OpEdNews Op Eds

Can Truth Retain Its Independence?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Become a Fan
  (389 fans)

May 30. Justin Raimondo has a good column this morning on Antiwar.com. It is written as a fundraiser. But what it shows is that journalists (and whistle-blowers) who tell the truth in America are more likely to be pummeled than rewarded, whereas those who lie for powerful interest groups live high on the hog.

It wasn't just Bush, Cheney, and the neoconservatives who deceived us into an illegal war in behalf of a hidden agenda. It was the American media. Raimondo names some of the culprits who are complicit in the deaths of some one million Iraqis, an unknown number of Afghans, and thousands of American soldiers.

It was all for a lie. A lie told by the President of the United States and his handmaidens in the media.

Two of the worst handmaidens, Billy Kristol and Thomas Friedman, have been rewarded for their treachery to America by the New York Times, which pays these men, who have never been right about anything, to pontificate from columns on its pages. Others, such as Peter Beinart, are installed at the Washington Post and other publications.

The benefit of being a name columnist at a name newspaper is that it puts you on the lucrative speaking circuit. Raimondo reports, for example, that Friedman is paid $65,000 for a speech.

Such extravagant fees are not paid for words of wisdom. They are paid by interest groups for service. Even if Friedman had anything intelligent to say, it is unnecessary to pay him $65,000 to repeat what he writes in the New York Times.


The same interest groups that control the government offer the most extravagant fees on the speaking circuit. Global corporations that are driving up their stock prices and management bonuses by moving American jobs offshore reward journalists who write propaganda about the benefits of globalism. The military-security complex rewards journalists that feed hysteria about terrorism and foreign threats.

There are far better columnists available than Friedman and Kristol. There's Raimondo himself. There's Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair, Pat Buchanan, Lew Rockwell, to name just a few. If the print media had columnists of intelligence and integrity explaining events, instead of propagandists for government and interest groups, the United States would not have wasted eight years (so far) in pointless, illegal, and immoral wars of aggression that have been financed by foreign loans, thus sapping the strength of the dollar and American power.

In America, money, not truth, has the power. If the New York Times had Cockburn instead of Friedman and the Washington Post had Raimondo instead of Beinart, the newspapers would lose advertising revenues and connections with the power brokers.

The same problem exists outside the media. Studies produced by think tanks and university professors serve the causes of those who finance them. Does anyone think we will ever see a study from the American Enterprise Institute, for example, that is critical of Israel's policy toward the Palestinians, the military-industrial complex, or the offshoring of American jobs? With rare exceptions, think tanks serve the interests of donors.

Even in universities there is not much of the academic freedom that we hear so much about. The Israel Lobby was able to reach into an American Catholic university and deny tenure to a fine scholar, Norman Finkelstein, who refused to obey the rule against truthfully examining Israeli policy and behavior.

Try to find an academic economist who will describe the devastation that offshoring has brought to the American economy and the economic prospects of US labor.

Try to find an academic physicist who will express in public his doubts about the official explanation for the collapse of the three World Trade buildings. An academic career in physics is almost totally dependent on government research grants. By bringing federal funding to education, liberals handed government the power to control. One physicist who expressed his doubts about the collapse of the twin towers, Steven Jones, was terminated by BYU at the insistence of the federal government, which held the power of the purse over the university's head.

The same constraint on truth exists everywhere. I once asked the proprietor of a distinguished engineering firm why he didn't publicly express his doubts about the World Trade Center buildings. He said it would be the end of his business, that he would be denounced as an anti-American and demonized as a terrorist sympathizer. The fact that he would be an expert giving an expert opinion would carry no weight.

The same resistance to truth is found in scholarship where enormous vested interests are entrenched. Taking on these vested interests is most often a career-ending event.

Even when the US had an independent press with independent points of view, hysteria could sweep the country in wrong-headed directions. Today it is easier than ever.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here. His latest book,  How America Was Lost, has just been released and can be ordered here.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Libya - The DC/NATO Agenda And The Next Great War

The Road to Armageddon

American Job Loss Is Permanent

A Story...The Last Whistleblower

Pakistan TV Report Contradicts US Claim of Bin Laden's Death

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
4 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

And if and when the day comes when the rule of law... by Ed Encho on Friday, May 30, 2008 at 5:21:05 PM
The Orwellian babble that we have hammered into ou... by pft on Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 3:21:51 AM
And OUR DAY is coming.This is the year ALL SECRETS... by ladybroadoak on Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 4:47:25 PM
PFT, I enjoyed reading your polemic. I would just ... by Dean DeHarpporte on Sunday, Jun 1, 2008 at 12:19:49 AM