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Pre-War Propaganda

By ckotso in Media
Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 04:07:51 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

Tonight I was watching a documentary on a local TV channel, and stood there breathless while seeing unbelievable pre-war propaganda stories being presented. The most amazing of all, was the testimony of a presumed 15-year old girl from Kuwait at the congress, stating that Iraqi soldiers where taking babies out of incubators and let them die on the cold floor. This testimony was, according to the documentary, what provided the needed impulsion for the congress to vote in favour of the gulf war. President G. Bush Sr also used this story four times in four distinct speeches. The catch is, the testimony was given by the Kuwait ambassadors' daughters that had never, ever visited Kuwait.

More comments along with the testimony can be found at the Emperor's Clothes site (there is some product promoting info at the end, but I could not find the article anywhere without it). However, it is of interest that nowadays the media is considered to play a role as important as the arms, in the sense that it may be able to provide through propaganda all the support a nation needs to have inside before it goes on a war. Other examples include the war in Serbia (at the time, people executed by the Milosevic stand where reported to vary from 300,000 to 500,000, while according to the latest estimations they where around 3,000), the war between the Great Britain and Argentina, and plenty of others.

The question I am posing on K5 readers, is how much can one trust the media and their leaders' saying nowadays? If the prime minister of my country comes out and says, we must declare war on country X, why should I believe him/her? I mean, even if I am provided with evidence, how can I be sure it's real, in a time that any video and photo can be edited (or created!) until there is no way one can tell the genuine from the fake?


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Pre-War Propaganda | 52 comments (36 topical, 16 editorial, 1 hidden)
You mean they lied!?!? (3.07 / 26) (#3)
by ucblockhead on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 06:31:34 PM EST

You mean the World Trade Center wasn't really attacked!?!?
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
yeah, but who did it? (3.57 / 14) (#12)
by mmcc on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:12:44 PM EST

It would be difficult to argue that the WTC attack never occured, but there seems to have been little or no evidence presented that OBL was responsible.

The US government keeps saying that it has such evidence, but refuses to show it to anybody but its closest allies. So are we to trust your government? If the evidence is so convincing, why can't we see it? Can there be any "state secret" so important that a war can be started without revealing it?

My bet is that we never will see the evidence. The WTC attack gave the US government a blank cheque to take "revenge" on whomever they like.

Secondly, the Taliban may be responsible for harbouring OBL, but the US government supported them until the start of this year... so is the US government also responsible for harbouring terrorists? They already suspected OBL for previous terrorist attacks, and they were still giving money to the Taliban! Go figure.

It's all about control; the American people want to see bombs dropping to regain some sense of control that they lost during when the WTC was destroyed.

[ Parent ]

[OT] Award (3.50 / 4) (#31)
by greenrd on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 03:58:25 PM EST

It would be difficult to argue that the WTC attack never occured,

That has to win some kind of understatement of the year award or something.

(sorry, I'll get back to being serious now...)

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Blank check? Then why the Taliban? (4.33 / 3) (#35)
by pyramid termite on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 12:09:49 PM EST

My bet is that we never will see the evidence. The WTC attack gave the US government a blank cheque to take "revenge" on whomever they like.

Think about that. If the US were to just manufacture a case against anyone they liked, then why pick Osama? Why pick someone in one of the most inaccessable, hard to fight in countries in the world? If they'd just wanted an easy scapegoat, wouldn't have Saddam in Iraq suited them better? It would be easy for us to say, "Well, we've been enforcing the U.N. sanctions and now we've been attacked for it and we're going to have to overthrow Saddam before he does something even crazier, because WE KNOW he did it." It would be a lot easier militarily, (don't know about diplomatically), and the American people would be happy with the results. Instead, we're fighting an ill-defined enemy in a country notorious for its terrain and the ferocity of its warriors. If the government were to manufacture evidence, wouldn't they do it to make things easier, not harder?
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Conspiracy theory mode (4.00 / 5) (#36)
by roystgnr on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 02:40:57 PM EST

Okay, this is getting far fetched, but:

Why Osama? Why marijuana? Wars on countries come to an end; with Iraq they have the habit of coming to a quick end. If you want a nice, long excuse to curtail civil rights and do whatever nefarious conspiratorial shadow government things you want, then the only way to drag it out is to make the war against a nice, nebulous evil like Poverty, Drugs, or Terror. And Afghanistan is the perfect host for such a nebulous terror. We've already bombed everything there worth bombing. I don't feel any safer yet. Now what?

[ Parent ]

Depends on the aim (4.20 / 5) (#37)
by bunsen on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 02:45:22 PM EST

If the government were to manufacture evidence, wouldn't they do it to make things easier, not harder?

Not unless the purpose was to get the nation into a state of pseudo-war for as long as possible. Other comments have already cited the tremendous political gains for the administration and the financial ones for the good ol' military-industrial complex. If we'd gone and attacked Iraq again, people would expect it to be over as fast as last time. If the administration tried to drag it out, everyone would begin to question the ability of all involved. By attacking Afghanistan, with advance warning about the difficulty of fighting there, they can keep tearing the Constitution to shreds and spending our money on so-called defense for as long as they damn well please. It sounds like a typical conspiracy theory on the surface, but it's disturbingly plausible.

Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq] (n)
[ Parent ]

Interesting thought, but (4.50 / 2) (#38)
by pyramid termite on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 05:01:18 PM EST

Not unless the purpose was to get the nation into a state of pseudo-war for as long as possible.

If the government was going to play that dirty, why not do it for a real "benefit"? Let's say that the first "investigation" revealed that the "Arab" terrorists who did this were actually Latin Americans, and a Columbian drug lord had financed them, instead of Osama. Evidence could have been manufactured to back this up - it's not like the terrorists, or any immediate witnesses (those on the plane) are around to be asked about it. Then our Pres could proclaim that the War on Drugs was now identical to the War on Terrorism and that all drug dealers and users were part of a Terror Network and all immediate steps, including suspension of Constitutional Rights, must be taken as The Enemy Is In Our Midst, blah, blah, blah. There we are - one psuedo war that would take forever to fight and give the government all sorts of reasons to start a police state.

I guess what I'm saying is that if they were going to make up something, they'd make up something that would give them a lot more advantage than the story we have.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Real "benefit" (4.00 / 1) (#46)
by svampa on Sun Oct 21, 2001 at 07:23:54 AM EST

They want an oil or gas pipe in Afghanistan to get the oil from the old soviet republics Tagizistan Ubekistan... and all IdontKnowWhat-tan. here is an old article that talks about that, and here a recent article.

If we are looking for conspiration and dirty play to get "benefit", oil is a more credible aim than just keeping weapons industries satisfied

[ Parent ]
Unless Afghanistan isn't a excuse, but the target (2.00 / 1) (#44)
by drquick on Sat Oct 20, 2001 at 04:02:15 PM EST

You write:
Think about that. If the US were to just manufacture a case against anyone they liked, then why pick Osama? Why pick someone in one of the most inaccessable, hard to fight in countries in the world? If they'd just wanted an easy scapegoat, wouldn't have Saddam in Iraq suited them better?
If you aren't looking for a scapegoat, but rather for an excuse to attack, then you need something like WTC to licence your policies. Afghanistan has probably been on the agenda/wishlist for a long time and now time is ripe.

[ Parent ]
Day of INfamy (3.33 / 3) (#42)
by cam on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 11:00:37 PM EST

>Can there be any "state secret" so
>important that a war can be started
>without revealing it?

Pearl Harbour is often quoted as the "Day of Infamy" when Japan struck without warning. It takes quite a deal of logistical and organisational effort to sail a battle fleet and carrier fleet across the Pacific.

I dont doubt American intelligence and the Government were aware that there was going to be a strike. The Japanese were not mobilising for Pearl Harbour singularly, the same day they struck Malaya which over the next few months they occupied the Phillipines, Singapore, Hong Kong, large parts of Burma, modern day Indonesia and were stopped only a few hundred miles from Australian shores. Organising even 11 divisions plus air and naval assets takes time and is noticeable. Roosevelts commision into the Pearl Harbour fiasco was most likely a Kangaroo court.

As an example of how widely known the attack was, this was related to John Bennett in "Highest Traditions" by the then a Flying Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force, Bob Law-Smith, who was serving with 2 Squadron operating in the East Timor area on 8th of December ( Darwin time, 7th Dec Hawaii time );

"Before daybreak on the morning of December 8th, Australian EST, our Hudsons were dispatched on diverging sea searches north of Timor. At our pre-flight briefing we were told to expect a signla while in the air, that the anticipated Pearl Harbour attack had taken place, and if so, any Japanese shipping found would be a legitimate target. Sure enough, while we were on patrol, the W/T Op Air Gunner brought me a message which, when decoded, broke the news that we were at war with Japan."

Law-Smith also related at a speech made in 1991 in South Australia;

"While we were on patrol we would be sent a signal that the Japanese were going to bomb Pearl Harbour - when the signal came through, if we found a Japanese ship we may bomb it. This is an interesting bit of history as this was several days before the Japanese did bomb Pearl Harbour - it is all in my log book. Now I was the lowest form of life in the Air Force - any lower and I'd be out the bottom - so it wasnt a matter of very senior people being privileged to this information"

Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]

vaguely re Pearl Harbour (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by scruffyMark on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 04:54:48 AM EST

I'd very much like it if an American could explain this to me:

Is Pearl Harbour still considered an 'infamous' act, a treacherous sneak attack, and so on?

If so, what do Americans think of the fact that the USA hasn't declared war since (IIRC) Korea. Sure, Japan attacked the USA a whole day or two before declaring war. But does nobody find it odd that the States attacked eg. Iraq ten years (and counting) before declaring war?

[ Parent ]

re:vaguely re Pearl Harbour (none / 0) (#48)
by relarson on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 10:58:59 PM EST

The reason Pearl Harbor is/was considered "a treacherous sneak attack" because it was without warning. The Iraq conflict was not without warning, in fact it was undertaken under the auspices of the UN.

So in review :

1) The United States did not attack Iraq undeclared. In fact there were six months of very public build up and UN meetings.

2) The United States has never declared war on Iraq, The US in fact only pushed Iraq back out of Kuwait. The US and other Coalition forces still enforcing no-fly zones, are not in a state of war against Iraq but merely enforcing UN resolutions. Just like US troops in South Korea which was a United Nations Police action not a declared war by the United States. Troops from US, Great Britain, Turkey, Greece, Colombia, Australia etc. were actually involved in the fighting in Korea, all under the auspices of the UN.

Let me pose a question to non americans:

1) What would you have us do?

2) How would your solution actually work? (i.e give historical examples/analysis of previous conflicts that were solved using your solution(s)).

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
--John Dryden,

    All for Love

[ Parent ]
Really was an honest question (none / 0) (#52)
by scruffyMark on Sun Nov 11, 2001 at 10:58:59 PM EST

And you answer was helpful. Thanks.

[ Parent ]
I for one am vey sceptical about this. (3.35 / 20) (#17)
by Kumbaya Lumbago on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 12:23:55 AM EST

I do not bleeive that the World Trade Center ever existed. Such a very big building that they show in their special effects movies! It defies belief.

I have recently been to New York, in the place where these towers are said to have existed. All I saw was a big smoking rubbish dump and some men picking through it, for what I do not know. And all the buildings in the neighborhood were dusty and delapidated and had broken windows.

Truly America is a backward country. I do not believe they ever could have built such a thing as the World Trade Center. Surely it never existed.

America does not give us enough food and medical aid. And they don't save my people from our enemies often enough. America should be more responsible.
[ Parent ]
Heh, this is the only funny one (2.50 / 2) (#19)
by BlckKnght on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 05:12:55 AM EST

I'm dissapointed in you Kumbaya Lumbago. This troll was actually almost funny. You'd better watch out or you might post something that somebody actually agrees with.

Error: .signature: No such file or directory

[ Parent ]
are you totally brainless? (2.50 / 6) (#22)
by ckotso on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 06:45:46 AM EST

Irony is an easy thing to do. Please spare me the irony, and try to understand that I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT THE WTC AND PENTAGON CASES (loud enough?), I am trying to make a much more general point.

Yes, I *am* biased against the US; stop bitching about it, and start thinking why it is so.

[ Parent ]

America (2.00 / 1) (#40)
by NovaHeat on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 06:26:55 PM EST

America does not give us enough food and medical aid. And they don't save my people from our enemies often enough. America should be more responsible.

Hahahahah, that was great! That really is what the whole world says... until we mess up, then we get blamed for being "imperialistic" and we get told to mind our own business... I wish the whole world could make up its mind!


Rose clouds of flies.
[ Parent ]

Propaganda and War (4.95 / 21) (#6)
by Merc on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 07:17:16 PM EST

I can't remember where I came across the link, but here's an interesting paper on propaganda at the University of Washington.

Some quotes:

On April 13, 1917, [US President Woodrow] Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI) to promote the war domestically while publicizing American war aims abroad ... its efforts represent the first time that a modern government disseminated propaganda on such a large scale.
Invoking the threat of German propaganda, the CPI implemented "voluntary guidelines" for the news media ...
CPI propaganda typically appealed to the heart, not to the mind. ... An article which appeared in Scientific Monthly shortly after the war argued that "the detailed suffering of a little girl and her kitten can motivate our hatred against the Germans, arouse our sympathy for Armenians, make us enthusiastic for the Red Cross, or lead us to give money for a home for cats."
"So great are the psychological resistances to war in modern nations," wrote [noted American Psychologist Harold] Lasswell "that every war must appear to be a war of defense against a menacing, murderous aggressor. There must be no ambiguity about who the public is to hate." "A handy rule for arousing hate," said Lasswell "is, if at first they do not enrage, use an atrocity. It has been employed with unvarying success in every conflict known to man."

The US just recently asked news stations to limit their playing of tapes by Osama bin Laden, saying he might be trying to send coded messages to his agents in the field. This is entirely possible, but the side-effect of this action is a limitation in hearing the views of the "enemy". This follows earlier statements made by the Bush administration expressing disappointment over NBC interviewing Clinton.

It would be nice to think that in this modern day that the US government would never be able to influence its citizens by propaganda. That if they tried the networks wouldn't allow it, and if they allowed it the public would never fall for it.

Is this the case? Is the US media being fair and impartial in its reporting? Does the White House have no influence other than asking the media to be cautious? I don't know, but I'm going to be careful what I believe.

We need good, strong, proper-ganderizing. (4.00 / 11) (#13)
by alpinist on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:13:00 PM EST

The Bush administration v2.0 is doing their damnedest to use the current situation to their advantage, but are bungling the propaganda machine something fierce. In looking at the attacks of September 11, I think of several questions:

Why is nobody taking responsibility for this? One would think any group committed enough to it's goal to gladly die for it with the promise of everlasting paradise in the afterlife would speak up and say, "We did it, and this is why". Otherwise, it is a rather ambiguous message. Instead, the people are led to believe it is an attack due to jealousy over democracy, prosperity and freedom that the US stands for. Why would terrorists not want their message heard loud and clear? Otherwise, what is the point of facing certain retaliation if nobody knows what you ate a laser-guided bomb for?

In addition, who gained from these attacks? One could look at GWB Jr. himself, going from an approval rating in the low 40's to the low 90's. Or defense contractors who can again enjoy revenues like the good old cold war days, or the military with it's new improved budget, or eventually the economy, since nothing kick starts it like a good war. Looking at Bush's cabinet, all I see are people who learned their trade in the cold war. Bush tried to get a good cold war going with China, or North Korea, but it did not float. I think they are political dinosaurs who can't pass muster if the nation was not under constant threat of attack.

The US government was shown to have undercover agents involved with the WTC bombing in 1993, and the Murrah building bombing of 1995. Moreover, people keep wondering why intelligence doesn't keep up with large-scale conspiracies to blow up buildings and turn airliners into cruise missiles.

[ Parent ]

Sort of Weird (3.37 / 8) (#23)
by snowlion on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 06:59:41 AM EST

As much as I don't like Bush, and as much as I think that a war against terrorism is as silly as a war on violence...

I just have a hard time imagining that Bush was somehow involved in the planes going down.

Perhaps if I knew more about the US government being involved in the 1993 WTC bombing (a theory I have never heard before, and am thus skeptical about), I would be more inclined to consider what you are implying.

I am having a hard time imagining some agency finding agents willing to die in order to give props to Bush.

Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Weird is one way to put it (4.00 / 9) (#27)
by alpinist on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 12:12:12 PM EST

For information on the 1993 WTC bombing, Google pulls up some articles from reputable sources.
And some good Googling on the 1995 Murrah building bombing.

If there was a domestic component to the attack on 9-11, did Bush know? Surely not. I've heard people talk about the `shadow government' that sits behind the scenes and really calls the shots, but I always dismissed it as a little out there. Perhaps instead it's the law enforcement agencies themselves.

In looking at the OKC bombing, what could the motive have been? The government felt threatened by a sudden rash of home-grown militias, and needed to apply the black flag of terrorism to them to sway public opinion and tilt the scales of justice against those types of people.

Already, there are laws trying to get passed to restrict people's rights, and make it easier than ever for law enforcement to spy on law abiding US citizens. And of course, these laws would never be abused, right? Just because the United Nations has cited the United States for having police forces that are racist, brutal and generally as crooked as a stick in water is no reason for anybody to be afraid, right?

I find it hard to believe people are willing to die for an anonymous cause. Or maybe it is more like the other two bombings, and the FBI just gave people who were already willing to do something of the sort some `assistance'.

[ Parent ]

Just what I was thinking... (2.75 / 4) (#43)
by drquick on Sat Oct 20, 2001 at 03:51:07 PM EST

Dubya could have done it. I was thinking that if he prayed for anything before September 11th, it must have been this. He hardly stays in his pants now, when he says "with us or with the terrorists". Kyoto, globalization, bioweapons and a number of other conflicts with Europe happily forgotten.

I think it's really a little big for a setup by the Bush famly, but all he had to do was shut his eyes a little and let that attack happen. One can't deny that the Bush familly has personal contacts in the CIA. Dubyas dad is former chief of CIA. But, it's just a little too big. Maybe they didn't foresee the size of the attack, the amount of destruction, the number of dead? Maybe a conspiratory Bush family thought we'd have 2-3 dead just like in those attacks in Israel? They might not have know exactly what was coming.

[ Parent ]

poppycock? (none / 0) (#51)
by rehan on Sun Nov 11, 2001 at 03:59:55 PM EST

The US government was shown to have undercover agents involved with the WTC bombing in 1993, and the Murrah building bombing of 1995

Do you have a link to some evidence for this? Or is it just poppycock? :)

Stay Frosty and Alert

[ Parent ]
Wag the Dog (3.64 / 14) (#8)
by fluffy grue on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 07:28:16 PM EST

I'm very much reminded of the scene in "Wag the Dog" where the actress portraying the 15-year-old Albanian girl greets the President with flowers and thanks him for dealing with her country's corrupt regime...
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

The Kuwait story (3.53 / 13) (#9)
by wiredog on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 07:47:56 PM EST

Was in the Washington Post at the time. It's mentioned in several books about the war. It's definitely not news, being about ten years out of date.

I don't know too many people who think, or thought at the time, that the Persian Gulf War was about much other than oil.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle

Why is this unbeleivable? (2.50 / 20) (#10)
by marlowe on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 08:24:32 PM EST

Would you believe thse people would hijack planes and ram them into office buildings?

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
please stop using that sig (4.66 / 3) (#41)
by burne on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 09:04:16 PM EST

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --

Could you please me and a lot of my Jewish friends and stop using that signature? I find it horribly offensive.

To clarify that a bit: Before the war there were 135.000 Jews in the Netherlands. 107.000 of those were deported, and 5000 returned after the war. Three quarters of the total Jewish community was killed by mister Hitler. All Jews I know have lost first- or second degree relatives. Not a single family has made it through the war without loss.

I feel I cannot use numbers to justify or invalidate your comments, but the difference between six million and five thousant is a bit on the ridiculus side, don't you think?

[ Parent ]

I dont even know.. (none / 0) (#45)
by QuantumG on Sun Oct 21, 2001 at 01:19:32 AM EST

what his sig is supposed to mean.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Look (3.58 / 12) (#14)
by finial on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:49:36 PM EST

I mean, even if I am provided with evidence, how can I be sure it's real, in a time that any video and photo can be edited (or created!) until there is no way one can tell the genuine from the fake?

I can assure you, my neighbors are quite dead.

no doubt (4.25 / 8) (#21)
by ckotso on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 06:38:45 AM EST

I am sorry to hear that, but my point was not if one is to believe that there was an attack headed at the WTC and the pentagon. My point was more general: What are we to believe, and what not. If you *must* have an analogue with what happened to the US, the question is: Why should you or me believe that it's Osama bin Laden, since no proof is disclosed? Yes it's reassuring that all countries that got evidence (well, whatever was handed to them) said the evidence is enough, but please understand my point is much more general and does not have to do with your country only -- don't get carried away by the Kuwait example.

Yes, I *am* biased against the US; stop bitching about it, and start thinking why it is so.

[ Parent ]

Where are you? (3.75 / 4) (#33)
by hotsauce on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 06:48:16 PM EST

I can assure you, my neighbors are quite dead.

Do you mean your neighbours in NY, or your neighbours in Kabul? I can assure you civilians on both sides are dying. For this to stop, underlying issues must be addressed.

I like the story's question. I was shocked the State Department censored an interview with the Taliban ruler on the VOA, I was even more shocked the State Department was able to stop the airing of Bin Laden statements in the US by saying they were coded terrorist messages (as if he couldn't send those by phone and email as before).

Resistance is not terrorism.
[ Parent ]
Not surprising at all (3.66 / 6) (#32)
by Zeram on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 04:13:43 PM EST

After the gulf war it was found out that a member of the US Army's psy-ops division was working at CNN under the guise of being an intern. Public opinion is often more deadly than the nastiest weapon's, a fact that America learned the hard way in the 70's.
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
link? (none / 0) (#50)
by rehan on Sun Nov 11, 2001 at 03:48:24 PM EST

Do you have a link to evidence for this?

Stay Frosty and Alert

[ Parent ]
Well... (3.00 / 3) (#39)
by NovaHeat on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 06:23:27 PM EST

I'm not one to blindly trust the media, but it could be that this is true. Anti-government types (on both the right and left), will claim this is just lies invented to whip up the public into a patriotic frenzy. It's quite possible that it's referring to an isolated incident or something, and has subsequently been blown out of proportion. The question is, how is this any different than the heartstring pulling we hear over the sanctions in Iraq that people like to point at? How is this any more unbeleivable? Some of the reports I've heard in relation to THAT atrocity have been so blown out of proportion that NO ONE in their right mind could possibly take it for real (10 million children dead? Come on now). But just like the starving kids in Iraq, this report just might have some kernel of truth in it, and it might be an unhappy truth to some, who like to think that America is the sole instigator of atrocities in the world.


Rose clouds of flies.

balance (none / 0) (#49)
by democrap on Thu Nov 08, 2001 at 12:36:57 PM EST

The problem isn't peoples' general tendency to report only things that support their views. The problem is a country's entire mass media system reporting only things that support particular views, because they benefit economically by doing so. For example, when Bill Maher the US cowardly, his advertisers pulled out, and had he not apologized, his show would likely have been over. The general implication of this is that when the success of media organizations is dependent on advertising, the result will be media that supports the advertisors. It's a kind of Darwinian censorship system that supports the economic status quo. I assert that economics is politics, in which case the media supports the political status quo, and thereby precludes true democracy.

You people should read some Chomsky. He's spent decades answering this question.

[ Parent ]
Pre-War Propaganda | 52 comments (36 topical, 16 editorial, 1 hidden)
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