America: Drowning in disinformation


Putin’s and Russia’s demonisation has acquired truly scandalous and dangerous dimensions, but continues unquestioned and unabated.



Every single day, from cradle to grave, the American population is subjected to a nonstop barrage of lies, omissions of truths and outrageous distortions, with the sole purpose of maintaining the nation’s allegiance to the imperialist/capitalist status quo anchored in constant war and unstoppable inequality. The American system of disinformation, evolved over more than a century, fools just about everyone with its apparent diversity of sources. After all the US has literally thousands of “news” outlets, from radio stations to tv stations, newspapers and other channels, and people reckon that this enormous quantity of media must automatically guarantee a vigorous debate of the issues at hand and the presentation of all viewpoints. They could not be more wrong. This diversity is an illusion.  This is indeed a classical case of overestimating’s one’s intelligence and underestimating the power of manipulators to take control of our minds. (Continue below) 

The Big Media Hoax

What the American media offer is not a well-informed diversity of views by a long shot, but brute quantity, “numerosity”, and a tedious repetition of the same dangerous official viewpoint, at that, always designed to bolster the status quo.  To literally aggravate matters, the American media are well known for their tendency to travel in packs, the trademark of groupthink, and, at any moment carpet bomb the American mind with any propaganda line, no matter how silly, outrageous and lacking in evidence, ordered by their wealthy owners or sordid intelligence and military agency controllers. The current unrelenting “Russiagate” campaign and hysterical demonisation of any enemy of Washington’s global supremacist project, is a case in point.

False Flags are an old method of right-wingers and imperialists. Hitler took absolute power in the wake of the Reichstag fire, set up by Goering and Gestapo agents. The US and Britain have used the method extensively, shielded by their enormous media machinery capable of turning truth on its head with total impunity.

The above sounds like a complete rejection of what the mainstream media would like us to think about their role and performance, but our brief is irrefutable. What matters most in the marketplace of ideas (which is really the marketplace of political ideologies), is that in a deeply class-divided society such as the United States, with uber billionaires on one side and fast growing numbers of economically insecure people and outright paupers on the other, each class viewpoint should be fairly represented, with plenty of media transmitting their particular interpretation of issues and events. Of course, as anyone could expect in the real world, this never happens in the corporate media universe, which invariably broadcasts factoids as news, or coarse distraction, only to protect, advance and benefit the interests of the global capitalist class. The illusion of free media and diversity is also supported in the US by the perception that most if not all media are privately owned, hence not “state” or “government-controlled”, the supposed telltale sign of dreaded totalitarianism. Unfortunately, in this, Americans are also terribly wrong. For in a system of deeply integrated corporate fascism with a “friendly consumerist” face, as the US has developed, the distinction between the corporate line and the state line is virtually non-existent.

But corporate propaganda is not just a question of scandalous lies. The best approach to mind manipulation is simply the systematic omission of truth, the erasure of vital facts, and that can be accomplished almost without a trace by eliminating truly critical voices from the mainstream debate. Or by filtering out at the hiring point journalists with solid education, firm moral principles, and inquiring minds.  Jason Hirthler, one of the most astute observers of the media degeneracy in the Anglophone world, has summed it up beautifully. Speaking of fake news and the CIA’s vast infiltration of newsrooms, he noted acidly that,

Here American media rooms generally need not be ‘infiltrated’, not that this hasn’t been relentlessly done (then buried). Yet the effect of decades of fake news promoting American exceptionalism and excessively demonizing all non-capitalists has produced several generations of robotic groupthinkers that have internalized the values of power. Rarely must such journalists even be instructed what to say; they already know what to say; they already know how to balance a story, how to under-report, how to deprioritize, how to frame, how to produce dead ends, how to terminate a train of thought, and how to remove responsibility from active agents using the passive tense. The techniques are myriad. Modern newsrooms are full of such obsequious zombies.  (see  J. Hirthler, Condemned to Repeat It: History as Rerun,).

That’s right, zombies. Or, if you like, sworn selfish careerists willing to put their own advancement ahead of the public interest they are supposed to serve. Given this fact examples of media malpractice need not feature the exceptional, but simply the norm, sampled at random. Regard this column therefore as a simple reminder, a “for the record”, and keep it handy for when the time arrives to rectify this horrid mess. Sharpen your critical faculties by inspecting the pieces we present from time to time and become adept at spotting the distortions. And, by the way, if we use one channel, say CBS, or the NYTimes, more than another, this is simply for our convenience: just assume that the rest in that bunch are equally bad.

A minute sample of disinformation taken from the Western media. Minute because disinformation, as stated earlier, is the norm not an aberration. Practically all the Western media serve chiefly lies or worthless distractions. The most vital subjects concerning the wholesale corruption of the elites, their drift to nuclear war, the disgraceful levels of social injustice and inequality, the global ravages of US imperialism and its unrelenting quest for hegemony, and the lethal implosion of capitalism itself and climate change are swept under the rug or grotesquely distorted. The disgraceful performance of the Western media maintaining a regime of news manipulation tantamount to a generalised brainwash is now being reinforced by various governmental measures such as the termination of net neutrality and corporate policies of dissent censorship under the guise of shielding the public from “Fake News”. (See Net neutrality and the drive to censor the internet, elsewhere in this issue.)

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Who Owns the Big Media?
A Snapshot (2003). Remember this is fluid, things change all the time—under capitalism usually for the worse. 

Who owns CNN? or MSNBC? ABC?

by systemfailure Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2003

So ya think we have a “free press” eh? Check out who owns who, and who owns what you think…….

GENERAL ELECTRIC –(donated 1.1 million to GW Bush for his 2000 election campaign)

Television Holdings:
* NBC: includes 13 stations, 28% of US households.
* NBC Network News: The Today Show, Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Meet the Press, Dateline NBC, NBC News at Sunrise.
* CNBC business television; MSNBC 24-hour cable and Internet news service (co-owned by NBC and Microsoft); Court TV (co-owned with Time Warner), Bravo (50%), A&E (25%), History Channel (25%).
The “MS” in MSNBC
means microsoft
The same Microsoft that donated 2.4 million to get GW bush elected.

Other Holdings:
* GE Consumer Electronics.
* GE Power Systems: produces turbines for nuclear reactors and power plants.
* GE Plastics: produces military hardware and nuclear power equipment.
* GE Transportation Systems: runs diesel and electric trains.

Westinghouse Electric Company, part of the Nuclear Utilities Business Group of British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL)
whos #1 on the Board of Directors? None other than:
Frank Carlucci (of the Carlyle Group)

Television Holdings:
* CBS: includes 14 stations and over 200 affiliates in the US.
* CBS Network News: 60 minutes, 48 hours, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, CBS Morning News, Up to the Minute.
* Country Music Television, The Nashville Network, 2 regional sports networks.
* Group W Satellite Communications.
Other Holdings:
* Westinghouse Electric Company: provides services to the nuclear power industry.
* Westinghouse Government Environmental Services Company: disposes of nuclear and hazardous wastes. Also operates 4 government-owned nuclear power plants in the US.
* Energy Systems: provides nuclear power plant design and maintenance.
Television Holdings:
* Paramount Television, Spelling Television, MTV, VH-1, Showtime, The Movie Channel, UPN (joint owner), Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Sundance Channel (joint owner), Flix.
* 20 major market US stations.
Media Holdings:
* Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Video, Blockbuster Video, Famous Players Theatres, Paramount Parks.
* Simon & Schuster Publishing.
DISNEY / ABC / CAP (donated 640 thousand to GW’s 2000 campaign)
Television Holdings:
* ABC: includes 10 stations, 24% of US households.
* ABC Network News: Prime Time Live, Nightline, 20/20, Good Morning America.
* ESPN, Lifetime Television (50%), as well as minority holdings in A&E, History Channel and E!
* Disney Channel/Disney Television, Touchtone Television.
Media Holdings:
* Miramax, Touchtone Pictures.
* Magazines: Jane, Los Angeles Magazine, W, Discover.
* 3 music labels, 11 major local newspapers.
* Hyperion book publishers.
* Infoseek Internet search engine (43%).
Other Holdings:
* Sid R. Bass (major shares) crude oil and gas.
* All Disney Theme Parks, Walt Disney Cruise Lines.

TIME-WARNER TBS – AOL (donated 1.6 million to GW’s 2000 campaign)
America Online (AOL) acquired Time Warner–the largest merger in corporate history.
Television Holdings:
* CNN, HBO, Cinemax, TBS Superstation, Turner Network Television, Turner Classic Movies, Warner Brothers Television, Cartoon Network, Sega Channel, TNT, Comedy Central (50%), E! (49%), Court TV (50%).
* Largest owner of cable systems in the US with an estimated 13 million subscribers.
Media Holdings:
* HBO Independent Productions, Warner Home Video, New Line Cinema, Castle Rock, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera.
* Music: Atlantic, Elektra, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. Records, EMI, WEA, Sub Pop (distribution) = the world’s largest music company.
* 33 magazines including Time, Sports Illustrated, People, In Style, Fortune, Book of the Month Club, Entertainment Weekly, Life, DC Comics (50%), and MAD Magazine.
Other Holdings:
* Sports: The Atlanta Braves, The Atlanta Hawks, World Championship Wrestling.
NEWS CORPORATION LTD. / FOX NETWORKS (Rupert Murdoch) (donations see bottom note)
Television Holdings:
* Fox Television: includes 22 stations, 50% of US households.
* Fox International: extensive worldwide cable and satellite networks include British Sky Broadcasting (40%); VOX, Germany (49.9%); Canal Fox, Latin America; FOXTEL, Australia (50%); STAR TV, Asia; IskyB, India; Bahasa Programming Ltd., Indonesia (50%); and News Broadcasting, Japan (80%).
* The Golf Channel (33%).
* Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight.
* 132 newspapers (113 in Australia alone) including the New York Post, the London Times and The Australian.
* 25 magazines including TV Guide and The Weekly Standard.
* HarperCollins books.
* Sports: LA Dodgers, LA Kings, LA Lakers, National Rugby League.
* Ansett Australia airlines, Ansett New Zealand airlines.
* Rupert Murdoch: Board of Directors, Philip Morris (USA).

*(Phillip Morris donated 2.9 million to George W Bush in 2000)*

Final comment

Stop living in Plato’s Cave and become media literate!

Understanding how the media operate is vital to your mental health and liberation and that of others you care for. See world reality as it is and not as your current masters want you to see it. Acquire the simple tools by which you can spot and neutralise lies and disinformation, and eventually classify media according to their quality and moral integrity. Just a handful of articles can clean up a lot of the cobwebs you carry in your mind. Take the first step and check the following articles out. If you feel you learned something of value—which we bet you will—do not fail to pass them along to kin, friends and workmates. Breaking the stifling imperial machine of permanent lies depends on you.


About the Author
Patrice Greanville, who founded and published the first radical media review, Cyrano’s Journal, in 1982, is this publication’s editor in chief.  

BY THE EDITOR—Understanding how the media operate is vital to your mental health and liberation and that of others you care for. See world reality as it is and not as your current masters want you to see it. Acquire the simple tools by which you can spot and neutralise lies and disinformation, and eventually classify media according to their quality and moral integrity. Just a handful of articles can clean up a lot of the cobwebs you carry in your mind.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.



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No exceptions...It’s brainwash propaganda.

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