We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

New York Times and the New McCarthyism

Click here to access article by Robert Parry from ConsortiumNews.
Traditional U.S. journalism and the American people are facing a crisis, as the preeminent American newspaper, The New York Times, has fully lost its professional bearings, transforming itself into a neoconservative propaganda sheet eager for a New Cold War with Russia and imposing a New McCarthyism on public debate.
Although Parry does do us a service by pointing out the increasing slanted anti-Russian propaganda that passes for news in US media, he implies in the introductory paragraph above that this is only an exceptional reversion to the McCarthy days of the 1950s and that major media had once functioned according to the professional principles of journalism. 

Liberals like Parry are able to see this distorted news coverage simply because the anti-Russian theme began so abruptly after Russia has increasingly refused to acquiesce in the numerous Empire projects to extend their control over keys areas of the world: the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc; the color revolutions, the calculated overthrow of the Ukrainian government, and the attempted destruction of Syria. Otherwise there is the implication that mainstream media has mostly functioned according the lofty principles of journalism with the exception of the Vietnam War, and as such is regarded and tolerated as acceptable criticism of major media (by ruling class authorities). 

A radical critique would show how news and all information (including history), like all institutions (including entertainment), has always been shaped by the ruling capitalist class to serve their interests. It is only times like this when the ruling class has been thwarted by a major player on the world scene, followed then by news coverage that rather suddenly targets that country, do liberals start to notice, question, and criticize.

As an activist of many years and after a rather thorough reading of real history, I know otherwise. I know that every ruling class has always functioned to control information to sustain their rule--that is why they are ruling classes. What has changed in recent times is the increasing sophistication of propaganda designed to serve the ruling capitalist class of the US Empire especially within the US as well as abroad.

A better article was posted last year by Don North entitled "US/NATO Embrace Psy-ops and Info-War", but it still falls short of raising the class-serving nature of information. Although it is clear from a careful reading of the article that intentionally designed news and information is now targeting ordinary people in the US:
...as part of this Brave New World of “strategic communications,” the U.S. military and NATO have now gone on the offensive against news organizations that present journalism which is deemed to undermine the perceptions that the U.S. government seeks to convey to the world. 
I would go much further by furnishing evidence that US major media corporations have been thoroughly integrated and organized into a propaganda function of the ruling class.

Every ruling class depends on deception to sustain their rule simply because their control over society favors only their particular class, not society as a whole. This goes against the sense of fair play that makes up a fundamental part of our human nature. To point out the class-serving nature of information is absolutely forbidden. Those journalists that do so are banished. 

The same Don North has written a book about a journalist in WWII who was banished after writing about the heroic deeds of Italian partisans and against their Nazi occupiers. It seems that the partisans had the wrong politics, that is, their interests and outlook did not conform well to the capitalist interests of the Allies. Thus he was banished as a journalist.