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Masterful Manipulators

March 18th, 2006 · Written by · No Comments

Chances are you’re a product of psychological warfare. Overwhelmed by the failings of the fourth estate. Mainstream media outlets have been redesigned to distance and absolve the viewer from the repercussions of an administration’s actions. It’s always easier to feel good about a war when it’s witnessed vicariously.

It’s easier to agree with an educational policy a pundit’s been paid $241,000 to promote.

If you follow the US news, maybe you’ve seen a Video News Release or two. You know-those PR segments disguised as real news. The ones where big business and government officials sell the latest prescription drug or military action. Maybe you caught a press conference where a Republican activist pretending to be a journalist brownnosed instead of asking questions. How about the scripted “live” video conferences between the President and troops in Iraq, where soldiers recite memorized responses. Best of all, there’s the town-hall style “conversations” between our Commander-in-Chief and “average” Americans-a cross-section of the population specially selected and preapproved to agree with the party line.

The Whitehouse can’t claim complete responsibility for these dubious deceptions.

Journalists are shirking their duty to root out truth and expose the misconceptions.

Journalists are shirking their duty to root out truth and expose the misconceptions. The spectacles of political correspondence and war coverage aren’t about disseminating information, so much as they are meant to reinforce notions of national benevolence. Keep us pumped and patriotic.

This is what passes for objectivity.

A democracy can only be as healthy as its level of journalistic integrity. In this case, the land of the free is in a definite state of disarray. Without access to reliable information, it is impossible for citizens to hold elected officials accountable. Corruption becomes inevitable. Things like illegal domestic spying programs become a matter of course.

Those arrogant enough to assume they can force a system of governance on areas of strategic interest should at least make sure it functions in the first place.

It’s time to take the blinders off.

It’s time to stop falling for the marketing blitz, peer through the fog of faux reporting, and start critically thinking again. It’s time to remember it takes more than cherry-picked intelligence retrofitted with slick sound-bytes to pass as a legitimate news story. Only when we begin to actively engage with the media, by scrutinizing information from a variety of sources, will we become impervious to these constant attacks on independent thought.

“There is nothing more important than the media – it is more powerful than any bomb or missile and we have to take it back … we need a media that is independent and honestly showing us the images, the hell, ugliness and brutality of war, not selling us war.” -Amy Goodman

Tags: Opinion · · ·

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