We can hold our politicians accountable through elections but how do we hold the corporate media accountable?
I ask this in the wake of the invasion of Iraq, Russia-gate, and now the Ukraine-gate, impeachment circus, where the actions of the corporate media have not exactly been inspiring. Lying would, in fact, be the proper term for their behavior.
This state of affairs has become a real problem. Going further, what this says about the mass media institutions which people rely upon to form their worldview is actually a damning indictment of our elite institutions. Essentially, because of the rank dishonesty we’ve reached the point where there’s little trust in any elite institution, but especially the corporate media.
Indeed, the shameful irresponsibility of the corporate media has become obvious to a large part of the public, and made a mockery of the noble and demanding profession of journalism with its mandate to report and share information without manipulation. Instead, journalists are forced to follow newspaper editorial policies and the political views of their owners.
It’s not like this is a new development. Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky wrote Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, 30 years ago. Only now the problems they identified then have worsened.
Case in point. The Washington Post just published the Afghanistan Papers, detailing how 3 administrations have been lying through their teeth about progress in our longest war. The Afghanistan Papers disclosed by the Washington Post “reveal that senior US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.”
While this expose was in itself a valuable and crucial function of the mass media what came next was illustrative.
Far more news media energy is going into the impeachment agenda to remove Trump from office than there is for the known fact that the US government fought to suppress indisputable proof that American officials have been consistently lying about an 18-year military occupation which continues to this day. This fact should, by itself, be sufficient to completely discredit the mainstream press.
Then there’s the way in which the corporate media has consistently promulgated a false narrative about Russia-gate. Those of us who have followed the deep state’s attempted coup against Trump are hopeful that the coming report of U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of the Russia-gate probe is expected to find political bias, if not conspiracy, at its root. Hopefully this investigation will manage to pin some criminal responsibility on the people who undertook the Russia-gate coup against Mr. Trump–a ghastly mis-use of governmental power now celebrated by Democrats, who, you might recall, used to be against the national security state.
The upshot is that Trump could emerge from the Mueller Report, Horowitz Report and Durham Report as what he and his allies claim him to be–the victim of a deep state conspiracy to fix the election of 2016.
Meanwhile, the corporate media have suppressed all news about the OPCW scandal. What’s that you ask? This scandal involves the manipulation of reports about alleged chemical incidents in Syria by the OPCW that led to cruise missile attacks against the Middle-East country by the US and western powers. These attacks were cheered on by the corporate media, who described Trump as “presidential,” for his aggression.
But now the mass media’s stone-dead silence on the OPCW scandal is becoming its own scandal, of equal or perhaps even greater significance than the OPCW scandal itself. What’s crazy is that the only one in the corporate media to cover it is Tucker Carlson of FOX NEWS.
Let that sink in.
All this lying and war propaganda opens up a whole litany of questions which have tremendous importance for every citizen of America. Questions like, how are people supposed to participate in democracy if all the outlets they normally turn to to make informed voting decisions adamantly refuse to tell them about the existence of massive news stories like the OPCW scandal?
The corporate media has lost so much trust that the only way for them to appear credible is to engage in tribal warfare against the other team. FOX NEWS attacks “Libtard’s”, while on MSNBC it’s 27/7–Orange Man Bad. The problem is these days everybody has been cleverly trained to be mad at all the wrong people and the media just fans the flames because it’s profitable.
We are facing a perilous future where an honest media that provides real information will be crucial. Unfortunately, thanks to the corporate media we have, the USA is tearing itself apart over imagined Russian collusion, imagined Russian electoral interference and real Ukrainian corruption. And, meanwhile, the forever wars go on and on.
Conspiracy theorists like yours truly believe that the billionaire class which owns the mass media has a natural incentive to prop up the status quo upon which it is built, and so construct an environment where reporters are incentivized to always support the establishment line. Meanwhile, patriotic, upstanding citizens believe that if that kind of conspiracy were really happening, it would have been in the news.
I’ll discuss this development at length next week but here’s something to think about–Donald Trump won the presidential election in 2016 on a promise to end the useless wars in the Middle East, but he has now demonstrated very clearly that he was lying.