, I’ll warn you, but when you watch story after story and realize just how much the news media is complicit in every case in the spreading of lies and propaganda for this organization or that one, it totally blows my mind:
YouTube sometimes takes it down, so I uploaded a trimmed version without the extended overtime portion here (warning, it is an hour-long 298MB file).
One example of fake news was a result of multiple errors that allowed the fake story to spread. “No, Hillary Clinton did not get more votes than any candidate ever” tells the tale of a fake news story gone viral. However, you won’t hear the Hillary-loving presstitutes (a word Jimmy Lakey, a local commentator, uses a lot) complain about this bit of fiction.
It is particularly egregious given the notion that Donald Trump lost the popular vote and therefore has no mandate. Given the fact that more senators and representatives were Republican should be evidence of a mandate. More governors are now Republican than before the election as well. It is rare for either party to win in all three of these areas in one election. If that isn’t evidence of a mandate, I don’t know what is.
It is interesting that we complain so much about Russia’s alleged involvement in our politics in the first place. Real news media might point out the hypocrisy of it all. The Washington Post seems to be the only one actually pointing out “The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere“.
Instead, most “news” outlets regurgitate the administration’s lies that 17 intelligence agencies concluded Russia hacked the DNC and gave the info to WikiLeaks.
The federal government, though, is lovin’ it! You’ll now be awash in fake news after “‘Anti-Propaganda’ Ban Repealed, Freeing State Dept. To Direct Its Broadcasting Arm At American Citizens“. Perhaps this will lead to nationalization of the news as happens in other developing dictatorships.
I won’t repeat the WikiLeaks quote on Reddit about “fake news”. Basically, it blasts the term “fake news” and says it should be called “propaganda”. That is not true. For years, press offices have put out news items that are propaganda, but they put a positive spin on actual actions the government is taking. It wasn’t until after WWII that “propaganda” became a negative term. Furthermore, fake news might simply be trolling someone without any intent to do anything but irritate people. They are not the same.
Having said that, there is a graphic that posted that is interesting:
So, where do you do when the gatekeepers of truth are no longer interested in the truth? You turn to someone else. That’s why people like Alex Jones have a following. Apparently, as well, there is a comedian I’ve never heard of that has turned political commentator. Jimmy Dore appears on the Young Turks network, which more than leans left. However, even he is disgusted with the Democrats trying to restart the Cold War with Russia in order to distract people from WikiLeaks. He also has put 2 + 2 together and come up with an interesting conclusion (again, not the language you might want to listen to):
Speaking of 2 + 2, what does it really equal? In 1984, George Orwell pictured a government so powerful that it could dictate that 2 + 2 = 5, and that would be truth. Propaganda was spewed out daily over the television. Sometimes they are at war with Eastasia, at other times with Eurasia. It doesn’t matter, for when alliances shift, propaganda makes the new enemy into the enemy that always was and any evidence otherwise is destroyed (sometimes by mobs tearing down posters).
As in dictatorships of the past, the news propaganda machine in 1984 is owned by the state. However, this is not required in a society where news is big business. Funds are determined by advertising. In order to gain advertising, they need to be sure they have access. When a government determines who has access and who does not, such as when it was recently determined that RT was a fake news agency and the press secretary would no longer call on them, access becomes a form of currency in its own right.
It gets even worse when you have people like George Soros funding news agencies and such, ensuring that only liberal people get hired. Ideology backed by financial concerns means absolutely zero credibility and opens up the environment to extreme corruption. Add to that the lust for access, and it is easy to see why the news media would follow the manta that the Russians did it, fake news did it, James Comey did it — everyone’s to blame except Hillary Clinton and the DNC for for losing. These claims are backed up with people who can give or rescind access, so the “news” media puts out to everyone that 2 + 2 = 5.
In 1984, convincing the protagonist, Winston Smith, required torture. Torture takes time, which means it takes money to hire someone to do it, provide facilities, etc. The sad thing about it all is that when the news media willingly puts out that 2 + 2 = 5 (all the while maintaining the pretense of objectivity) in order to deceive the masses, the government is saved a lot of effort, time and expense and can carry on in its corrupt manner.
What is humanity’s core problem? Some would say it is greed, some would say corruption, but how much of these can stand against the truth? That is, after all, the entire notion behind a free press. However, when the gatekeepers of truth are no longer interested in protecting the truth, then what?
Journalism is not science after all. Of course, we have already seen that scientists themselves lose objectivity and go chasing after fables. Fables are not truth. Propaganda rarely is truth. Politicians are expected to lie, which is ironic when you think about it. Why vote them into office? Perhaps the truth is not valued by the voters themselves, and therefore we keep getting politicians in high offices that we deserve. Not only that, we keep them there because our news media is also not interested in the truth.
Jesus said the truth would set us free. So, when truth is not found, the implication is that we all become slaves. When the protectors of truth themselves no longer care about the truth, then we become deluded slaves.
Then, 2 + 2 = 5.