|Reality and Spin
in the Media
By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted December 13, 2005
[[In a wide-ranging interview, 'Wag the Dog' author Larry Beinhart
describes how members of the news media censor stories -- even as they
publish them. ]]
In a speech this fall, Al Gore spoke of the "strangeness" in our
political discourse. He bemoaned the "new pattern of serial obsessions
that periodically take over the airwaves for weeks at a time," and the
lack of desire for accountability in American journalism. On top of all
this, the idea that perception is far more important than reality has
become the principle of our broadcast politics, debasing our political
discourse to a game of controlling the spin.
Larry Beinhart has thought long and hard about the nature of
message-based politics. Beinhart, author of the bestselling novel, "Wag
the Dog," recently waded into the nonfiction world of 21st-century
communications with his new book "Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the
Land of Spin."
AlterNet caught up with Beinhart outside of Woodstock, New York, in the
cabin in the woods he shares with his wife and son.
What are "fog facts?"
Fog facts are things that have been published or are easily known but
have disappeared in the fog. And there are lots of facts that should
disappear in the fog; they're trivia, they're nonsense, and we don't
need to know them. I'm talking about things that are important -- that
once you bring them to the foreground it changes your picture of
How does a fact become a fog fact?
With certain exceptions, news is not automatically big news. The
exceptions are dead popes, the World Series, tsunamis, volcanoes, wars
the wars that involve us anyway -- but most news actually becomes news
-- including wars -- because of press releases. The example I always use
-- because we're in the small town of Woodstock -- is the little league
schedule. If the little league schedule is going to be in the newspaper,
it's only because the coach or the coach's wife sends it to the
Most news originates as a press release or a press conference or an
announcement. And if it's going to stay in the news, it has to get new
press releases and new stories. Someone has to work at that, someone has
to invest effort and time to make it a big story. And if nobody does
that, it may not be a story at all, or it may be a one-time item. You
know, page 12 of the New York Times, page 26.
And part of what happens is that people in the media -- especially print
people -- think that if they're reported it they've done their job.
Their job is not to determine what effect it has on the population, how
well we absorb it, how excited we get about it -- that's not their job.
Their job is to get the fact and put it in the paper. They're done. Then
if the fact comes back again, as a new press release or a new twist,
they go with it.
Two great examples are the Oil-For-Food money. Everybody in America
knows that there's some kind of weird scandal about what the U.N. did
with the Oil-For-Food money. They don't know exactly what it is but they
know there's something scandalous, that Kofi Annan is a little dirty.
Now, as far as anybody's been able to tell so far, the corruption and
malfeasance involved several hundreds of thousands of dollars at most,
excluding those moneys that Saddam Hussein was able to hold onto, which
was generally approved by all parties or permitted by all parties. But
however much the U.N. did wrong was fairly minor.
After the U.S. conquest of Iraq the Oil-For-Food money was transferred
to a new entity, the CPA -- the Coalition Provisional Authority run by
Paul Bremer. And about $9 billion dollars of oil money went into the
CPA, plus about $10 billion dollars of other funds went into the CPA.
And this money was essentially being held in trust for the Iraqi
government. Now they ripped through about $19 billion dollars of it --
it has essentially disappeared.
If I remember correctly out of 20 billion dollars there was about half a
billion left. And it surfaced in only about three isolated stories. The
reason for that is that there is no constituency that has influence in
the American media that gives a damn about Iraq's money. There's a very
big constituency in the United States that hates the U.N.. And they hate
the U.N. because the notion of any restraint on America's sovereign,
unfettered authority is something that just disturbs them to no end. So
they were eager to find things that would tarnish the U.N., so they
worked that story very hard -- the right wing -- they pushed that story
and we heard a lot about it.
So one stayed a fog fact and one's a well-known fact.
Another instance is when the media itself will decide that they want to
create a fog-fact -- they don't want something known. The most notorious
example of this was the recount that the media itself paid for after the
Florida election in 2000. There was enough controversy about it that a
consortium of the major players in the media business -- the New York
Times, the Washington Post, the Tribune Company -- which is the Chicago
Tribune -- the Los Angeles Times, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and the
St. Petersburg Times all got together and said we're going to recount
these votes and we're going to find out who really won. And they went
and they spent a million dollars on it. And who really won, presumably,
That was the exciting thing. If they found out that it was Al Gore who
won, then obviously on the face of it that's bigger news than George
Bush won. That's old news. Who cares? And when they counted all the
discernible votes -- according to the standard way you could tell what
the voter intended, Al Gore won.
So, headlines should have been "Al Gore got more votes" or "Al Gore
should have been president," or "Wrong man elected" or "Supreme Court
stopped recount just in time to save Bush." Right? But those weren't the
headlines. The headlines were "Bush won anyway," "Recount shows Bush
won," "Recount shows Supreme Court stopping vote didn't matter."
And the New York Times was the worst offender. Unless you read the story
with the care of an accountant, it was literally impossible to decipher
that Al Gore got more votes. The truth is, I didn't figure it out. I
read the story and I thought, "oh shit, that's a disappointment." Two
years later I was reading a story by the other Gore -- Vidal -- and he
mentioned it. And I went back and re-read the Times story. And I
thought, "Oh my God. Al Gore got more votes than George Bush. It's
And then I read all the others and I said, "This is one of the most
amazing media events that I've ever seen." I want to find out how all
seven of them all made the same decision to bury the story. Not to deny
the story, but to bury the story so that they could in good conscience
say "we reported the truth." And they did. And yet they all spun it so
heavily that even dedicated lefties and the bloggers all missed it.
Is this a sinister plot, or is something else afoot?
There are certain structural impediments to how the media functions. We
have in the United States what's known as objective journalism, which
contrasted with the European model. In Europe, the newspapers -- and
these traditions go back strictly to the newspaper days -- were all
owned by political parties or affiliated with political parties. There
was the Communist paper, there was the monarchist paper, there was the
revisionist paper, and there was the Nazi paper, the Social Democrat,
the Christian, whatever. So when you read the paper you knew there was a
point of view and you expected it.
We took a different tradition, which was for a long time a very
effective and honorable one. The journalist tries to actually be a
non-judgmental gatherer of the facts. You lay them out there in as
coherent an order as possible and then you make up your own mind. Sounds
like a Fox News slogan. But there are certain weaknesses in the system.
For anything controversial, it essentially depends on there being two
separate but equal contestants. In political issues if there's a strong
liberal and strong conservative view, you get them into the paper and
you can sort it out.
But in certain situations like going to war, in which the administration
could play the patriotism card, what happens is you have George Bush
hollering for war. And George Bush got to say, "we're going to war
because they have WMD and they're associated with Al Qaeda." Scott
Ritter got up and said, "you know, I was a weapons inspector and I was
there and we got rid of all the weapons. Let me tell you that if there's
anything left -- and there might be something left -- but if there's
anything left it probably doesn't work." O.K., they report it. And Bush
shrugs and he goes and he says, "They have weapons of mass destruction
-- with nukes."
And the press dutifully reports it because he's the president of the
United States. So Scott Ritter goes and speaks the next time. But the
press doesn't report it -- they did Scott Ritter already! Same with Hans
Blix. For every three stories Hans Blix got Colin Powell got 10, Dick
Cheney got 50, George Bush got 200, Condi Rice got another 150 and
Rumsfeld got another 100. So in the aggregate number of stories, the
number of times you heard that he had weapon of mass destruction
compared to the number of times you heard he didn't means that the Scott
Ritter story for most people disappeared into the fog. And the Hans Blix
thing disappeared into the fog. Even now it's really hard to sort out
the sequence of what I think are the really significant events that have
Every administration uses the media, every administration spins us.
Clinton did it, FDR did it, you name it. They've all done it. Why is
this administration different?
It's a combination of things -- sort of a perfect storm. One is that --
this is difficult because it implies motive, and consciousness -- but
these are guys who have an agenda that could not possibly be sold
honestly. So, for them to even do it requires dishonesty. Clinton's
dishonesty was largely in his personal life. And politically, he would
attempt to do things and when he found out he couldn't do them he made
adjustments and did something else. I don't know if that's lying or
making adjustments, but this is something different.
These are people who very much want, for example, to take Social
Security. To them this is just a huge pile of money just sitting there.
And they really wanted to take that money and put it -- and give it to
businesses. They wanted to dump it into Wall Street. What a bonanza! And
it makes them crazy that they can't. And if they know that about
themselves, they could not run on that, and say "this is what we want to
do," so they say "we want to save social security."
So whether they can convince themselves that's true, I can't answer. But
it requires them to run, in essence, on something that's not true.
Bushenomics is about the use of government for transferring money from
regular people to rich people. That's what government is for in their
minds. And all their economic decisions have done or attempted to do
So these are people who have policies that aren't saleable so they have
to lie to sell them. Public relations has reached a level of maturity --
over the last 20 years public relations has grown up immensely,
especially in the corporate world. When some community group wants to
force their local industry to take PCBs out of the river, the
corporations will form a group called Citizens for Healthy Rivers.
And whatever statement they make, it'll read: "and the spokesperson for
Citizens for Healthy Rivers says it's actually better for PCBs to be
stuck at the bottom of the river then be churned up by dredging." So
Citizens for Healthy Rivers is opposed to dredging gets repeated over
and over again. They've learned to put fake labels on what they do --
they learned it in business. And we see this administration doing it
very assiduously with their bills: Healthy Forest act, Clear Skies act
-- with mercury! -- the methodologies for doing this have grown up.
So it's a perfect storm. It's an administration that has an agenda
that's not sale-able, we have a compliant media fixated on reporting "he
said she said," we have all of these Astroturf citizens groups. Let me
put to you the last question, which is 9/11, before and after. How did
that create a proliferation of fog facts?
Once we have 9/11 we have war hysteria. The war hysteria was worst among
people in the media. People in the media were just scared shitless.
Perhaps more so in New York than anywhere else. I think that's what made
the New York Times go off the rails. And it caused the deification of
George W. Bush. Rather than point out that on 9/11 he flew to Nebraska
-- you know, he didn't go stand at the helm of the ship and steer us out
of trouble, he got as far away as he could get -- they just sat there
until he did the bullhorn act.
Then he was a hero -- thank God! And we all had to band together --
there was this tribal thing -- and we had to fight the outsiders and
anyone who disagreed was a traitor. We had an administration that, after
they got over being scared shitless themselves, pushed it for everything
it was worth. They had had an agenda that they were waiting for an
opportunity to achieve.
Some argue that the new media -- we hear endlessly about the blogosphere
and the relationship that's developing between the blogs and the
traditional media -- are going to usher in a new era of media
transparency. Others argue that announcing the death of the mainstream
media is premature. What's your view, are we headed to a time when a few
major outlets can emphasize X while Y falls off the screen?
I really don't know. I don't know. But what I think is that objective
journalism as it stands now sucks. It's got a lot of problems. One is
that the guys who make money from spinning it have figured out how to do
it. And the media is essentially worthless if it's all spin and that's
where a lot of the distrust of the media comes from.
There are two ways to change. We can fall into the European model where
there's a left media and a right media. The other possibility is to
redefine what objective media is. And this has been done in a small way
in political campaigns. It's done with political advertising. They take
a political advertisement and they take the responsibility of
objectively, by their own standards -- not one from column A and one
from column B -- looking at an ad and going through it line by line and
saying how truthful it is. So that to me is a higher standard and a
useful standard of objective journalism. These guys should go out and do
the work that I'm paying them for.
And they're not doing the job that they want to do either. There are a
lot of dissatisfied journalists out there going, "There's something
wrong and we don't know how to fix it." Well there's the model to fix
MEDIA SPIN REVOLVES AROUND THE WORD
By Norman Solomon
During the first two days of this month, CNN's website displayed an odd
little announcement. "There have been false reports that CNN has not
used the word 'terrorist' to refer to those who attacked the World Trade
Center and Pentagon," the notice said. "In fact, CNN has consistently
and repeatedly referred to the attackers and hijackers as terrorists,
and it will continue to do so."
The CNN disclaimer was accurate -- and, by conventional media standards,
reassuring. But it bypassed a basic question that festers beneath
America's overwhelming media coverage of recent weeks: Exactly what
qualifies as "terrorism"?
For this country's mainstream journalists, that's a non-question about a
no-brainer. More than ever, the proper function of the "terrorist" label
seems obvious. "A group of people commandeered airliners and used them
as guided missiles against thousands of people," says NBC News executive
Bill Wheatley. "If that doesn't fit the definition of terrorism, what
True enough. At the same time, it's notable that American news outlets
routinely define terrorism the same way that U.S. government officials
do. Usually, editors assume that reporters don't need any formal
directive because the appropriate usage is simply understood.
The Wall Street Journal does provide some guidelines, telling its staff
that the word terrorist "should be used carefully, and specifically, to
describe those people and nongovernmental organizations that plan and
execute acts of violence against civilian or noncombatant targets." In
newsrooms across the United States, media professionals would agree.
But -- in sharp contrast -- Reuters has stuck to a distinctive approach
for decades. "As part of a policy to avoid the use of emotive words,"
the global news service says, "we do not use terms like 'terrorist' and
'freedom fighter' unless they are in a direct quote or are otherwise
attributable to a third party. We do not characterize the subjects of
news stories but instead report their actions, identity and background
so that readers can make their own decisions based on the facts."
Since mid-September, the Reuters management has taken a lot of heat for
maintaining this policy -- and for reiterating it in an internal memo,
which included the observation that "one man's terrorist is another
man's freedom fighter." In a clarifying statement, released on Oct. 2,
the top execs at Reuters explained: "Our policy is to avoid the use of
emotional terms and not make value judgments concerning the facts we
attempt to report accurately and fairly."
Reuters reports from 160 countries, and the "terrorist" label is highly
contentious in quite a few of them. Behind the scenes, many governments
have pressured Reuters to flatly describe their enemies as terrorists in
From the vantage point of government leaders in Ankara or Jerusalem or
Moscow, for example, journalists shouldn't hesitate to describe their
violent foes as terrorists. But why should reporters oblige by pinning
that tag on Kurdish combatants in Turkey, or Palestinian militants in
occupied territories, or rebels in Chechnya?
Unless we buy into the absurd pretense that governments don't engage in
"terrorism," the circumscribed use of the term by U.S. media makes no
sense. Turkish military forces have certainly terrorized and killed many
civilians; the same is true of Israeli forces and Russian troops. As a
result, plenty of Kurds, Palestinians and Chechens are grieving.
American reporters could plausibly expand their working definition of
terrorism to include all organized acts of terror and murder committed
against civilians. But such consistency would meet with fierce
opposition in high Washington places.
During the 1980s, with a non-evasive standard for terrorism, news
accounts would have routinely referred to the Nicaraguan contra
guerrillas -- in addition to the Salvadoran and Guatemalan governments
-- as U.S.-backed "terrorists." Today, for instance, such a standard
would require news coverage of terrorism in the Middle East to include
the Israeli assaults with bullets and missiles that take the lives of
Palestinian children and other civilians.
Evenhanded use of the "terrorist" label would mean sometimes affixing it
directly on the U.S. government. During the past decade, from Iraq to
Sudan to Yugoslavia, the Pentagon's missiles have destroyed the lives of
civilians just as innocent as those who perished on Sept. 11. If
journalists dare not call that "terrorism," then perhaps the word should
be retired from the media lexicon.
It's entirely appropriate for news outlets to describe the Sept. 11
hijackers as "terrorists" -- if those outlets are willing to use the
"terrorist" label with integrity across the board. But as long as news
organizations are not willing to do so, the Reuters policy is the only
principled journalistic alternative.
There is no credible reason to believe that mainstream U.S. media will
jump off Uncle Sam's propaganda merry-go-round about "terrorism." And
the problem goes far beyond the deeply hypocritical routine of
condemning some murderously explosive actions against civilians while
applauding or even implementing others.
More than five years have passed since Madeleine Albright, then
secretary of state, appeared on the CBS program "60 Minutes" and
explained her lack of concern about the deaths resulting from U.S.-led
sanctions against Iraq. In a broadcast that aired on May 12, 1996, the
CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Albright: "We have heard that a
half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than
died when -- in -- in Hiroshima. And -- and, you know, is the price
"I think this is a very hard choice," Albright replied, "but the price
-- we think the price is worth it."
Since then, by continuing to impose sanctions on Iraq, the U.S.
government has killed hundreds of thousands more children. Of course
such present-day policies did not stop Albright's successor from
immediately claiming the high moral ground on Sept. 11. Responding to
the tragic events that day, Colin Powell denounced "people who feel that
with the destruction of buildings, with the murder of people, they can
somehow achieve a political purpose."
Obviously, top U.S. officials still believe that they can "somehow
achieve a political purpose" with sanctions that are killing several
thousand Iraqi children every month. While standing on that policy
platform, the officials fervently deplore terrorism.
The Science of Media Spin-Doctor
MANIPULATING PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS
With Fraudulent Tripe!
Bush Regime & U.S. Media Propaganda Game Plan
The Propaganda Game Plan strategy for the Bush Regime & U.S. Media is
predictable and CERTAIN. Look for the following 'Media Hypes' to
coincide with the following events (REMEMBER -- This Was Written and
These "Events" were Predicted in January 2003!):
Minute-by-minute U.S. Media bombardment of reports of "Grandiose Heroic
Acts" purportedly performed by U.S. military personnel in a propaganda
coup designed to foster an image of the U.S. War as one of "building"
and "helping," while designed to undermine and dispel the True image of
incredible destruction and the wholesale decimation of many innocent
Iraqi Civilian lives, including women and children (1,252 at last
Minute-by-minute U.S. Media bombardment of "U.S. Military Casualty"
stories, which are virtually always presented in conjunction with
unsupported, unverified accounts of an alleged Iraqi military atrocity
which purportedly is directly linked to the U.S. casualty. The obvious
agitprop strategy here is to "INCITE" the public with fury and anger and
hatred for the 'enemy' ... thus bolstering public support for the War.
Minute-by-minute U.S. Media bombardment of U.S. military "Loved Ones
Back Home" stories, which are virtually always presented in conjunction
with unsupported, unverified accounts of an alleged Iraqi military
atrocity which purportedly is directly linked to the 'Loved One' and the
dangers s\he faces. The obvious agitprop strategy here is to "INCITE"
the public with fury and anger and hatred for the 'enemy' ... thus
bolstering public support for the War.
Minute-by-minute U.S. Media bombardment of purportedly new (updated)
snippets of information supposedly adding to the body of evidence and
purportedly "proving conclusively" that Saddam "has and was about to
use" weapons of mass destruction or chemical-biological weapons. The
U.S. Media will dispense this as gospel and will always be seen putting
words in the mouths of military expert interviewees to this effect.
There will be a complete absence of critical media analysis or scrutiny
of the accuracy or details of the information or the validity of the
inferences \conclusions being hastily drawn. The U.S. Media will be seen
accepting such info hastily and uncritically, because it is commonly
understood that the legitimacy of this War DEMANDS that such facts be
Minute-by-minute U.S. Media bombardment of purportedly new (updated)
snippets of information supposedly adding to the body of evidence and
purportedly "proving conclusively" that Saddam "had connections to Al
Queda and World-Wide Terrorist networks" - in an effort to legitimize
this War and despite the fact that nearly all Iraq experts have
repudiated such claims as utterly implausible given Saddam's dislike for
such groups. The U.S. Media will dispense this as gospel and will always
be seen putting words in the mouths of military expert interviewees to
this effect. There will be a complete absence of critical analysis or
scrutiny of the accuracy or details of the information or the validity
of the inferences \conclusions being hastily drawn. The U.S. Media will
be seen accepting such info hastily and uncritically, because it is
commonly understood that the legitimacy of this War DEMANDS that such
facts be present.
EXAMPLE: The U.S. Media is already propagating irresponsible claims that
Al Queda terrorist lists have been found at an Iraqi site. They are
touting this as conclusive proof of Iraq's connection to World-wide
terrorism and the events of 9\11. In fact, if such information is true,
it may represent divisions and disagreements within Saddam's ranks.
Furthermore, such a list, if it really exists, most likely would
represent a very recent 'last resort' effort by Saddam to defend against
an imminent U.S. attack. This is a good example of irresponsible U.S.
journalism ... and the Fox network is the worst.
Minute-by-minute U.S. Media bombardment of purportedly new (updated)
snippets of information supposedly further illustrating overwhelming
U.S. military successes ... while confidently touting what a speedy
'slam-dunk' War this is shaping up to be. The propaganda strategy is
designed to instill in viewers the belief that "it is almost over" and
just a little more patience will get you to the Promised Land. This
agitprop U.S. Media strategy is in recognition of the fact that every
day this War continues, support for it erodes.
Minute-by-minute U.S. Media bombardment of purportedly new (updated)
polls purportedly showing non-eroding or growing public support for the
War. The propaganda strategy is designed to instill in viewers the
belief that support for the War is not eroding, and therefore there is
no reason for anyone to abandon support. This agitprop U.S. Media
strategy is in recognition of the fact that every time there is erosion
of support there tends to be a rapid domino effect of further erosion of
support. The polls are bogus. The poll questions are 'loaded,'
suggestive and specious. The poll questions present false either\or
dilemmas which force respondents to either answer favorably or refuse to
answer altogether because "their" answer option is not offered in the
answer choices given to them. (See special article on "Bogus U.S. Media
Scant or non-existent U.S. Media reports about the number of casualties
suffered by innocent Iraqi Civilians. Whatever numbers are proffered by
the U.S. Media, they will be characterized as 'soft' unreliable numbers
in an effort to trivialize them. The agitprop strategy here is to
minimize and trivialize the grotesque harm inflicted by the U.S. and to
minimize and trivialize the decimation of the people Bush claims to be
liberating (1,252 at last count).
Scant or in most cases, a complete NEWS VOID regarding U.S. Media
reports about the "DETAILS" of casualties suffered by innocent Iraqi
Civilians. Whatever generalities are proffered by the U.S. Media, they
will be characterized as 'soft' unreliable accounts in an effort to
trivialize them or dismiss them. This will translate as an
aversion-avoidance of details about young children having their limbs
torched off by U.S. bombs, or entire Iraqi families incinerated by U.S.
bombs. The whole point of 'embedded journalists' was supposed to be the
accurate portrayal of such facts. But the U.S. Media has become the
propaganda wing of the Bush Regime and such factual information is
deemed unpatriotic and off-limits. (Just ask Peter Arnett). The agitprop
strategy here is to minimize and trivialize the grotesque harm inflicted
by the U.S. and to minimize and trivialize the decimation of the people
Bush claims to be liberating.
When Scant U.S. Media reports about the "DETAILS" of casualties suffered
by innocent Iraqi victims are disseminated, they will always ... ALWAYS
be presented ONLY IF THE VICTIMS or survivors EXPRESS ANTI-SADDAM
SENTIMENTS. And they will always ... ALWAYS be presented ONLY in tandem
with an upbeat spin-story showing how the U.S. is working with the
victims and their survivors to "rebuild a better tomorrow." Whatever
generalities are proffered by the U.S. Media, they will be characterized
as 'soft' unreliable accounts in an effort to trivialize them or dismiss
them. This will translate as an aversion-avoidance of details about
young children having their limbs torched off by U.S. bombs, or entire
Iraqi families incinerated by U.S. bombs. The whole point of 'embedded
journalists' was supposed to be the accurate portrayal of such facts.
But the U.S. Media has become the propaganda wing of the Bush Regime and
such factual information is deemed unpatriotic and off-limits. (Just ask
Peter Arnett). The agitprop strategy here is to minimize and trivialize
the grotesque harm inflicted by the U.S. and to minimize and trivialize
the decimation of the people Bush claims to be liberating.
Whatever generalities are proffered by the U.S. Media about horrendous
incidents involving extremely ugly, unflattering facts about casualties
inflicted on innocent Iraqi Civilians by the U.S. military, they will be
characterized as 'soft' unreliable accounts in an effort to trivialize
them or dismiss them. No such report will ever be disseminated by the
U.S. Media unless and until a torrent of U.S. officials and 'experts'
have been copiously prepared to justify and "explain away" the incident
as either "Saddam's fault" or as "understandable and defensible under
the circumstances" or as "exaggerated Saddam propaganda" or as
"unconfirmed at this time." The "unconfirmed at this time" U.S. Media
and Bush strategist ploy is frequently used and is calculated to provide
a "cooling off period" before deeming the public ready to grapple with
the grim Truth. Once it is deemed that the public has largely forgotten
about the incident, or when the incident has been eclipsed by some other
incident, then the U.S. Media and Bush strategists will disclose, in
dribs and drabs over many days and weeks, the facts surrounding the
casualties inflicted on innocent Iraqi victims by the U.S. military.
These accounts will always ... ALWAYS be couched in euphemistic terms
that gloss-over and trivialize the significance of the disclosed facts.
And these accounts will always ... ALWAYS be plagued with red-herring
distraction arguments which purportedly mitigate blame or exonerate U.S.
actions entirely, while castigating those who would criticize "with the
benefit of 20\20 hindsight."
Expect to see a torrent of "unconfirmed at this time" U.S. Media and
Bush strategist responses every time a grizzly set of facts surfaces
which are unflattering to the U.S. and the U.S. War effort. The U.S.
Media and Bush Regime strategy is simple and obvious. The Rule is this:
"Strike while the iron is HOT, when it involves flaming, hostile public
sentiments against Iraq or Saddam." The Converse Rule is this: "Wait
until the iron is COLD, when it involves flaming, hostile public
sentiments against Bush, the U.S., the U.S. military or the U.S. War
effort." The U.S. Media are full partners with the Bush Regime in
sticking to this operational Propaganda GamePlan.
Minute-by-minute U.S. Media bombardment of "Alleged Iraqi Military
Atrocity" stories, which are virtually always presented in conjunction
with unsupported, unverified accounts of alleged Iraqi military events
which occurred at a totally different time and place and which cannot be
directly linked to the alleged new atrocity claim. The obvious agitprop
strategy here is to "INCITE" the public with fury and anger and hatred
for the 'enemy' ... so the public will be inclined to accept the
unsupported claims uncritically, with the presumption that "it is
probably true and accurate." This U.S. Media propaganda ploy is the most
commonly utilized counterfeit in their agitprop arsenal. Its overall
effect is to erode the 'public scrutiny of information' standard so that
little or no competent proof or evidence is necessary in order for the
public to "buy into it" as though it is gospel ... as though it had
legitimacy ... as though it was conclusively True and Accurate, even
though it is NOT.
Government Watch 2002
Parents For Responsible Education
Thaddeus Brandon Jacobs
Operation Mockingbird: CIA Media Manipulation
Audio: Media & Mind Control in America
by Steven Jacobson
(5.24MB) 22Min 52 Sec
(4.75MB) 20Min 45 Sec
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