Propaganda and censorship
"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press."
In my last message to the list, I mentioned some of the things the governor of Illinois has been accused of doing. I've now read the actual criminal complaint against him. And you can too, right here:
After reading it, I noticed that the stories I've seen in the media have downplayed, or even omitted entirely, the issue which I find most disturbing: government propaganda and censorship. The criminal complaint lays out quite plainly how Governor Blagojevich wanted to trade a deal worth over a hundred million dollars to the owners of the Chicago Tribune (involving Wrigley Field), in exchange for them FIRING people who had written articles critical of him.
In the governor's eloquent words, “our recommendation is fire all those [expletive] people, get ‘em the [expletive] out of there and get us some editorial support.” The message he wanted sent to the newspaper owners was, "we sure would like to get some editorial support from your paper, okay?” And, in speaking of the deal, he told them that it was ready to happen, but "there is a risk that all of this is going to get derailed by your own editorial page.”
Again, I don't for one second believe that such happenings are at all unique. The governor was stupid enough to get caught, but such propaganda-via-"influence" happens on a daily basis across the entire country. What the governor got caught doing is nothing unique, and it is nothing new. Check out the following, a quote from over a hundred years ago, by a former editor of the New York Times. This was said in front of a bunch of other media folk, after someone had offered a toast to the "independent 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." [John Swinton (April 12, 1893)]
Does anyone think things have gotten BETTER since then? Well, here's about the creepiest quote I can think of:
"We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries." [David Rockefeller, to the Trilateral Commission (June, 1991)]
I know first hand that the media is NOT independent, that it is NOT interested in the truth, and that what it calls "reporting" is often nothing more than parroting government propaganda, sometimes word-for-word. Heck, I spent a year in prison — and many have paid a higher price than that — just for SAYING STUFF. I publicly voiced my opinions, and then got a fine lesson in just how controlled and manipulated the opinions of the masses really are. (For the whole story, see Kicking the Dragon, which you can order from the http://www.kickingthedragon.com web site.)
What's the solution to the government propaganda? Well, it may sound radical — as radical as Neo yanking that probe out of his skull in "The Matrix" — but I find it works quite well: Don't volunteer to be exposed to government propaganda. Don't buy newspapers, and don't watch TV. Yes, I mean it. With the Illinois thing as just the latest example, why would you choose to expose yourself to the lies and fear-mongering of tyrants if you have a choice? If there's something you really need to know about, you'll hear about it one way or another. The easiest way to fight state- sponsored propaganda on an individual basis is to simply not let it into your house. With that, I'll leave you with one final quote:
"If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed." [Mark Twain]
December 11, 2008
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