I member a South Park episode entitled Member Berries, which are small purple berries that utter nostalgic, so-called historical phrases, where I thought I would pee myself laughing. The focus on American citizens shallow, superficial, Disneyfied version of history, was perfectly ripe for satire.
Member “fake news”?
I member that throughout much of our history the US corporate media has employed “fake news” to stampede Americans to war, justified in the name of patriotism and national security. I also member that we had a name for such perception management–propaganda.
Propaganda or “fake news” is quite useful for our ruling elite. After all, “war is the health of the state.“
Member the Maine?
I member that William Randolf Hearst ordered one of his photographers to, “Furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war,” as a way to galvanize American sentiment for the Spanish-American War.
Member the Committee on Public Information?
I member the Creel Committee, named for the head of the CPI, whipping up war hysteria against Germans, allowing President Woodrow Wilson to enter World War I on the side of the Allies, so that US bankers could have their loans repaid. The Creel Committee was able to turn America from being firmly pacifist to being eager to fight the evil Huns in 18 months.
Member the Gulf of Tonkin?
I member that the supposed attack on US destroyers by North Vietnamese gun boats was “fake news” designed to drive public support for the introduction of US ground troops into the quagmire of Vietnam.
Member the first Gulf War?
I member that on Oct. 10, 1990, a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl identified only as “Nayirah” told the Congressional Human Rights Caucus that she witnessed Iraqi soldiers removing babies from incubators and tossing them on a cold floor to die. Her testimony was used by senators and even President George H.W. Bush as justification for backing Kuwait in the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, which erupted just three months later.
However, it was later revealed that “Nayirah” was the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States, and her testimony was arranged by a PR firm representing a Kuwaiti-sponsored group lobbying Congress for military intervention.
Member yellowcake, aluminum tubes, and Curveball?
I member that in 2002, there was the mother of all, “fake news” stories–weapons of mass destruction–rolled out in September by George Bush’s chief of staff, Andrew Card, a former PR head who declared that: ”From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.” I also member that Judy Miller and the New York Times, did all they could to help sell this “fake news” story.
War is a product, to sell.
Right now, there is a coordinated media campaign afoot to escalate the new cold war against Russia. The election of Trump with his professed desire to reset relations with Putin threatens this endeavor. Hence the recent attacks in the form of anonymous stories about Russian influence in the presidential election, and Trump’s supposed sexual dalliances while in Moscow.
Member golden showers?
My take on the “fake news” phenomenon is it’s yet another phase to keep the American people, with their superficial knowledge of history, even more confused and misdirected. It is a strategy to double down on pro-war propaganda.
Our elite are in a panic now with the US empire crumbling and their economic system of neoliberalism failing. The failed foreign-policy and economic strategy of the neoconservatives and neoliberals has served to dramatically reduce Washington’s role and influence in the world. Even more importantly, they have lost control of the narrative, as more and more people question the official party line. The “fake news” panic is largely because the corporate media, spewing an endless stream of propaganda aimed at sustaining the political elite, have completely lost their battle to appear credible while reaching unprecedented peaks of immorality and hackery.