6.Controlled Mass Media Part one; Overview

Even Propaganda Can Be Art

Even Propaganda Can Be Art

Censorship is the primary tool of all dictatorships.  Be it a Communist or Capitalist dictatorship, control of the masses depends on the control of the media.  In Communism, the media is directly controlled by the state.  The Russian language even had a word for it, Pravda.  Pravda literally means “Official Truth” as opposed to real truth.  In other words, Pravda means that you know it’s a lie but you are going to make believe it’s true.  The alternative is a one-way ticket to Siberia.  In a Capitalist dictatorship, or fascism, the media is controlled by the corporations and is used to support their puppet government.  This is why we have a White House press corps which obediently tells the American public any Pravda the White House hands them.  You know that they are lying, but it is even more difficult to discover the truth than it is in a Communist dictatorship.

The Corporations discovered how dangerous a free press is when Woodward and Bernstein brought down the Nixon Administration.  That set the fascist takeover of America back by an entire decade.  From the beginning of the Reagan Administration, the corporations began a massive push to emasculate out free press, and they have succeeded.  Just look at Fox News or CNN.  That obscene example of “McNews” was made possible by the deregulation of the media.

Back in my youth, the media was regulated for the public good.  Antitrust laws prevented any single network from taking over the airwaves.  Local affiliates were required to serve their broadcast area.  They had to promote local interest broadcasts, advertise local businesses, and present opposing views to editorials. Most importantly, the free press was protected by law.  Today deregulation has reduced the media to the personal mouthpieces of the monopolistic corporations. Local affiliates are no longer independently owned thanks to the eliminations of anti-trust laws.  Local businesses stay solvent by selling Chinese-made merchandise, and the only point of view the media is required to promote are their owner’s.  This means that the press is no longer free.  The media is now exclusively the mouthpiece of the monopolies which own them.

Deregulation has utterly destroyed any semblance of a free press.  The courts have ruled that press releases can be treated as real news.  Public Relations puff pieces can be presented as fact, and there is nothing that the public can do about it.  Fox News and CNN can falsely report weapons of mass destruction in Iraq without legal consequences.  The laws that protected a free press are no longer in force. What is left is corporate Pravda.

Now that the corporations have the media just the way they want it, they need to make certain that it stays that way.  This is where the Libertarians come in.  The purpose of the Libertarian party is to protect corporate power. (More about this in a future section.) In the strangest example of double-speak that I have ever seen, the Libertarians call the laws that protect free speech censorship.  They decry the obvious censorship of Fox News and CNN while opposing any sort of regulation that would put a stop to it.

There is a certain logic to that.  The Libertarian movement serves as another source of government disinformation.  Libertarians are a source of conspiracy theories that act as a smoke screen for government misconduct.  They are a source of rumors which undermine the legal system which protects us from fascism. The Libertarian disdain for defamation laws also act as a divide and conquer tactic to split the left.

A common Libertarian tactic is to say “Do you expect the government to tell you the truth?” and then turn around and tell a bigger whopper.  Accusations of the Mossad being behind the Bush Administration, or that jet fuel does not burn hot enough to melt cheap steel.  The rumors about Karl Rove being indicted by a grand jury would guarantee that it would not happen.  (Such rumors undermine the grand jury process and would invalidate any such indictments. )  Holocaust denial and the return of the International Jewish Conspiracy assures that Jews will be frozen out of the left.  Thus, Libertarians are as big a tool of censorship as the Born Again Christianoids.  I will go into more detail in my next post about the Libertarian Market Place of Ideas.

No Unwed Pregnant Daughters

No Unwed Pregnant Daughters

4 Comments on “6.Controlled Mass Media Part one; Overview”

  1. Adastra says:

    I’m currently rereading “Cities in Flight” by James Blish, a science-fiction from the classics of the fifties. Blish saw very clearly the coming decay of Western civilization, though it seems to be happening faster than he thought it would and he did not foresee the collapse of the USSR.

    He also has a knack for heading his chapters with thought-provoking quotes from various great thinkers. An example:

    “We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without critcism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert.
    –J. Robert Oppenheimer

  2. billdunlap says:

    Cities in Flight is an old favorite of mine. If there was one thing that Blish understood more than any other SF writer was that freedom only thrives when there is structure.

  3. reprindle says:

    If you read enough history you will find that there is no one who believes the US ever had a Free Press. You’re always reading controlled news, faked pictures and whatever. Just be alert and as we were told when I was a kid- believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.

  4. billdunlap says:

    Then perhaps a truly free press is simply an ideal. If we are to achieve this marvel, we are going to have to change our own heads around. We are going to have to see that there needs to be some institution to enforce the fairness doctrine. A free press is not simply Rush Limbaugh and Amy Goodman shouting racist/antisemitic garbage at each other. A free press shows the spectrum of ideas. Anti defamation laws prevent the destructive rhetoric that Limbaugh/Goodman spout. (Twin talking heads of the same useless coin.) Sorry to spoil your fun, but there is no freedom without limits.

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