Monday, June 2, 2008

Exposing the Pseudo-Journalists

I told my friend WP that McClellan's revelations - while nothing extraordinary in themselves - marked a turning point in the anti-Bush movement. Now Glennzilla agrees:
This is nothing less than compelling evidence that, in terms of our establishment press, our media is anything but "free." Corporate executives continuously suppressed critical reporting of the Government and the war and forced their paid reporters to mimic the administration line. The evidence proving that comes not from media critics or shrill left-wing bloggers but from those who work at these news outlets, including some of their best-known and highest-paid journalists who are attesting to such facts from first-hand knowledge despite its being in their interests not to speak out about such things.
Greenwald weighs in with a great dissection of US media lies. Enjoy!
People like Williams, Gibson and Gregory don't need to be told to refrain from reporting critically about the war and the White House because challenging Government claims isn't what they do. And amazingly, they admitted that explicitly yesterday. Gibson and Gregory both invoked the cliched excuse of the low-level bureaucrat using almost identical language: exposing government lies "is not our job."

Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson and company are paid to play the role of TV reporters but, in reality, are mere television emcees -- far more akin to circus ringleaders than journalists. It's just as simple as that...

Not just in 2003, but through 2008, the networks relied upon Pentagon-controlled propagandists to masquerade as their "independent analysts." Those analysts repeatedly spouted patently false government propaganda without challenge. The numerous financial incentives and ideological ties these analysts had were concealed. And these networks, now that this is all revealed and even with multiple investigations underway, still refuse to tell their viewers about any of it.

Clearly, if these network media stars think they did nothing wrong in the run-up to the war and in their coverage of the Bush administration -- and they don't -- then it's only logical to conclude that they still do the same things and will do the same things in the future. As people like Jessica Yellin, Katie Couric, Phil Donahue and Scott McClellan are making clear, these media outlets are controlled propaganda arms of the Government, of the political establishment generally. For many people, that isn't a new revelation, but the fact that it's becoming clearer by the day -- from unimpeachable sources on the inside -- is nonetheless quite significant...

The central excuse offered by self-defending "journalists" is that they didn't present an anti-war case because nobody was making that case, and it's not their job to create debate... They were "victims of their own professionalism." It's not up to them to create a debate where none exists. That's the same thing Charlie Gibson, David Gregory, and Tim Russert -- among others -- have all said in defending themselves.

The idea that journalists only convey statements from politicians rather than "create debates" is the classic Stenographic Model of "Journalism" -- "we just write down what people say. It's not our job to do anything else." Real reporting is about uncovering facts that the political elite try to conceal, not ones they willingly broadcast... But beyond that, this claim is just categorically, demonstrably false... three of the most influential voices in the Democratic Party -- arguably the three most influential at the time -- were vehemently opposing the war. People were protesting in the streets by the hundreds of thousands inside the U.S. and around the world.
So will Glennzilla take the next step, and conclude that it's time the corporate executives and media barons got the brunt of the criticism, not just the pathetic hacks they stick on camera? Will he conclude that these billionaires and their Davos mates now control the US government? Or is that stuff still a Conspiracy Theory too far?