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Push for War Highlights Need for Independent Media

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If the corporations that own the media profit from war, we're unlikely to see peace.

That's what Lewis Hill foresaw . It's what led him to create the independent, listener-sponsored Pacifica Radio.

Almost 70 years later, the corporate media is still busy selling war, at times to an embarrassing degree. This can be seen in the fawning coverage of the recent U.S. attack on Syria, which came in response to the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons.

"I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons," gushed MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, as his station showed "beautiful pictures" of the U.S. Navy launching a missile attack on a Syrian airfield.

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Those beautiful missiles killed 16 people, including four kids, according to the Syrian government. But these deaths were of little interest to a corporate media caught up in the excitement of it all.

Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo was practically giddy when questioning President Trump about his okaying the attack as he ate dessert with China's president.

Over on CNN, Fareed Zakaria got swept up in the moment and declared, "I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night."

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"If that guy could have sex with this cruise missile attack, I think he would do it," The Intercept's Jeremy Scahill said of Zakaria.

These are just three recent examples of the corporate media doing what it does best: push for, and gush over, war.

"In wartime," writes The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald, "U.S. television instantly converts into state media."

Print's Patriotism

It turns out print media may not be any better, according to a recent report by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watchdog group ("Out of 47 Major Editorials on Trump's Syria Strikes, Only One Opposed").

"No need to debate the morality or utility of the strikes, because the scene played out per usual," writes FAIR's Adam Johnson.

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"Dictator commits an alleged human rights violation, the media calls on those in power to 'do something' and the ticking time bomb compels immediate action, lest we look 'weak' on the 'global stage.' Anything that deviates from this narrative is given token attention at best."

Independent Media

With the corporate media busy cheerleading for war, it's often left to independent media to ask the tough questions.

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Pete Tucker is an independent DC reporter.

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