Journalism 2.0 or Journalism vs. Corporate Propaganda
Just this past summer news veteran Bob Schieffer was called upon to eulogize the
passing of Daniel Schorr -- one of the last 'giants' in the journalism
profession. Schorr had the fortitude and integrity to leak documents on
Watergate to Village Voice when the mainstream press would not run the story.
Schorr saw it as his duty to democracy.
That was then--this is now, and NOW we have the likes of Andrew Breitbart via
Rupert Murdoch--spouting half-truths and innuendo as news. Glenn Beck is not
only permitted--but encouraged by tea party officials and CPAC heads, to
broadcast the type of murderous fantasies more likely to be seen in a
pornographic 'snuff' film, than investigative journalism.
Finally, fellow St. Louisan and Tea Party Grand Dame Dana Loesch has been
officially hired by CNN as an 'expert' political consultant. Her expertise is
limited to Tea Party activities, home schooling her children and shouting down
any dissenting opinions which question tea party motives.
Journalism vs. Propaganda
During one broadcast at CBS news, Schorr was reading from the official Nixon
'enemies list,' only to find his own name near the top. Schieffer went on to
say that Schorr was fighting the good fight against government censorship and
was punished for not being 'manageable' in terms of the government needs.
Schieffer added that the corporate heads at CBS news were very worried about
government dictating the news. Today we have Julian Assange of WikiLeaks
notoriety/fame fighting extradition efforts by our DOJ seeking to silence him in
a permanent detention similar to that of Bradley Manning. Assange's crime was
posting information sent or 'leaked' to his site from various battlefield
situations clearly proving acts of torture or genocide committed by our
military, or leaked information proving corporate crimes which are international
in scope. That is not criminal--that is JOURNALISM. My what a difference some
30 years makes.
Now we have 'reporters' embedded with military troops, effectively working not
as journalists reporting the truth necessary to keep a democracy viable, but as
overpaid stenographers cranking out the propaganda this corporate government
pushes as news. No longer are news services worried about the 'truth,' rather
they push whatever garbage jacks up the ratings which results in higher profits
for corporate 'sponsors.'
Instead of directly witnessing the effects of our military firing on innocent
civilians in Afghanistan as recorded in the smuggled wikileaks video--we are
treated to inanities such as 'Lindsay Lohan's stolen necklace spree. Rather
than viewing the entire body of Shirley Sherrod's now infamous NAACP speech
regarding racism in this country--we are treated to the 'doctored' clips taken
out of context as spewed by the venom of Andrew Breitbart. While we should be
questioning the role hate speech incitement played in the Gifford's shooting,
(including documentation linking various tea party leaders to confirmed white
supremacist and/or Neo-Nazi groups)--we are chastised for daring to challenge
the ugly voice of prejudice, all in the name of 'bipartisanship.' (Source :
When activists take to the streets to demand their 1st amendment rights ,
insisting that the ENTIRE COUNTRY IS A FREE SPEECH ZONE; media outlets from Fox
or CNN--ONLY run film on arrests and actions of a few infiltrators while
silencing the truth. The G-20 talks in Pittsburgh focused on alleged thugs
breaking windows, but not on the fact that an entire city of US citizens were
pushed into an urban prison with martial law closing streets and a militarized
police gassing our neighbors and kidnapping people off the streets just to make
a point. (Source :
While Schorr took a place of honor on the illegitimate Nixon 'enemies list,' we
now have a 'no-fly' list which is totally secret and impervious to any public
scrutiny. The excuse is to protect us from terrorism, but lets face it--sneak
attacks happen. There is no way to be 100% safe from the sneak attack; its like
Chicken Little trying to find a place to hide from the sky. Our only protection
is to be attentive to BEHAVIORS; not racially profiling people based on
Since 9/11 served as the excuse to dismantle our rights; lets look at a snapshot
of our times compared to Schorr's time on the enemies list. We now have laws
which have TOTALLY DISMANTLED THE BILL OF RIGHTS. Thanks to Patriot I & II, The
Military Commissions Act , et al, we now live in a fascist police state.
Legislation has since been crafted with simple names which betray the hidden
President Obama has taken these stolen executive powers further by claiming the
right to order "targeted killings of U.S. citizens" anywhere on the planet,
regardless of war status. He claims the right to command a "secretive executive
process" over these "CIA and military Kill Lists"; which is exempt from any
judicial or congressional review.
Even in the midst of legal challenges to this growing dictatorial executive
model from the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights--mainstream media
outlets predominantly offer simplistic slogans designed to justify this
egregious power grab. (Source:
While the Obama administration defended this power as a necessary tool in the
'war on terror', and the mainstream media whitewashed the danger of this
precedent,--Daniel Schorr would have decried it as fascist treason.
Though most of this happened on George W. Bush 's watch, not all of it did. Both
previous administrations and the present one have contributed to this growing
presidential dictatorship, all effectively 'branded'--necessary protections
against some ill-defined, open-ended definition of 'terrorism'; courtesy of the
mainstream talking heads at CNN, Fox, etc.
The 1996 Telecommunications Act, passed during the Clinton administration,
greatly contributed to this implosion of journalism. Bluntly put, this act
allowed for greater consolidation of corporate media giants , ie. it allowed
and encouraged merger acquisitions leading to mammoth monopolies. This
translates into a transfer of power--from journalists to propagandists. Truth
is subsumed to corporate 'branding.' Only the voices of approved mouthpieces
will be heard; any strong questioning of issues is buried under a flurry of
intellectual pablum. Without a strong and vibrant press; democracy is doomed.
This legislation set the stage for corporate dominance of the airwaves and the
rise of propaganda as news.
The Obama administration has a more nuanced approach to media, but the effect is
still the same--boring, homogenized 'reporting' omitting any discussion of
substance. Since taking office, President Obama has directed his DOJ to make
permanent the very 'laws' which strip all of us of our rights, including the
above mentioned claim to selectively murder those who are conveniently labeled a
'threat to national security.'