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People who are only just beginning to research what's wrong with the world often hold an assumption that mainstream news reporters are just knowingly propagandizing people all the time. That they sit around scheming up ways to deceive their audiences into supporting war, oligarchy and oppression for the benefit of their plutocratic masters.
Once you've learned a bit more you realize it's not quite happening that way. Most mainstream news reporters are not really witting propagandists -- those are to be found more in plutocrat-funded think tanks and other narrative management firms, and in the opaque government agencies which feed news media outlets information designed to advance their interests. The predominant reason mainstream news reporters say things that aren't true is because in order to be hired by mainstream news outlets, you need to jack your mind into a power-serving worldview that is not based in truth.
"Vladimir Putin's Russia remains one of the biggest stories in the world.
"It sends out hit squads armed with nerve agents against its enemies, most recently the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West to tarnish its democratic systems, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out in his villa.
"If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news: We will have an opening for a new correspondent as Andy Higgins takes over as our next Eastern Europe Bureau Chief early next year."
Does this sound like the sort of job someone with a less than hostile attitude toward the Russian government would apply to? Is it a job listing that indicates it might welcome someone who sees mainstream Russia hysteria as cartoonish hyperbole designed to advance the longstanding geostrategic interests of western power structures against a government which has long resisted bowing to the dictates of those power structures? Someone who voices skepticism about the plot hole-riddled establishment narratives of Russian election meddling and Novichok assassinations? Someone who, as Moon of Alabama notes, might point out that Putin is in fact at work in the Kremlin right now and not "hiding out" in a "villa"?
Of course not. In order to get a job at the New York Times, you need to demonstrate that you subscribe to the mainstream oligarchic imperialist worldview which forms the entirety of western mass media output. You need to demonstrate that you have been properly indoctrinated, and that you can be guided into toeing the imperial line with simple attaboys and tisk-tisks from your superiors rather than being explicitly told to knowingly lie.
Because if they did tell you to knowingly lie to the public to advance the interests of the powerful, that would be propaganda. And propaganda is what what happens in evil backwards countries like Russia.
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