Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What's LEFT Of Blogs?

Magnifico reports at Docudharma today in his Four at Four on the Washington Post story today: Nuclear or Biological Attack Called Likely.

The story tells in a very serious "objectively journalistic" matter of fact manner of a new report produced by the "Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism".

WAPO's article notes that:

The odds that terrorists will soon strike a major city with weapons of mass destruction are now better than even, a bipartisan congressionally mandated task force concludes in a draft study that warns of growing threats from rogue states, nuclear smuggling networks and the spread of atomic know-how in the developing world.

The sobering assessment of such threats, due for release as early as today, singled out Pakistan as a grave concern because of its terrorist networks, history of instability and arsenal of several dozen nuclear warheads. The report urged the incoming Obama administration to take "decisive action" to reduce the likelihood of a devastating attack.
...the creation of the commission, chaired by former senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), with former congressman James M. Talent (R-Mo.) serving as vice chairman, was one of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, which explored the causes of the 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States.
I don't recall the 9/11 Commission ever doing any "exploring" of the root causes of the 2001 terrorist attacks or of the root causes of the oppression and imperialism and the general foreign policies of messing internally with other countries militarily and via CIA fomented insurrections, destabilization campaigns, and false flag operations to fog the minds of Americans over the past six or more decades.

I don't recall the 9/11 Commission ever doing anything other than their job: creating justifications for the "war on terror" fearmongering and propaganda campaigns that replaced the "cold war" mentality of 'political rule on behalf of multinational corporate stripping the earth bare like a swarm of locusts the rest of the world's human beings are our property and resources to be used till exhausted with no regard for their humanity' American Exceptionalism that was behind all the lies and deceits of the ten year sanctions war and eventual invasion and occupation of Iraq that was directly responsible for the deaths, maimings and poisonings of over a million Iraqis; men, women, and children.

But "explore the causes"? Deluded misinformation at best, and pure manipulative propaganda at worst.

Boo! The boogeymen are out to get you.

This story is all over the left blogs today, and most of what I read is people lapping it up as easily and thoughtlessly as the 26 percenters lapped up all of Bush's years of Rovian manipulations, and using it as justification for "pragmatic" hide their heads in the sand denial of Barack Obama's obvious militarist tendencies and full intentions to continue the war on terror memes and determination to militarily dominate the earth while blaming the blowback on "terrists" on behalf of the corporatocracy that rules America.

Have we learned nothing in eight years?

Glenn Greenwald: How Beltway reporters mislead the country
by: ek hornbeck
Sun Nov 25, 2007
I think this is the arena that we are most effective in, media criticism.
The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits - a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.

(I)t (is) a low trade and a habit worse than heroin, a strange seedy world full of misfits and drunkards and failures. The business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

Objective journalism is one of the main reasons American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long. - Stockton
I think this is the arena that we used to be most effective in, media criticism. But no longer, it seems.

What's LEFT Of Blogs?

The Unseen Lies: Journalism As Propaganda
By John Pilger, August 8, 2007
The truth about most modern journalism: You first become a career media worker, you start climbing the ladder, and then you prostitute yourself. It's as common as it's straightforward.

The following is a transcript of a talk given by John Pilger at Socialism 2007 Conference in Chicago this past June:

The title of this talk is Freedom Next Time, which is the title of my book, and the book is meant as an antidote to the propaganda that is so often disguised as journalism. So I thought I would talk today about journalism, about war by journalism, propaganda, and silence, and how that silence might be broken. Edward Bernays, the so-called father of public relations, wrote about an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. He was referring to journalism, the media.

That was almost 80 years ago, not long after corporate journalism was invented. It is a history few journalist talk about or know about, and it began with the arrival of corporate advertising. As the new corporations began taking over the press, something called "professional journalism" was invented. To attract big advertisers, the new corporate press had to appear respectable, pillars of the establishment-objective, impartial, balanced. The first schools of journalism were set up, and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around the professional journalist. The right to freedom of expression was associated with the new media and with the great corporations, and the whole thing was, as Robert McChesney put it so well, "entirely bogus".

For what the public did not know was that in order to be professional, journalists had to ensure that news and opinion were dominated by official sources, and that has not changed. Go through the New York Times on any day, and check the sources of the main political stories-domestic and foreign-you'll find they're dominated by government and other established interests. That is the essence of professional journalism.


One of my favorite stories about the Cold War concerns a group of Russian journalists who were touring the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by the host for their impressions. "I have to tell you," said the spokesman, "that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV day after day that all the opinions on all the vital issues are the same. To get that result in our country we send journalists to the gulag. We even tear out their fingernails. Here you don't have to do any of that. What is the secret?"

What is the secret? It is a question seldom asked in newsrooms, in media colleges, in journalism journals, and yet the answer to that question is critical to the lives of millions of people. On August 24 [2006] the New York Times declared this in an editorial: "If we had known then what we know now the invasion if Iraq would have been stopped by a popular outcry." This amazing admission was saying, in effect, that journalists had betrayed the public by not doing their job and by accepting and amplifying and echoing the lies of Bush and his gang, instead of challenging them and exposing them. What the Times didn't say was that had that paper and the rest of the media exposed the lies, up to a million people might be alive today. That's the belief now of a number of senior establishment journalists. Few of them-they've spoken to me about it-few of them will say it in public.

Ironically, I began to understand how censorship worked in so-called free societies when I reported from totalitarian societies. During the 1970s I filmed secretly in Czechoslovakia, then a Stalinist dictatorship. I interviewed members of the dissident group Charter 77, including the novelist Zdener Urbanek, and this is what he told me. "In dictatorships we are more fortunate that you in the West in one respect. We believe nothing of what we read in the newspapers and nothing of what we watch on television, because we know its propaganda and lies. Unlike you in the West. We've learned to look behind the propaganda and to read between the lines, and unlike you, we know that the real truth is always subversive."


We need to make haste. Liberal Democracy is moving toward a form of corporate dictatorship. This is an historic shift, and the media must not be allowed to be its façade, but itself made into a popular, burning issue, and subjected to direct action. That great whistleblower Tom Paine warned that if the majority of the people were denied the truth and the ideas of truth, it was time to storm what he called the Bastille of words. That time is now.
Want change you can believe in?

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