Sunday, July 21, 2013

This Is How They Manipulate You

I just ordered a subscription to Rolling Stone magazine. You see, I can't find it on the store shelves any more. The mainstream (for profit) news media has manufactured a quasi-outrage that led to the pulling of this more honest journal of news. The way I see it, this has nothing to do with idolizing some terrorist. They're trying to kill the competition – and control what you know.

Because if they can exclusively control what you know, they can control you. 

But you're not feeling manipulated. Right?... Good. It's working. Every year they get more and more sophisticated. But even so, the (for profit) news media usually only resorts to a few types of dirty tricks. Here are a few examples:

Just recently, Ex-President Jimmy Carter exclaimed to the world; “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.”

Now, that's big news. All of the talking heads on all of television combined do not carry the weight of credibility of an ex-president when criticizing our government. In all of my lifetime, I have never heard an ex-president say something so shocking. So, how did the (for profit) news media report such a bold and important statement? They didn't.

That's right. An ex-president proclaims that America does not have a functioning democracy and somehow it never got reported by the American press.

Now why wouldn't they report something as important as that? If you live in America, you probably already know the answer. Because the (for profit) news media is part of the problem.

And that problem is screaming at you every time you watch “for profit” news. Who's screaming? Advertisers. Follow the money. There is a seemingly endless stream of ads from fossil fuel companies, big pharma, big banks, etc. It is blatantly obvious that this constant steam of millions of dollars influences what (for profit) news media reports on – and of course, what they leave out.

I'm not claiming that it's all lies. Most of what they say is true. And of course, some of the best journalists in the world work for “for profit” news. But those who own these “for profit” news companies have their own agenda. They're in business to make profits, not to tell you the whole truth. And their advertisers; well, it's obvious they're trying to influence your opinion. They wouldn't spend all that money on advertising if it didn't work.

Consequently, the (for profit) mass media owns a piece of your mind – if you let them. And if you watch them, you will let them.

Even if they cannot change your mind, they will still get you to pay attention to what they want you to think about – and consequently ignore what they don't want you to think about.

However, not all “for profit” news broadcasters and publishers are created equal. Some news organizations don't feed off the advertising dollars of the big monopolies. The magazine Rolling Stone is one such publication. And in the past few years, Rolling Stone has published a number of far more accurate and in depth articles than the mainstream “for profit” news organizations.

2009 – Matt Taibbi's article on how banksters manipulate economic bubbles (with the unforgettable quote about Goldman Sachs; “the great vampire squid around the face of humanity”)
2010 – Michael Hastings' article on General Stanley McChrystal (that ultimately led to the General's resignation)
2012 – Bill McKibben's article “Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
2012 – Matt Taibbi's article on Mitt Romney (which got Rolling Stone pulled from shelves here in Ely, NV)
2012 – Douglas Brinkley's interview with President Obama
2013 – Antonia Juhaz's article on big oils' lies about renewable energy
2013 – Ryan Devereaux's article on the demands of the California prison hunger strikers

...and, of course, the recent article on the Boston Marathon bomber with the “glamorous” picture of Dzhokar Tsarnaev on the cover

Now let's think about this...

A magazine that has been able to skirt the usual limitations of having to financially support itself with illicit hush money (in the form of advertising revenue) has been for years achieving far better reporting than the “for big bucks any way you can get it” talking heads. And people are starting to take notice.

One might expect that the (for profit) mass media just might see this as a threat. They could lose viewers. They could lose advertising money. They could lose their jobs... They might even be forced to actually report more “fair and balanced.”

Ultimately, the (for profit) mass media might even consider more honest publications such as Rolling Stone as the enemy.

So, Rolling Stone publishes this article on the younger Boston Marathon bomber. It's a great article. In fact, it is iconoclastic. It was a revelation that none of this young man's friends, teachers, coaches or even parents had a clue that he would soon be a terrorist. Before the bombing, none of them saw him as a psycho killer.

This Janet Reitman article reminds us that seemingly normal people sometimes have the capacity for bizarre bloody violence. Nonetheless, “Jafar” – as his friends called him, was for most of his life, the person we see on the cover.

Which means; the cover photo makes sense in the telling of the story.
And this very same picture was used on the cover of The New York Times – without complaints.

But the reports on television “news” are that there is this huge uprising of outrage – before the issue even gets published. Every channel is covering this semi-scandal – not just once, but repeatedly.

This was silly. Worst case scenario; the Rolling Stone publishers used bad taste. That's it. But there they were; all ganging up on Rolling Stone magazine. They were creating a scandal from the way they were reporting it. And in the end, a number of retailers pulled the magazine from their shelves. Effectively, television “news” conducted a hit.

Obviously, somebody or some group has been hunting in every issue of Rolling Stone for some potential scandal to report on. And then, like a tail wagging a dog; their reporting on the “scandal” creates a scandal. And then; the schemers can revel in the knowledge that they cut off Rolling Stone's newsstand income stream.

These people fight dirty.

So, I've decided to fight back.
I've ordered a subscription of Rolling Stone.
I've decided that I support the truth.
And if television “news” continues to attack the truth, I will watch less and less of it.

need more examples?

Dan Rather used to be the most powerful journalist in television news. 60 Minutes has been one of the most respected news programs on television. When Dan Rather reported on 60 Minutes that President George W. Bush had a very questionable military record – that may have included (privileged) draft evasion and even (privileged) desertion, the “for profit” mass media went after him like wild hyenas. They never mentioned any of Dan Rather's points. And they never mentioned any of the evidence other than one questionable document. I saw this report. I believe it deserved an award. Like all 60 Minutes reports, it lasted from 15 to 20 minutes. This one questionable document was on screen for less than 10 seconds. But the (for profit) “news” media, in a coordinated fashion, ignored everything else and went in for the kill over that one document. It ruined Dan Rather's career, and truth never again saw the light of day.

Howard Dean's whoop during the Democratic primary.
Howard Dean was a liberal candidate who had briefly taken the lead during the 2004 Presidential primaries. However, he placed 3rd in Iowa. Afterwards; he let out one whoop in a crowd of enthusiastic screaming supporters. The television media also jumped on this like like a pack of wild hyenas. The (for profit) mass media television “news” knew that the clip was not an accurate reproduction of the actual audio in the room. Because of a directional microphone, it sounded like Howard Dean was screaming to the crowd by himself. Nonetheless, they played it over and over again without a disclaimer. This clip shows the full “incident,” but by far, most of the news clips were just a two second clip of him screaming.

Every television “news” organization showed it over and over again until just enough people perceived Howard Dean as a screaming idiot – and he lost his running in the election. I'm convinced this wasn't an accident. It had all the markings of a politically motivated “hit.” An effort like this had to be coordinated amongst all the television news organizations. And, of course; we can surmise that if it had been a corporatist candidate, this minor incident never would have been reported on. What's worse; coordinated “news” altered truth (half-lies) like this happen in every Presidential election. (Check out the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the misquote of Al Gore; “I invented the Internet,” and Willie Horton.)

One more example – the rainbow flag. Everybody now perceives the rainbow flag as a symbol of gay pride. But gays didn't choose this symbol. It was originally a symbol of the Rainbow Coalition. The Rainbow Coalition was formed by Rev. Jesse Jackson, once Martin Luther King's right hand man. The Rev. Jackson's goal was to create a political organization that included everyone who had been marginalized by the U.S. political system. This included gays. So, every time there was a Gay Pride parade somewhere, somebody brought a rainbow flag. The mass media news picked up on this. And every time there was a gay event, the mass media showed a picture of a rainbow flag. By now, we consider a rainbow flag to mean nothing like it's original intent. I find it impossible to believe this wasn't planned, coordinated, and executed without some kind of mass media conspiracy.

Those in power don't want to share that power.
Those in power own the mass media.
Those in power advertise on the mass media.
Since there are essentially no limits on what the mass media can do, we must expect them to abuse their power. We cannot trust them.

This type of reporting hasn't just been directed towards liberal organizations. Militias have been portrayed as a bunch of white supremacists. Anyone who points out a possible conspiracy has been portrayed as paranoid. Environmentalists have been portrayed as bleeding heart wimps. The internet has been portrayed as full of lies. And now; Neighborhood Watch has been portrayed as a bunch of trigger happy fools (though, admittedly, that's exactly what George Zimmerman was).

This is how they keep us disorganized.

Not that there isn't some element of truth to these mass media portrayals. That's what makes them so effective. They find some truth and blow it totally out of proportion. The citizens of America are being manipulated. Think about it; these silly “news” reports always seem to benefit the oligarchy... how convenient.

But these efforts to keep us weak pale in comparison to the (for profit) mass media's most effective tool; distraction. Distraction is a weapon. While they got us all worked up about Travon Martin, etc; they're quietly taking away many Americans' opportunity to vote. It's been years since Americans lost our faith in electronic voting. Gerrymandering is common. Poling places in poor neighborhoods have required hours of waiting. And efforts to exclude the poor, the young, the old, and people of color from elections have become common. What's worse; the “Supreme” Court apparently supports this.

With the Citizens United case (and the striking down of most every other law that was enacted to control campaign spending), our supremely corrupt Supreme Court has given big corporations unlimited power to influence what was once a democratic process. And now, with the shutting down of the Voting Rights Act; they have decided that election protections for the poor and the brown aren't necessary anymore.

Essentially, the Supreme Court considers corporations people and Democrats not people.

No wonder former President Jimmy Carter said; ““America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.”

(...Oh, one more thing. A Federal Appeals Court has just ruled that the First Amendment does not fully protect investigative journalists.)


Ian said...

This is awesome!

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