Why We Barely Know What's Going On
IN WAR AS IN POLITICS AND FINANCE, THE REAL "ACTION" IS NOW COVERT, HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC -- DECEPTIVE AND DISHONEST
By Danny Schechter,Author of The Crime Of Our Time
Defending America covertly has become an ongoing theme for one more TV series. Salute the flag and praise NBC (GE) for its latest effort to persuade the population to accept the kind of secret operations that now drive the war in Afghanistan. Their latest show is called "Covert Affairs" and airs on the patriotically branded USA Network.
This fiction is based on faction, glamorizing the work of our unaccountable CIA at home and at war with Piper Perabo who has been promoted from dancing barmaid in Coyote Ugly into a CIA trainee "who is suddenly thrust into the inner sanctum of the agency after being promoted to field operative."
The dumbed down formula is tried and true , showcasing what TV pros call "the three S's:" Sex, Spies, and Sensationalism.
It's a "world of bureaucracy, excitement and intrigue," the network tells us, on the frontlines of protecting our declining way of life. Doug Limon, an old friend who directed the first Bourne blockbuster is exec producing this propaganda exercise. And if that's not bad enough, the series about covertly defending America is being overtly filmed in Canada. Toronto gets the jobs, one more reason, no doubt, why we have had a "jobless recovery" here at home.
So much of politics and economics today is a covert affair where public knowledge is blatantly manipulated. For weeks, we were told that political incumbents were toast until they weren't in the recent election, but few media outlets let the facts get in the way of their Tea Party reinforced and endlessly repeated narrative.
On another big story, 49% of the American public is said to have been convinced by one-sided pro-Israeli coverage of the Gaza Flotilla interception perhaps because it built on long embedded perceptions in which alternative information--make that factual information-- is excluded.
Netanyahu's publicity army got out its video version of the events first even as his military army screwed upby creating a bloodfest butwhile keeping their victims from getting out their accounts. The US media dutifully used it as a perception management exercise of demonizing Israel's critics and boostering the heroism of the IDF's pirates at sea while keeping the humanitarian aid workers from the media and seizing/surpressing their videos--which are just getting out---a bit late, perhaps too late to change the media frame.
The outsourcing of jobs for actors on TV shows mirrors the wider outsourcing in the economy as a whole. So many jobs are gone and not coming back.
There is a growing number of war jobs while civilian employment sinks. Pro-business propaganda has successfully convinced the Congress that deficit reductions must come before job creation. The National Employment Law Project (NELP) reports:
"The Department of Labor has reported that more than 300,000 workers will run out of benefits by June 12th, the end of the first week Congress returns from recess."
Economist and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich attacks what he calls the "Deficit hawks" by arguing that consumer spending is 70 percent of the American economy, so if consumers can't or won't spend we're back in the soup.
He writes, "Yet the government just reported that consumer spending stalled in April - the first month consumers didn't up their spending since last September. Instead, consumers boosted their savings, probably because they're worried about the slow pace of job growth ".