Friday, January 16, 2009

The mighty propaganda machine

As if we need it any more examples, yesterday gave us another blast of insight into how the "news" propaganda machine works. As anyone who turns on the TV knows full well, you couldn't change the channel without another story about the plane that landed in the Hudson River in NY. The story was repeated over and over, all day and all night long, and it's still going on this morning, preempting all other "news".

Now it just so happened that yesterday there was an actual important story that was buried and thus missed the 'news cycle': Israeli shelling set fire to the UN headquarters, a hospital, a school and a building used by the media

These events were unconnected, I'm sure, but this does illustrate, once again, how what's important is decided for us by our information supply:

Plane landing in river: 10
Israel Bombing the UN: 0

As Philip Giraldi wrote a few days ago,

"The Israeli propaganda machine has called up its allies in the media and Congress to make sure that no one will condemn the invasion of Gaza, which has killed and wounded thousands of Palestinians, most of them civilians and many of them children. The pictures of small bodies lined up to be buried are convincing evidence that something is very wrong in Gaza, but leaders in Congress from both parties have nonetheless rallied to the cause of Israeli victimhood, putting all the blame for the conflict on the Palestinians."

Philip didn't need yesterday's example of the propaganda machine at work, but here it is anyway.


It just so happened that yesterday I was out shopping and stopped into a local major appliance dealer to look around. There were something like a hundred TV's on display.

I don't think the salesperson recognized me from having been there before with the same question, because he was just as unprepared to answer it as the last time. And it's a very simple question:

"when are the TV and the computer monitor going to merge and be one?"

He shrugged his shoulders, as if he never thought of this, or was never asked this question before. He had no answer, at all. Finally I said "must be political, huh?", and he shrugged.

Now you tell me, would you rather have TV "news" dominated by the handful in charge today (google "media consolidation" for details), or would you rather have millions of channels, with your own favorite editors to help you sort it out?

Unless you really are as ignorant as they believe you to be, you must consider the implications of this divide that looms as large as a fork in the road, and can be just as fleeting.

The technologies that make this choice possible are in their infancy and still uncontrolled. Today I can write like this, and you can read it, and neither of us has to run and hide from the "Thought Police". Okay Thought Police is the worst case scenario, but what about one that is not so far away at all?

Scenario: another terrorist attach occurs anywhere in the US, and those with the power over our gov't, information and lives declare the attack happened because there was collaboration within, i.e. we have enemies within, and that the only way to fight these terrorists is to re-instate something like the sedition laws, which you may recall from the not-long-ago days of McCarthy, and the national witch hunt for "Communist sympathizers". They will say our enemies-within must be tracked down and silenced, thus preempting the very concept that they, not we, are the destructive force.

Now you tell me if the invasion of the Middle East gained us only the hated of foreign Muslims, or is it possible there are actual sympathizers here? And would anyone who stands against the policies at the core of our problems be called a sympathizer?

How far are we away from such an attack and the declarations sure to follow? I gave up predicting dates after my clear premonition of the attack on New York didn't happen for several few years. But it could easily be tomorrow.

In my lifetime, I've had a few premonitions - clear predictions of the future - but to me there is nothing magical going on at all, that these aren't really premonitions, they are much more simply statements of the obvious.

There is no question whatsoever in my mind, whether it's a premonition or just a statement of the obvious, that (a) there will be another attack here, and (b) the people who have seized the reigns of power in America (primarily media and gov't) will use this attack to seize far greater power.

Everyone realizes by now that you can't have a "war on terror", even though they actually got away with it for years. By now even the biggest dumbo among us must have come to realize that you can't have a war against a tactic. The next realization is that America is caught up in a war of ideologies. A war of thought, of beliefs, of religion.

The explosion of information technologies, as we're witnessing before us, means many things. The two most important involve our information supply, and how we can use these improvements to make our democratic republic better.

But what if those with the reigns are threatened by these developments? How would they move to protect their investment?

One thing they would make sure of: that the Internet doesn't eat the TV.


No comments: