“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 subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now 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 auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”
– David Rockefeller
I feel so bad for those readers who for at least the past 40 years have given their money to the above cited media and others at the “top of the food chain.”. I don’t believe this statement is truthful because David Rockefeller says it, but because there are countless examples of media sleeping with the enemy. Yes, when the mass media simply tell us what their owners want us to know, that is called sleeping with the enemy. The enemy of the people.
In his book called Public Opinion, Walter Lippmann addresses the role of the mass media in a democratic society. He calls the strategy used by the media as “manufacturing consent”. This is, Lippmann says, a necessary practice, since “the common interests largely elude public opinion.” Manufacturing consent should be in the hands of a “specialized class.” Well, that just happens to be quite the opposite from what democracy should be about. The notion of a free country with a free press, is that in which people are told what they need to know, not what they want to know. When I see and hear John Roberts, a CNN reporter, tell me that some images from Iraq are too raw for the public to see, I ask myself, Who does this guy think he is to feel entitled to show me what he thinks I can handle?
The stupidity of the average men makes him follow faith and not reason. This behavior requires the creation of a necessary illusion , emotionally potent oversimplification created by the myth maker. This is more or less what author Reinhold Niebuhr says in his book Moral Man and Immoral Society. Well, if in a totalitarian state like Hitler’s Germany the voice of the people is controlled by brute force, in a Republic, the press helps the elites control what people think with the help of the greatest smoke screen ever created: Democracy. The government from the people, for the people and by the people never existed. The thought that anyone can become president just by its looks and line of thinking is false. For that you need money, political favors, and to be part of the governing elite.
In time, the role of the media moved from being an advocate of the people to becoming the myth maker, the medium that holds people dormant in their world full of NFL football, Hollywood glamour, and which creates apathy in their minds and keeps them away from reality.
In the last three elections in the United States, only about a third of the citizenry voted. The other two thirds are just too full of themselves in their tiny little brains to take the time to question their leadership, learn how much debt there is, or to go out to vote. It is easier and more enjoyable to turn on the TV set and watch the football game, or to tune in to VH1 to learn the latest gossip. It is easier to drive the car to the mall on Black Friday to spend the last pay check or to get deeper in debt by jamming the credit cards on every purchase. Who cares, I’ll work as a slave for the next 20 years to pay them off.
Let’s get into specific examples of how the “free” mass media feed us lies everyday.
The United States borrows $2 billion dollars a day and adds it to its debt. That is 80 percent of the world’s net savings. But the “free” press tells us day in and day out that the US is the richest nation in the world, less people are out of work and the Dow hit 12,000. While thousands of jobs are exported to Asia and Latin America and the country’s middle class disappears, the “free” press tells us globalization is good and capitalism is great. As human remains are being rescued from the footprint of the Twin Towers, there is no in-depth media investigation regarding the attacks of 9/11. In fact, they still ring the bells every September 11th, and talk about the “terrorist attacks”. With the exception of Lou Dobbs and Keith Olberman, no one else in the mass media explained or questioned the approval in Congress of HR 6166, the bill that gives the President the authority Hitler always dreamed of. There is no mass media investigation on whether or not people are supposed to pay income tax, but they have been held responsible for it since 1913. There is no light shed about the fact that the Federal Reserve is a private institution created to serve the interests of the rich elite who owns the big banks and influential corporations. Why don’t the mass media investigate all this? Because they are owned by those same elites and corporations.
Today, the main function of the mass media is to create public support for the special interests that dominate the government and the private sector. Look at the war in Iraq. The media sold to the public the story of WMD’s just as the government wanted us to understand it. There were little or no questions asked regarding the root cause to go to war. The media simply published what government officials said on a daily basis.
When I try to understand how the society I live in works and why it is that way, I have to borrow a thought from author Noam Chomsky: “Who are the people that are in a position of power to decide how society works? The decisions over Investment, Production and Distribution are in the hands of a relatively concentrated network of major corporations. They are also the people who staff the major executive positions in our government,” Chomsky says. Surprise, surprise! These same corporations are the ones who own CNN, FOX, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek, and thousands of radio stations and newspapers around the World. The mass media themselves are also corporations. In North America, there are 7 major movie studios, 1,800 daily newspapers, 2,500 book publishers, 11,000 radio stations, 2,000 televisions stations. While over 50 percent of their business is controlled by 23 corporations in many cases these conglomerates already have a monopoly! How can anyone in their right mind even consider that these media are anywhere close to “free”? Now, are there honest people working in the mass media? Yes. Absolutely. There are honest reporters, producers, writers, etc. Are they in a position to make important decisions regarding what news are fed to the public? No. Right there is where the difference is. I do not believe every reporter, writer, producer, editor, anchor or janitor is corrupt. I do believe, however, that they need to hold their jobs to feed their families.
The truth is that the mass media propaganda model exists and is applied every day. Media like ABC, CBS, NBC set the tone; everyone else adapts to their model. In his book Manufacturing Consent, Noam Chomsky cites a few guidelines by which the elite media propaganda model is shaped. Selection of Topics, Distribution of Concerns, Emphasis, Framing the Issues, Filtering Information, Limiting Debate. Yes, the standard news meeting which happens every morning before the news day begins, or even the night before, is part of the propaganda model. Who owns the media is part of the model. Which “experts” (Armstrong Williams) are on and off, is a decision that directly affects how news is presented to the public and how they will understand it.
I think Democracy is a concept created by the elites, not for the benefit of the people who it is supposed to serve, but for the benefit of the elite. It is a system in which people are marginalized, coerced, controlled and lied to; of course, for their own good. What a better medium to shape our thoughts and behavior than the newspaper we read everyday, the nightly newscast, the website we look at every night. How convenient it is to merge corporations together to “consolidate” their businesses. Mass media, including news media are businesses and as businesses they need to make a profit out of every bit of information they produce. What is in place is a system in which the mass media sell a product to other businesses such as advertisers; and that product is the audience. The advertisers in turn, sell a different product to that audience: Nike, Gap, BMW, Mac Donald’s, etc. Again, who are the people that benefit from that advertisement? The elite who owns the production machinery. It is a vicious circle that surrounds us all. This circle will remain unending until we take the time to question our rulers, our system and our mass media.
My conclusion after researching and writing this short paper is that the Mass Media are the lapdogs of the elite; the elite being the ruling class -bankers mainly- who buy or own newspapers, radio and television stations around the world and use them to coerce, lie and dull people’s brains to get them away from the things that matter, while they fulfill their agendas. Do I want to be a part of this agenda setting media to make a living and retire with full benefits? Absolutely not. Will I jump off the wagon at this point in my life, after studying for 10 years to become a broadcast journalist? Absolutely not. The beauty of the internet as a new mass medium and a new source of information is not the fact there is more information available, but the fact that it allows us all to be our own publishers and regulators. We can combat the traditional mass media and hold them accountable; so when they lie we can find other sources of information. When they tell us the war is going OK we can provide information ourselves that truly tell us how the war is really going. When they tell us this country is the richest and most powerful, we can show them how broke we are. When they tell us we have to pay a Federal Income Tax, we can tell them it is illegal to tax the labor of a man or a woman because the IRS cannot find the law in their code book to show people because it does not exist. When they tell us we must give away our rights in the name of freedom we can tell them it is not worth it to fight in the name of freedom if we have to renounce our rights. When they tell us it is OK for Israel to kill Muslims but it is a crime when Palestinians attack Israel, we can tell them both groups are human. When someone tells us genocide and ethnical cleansing are good in the long run for all of us who want to have enough resources to live, we can tell them that every life is equally valuable.