Truth propaganda message technology brain wash television warning world news current events 2020
Truth propaganda message technology brain wash television warning world news current events 2020
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe a mature worldview requires skepticism toward power.
Smart upstanding citizens believe the government is your friend, and the media are its helpers.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that powerful people sometimes make immoral plans in secret.
Smart upstanding citizens believe the TV always tells the truth and the CIA exists for no reason.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that extreme government secrecy makes it necessary to discuss possible theories about what might be going on behind that veil of opacity.
Smart upstanding citizens believe that just because a world-dominating government with the most powerful military in the history of civilization has no transparency and zero accountability to the public, that doesn’t mean you’ve got to get all paranoid about it.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe it’s okay to ask questions about important events that happen in the world, even if their government tells them they shouldn’t.
Smart upstanding citizens believe everything they need to know about reality comes out of Mike Pompeo’s angelic mouth.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the very rich sometimes engage in nefarious behavior to expand their wealth and power.
Smart upstanding citizens believe billionaires always conduct themselves with the same values that got them their billions in the first place: honesty, morality, and generosity.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe it’s important to remember the lies that led up to the invasion of Iraq, and the disastrous consequences of blind faith in government claims.
Smart upstanding citizens believe “Iraq” is a fictional land similar to Narnia or Middle Earth, from the writings of a fantasy author named George Galloway.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe Syria is fighting to avoid becoming another Libya in a war of defense against extremist proxy armies of the US-centralized empire, who were given billions of dollars in military support with the goal of toppling Damascus.
Smart upstanding citizens believe Bashar al-Assad is a real-life version of a cartoon supervillain who just started murdering civilians willy nilly in 2011 because he loves murdering civilians, then in 2015 his friend Vladimir Putin joined in because he loves murdering civilians also.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the extensive history of US government lies means you should always demand mountains of independently verifiable evidence when they make claims about unabsorbed nations.
Smart upstanding citizens believe Russia literally committed an act of war on the United States in 2016, China is orchestrating a second Holocaust, Maduro is deliberately starving the Venezuelan people because he hates them, Assad is using chemical weapons but only when it makes no strategic sense, Cuban spy crickets are trying to assassinate US diplomats, there’s novichok everywhere, and every noncompliant party in the Middle East is secretly working for Iran.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that it can be difficult to figure out what’s going on in a mass media landscape that is saturated with the propaganda of the US-centralized empire.
Smart upstanding citizens believe that all you need to do to ensure you’re getting all the facts is watch television and run screaming from the room if you accidentally flip past RT.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the Gulf of Tonkin incident was faked, the “taking babies out of incubators” narrative was a lie, Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi’s rape armies never existed and the Libya intervention was never really about humanitarian concerns.
Smart, upstanding citizens believe it’s better not to think about such things.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the latest WikiLeaks publications of internal OPCW documents provide ample evidence that we were lied to about the 2018 Douma incident.
Smart upstanding citizens believe those documents aren’t real because The New York Times never reported on them.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that increasing levels of government secrecy are making it easier for government agencies to do unethical things in secret.
Smart upstanding citizens believe that questioning your government makes you a Russian anti-semite.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that the billionaire class which owns the mass media has a natural incentive to prop up the status quo upon which it is built, and so construct an environment where reporters are incentivized to always support the establishment line.
Smart upstanding citizens believe that if that kind of conspiracy were really happening, it would have been in the news.
NOVEMBER 28, 2019
In 1961, I left Greece for the United States. The reason for that life-changing decision was education. The University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin welcomed me and gave me a free education. I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Illinois and my doctorate from Wisconsin.
My education was a mixture of science and humanities. I combined zoology with Greek (ancient, medieval and modern) history, as well as Roman history and modern European (Russian, Soviet Union, Southeastern European and British) history. To this multidisciplinary bowl I added the history of science from my postdoctoral studies at Harvard.
I did all this book reading, test taking, and writing a dissertation in ten years. The next step was finding work. By the time I graduated from Wisconsin, in 1972, I was married with my first child. This made earning a living imperative.
I worked on Capitol Hill and the US Environmental Protection Agency for twenty-seven years.
Sporadically, I taught at several universities about things I learned at work: how the federal government regulates or fails to regulate pesticides and agriculture.
The hidden truth
If this sounds obscure, technical, and of little value, it is not. There’s complexity in these things, but within this complexity there are gems of truth on how this country works.
Imagine a group of bureaucrats led by a political representative of the president deciding how much pesticide poison goes into each fruit, vegetable, grain, bread, cheese and meat Americans eat. That’s what the Office of Pesticide Programs does. The responsibility is awesome. The science is dubious; the ethics abhorrent. I did not want to do anything with it, save for criticizing the very idea of poisoning our food under the guise of environmental protection, which translated into protecting the farmer and poison maker from legal suits. The moment I came across evidence of massive and chronic malpractice and fraud in the testing of pesticides, I knew my early suspicions were legitimate; I knew how agribusiness rules America.
This experience helped me understand the meaning and practice of “environmental protection” in an industrialized America. In other words, I brought to the classroom information not in environmental policy textbooks
History, and especially the history of science, hovered around me, always tempting my thought to precedents: how did people of earlier times and other societies face the natural world or raise food?
The message to my students
I probably overwhelmed my students with data, facts and explanations about the environment and how America works. But the take-home message to my students was a warning:
”Your elders have abandoned your protection to the unkind and often corrupt industry and politicians. Study the natural world, study the science of the environment and, once out of school, reform or change the politics of this country for your protection and the protection and health of the natural world. A polluted natural world is your enemy. It will make you sick or kill you.
“Do away with pesticides, industrial agriculture, nuclear bombs, nuclear power plants, plastics, and toxic chemicals. They were the products of war, ignorance and hubris.
“Build a society with different values, one based on carbon-free and toxic pollution-free technologies, including respect for nature. Don’t approve any industry disrupting ecosystems, poisoning the natural world, and causing the extinction of species. Learn from science and older traditions and wisdom how the world works. Learn from the natural world.”
I don’t know if my students understood me. I treated them like graduate students. I opened their eyes to the beauties of science and truth as well as the secret and corrupt ways of the chemical industry. I let them see and examine original documents showing industry-government corruption. Some of them might have passed my ideas to their parents and, possibly, administrators.
I knew college and universities were rarely on the forefront of justice or truth, much less political change. In many instances, like the land grant universities, they become the inventors of hazardous chemicals and technologies that enable agribusiness to control rural America. At other instances, universities legitimize pollution.
With some exceptions, my college colleagues were indifferent to me and my teaching.
At Humboldt State University in northern California, I taught about society and the environment in a sociology department. There was a possibility for a permanent position for me but the chairman of the department said not to bother to apply because my doctorate was in history, not sociology. I asked him to come to my class, so he could form his own opinion about my teaching. “I care less about your teaching or the admiration students have for you,” he said.
Twice at two different schools (the University of Maryland and Pitzer College) I spoke to the Dean about expanding teaching and research on the fate of black farmers in America who declined by 98 percent in the twentieth century. The Deans were black. They listened to me politely but did nothing.
These anecdotes may be a fly in the ointment, but they suggest a deeper malady.
America after WWII
Since World War II, the culture of America is becoming inimical to democracy and civilization. By civilization I mean justice, the rule of law, the employment of science for making decisions, equal opportunity for humans to make a living, relative equality among citizens and ethical and science-based government rules regulating corporate and business behavior. Moreover, protecting human and environmental health should be at the core of this civilization.
Civilization is in trouble in America. Perpetual wars, the nuclear bomb, and the supremacy of money have made this country an empire. This political transformation is dismantling democracy at home and threatens the planet.
An oligarchy of billionaires are behind this aggression. They have captured the government, milking its fat Pentagon budget while using other government departments like the Environmental Protection Agency to buy legal protection for their chemicals polluting our food, drinking water, air, rivers, lakes and the seas.
The spectacle of Trump
The spectacle of Trump being president says it all. This is a very bad man. Some people, including senior government officials, and especially ambassador Gordon Sondland, are saying Trump urged the government of Ukraine to dig dirt about his political opponent Joe Biden. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) accused Trump of being “a criminal in the White House.” Others charge him with betrayal and infamy for allowing the Turks to slaughter the Kurds who have been faithful American allies.
Trump is threatening democracy. He displays and employs government power for his personal benefit. He does not have a clue about international relations. He is an enemy of public and environmental health.
In desperation, the Democrats in the House are collecting evidence of wrongdoing for “impeaching” him. They know, however, that the Republicans in the Senate will declare Trump innocent of all charges.
This effort of finding Trump guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors is the ethical thing to do. But for me, Trump’s persistent undermining of this country’s environmental laws, including his willful ignorance of climate change, constitute high crimes and misdemeanors. They are translated into policies hurting and killing people all over the country. And pretending there’s no climate change, as the Trump EPA does, exacerbates the onslaught from climate change.
This official apathy and blindness is affecting the country, even the Democratic politicians running for president. The warming of the Earth and the fossil fuels causing it have all but disappeared from public discourse.
With the possible exception of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), I just don’t think these candidates are passionate enough to embrace the climate threat and opportunity for shaping American politics and assuring the survival of civilization and the natural world. Yet they say climate change is the gravest danger America and the world face.
The hegemony of commercial television
Another way of explaining this pathology is the overwhelming power and influence of commercial television. It has remade Americans into obedient corporate subjects. Just like cigarette companies during most of the twentieth century brained-washed Americans to do nothing without a cigarette hanging from their mouth, advertisements and news reporting mix with each other so thoroughly the viewer, in most case, does not understand the difference between the two. The result of this willful malpractice and propaganda is the dumbing down of Americans.
Second, commercial television networks treat the natural world like a zoo: a place for expensive cruises, hunting, industrialized farming, logging, mining and forest fires. Even the PBS and BBC nature documentaries keep corporate crimes against nature strictly separate from the lives of the threatened species they document.
This television onslaught has been taking place for decades while most Americans live increasingly in cities, which separate them further from the natural world.
Despite this undemocratic and plutocratic record, commercial television is in charge of the Democratic presidential debates. They ask the questions and restrict answers to seconds and minutes.
Undoing this industrial-cultural-academic-television-propaganda complex requires a “political revolution” even greater than the revolution Senator Bernie Sanders has in mind.
The Sanders agenda
Sanders is an angry American prophet who insists in bringing justice back to America. He wants an economy for all. He is lashing at bankers, drug and insurance companies, billionaires, Trump and the Republicans. He is accusing them of theft: sucking trillions to an oligarchy and impoverishing the rest.
Should Sanders be elected, this country may be spared some of the calamity of climate change. He has promised repeatedly to put fossil fuel companies out of business – replacing them with carbon-free alternatives and creating 20,000,000 well-paying jobs.
In addition, Sanders is likely to save America from tyranny. This will demand a Herculean labor: channeling the Potomac River through the Washington stables of billionaires and industry lobbyists.
This would demand the end of exporting American jobs; taxing the billionaires enough to narrow the gigantic gap between them and the rest of Americans: use that money to fund climate change and cleaning up and eliminating pollution; outlawing the fossil fuels industry and funding alternative carbon-free energy technologies; revive the New Deal government programs of President Roosevelt for healthy farming, environment, and rebuilding of rural America; upgrade America’s medical mess to European health standards; make state universities free; give EPA the freedom and independence it needs to embrace its real mission; regulate commercial television: it should not be able to interrupt news with advertisements, nor charge money to politicians running for office; regulate and tax Wall Street; regulate and tax agribusiness: ban pesticides, break up large plantations, and bring back family farms.
Finally, take money out of politics.
Only this broad agenda of economic, social and ecological renewal can put the breaks to a Hothouse Earth and violent political revolution.
For decades many critics of broadcast television labeled it ‘The idiot box’. As Ed Norton said in a Honeymooners episode “Maybe the phrase fits.’” Well, today, perhaps more than ever before, we all must be idiots to continue viewing it.
Let’s first examine the news and news talk shows that seem to almost go 24/7 along with their cousin, the sports and sports talk shows. You stroll down the dial and you get mostly millionaire and wannabe millionaire pundits labeled as journalists, political analysts, Democratic or Republican strategists (how I just love that term), or contributors to their channel of servitude – usually CNN, Fox or MSNBC.
Amazing how every single one of these people gladly and regularly serve the Military Industrial Empire! The only delineating factor is if they are with the Republicans or Democrats… period! What in God’s name could any of these wealthy people understand how we working stiffs, or worse than that, unemployed or homeless Amerikans are going through? Really! They sit there and pontificate on the subject of a Medicare for All ideal, always finding some fault in it, whether they be from either of the two corrupt and hypocritical parties. If anyone reading this is a millionaire, or goodness, a mega millionaire, paying out $ 15- $ 20k a year for what they call a Cadillac Health Plan would be a drop in the bucket (of course we taxpayers subsidize the plan our elected officials get gratis). So, how can they ever comprehend the stress that NOT having such a plan means? Ditto for paying rent to an Absentee Landlord when that figure eats up too large a portion of one’s wages. Need I go down the list of the costs of raising a child or children on the wages most of us have to survive on? The faces we see on that idiot box do not, in most cases, have even a clue!
You turn on the sports talk shows, as I used to do too much of the time, and the dribble that comes out of the mouths of those sports journalistsis overwhelming! This economic system is so skewed that any working stiff should now realize the futility of it all. All of these sports talk shows readily accept the fact that the pro sports like football, basketball and baseball pay these players mega millions of dollars. Imagine the debates that these sports talk shills have on about some above average player demanding a salary of $ 300 million dollars over 10 years. They don’t argue that the whole enchilada is ridiculous, when guys are earning that much to throw or catch a ball or make a basket while we suckers pay through the nose to watch.
No, to these whores of the sports media the more these guys get paid, the more they can get paid as water carriers. Of course, to them and to the players this all is fine and dandy, because the owners of both the teams and the media channels are raking in billions! Going to a game in person, with a couple of kids, will cost, just for middle of the road seats, at least hundreds of dollars! For one game! As a baby boomer, I can recall taking my two sons to a Met game in the 1970s and paying out maybe $ 75 for everything: parking , tickets, food and drinks and programs.
How about the people you vote to represent we working stiffs? This is from the 2018 Roll Call listing:
In 2018, to rank among the top 50 wealthiest members of Congress required a net worth of at least $7.5 million.
Source: Roll Call (2018)
When you tune into that idiot box just remember that you are viewing a club of super rich people. It does not matter if it is news, politics, sports or any type of entertainment… these folks do NOT have a clue as to what you and your family and friends are up against each and every day. They all are NOT representative of anything worth appreciating. So, who are the real idiots here?
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Philip A Farruggio is a contributing editor for The Greanville Post. He is also frequently posted on Global Research, Nation of Change, World News Trust and Off Guardian sites. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 300 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ‘It’s the Empire… Stupid‘ radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image is from Newsbud
By JOHN KAMINSKI
Aug 3, 2019
Absence of social conscience
dooms humanity to slavery
Deceived populace fails to see
World War 3 already under way
as Jew psychos demolish nations
I remember back in the early days following 9/11 when skeptics tried to convince the general public that the government and media were lying to them about what had really happened, we were constantly trying to estimate what percentage of the population it would take to (1) overthrow the criminals who planned the whole thing, and (2) restore what people generally hoped was an honest government (but wasn’t).
9/11 sure as hell wasn’t done by Al-Qaeda, which we now know was a creation of the American and Israeli intelligences services. And it’s ominous to realize that the Saudis who are really secret Jews and the Jews themselves from their American-funded fortress in Israel planned, executed and covered up the destruction of American landmarks to create a condition of permanent war against people everywhere.
Realize this, American fools! Our current president’s major foreign allies (some say foreign bosses) are precisely Israel and Saudi Arabia, the very entities who conspired with our own CIA and military to create the false flag terror disaster of September 11, 2001.
Back then, say 2002-06, informal estimates ranged from 10-20 percent of the population were needed to effectively challenge the lies from Washington about the demolition of the Twin Towers. Of course, that never happened as the government controlled media fabricated a report that was forced down the throats of Americans, allowing the Jewish henchmen who engineered the deadly deception to escape unscathed with billions of dollars in their pockets.
This preposterously false report — which never mentioned Building 7 — really couldn’t have fooled middle schoolers, yet thanks to the Jewish hammerlock on mainstream media, it fooled a majority of Americans, who years before had already been zombified by the Jews’ abject control of money and media.
Of course, the people who engineered the greatest self-inflicted injury in American history are still in power, and the vast majority of the American people have never even contemplated challenging the colossal lies they hide behind.
And President Trump’s appointment of the most depraved minions (Bolton, Pompeo and Giuliani) from the criminal second Bush administration responsible for the crimes of 9/11 illustrate there will be no authentic candor on this matter from the U.S. government in the near future.
The enforced indifference to this crime against not only all Americans but all humanity has persisted to this day, and is still in force as Trump prepares to start World War 3 to please his casino-owning, drug-peddling, arms-smuggling, child-molesting Jewish masters.
But the key question as to why unintelligent Americans failed to challenge the lies they were being told didn’t so much focus on this specific event but instead was the same question that has remained unanswered throughout the 20th century and in fact most of American history.
The real question is why don’t people have a social conscience? Has it been bred out of them by lying politicians, TV, drugs and fake news!? Or are they simply too busy staying alive to worry about their freedom?
Why don’t Americans care about remedying the situation with their obviously criminal leadership which conspired with their Israeli masters to obliterate an American landmark and cover up the fact that this faux terrorist attack was used obscure the judgment of expert observers that the buildings needed to be demolished because of a process that was physically deteriorating the Twin Towers themselves.
It has become apparent that there are zero genuine Americans remaining in the elective positions of the U.S. government. There are only those getting paid by the Jews who with their endless amounts of money determine who will govern everyone, and at every level: national, state and local.
The most telling example occurred in the 2016 presidential election, in which many Americans voted for Donald Trump (including me) because they believed if Hillary Clinton were elected, she would have started World War 3 on behalf of the Jews who control American finances and the Israelis who foment revolution and oppression around the world.
Now we all see clearly that it made no actual difference whether we voted for Trump or Hillary, since they were both owned by the Jews. This reality has existed since President Jimmy Carter insisted that Palestinians should be treated as actual human beings.
Patriotism is now a crime against the evil Deep State. As Florida’s new governor recently showed, Israel and the Jews now take precedence over the U.S. Constitution.
The USA is being destroyed by Jews. If we let money rule the world, we’re doomed.
Jews control the media IN ALL COUNTRIES today. If you don’t believe the lies they tell you, you’re a hater. This is how Jews silence legitimate opposition to their criminal behavior.
The way we treat indigenous people shows our true worthlessness as a people.
Jews are a social cancer that is deliberately killing the human species.
What they are creating is an abomination they are destined to rule in hell.
Responsible officials in every country need to realize Jews are the enemy of every country on Earth, but it might be too late to realize this, because the Jews already own almost every world leader on the planet. And they are constantly trying to kill the ones they don’t own.
One of the greatest deceptions ever perpetrated against the American people continues to be Donald Trump’s apparent obsession with building a wall on the Mexican border with the U.S., which at most recent look shows that no part of said wall has been constructed in the past three months. The bad part is that illegal immigration is even higher than it was during the criminal Obama administration.
“I will build a great wall, and nobody builds better walls than me . . . and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” — Donald Trump
(See full quote)
The percentage of people with an actual social conscience is ridiculously low, around 2 percent, which is far too low for our species to survive. The other 98 percent are, willingly or not, engulfed by their own addictions, compulsions and distractions.
The invasions of North America and Europe by Third World refugees has been made possible by rich Jews (the same people who choose our presidential candidates), as evidenced by the Star of David seen on buses transporting illegal immigrants from Honduras across Mexico to the U.S. border. Also evidence are hundreds of African men seen wandering around San Antonio recently brandishing roles of hundred dollar bills, presumably given to them by rich Jews seeking to destabilize the USA and also infect Americans with deadly diseases many of these Africans are carrying.
The invasion of Africans currently overrunning many European countries has been facilitated by Jewish NGOs eager to swamp educated white countries with illiterate black refugees, all with the treasonous support of the leaders of white Western countries.
Social conscience is also not present in media, which relies on titillating propaganda for success in publishing and broadcasting. Of course, most of the blame for this falls on Jews who own most of the media and have no conception of social conscience except as regards the continuing psychotic preeminence of their own twisted clan.
All big media are owned by Jews, and they have elevated blacks into the hero roles, telling the evil white people how to behave. This is a great formula for turning everyone into brainless slaves.
As I have said many times before, you can’t be a Jew and a human at the same time. You must renounce one or the other. This should tell you all you need to know about the deafening darkness now descending upon your immediate future.
World War 3 is a match that pits the Jews against the rest of humanity. If the world finds out what the Jews have done to them, as the elder President George Bush once told journalist Sarah McClendon, he and his criminal cronies would all be hung from the nearest lamp post by an outraged public. This needs to happen now.
(This essay is dedicated to all my blood relatives.)
“The American bourgeoisie is in an existential crisis. It is overworked, in perpetual fear of debt or bankruptcy due to healthcare costs, mortgage and rent, education and the costs of daily living. Its privileged status stands threatened by the natural trajectory of capitalism toward gross economic inequity, avarice fueled corruption, the capriciousness of a sadistic “free market,” rising fascism, militarism and an imperiled biosphere that stands to topple the entire house of cards.”
JULY 19, 2019
To say we live in extraordinarily strange times is perhaps the ultimate understatement. Strange times indeed, and terrifying as well. Rising global fascism, the continued threat of nuclear war, an imperiled biosphere and a climate that is rapidly heating up. In the US it is even more apparent. There are concentration camps on the southern US border where children are being separated from their parents. Children are being forced to share lice combs and told to drink toilet water. Several have died. People arrested for leaving out water for dehydrated immigrants in the desert. Jackbooted raids are being threatened against undocumented people by President Trump as institutions like ICE reveal a staggering level of racism and blatant fascism. The orange hued megalomaniac in the Oval Office routinely tweets racist screeds or threatens the annihilation of millions of people, from Iran to North Korea. The US military is engaged in several wars of imperialism abroad. And homeless encampments in and around US cities are exploding.
But to watch American mass media one might feel they are in a parallel universe. Case in point, the popular Netflix series “Stranger Things.” I will confess that I do enjoy watching many series on Netflix, including this particular one, mostly for their entertainment value. And I have a bit of an addiction to pop culture. But when I watched the recent third season I was astonished by the level of blatant American propaganda on display, without even a morsel of ambiguity.
If you haven’t watched the previous seasons or this one, don’t worry. I won’t spoil the ending. But the series generally revolves around a group of kids in suburban, middle America in the 1980s. They become swept up in a whirlwind of events involving the US Department of Energy, secret government experiments and a dark power that threatens to destroy everything in the world we know. The entire set and character development is steeped in 80’s kitsch, but it deserves credit for its fast pace, special effects and endearing characters; and there have been some truly remarkable moments of humanity in relation to the struggles of a young and psychokinetically talented girl named Eleven, “El” for short, in earlier seasons.
But in this last season the nefarious machinations of Department of Energy and other US agencies have been jettisoned to focus on the “evil Russians.” No, really. They actually use the term “evil Russians” several times throughout the show. That, along with “Soviet scum.” Now, anyone who has studied American mass media understands how Hollywood has long parroted the talking points of the US ruling establishment and the Pentagon. Russophobia has always been a common plotline. But this is a time where #Russiagate has flooded the consciousness of the American liberal bourgeoisie. Anyone who expresses doubts about the extent of Russian meddling in US electoral politics, even if they are staunchly opposed to the fascism of Donald Trump as I am, are often branded as “Russian bots” or on the Kremlin’s payroll. Pundits like Rachel Maddow and many in the Democratic Party establishment have devoted themselves to the #Russiagate narrative 24/7. So this is not merely done in a vacuum. It plays neatly into American reactionary politics.
In fact, many productions to this day have active CIA, DHS and DoD agents sitting on their sets in advisory roles, and US military hardware has been made readily available for those studios and productions who follow the script, so to speak. So the dialogue of Stranger Things should not come as a surprise. But there are other examples. One scientist, Alexei, expresses a desire to become an American scientist after seeing the “evil” of his government. And an enormous Soviet base, for instance, built deep in the bedrock beneath a shopping mall in the small Indiana town of Hawkins. The silliness of this aside, the fact that the USSR was at the beginning of an economic death spiral at the time is one issue, but the Soviet operatives here are given an almost supernatural physical strength in most cases.
Now of course none of this is to defend the anti-democratic leanings, human rights violations, attacks on journalists, political opponents or LGBTQ people, atrocities, militarism or war crimes of the former USSR or of the current Russian Federation under Putin; but it is to say that US propaganda is alive and well in mass media. And there is a nationalistic impulse for collective amnesia when it comes to the US role in toppling democratically elected governments (Chile, Iran, Honduras, etc), gross anti-democratic and authoritarian atrocities (the internment of Japanese Americans, Red Scare and Jim Crow for three glaring 20th century examples), or enormous war crimes (the nuking of civilians in Japan, carpet bombing Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq, Libya, etc.), or crimes against humanity (see Marshall Islands nuke testing, Tuskegee experiments, COINTELPRO, etc.) committed by the American government and military. This rebranded propaganda appears to have resurfaced for a new generation.
In addition to the obvious Russophobia there is another component of the plot in Stranger Things that is striking for the current age. An evil “Mind Flayer” from the dark world of the “Upside Down” takes over the minds and wills of various townspeople. With the backdrop of a “communist menace” various conclusions can be drawn about American Red Scare and its fearmongering about collectivism. Think: Invasion of the Body Snatchers redux. But one character, a little precocious black girl named Erica Sinclair, makes several pronouncements on the virtues of capitalism. She proclaims at one point: “know what I love more about this country? Capitalism. Do you know what capitalism means? It means this is free market system. which means people get paid for their services, depending on how valuable their contributions are.”
Now little Erica can be forgiven for her ignorance, but the reality for millions of other black kids in 1980s America (or before and since for that matter) was far less forgiving. This was an era marked by Reagan’s ruthless neoliberal order, a “trickle-down” economy that never managed to trickle any material benefits to working class black and brown people, let alone working class whites. And the show never touches on any of the rampant racism at play in the 1980s either; although it includes a palpable identity politics drenched, au courant, bourgeois-based, sexist conscious component of the #MeToo variety.
But the producers of Stranger Things, brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, are the real culprits here. Their net worth is reported to be around $12 million each, so they have certainly benefited from that “free market” capitalism Erica boasts about. One wonders if they notice the mega shantytowns on their way to the studio each day. The ones that are burgeoning throughout California and around the country. I doubt many of them would share Erica’s enthusiasm for the current economic order.
The third season of Stranger Things encapsulates the angst of the American bourgeoisie today. Its appeal to a nostalgia is seen in the excess emphasis on sentimentality and kitsch; and there is a nod of acceptance of authoritarianism in the liberties taken by police chief Jim Hopper, or “Hop,” where his abuses are portrayed humorously. And this at a time where police brutality is off the charts. Its conformity is evident in the constant promotion of corporate products, consumerism and the dominant shopping mall milieu. Nationalism and jingoism are predominant with the US military and 4th of July symbolism playing a key role in the defeat of evil. And there is an ever present fear of an “other” who threatens everything America supposedly stands for: individualism, liberty and shopping, of course.
The American bourgeoisie is in an existential crisis. It is overworked, in perpetual fear of debt or bankruptcy due to healthcare costs, mortgage and rent, education and the costs of daily living. Its privileged status stands threatened by the natural trajectory of capitalism toward gross economic inequity, avarice fueled corruption, the capriciousness of a sadistic “free market,” rising fascism, militarism and an imperiled biosphere that stands to topple the entire house of cards. The so-called “opposition” to the tyrant in the White House has been playing a game of appeasement and focusing on outside “threats” like Russia, instead of tackling the real enemy: the American ruling class establishment. But mass media is incapable of reflecting this reality. To do so, it would need to examine American history accurately, honestly, and with humility, and face the truth about the past and the current untenable arrangement. And that would undoubtedly be the strangest thing of all.
In fact, the Obesity Health Alliance is calling for all ads for foods high in sugar, fat and salt to be banned before 9:00 pm. This U.K. coalition is made up of more than 40 organizations that are trying to tackle weight problems. They’d like to see the ads restricted not only on live TV but also TV on demand, online, in social media, apps and games, at the movies, on billboards and on the radio.
Current restrictions in Britain only apply to programs or sites that are geared toward children, and this means that kids watching shows like game shows and talent competitions with their family are still being exposed to such ads.
A survey carried out by YouGov found that people widely agree with such sentiments. Sixty-nine percent of people believe that junk food marketing plays a role in childhood obesity. When it comes to junk food ad bans until 9p.m., 72 percent of people support one during popular family shows on TV, 70 percent support one online, and 68 percent would like to see one on digital advertising outside of homes, such as digital posters at bus stops or cinemas.
The University of Liverpool’s Dr. Emma Boyland said that research has shown that exposure to junk food advertising has a negative effect on kids’ diets. Making matters worse, overweight kids are more vulnerable to the suggestions of ads, which results in them consuming more calories than kids of a healthy weight when they see these ads for junk food.
A survey of nearly 2,500 children carried out by Cancer Research U.K. found that those who watch TV or use the internet for more than 30 minutes a day have a greater likelihood of asking for, buying, or consuming junk food.
It also revealed that each additional hour a child spends watching commercial TV is linked to a 22 percent greater chance of asking for foods they saw advertised, a 21 percent greater chance of buying food they saw advertised, a 23 percent greater chance of drinking sugary beverages, an 18 percent greater chance of eating pastries, and a 16 percent greater chance of eating chips and sweets. Similar trends were associated with additional time spent online.
Kids might not have the power to buy food themselves, but they do have what ad execs term “pester power” – every parent knows just how relentless kids can be when they want something. The food companies tap into this, and it’s part of the reason childhood obesity is getting out of control.
As long as food companies are allowed to target kids with brightly-colored ads that make eating food that will slowly but surely kill them somehow seem fun and exciting, the childhood obesity epidemic is unlikely to let up any time soon. One in five school-aged kids in the U.S. are already obese, and while many factors can contribute to the problem, we shouldn’t let the pursuit of the almighty dollar be one of them.
Sources for this article include:
Damned Nazi scum. They are the same everywhere. They think that only their point of view, their ignorant conceptions, are the only ones valuable. The only language they understand is violence. Evolve ye troglodytes!
The building of 112 Ukraine was damaged on Friday night by a grenade apparently fired from a single-shot launcher. Two people reportedly drove by the premises, fired the explosive at the big logo of the channel on the building wall and fled the scene, leaving the used launcher tube behind.
Nobody was hurt in the incident, although the blast was strong enough to cause some damage inside, according to the channel. The moment of the attack was caught on CCTV cameras.
Kiev police said they were investigating the attack as a terrorist act, but are yet to make any arrests in the case or identify the motive behind it. The channel called on Ukrainian authorities to act and stop criminals attacking it and announced it will ramp up security at the office.
The outlet earlier asked for protection by international press freedom organizations, the European Union and Ukraine’s law enforcement, saying it received numerous threats from radical nationalists. The reported surge may have been triggered by the decision to air the documentary ‘Revealing Ukraine’ by Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone.
ALSO ON RT.COM‘Round up’ some Italians & jail them for life – Ukrainian MP after sentencing of pro-Kiev fighterThe film details the political crisis and armed conflict in Ukraine and features, among other things, exclusive interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian politician Victor Medvedchuk, who has close ties with the owner of 112 Ukraine.
It fails to follow the narrative about the conflict preferred by the current government in Kiev, so the decision was harshly criticized in the country. Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko even threatened the channel with prosecution.
“I declare this: any attempts … to demonstrate the Russian propagandist film, which Medvedchuk’s channel is advertising, will result in punishment,” the top official said in a video address.
The actual owner of the channel, Taras Kozak, called the night grenade attack “the latest threat to independent media” and accused the Ukrainian authorities of dereliction of duty to protect journalists.
The documentary is scheduled to be aired next Tuesday.
“We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”—Rod Serling
Have you noticed how much life increasingly feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone?
Only instead of Rod Serling’s imaginary “land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas,” we’re trapped in a topsy-turvy, all-too-real land of corruption, brutality and lies, where freedom, justice and integrity play second fiddle to political ambition, corporate greed, and bureaucratic tyranny.
It’s not merely that life in the American Police State is more brutal, or more unjust, or even more corrupt. It’s getting more idiotic, more perverse, and more outlandish by the day.
Somewhere over the course of the past 240-plus years, democracy has given way to idiocracy, and representative government has given way to a kleptocracy (a government ruled by thieves) and a kakistocracy(a government run by unprincipled career politicians, corporations and thieves that panders to the worst vices in our nature and has little regard for the rights of American citizens).
In Georgia, political organizers posted a “Black Media Only” sign outside a Baptist Church, barring white reporters from attending a meeting about an upcoming mayoral election.
In Arizona, a SWAT team raided a family’s home in the middle of the night on the say-so of Child Protective Services, which sounded the alarm after the parents determined that their 2-year-old—who had been suffering a 100-degree fever—was feeling better and didn’t need to be admitted to the hospital.
In Virginia, landlords are requiring dog-owning tenants to submit their pets’ DNA to a database that will be used to track down (and fine) owners who fail to clean up after their dogs poop in public.
In Texas, a police officer who allegedly gave a homeless man a sandwich with dog feces won’t be held accountable for his actions.
In Illinois, Chicago police used a battering ram and a sledgehammer to crash into a family’s home with weapons drawn, terrorizing the young children gathered for a 4-year-old’s birthday party, only to find that they were at the wrong house.
In Kansas, a 61-year-old back man in the process of moving into his new house found himself held at gunpoint and handcuffed by police, who refused to believe he was a homeowner and not a burglar.
If you’re starting to notice a pattern here, it speaks to the fact that nearly 50 years after Serling’s creative brainchild, The Twilight Zone, premiered on national television, we’re still fumbling around in the dark, trying to make sense of a world dominated by racism, cruelty, war, violence, poverty, prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, injustice and a host of other social maladies and spiritual evils.
The Twilight Zone was an oasis in television wasteland: a show that captured imaginations; challenged moral hypocrisy and societal prejudices; and railed against inhumanity, racism, prejudice, the mechanization of human beings by way of their technology, tyrants of all shapes and colors, a passive populace, war, injustice, the surveillance state, corporate greed.
Fifty years later, with so much having changed legally, technologically and politically, so much still remains the same. Fear is the same. Prejudice is the same. Ignorance is the same. Hate and war and tyranny are unchanged. Police officers are still shooting unarmed citizens. Bloated government agencies are still fleecing taxpayers. Government technicians are still spying on our communications. And American citizens are still allowing themselves to be manipulated by their fears and pitted one against the other.
All of these themes can be found in The Twilight Zone.
Serling, a truth-teller who pulled no punches when it came to calling out the evils of his day, channeled his moral outrage into storytelling. As his daughter Anne explained, “The Twilight Zone was more than just the strangest show on TV, with the best theme song, but back in the 50’s Rod Serling was serving up social commentary through science fiction.”
That social commentary disguised as entertainment tackled some of the most pressing issues of Serling’s day. “It dealt with human issues which I guess is why it’s lasted so long, because it dealt with racism and mob mentality and scapegoating and things that are still very, very prevalent and relevant today sadly,” said Anne. “We don’t seem to be able to move ahead and change.”
Serling would have no shortage of material to draw from today, given the government’s greed for money and power, its disregard for human life, its corruption and graft, its pollution of the environment, its reliance on excessive force in order to ensure compliance, its covert activities, its illegal surveillance, and its blatant disdain for the rule of law.
“I can tell you [my dad] would be absolutely apoplectic about what’s happening in the world today. And deeply saddened,” said his daughter Anne Serling. “There are moments that I’m glad he’s not here to see.”
It boggles the mind how relevant The Twilight Zone and its unique brand of truth-telling are to an age in which truth has become a convenient fiction for those in power, what researchers refer to as “Truth Decay.”
As a report from the Rand Corporation explains, “Truth Decay is defined as a set of four related trends: increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data; a blurring of the line between opinion and fact; an increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact; and declining trust in formerly respected sources of factual information.”
Serling would have had a lot to say about the lies that masquerade as truth today.
I’m not sure that Serling would have been surprised by current events, though. After all, this was the man who concluded that people are alike all over: that was the kernel of truth in one of Serling’s episodes about a pair of astronauts who journey to Mars only to find that while they may have landed on an alien planet, inhabited by alien creatures, the ignorance, fear and prejudice of the “foreigner” was the same.
So many truths, packaged in 156 episodes that aired from 1959 to 1964.
Serling took pride in the writing, penning 92 of the 156 episodes himself. For the rest, he enlisted some of the best writers of the 20th century to lend their talents to Zone episodes: Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, Earl Hamner, to mention a few. As such, the Twilight Zone became the embodiment of great story-telling.
If you want to watch something that fuses time and space into reality by way of a fictional setting, then I suggest that you tune into The Twilight Zone.
Director Jordan Peele has taken Serling’s material out for a new spin in a reboot airing on CBS All Access, but if you haven’t experienced the original series, do yourself a favor and spend some time with them.
There are so many to choose from, but the following are 12 of my personal favorites:
Time Enough at Last: Mild-mannered Henry Bemis (Burgess Meredith), hen-pecked by his wife and brow-beaten by his boss, sneaks into a bank vault on his lunch hour to read. He is knocked unconscious by a shockwave that turns out to be a nuclear war. When Bemis regains consciousness, he realizes that he is the last person on earth.
I Shot an Arrow into the Air: Three astronauts survive a crash after their craft disappears from the radar screen. They find themselves on what they believe to be a dry, lifeless asteroid. Only five gallons of water separate them from dehydration and death. And temperamental crew member Corey (Dewey Martin) goes to great lengths to ensure his survival.
The Howling Man: During a walking tour of Europe after World War I, David loses his way and comes to a remote monastery. He is turned away but passes out, and the monks take him in. David regains consciousness and hears a bizarre howling. He eventually finds a man in a jail cell who the monks say is the Devil himself, kept in his prison by the “staff of truth.”
Eye of the Beholder: Janet lies in a hospital bed, her face wrapped in bandages, hiding the hideous face that has made her an outcast all her life. This is her eleventh hospital visit and the last allowed by the government. The faces of the doctors and nurses are also hidden by shadows and camera angles. Janet’s bandages are finally removed, and the medical staff retreat in disgust.
The Invaders: A haggard woman (Agnes Morehead) hears a strange sound on the roof. She climbs up to see a miniature flying saucer and tiny spacemen who invade her home. Their small ray guns sting, but she fights back.
Shadow Play: Adam (Dennis Weaver) is on trial, and the judge gives him the electric chair. Adam chortles that it’s all a joke, a recurring nightmare in which all the participants are bit players in a scripted play. But will anyone listen?
The Obsolete Man: Romney (Burgess Meredith) is a God-fearing librarian in a totalitarian state in which books and religion have been banned. Romney is judged obsolete by the government chancellor but is granted several requests before he dies. He chooses to have a television audience watch his execution. Forty-five minutes before he is to die, he invites the chancellor to his room and locks them both inside.
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet: Robert (William Shatner) boards an airplane after having been discharged from a mental hospital for a nervous breakdown. He looks out his window during the flight and sees a weird creature on the wing. Alarmed, he alerts others. However, when they look out, the creature disappears. Robert eventually realizes that what he sees is a demon trying to dismantle the plane so it will crash. Robert decides to act.
Living Doll: Erich (Telly Savalas) is angry at his wife for buying his stepdaughter an expensive doll. Erich has a nasty disposition and soon discovers that the doll has a life of its own and it dislikes him. In fact, the doll tells him so. Talky Tina says emphatically “I hate you” and “I’m going to kill you.”
The Masks: On his deathbed, Jason Foster calls his four heirs to his side on a Mardi Gras evening. Each heir has a character flaw—self-pity, avarice, vanity or cruelty. Foster demands that each wear a mask he has fashioned for them. If they refuse to keep the masks on until midnight, they will be disinherited. The masks are hideous, and the heirs do not want to don them. But out of greed, they slide them onto their faces.
It’s a Good Life: Peaksville, Ohio, a small community, has been “taken away” from the so-called normal world—ravaged by 6-year-old “monster” Anthony (Billy Mumy). By mere thought and/or wishes, Anthony can make things and people disappear or turn into hideous creatures. All of the adults kowtow to his every desire.
To Serve Man: The Kanamits—nine-foot-tall, large-headed creatures—come to Earth from outer space, bringing gifts, spouting peace and promising to end famine. After some initial resistance by earthlings, the world relents and humans become entranced by the visitors. However, government agent Mike (Lloyd Chambers) soon discovers a sinister and shocking plot being hatched by the Kanamits.
The Twilight Zone was a paradox.
Although the series is often seen as science fiction, ultimately it was not science fiction.
Whatever weird or far out setting may have been involved in a particular episode, the focus was always on the angst, pain and suffering we face in the so-called “real” world. As author Marc Scott Zicree writes:
The Twilight Zone was the first, and possibly only, TV series to deal on a regular basis with the theme of alienation—particularly urban alienation…. Repeatedly, it states a simple message: The only escape from alienation lies in reaching out to others, trusting in their common humanity. Give in to the fear and you are lost.
Fifty years after the original The Twilight Zone series questioned whether we can maintain our humanity in the face of authoritarian forces trying to reduce us to mindless automatons, we’re still struggling with the demons of our age who delight in fomenting violence, sowing distrust and prejudice, and persuading the public to support tyranny disguised as patriotism.
Yet as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we don’t have to be stranded in this alternate universe, this twilight zone of tyranny, brutality and injustice.
We still have the power to change our circumstances for the better.
However, overcoming the evils of our age will require more than intellect and activism. It will require decency, morality, goodness, truth and toughness.
As Serling concluded in his remarks to the graduating class of 1968:
“Toughness is the singular quality most required of you… we have left you a world far more botched than the one that was left to us… Part of your challenge is to seek out truth, to come up with a point of view not dictated to you by anyone, be he a congressman, even a minister… Are you tough enough to take the divisiveness of this land of ours, the fact that everything is polarized, black and white, this or that, absolutely right or absolutely wrong. This is one of the challenges. Be prepared to seek out the middle ground … that wondrous and very difficult-to-find Valhalla where man can look to both sides and see the errant truths that exist on both sides. If you must swing left or you must swing right—respect the other side. Honor the motives that come from the other side. Argue, debate, rebut—but don’t close those wondrous minds of yours to opposition. In their eyes, you’re the opposition. And ultimately … ultimately—you end divisiveness by compromise. And so long as men walk and breathe—there must be compromise.”
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at http://www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at email@example.com.
John W. Whitehead’s weekly commentaries are available for publication to newspapers and web publications at no charge. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain reprint permission.
And how we can restore to America a rational media landscape.. The media recently was all over Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for calling Donald Trump a “m@therf*cker” in the context of wanting to impeach him. It got lots and lots of coverage, over a period of several days, while the really big work the Democrats were doing in the House is largely ignored, along with most other consequential issues of the day.
The media recently was all over Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for calling Donald Trump a “m@therf*cker” in the context of wanting to impeach him. It got lots and lots of coverage, over a period of several days, while the really big work the Democrats were doing in the House is largely ignored, along with most other consequential issues of the day.
Ever since the media began, in a big way in the 1980s, to ignore actual news and go for highly dumbed-down or even salacious stories, many of us who work in the media have been astonished by this behavior by the network and cable news organizations and the major newspapers.
They used to report the details of policy proposals in great detail (see this report from the 1970s about Richard Nixon’s proposal for universal health care, comparing his with Ted Kennedy’s, for example). But since the Reagan era, the networks have largely kept their coverage exclusively to personality, scandal, and horse race.
Why would that be? Why, since the late 1980s, has the “news” lost any semblance of actual news and detail, and degenerated into a cleaned-up version of the National Enquirer?
For example, on January 3, the House of Representatives passed one of the most sweeping political reform bills since the Nixon era, including automatic voter registration, 15 days of nationwide early voting, and an end to gerrymandering. Not to mention a totally revolutionary code of ethics for the Supreme Court.
But was there any coverage of these details—or even of the bill itself—in the media? Even though there’s no way it would pass the Senate, it’s worthy of discussion and debate.
This is just one example of dozens of events that happen every day and are completely ignored by the media in favor of “who’s up and who’s down” horse-race reporting, and gotcha or scandal coverage.
Watch a few hours of national cable TV media, and—outside of a very few shows—odds are you won’t hear any detail of actual policy whatsoever.
Watch a few hours of national cable TV media, and—outside of a very few shows—odds are you won’t hear any detail of actual policy whatsoever. Every issue is instead framed in the horse-race format of “who’s going to win this fight”—leaving Americans uninformed about the consequences to themselves of the issues being fought over.
But the networks love scandal and conflict. So, to get issues on TV, maybe it’s time to make them obscene.
Imagine if the Democratic Party were to enlist a dozen or so members of Congress to go on national TV and say things like:
Alas, it’s just a dream.
Even if the Democrats did this, the only dimension of it that would get covered would be how much political damage (or benefit) the profanity may be doing to the politicians who are the source or butt of it, as happened with Representative Tlaib. In other words, they’d turn the issues aside and focus on the personalities and the horse race.
Which brings us back to the media refusing to actually discuss or inform the American public about actual issues.
Why would it be this way in 2019, when there’s such a demonstrable thirst for issues-based discussions, as we can see with the ratings of the few top cable network shows that actually do discuss issues and don’t spend half their hour with a “panel”?
Trying to figure out why this is, I’ve come up with four possible reasons (none of which are mutually exclusive; it may be all or a combination of them). Let me know on Twitter or call into my show if you have additions to the list.
1. The End of the Fairness Doctrine
In 1987, Ronald Reagan ordered his FCC to cease enforcing the Fairness Doctrine. This much-misunderstood regulation required radio and TV stations, in order to keep their licenses, to “pay” for their use of the public airwaves (the property of We the People) with actual news. It was called “broadcasting in the public interest.”
Because of the Fairness Doctrine, every one of the networks actually lost money on their news divisions, and those divisions operated entirely separately from the entertainment programming divisions of the networks.
CBS, ABC, and NBC had bureaus all around the world and employed an army of reporters. At the little radio station where I worked in Lansing, Michigan, in the 1970s (WITL), we had, as I recall, five people staffing the newsroom, and it was a firing offense if we were caught hanging out with the sales staff. While stations lost money on news, the payoff was the much larger sums they could earn with entertainment during the rest of the hour or day.
The Fairness Doctrine also encouraged a discussion of the issues of the day with the “balanced commentary” (probably not the official name; it’s what we called it in the ’70s) requirement. This did not say that if a station carried an hour of Limbaugh, they’d have to balance it with an hour of Hartmann. “Entertainment” programming (see Joe Pyne, William F. Buckley, etc., etc.) could have any tilt it wanted.
But when a station ran an editorial on the air that conveyed the opinion of the station’s owners, they then had to allow a member of the community to come on the air and present a balancing and different perspective. If this provision was still in the regulations, every time Sinclair Broadcast Group requires their local stations to air their “must-carry” right-wing editorials, they’d have to follow them with a left-wing perspective rebutting their points.
2. The Rise of “Reality TV”
Reality TV grew out of the twin writers’ strikes of 1988 and 2001. In each case, the networks had to figure out a way to offer compelling programming with shows that didn’t require union writers. In 1988, they mostly did documentaries on policing like “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted”; in 2001 they rolled out the full-blown reality programming we know today, starting with “Survivor.”
The networks learned two big lessons from this. The first was that “reality” programming actually pulled an audience, and thus was profitable. Extremely profitable, in that it didn’t require union writers and generally didn’t even require union actors.
The second was that it was incredibly cheap to produce.
If you tuned into TV prior to the Reaganification of the news, you may still have heard “experts” discussing things, but there were several differences. First, they were usually actual experts on actual issues that were before Congress. Second, they were a very, very small part of the overall program.
In the years since the rise of reality TV, the news networks have discovered that it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to have four or five or six “pundits” join a host for an hour and “discuss” the issues of the day than it is to pay for actual salaried reporters and news bureaus around the nation and the world.
So every hour, at least on the low-budget or weak-talent shows (notice what a contrast the Maddow show is to this truism), plan on hearing a half-dozen very, very familiar talking heads discussing ad nauseam the same four or five stories all day long.
So every hour, at least on the low-budget or weak-talent shows (notice what a contrast the Maddow show is to this truism), plan on hearing a half-dozen very, very familiar talking heads discussing ad nauseam the same four or five stories all day long. (One wonders why the networks don’t encourage their talent to do more of the kind of in-depth reporting and analysis found on Rachel’s show, particularly since it’s profitable and draws killer ratings. Perhaps the answer is found in reasons three and four.)
Guests like you see on the panels that fill daytime news programming start out working for free, and if they become an “analyst,” “contributor” or some other title for the network are paid between $500 and $2,500 an appearance. In a world where on-air personalities often start with seven-figure salaries, this is incredibly cheap programming.
Even cheaper for the networks is to have politicians on as guests—they show up for free!—which may be why they’re almost never held to account in any serious way. After all, if you piss off a politician on your network and they refuse to ever come back on the air, you’ve lost another bit of “free” talent. And if you piss off an entire political party, and your programming model doesn’t work without “balance,” you’re really screwed.
There’s a reason people all over America are screaming at their TVs every Sunday morning: the majority of guests are conservatives or Republicans, and much of what they offer as “fact” or “opinion” is merely lies and propaganda. Which leads us to number three.
3. Media Corporations Are Corporations, Too
It’s easy to postulate that the absolute lack of coverage of the death, at GOP hands, of net neutrality is because two of the big three cable TV networks are (or soon will be) owned by internet service providers (NBC/MSNBC is owned by Comcast, AT&T is trying to buy CNN), and other big corporations see all sorts of financial advantage if they can use their financial and programming muscle to dominate a newly sliced-and-diced corporatized internet.
Consider: When was the last time you heard an intelligent discussion on TV about taxing the rich? Or holding corporations accountable when they break the law? Or how destructive oligopolies and monopolies are to workers? Or how big pharma scams us about their R&D expenses and price fixing, buying up generic companies, etc.? The list could go on for pages.
Back in the day, the big joke in corporate America was, “You know it’s going to be a bad day when you get to work in the morning and there’s a ‘60 Minutes’ news truck outside the building.” The last time this was seriously considered was in the late 1980s, as in this article about “60 Minutes” doing an exposé of the meat industry. Now, not so much.
The simple fact is that TV “news” organizations are now for-profit operations, and, lacking regulation like the Fairness Doctrine, thus have the same natural and inherent biases toward protecting corporate power and privilege, and the wealth and privilege of their management and largest shareholders.
They also derive the bulk of their money from two sources—billionaire-funded political campaigns (have you noticed how there’s no in-depth coverage of the political spending of the Kochs, Adelsons, and Mercers of the world?), and giant transnational corporate advertisers.
They also derive the bulk of their money from two sources—billionaire-funded political campaigns (have you noticed how there’s no in-depth coverage of the political spending of the Kochs, Adelsons, and Mercers of the world?), and giant transnational corporate advertisers.
All those campaign ads represent hundreds of millions of dollars going right into the pockets of the networks and their affiliates, along with other corporate advertising revenue. Lacking a regulation like the Fairness Doctrine to require actual “programming in the true public interest news,” who’d bite those hands that feed them?
4. Corporations Like Republicans
The final possibility that occurs to me (and others in media with whom I’ve discussed this over the years) is that the large TV and radio news operations simply like what the GOP stands for. They also know that if GOP policies were widely understood, the Republican Party would fade into the kind of powerless obscurity it enjoyed for most of the FDR-to-Reagan era, when working people’s salaries were growing faster than management and the middle class was solid and stable.
TV networks don’t like unions or uppity workers or regulation any more than any other billion-dollar corporation. They’d prefer the salaries of their senior corporate management weren’t debated (or even known). They prefer to live in today’s semi-monopolistic system where they’re only minimally held accountable, and want to keep it that way.
This is the core of GOP ideology that media shares: Cut taxes on rich people, kill off the unions, cut welfare so more of that money can go to rich people’s tax cuts, deregulate big corporations so they can act without regard to the public good, and subsidize big corporations with government funds whenever and wherever possible.
But if any of these issues were ever explicitly discussed on TV, all hell would break loose. Can you imagine if Bill Kristol or Rick Santorum or any of the other dozens of right-wing trolls who inhabit cable TV were ever asked about their actual positions on policy?
Should we sell off (privatize) Social Security to the big New York banks as the GOP has wanted to do since the 1930s? Should we end Medicare and Medicaid and turn everybody over to the tender mercies of the insurance industry? Should we stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry? What should we do about the audit that found $21 trillion (yes, with a T) missing from the Pentagon? How do we break the stranglehold monopolistic drug corporations have on the pricing of our pharmaceuticals?
The networks are equally terrified of having actual progressives on to discuss actual progressive issues—because the majority of American voters largely supports these issues and, if well informed, will start to vote out Republicans and vote in progressive Democrats.
Similarly, the networks are equally terrified of having actual progressives on to discuss actual progressive issues—because the majority of American voters largely supports these issues and, if well informed, will start to vote out Republicans and vote in progressive Democrats.
Imagine how things would go down if the networks started having actual discussions and debates about free college education, free national health care, the environmental impact of big oil, how well publicly owned utilities and internet services (like Chattanooga) work?
The simple reality is that the media oligopoly and the GOP work hand-in-glove, and the Democrats (and particularly the progressives) have been locked out since the Reagan era.
The solutions to these problems are not particularly complex, although the GOP will fight them tooth-and-nail.
Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, put back into place ownership rules, and break up the big media monopolies so there’s a diversity of voices across America. Overrule the Supreme Court’s (by legislation or constitutional amendment) Citizens United (and similar) ruling to regulate money in politics, diminishing the power of big corporations and billionaires (and foreign governments).
In other words, restore to America a rational media landscape.
Today, you can drive from coast to coast and never miss a moment of Hannity or Limbaugh on the radio, so complete and widespread is the nation’s network of corporate-owned radio stations that will only carry right-wing talk. You’ll be hard-pressed, outside of a few major cities, to find any progressive or even moderate talk programming.
This has corrupted America’s politics and led to a nation divided.
We can do better.
This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.
Glenn Greenwald, the well-known journalist for The Intercept and the reporter who worked closely with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to expose vast US government illegal domestic spying, explained this week how mainstream media ‘gate-keeping’ and suppressing alternate perspectives works, especially when it comes to reporting American foreign policy.
Greenwald slammed the corrupt state of the establishment media, explaining, “One of the favorite phrases the US media loves to recite to justify and elevate what they do, and to delegitimize their critics and those who do journalism outside of their structures, is ‘real reporting.'”
“The role of the US media, as always with US wars, has been to suppress, ignore, justify, or propagandize,” Greenwald explained…
The veteran journalist took to Twitter after this week’s latest display of blatant hypocrisy surrounding Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s getting Congressional certification for the US military to continue assisting the Saudis and Emirates, despite the astounding rising death toll of Yemeni civilians killed by Saudi-US coalition attacks, including last month’s shocking airstrike on a school bus, which the Red Cross reported killed 40 children.
Greenwald spotlighted one of the more stunning interviews to ever air on CNN, which was connected to the Yemen war:
It is indeed a stunning piece of cable news history that rivals Madeleine Albright’s infamous words during a 1996 60 Minutes appearance where she calmly and coldly proclaimed of 500,000 dead Iraqi children that “the price is worth it”.
As part of the clip that Greenwald resurrected from internet obscurity, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer railed against Senator Paul’s opposition to a proposed $1.1 billion US arms sale to Saudi Arabia by arguing that slaughter of Yemeni civilians was “worth it” so long as it benefits US jobs and defense contractors.
At the time of the 2016 CNN interview, Saudi Arabia with the help of its regional and Western allies — notably the U.S. and Britain — had been bombing Yemen for a year-and-a-half, and as the United Nations noted, the Saudi coalition had been responsible for the majority of the war’s (at that point) 10,000 mostly civilian deaths.
Greenwald’s epic rant against a media mainstream establishment for which this kind of exchange tends to occur during those rare moments a ‘contrarian’ thinker is actually invited on a major network began as follows:
Many people have strong opinions about which TV hosts you are and are not allowed to be interviewed by. The CNN personality who suggested that the US should continue to arm the Saudis to destroy Yemen to maximize defense industry profits – Wolf Blitzer – is on the “allowed” list.
In the scheme of deciding who is good and who is bad: what weight do we give to those who assisted the Saudis in destroying Yemen and creating one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises versus those who tried to stop that? What role has the heroic US media played in this?
He continued to unpack the role of US media in deciding “who is good and who is bad” for the American public:
Beyond Rand Paul (R-KY) one of the other few consistent voices in Washington objecting to the US/UK/Saudi destruction of Yemen since it began in 2015 is Chris Murphy (D-CT). The role of the US media, as always with US wars, has been to suppress, ignore, justify, or propagandize.
And who is on the mainstream media’s “allowed list” which by design bestows automatic legitimacy on “real reporting” while simultaneously keeping critics outside mainstream and prominent platforms?
Greenwald explicates and defines these terms as follows:
One of the favorite phrases the US media loves to recite to justify and elevate what they do, and to delegitimize their critics and those who do journalism outside of their structures, is “real reporting.” There’s never a discussion of what they mean by that. There should be.
Many people have strong opinions about which TV hosts you are and are not allowed to be interviewed by. The CNN personality who suggested that the US should continue to arm the Saudis to destroy Yemen to maximize defense industry profits – Wolf Blitzer – is on the “allowed” list.
And here’s the CNN interview segment that initiated Greenwald’s discussion of media propaganda from 2016:
* * *
This is what the “allowed list” looks like in action: as Wolf Blitzer is known to pal around with Clinton’s former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, it appears he’s a quick understudy…
Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.
—60 Minutes (5/12/96)
With permission from
July 20, 2018
“Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours…. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”
— Neil Postman
Americans have a voracious appetite for TV entertainment, and the Trump reality show—guest starring outraged Democrats, power-hungry Republicans, and a hodgepodge of other special interest groups with dubious motives—feeds that appetite for titillating, soap opera drama.
After all, who needs the insults, narcissism and power plays that are hallmarks of reality shows when you can have all that and more delivered up by the likes of Donald Trump and his cohorts?
Trump is inclined to denounce any news agencies and reports that paint him in a less than favorable light as “fake news,” which leaves only the Fox News channel to carry the president’s torch for media integrity.
Yet as John Lennon reminds us, “nothing is real,” especially not in the world of politics.
In other words, it’s all fake, i.e. manufactured, i.e. manipulated to distort reality.
Indeed, the political scene in the United States has devolved over the years into a carefully calibrated exercise in how to manipulate, polarize, propagandize and control a population.
This is the magic of the reality TV programming that passes for politics today.
As long as we are distracted, entertained, occasionally outraged, always polarized but largely uninvolved and content to remain in the viewer’s seat, we’ll never manage to present a unified front against tyranny (or government corruption and ineptitude) in any form.
The more that is beamed at us, the more inclined we are to settle back in our comfy recliners and become passive viewers rather than active participants as unsettling, frightening events unfold.
Reality and fiction merge as everything around us becomes entertainment fodder.
We don’t even have to change the channel when the subject matter becomes too monotonous. That’s taken care of for us by the programmers (the corporate media).
“Living is easy with eyes closed,” says Lennon, and that’s exactly what reality TV that masquerades as American politics programs the citizenry to do: navigate the world with their eyes shut.
As long as we’re viewers, we’ll never be doers.
Studies suggest that the more reality TV people watch—and I would posit that it’s all reality TV, entertainment news included—the more difficult it becomes to distinguish between what is real and what is carefully crafted farce.
“We the people” are watching a lot of TV.
This doesn’t bode well for a citizenry able to sift through masterfully-produced propaganda in order to think critically about the issues of the day, whether it’s fake news peddled by government agencies or foreign entities.
Look behind the political spectacles, the reality TV theatrics, the sleight-of-hand distractions and diversions, and the stomach-churning, nail-biting drama, and you will find there is a method to the madness.
We have become guinea pigs in a ruthlessly calculated, carefully orchestrated, chillingly cold-blooded experiment in how to control a population and advance a political agenda without much opposition from the citizenry.
This is mind-control in its most sinister form.
Truth is often lost when we fail to distinguish between opinion and fact, and that is the danger we now face as a society.
Given the preponderance of news-as-entertainment programming, it’s no wonder that viewers have largely lost the ability to think critically and analytically and differentiate between truth and propaganda, especially when delivered by way of fake news criers and politicians.
While television news cannot—and should not—be completely avoided, the following suggestions will help you better understand the nature of TV news.
1. TV news is not what happened. Rather, it is what someone thinks is worth reporting. While viewers are often inclined to take what is reported by television “news” hosts at face value, it is your responsibility to judge and analyze what is reported.
2. TV news is entertainment. There is a reason why the programs you watch are called news “shows.” It’s a signal that the so-called news is being delivered as a form of entertainment. Although the news items spoon-fed to you may have some value, they are primarily a commodity to gather an audience, which will in turn be sold to advertisers.
3. Never underestimate the power of commercials, especially to news audiences. In an average household, the television set is on over seven hours a day. Most people, believing themselves to be in control of their media consumption, are not really bothered by this. But TV is a two-way attack: it not only delivers programming to your home, it also delivers you (the consumer) to a sponsor.
4. It is vitally important to learn about the economic and political interests of those who own the “corporate” media. Even those “fake” news outlets denounced by Trump are enjoying significant sales and ratings boosts as a result of Trump’s so-called war on the media. In other words, to a dying news industry, the Trump presidency has been great for business.
5. Pay special attention to the language of newscasts. TV by its very nature manipulates viewers. One must never forget that every television minute has been edited.
6. Reduce by at least one-half the amount of TV news you watch. Do not form your concept of reality based on television.
7. Watching TV news gives the illusion of participation in American life. Americans should beware of letting others—whether they be television news hosts, political commentators or media corporations—do their thinking for them.
As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, a populace that cannot think for themselves is a populace with its backs to the walls: mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all.
It’s time to change the channel, tune out the reality TV show, and push back against the real menace of the police state. If not, if we continue to sit back and lose ourselves in political programming, we will remain a captive audience to a farce that grows more absurd by the minute.
June 13, 2018
Our planet and our children’s futures depend on us liberating ourselves, seeing the ghosts in the machine for what they truly are.
Palestinians protest inside the open-air prison that is Gaza during long day demonstration against the Israeli occupation on June 8, 2018 in near Nahal Oz, Israel. (Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
For several years now, I have been writing regular posts on my blog with one end in mind: to help open a door for readers and encourage them to step through. I select issues, usually those that dominate western media coverage and represent a consensus that we might term the Great Western Narrative, and try to show how this narrative has been constructed not to inform and enlighten but to conceal and deceive.
It is not that I and the many other bloggers doing this are cleverer than everyone else. We have simply had a chance – an earlier one – to step through that door ourselves, because of a jarring life experience that the Great Western Narrative could not explain, or because someone held the door open for us, or more usually because of a combination of the two.
My personal awakening
It is easy for me to identify my own process of awakening. It began with the dislocation of moving to Nazareth and being immersed in someone else’s narrative – that of the Palestinians. Then, I faced for the first time in my career as a journalist an impenetrable wall of opposition, even from my own former newspaper, the Guardian, as I tried to explain that counter-narrative. In fact, I found that the Palestinian narrative was invariably misrepresented as anti-semitism. These were dark years of disillusionment and the loss of a professional and ideological compass.
It is in such a moment of bereavement – deprived of the consolation of the Great Western Narrative – that one searches for a door to enlightenment. It can be a long journey to find it. My door appeared while reading about the Propaganda Model of Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky in their book “Manufacturing Consent,” as well as stumbling across a website called Media Lens. They helped me understand that the narrative problem was not restricted to Israel-Palestine, but was a much more general one.
In fact, the Great Western Narrative has been developed and refined over centuries to preserve a tiny elite’s privileges and expand its power. The role of journalists like me was to keep feeding these illusions to readers so they would remain fearful, passive and deferential to this elite. It is not that journalists lie – or at least, not most of them – it is that they are as deeply wedded to the Great Western Narrative as everyone else.
Once one is prepared to step through the door, to discard the old script, the new narrative takes its hold because it is so helpful. It actually explains the world, and human behaviour, as it is experienced everywhere. It has genuine predictive power. And most importantly, it reveals a truth understood by all figures of spiritual and intellectual enlightenment throughout human history: that human beings are equally human, whether they are Americans, Europeans, Israelis, Palestinians, Syrians, Russians, Venezuelans, or Iranians, whether they are North or South Koreans.
The term “human” is not meant simply as a description of us as a species, or a biological entity. It also describes who we are, what drives us, what makes us cry, what makes us laugh, what makes us angry, what elicits compassion. And the truth is that we are all essentially the same. The same things upset us, the same things amuse us. The same things inspire us, the same things outrage us. We want dignity, freedom, safety for us and our loved ones, and appreciate beauty and truth. We fear oppression, injustice, insecurity.
The Great Western Narrative tells us something entirely different. It divides the world into a hierarchy of “peoples”, with different, even conflicting, virtues and vices. Some humans – westerners – are more rational, more caring, more sensitive, more fully human. And other humans – the rest – are more primitive, more emotional, more violent. In this system of classification, we are the Good Guys and they are the Bad Guys; we are Order, they are Chaos. They need a firm hand from us to control them and stop them doing too much damage to themselves and to our civilised part of the world.
The Great Western Narrative isn’t really new. It is simply a reformulation for a different era of the “white man’s burden”.
The reason the Great Western Narrative persists is because it is useful – to those in power. Humans may be essentially the same in our natures and in our drives, but we are very definitely divided by power and its modern corollary, wealth. A tiny number have it, and the vast majority do not. The Great Western Narrative is there to perpetuate power by legitimising it, by making its unbalanced and unjust distribution seem natural and immutable.
Once kings told us they had blue blood and a divine right. Today, we need a different kind of narrative, but one designed to achieve the same end. Just as kings and barons once owned everything, now a tiny corporate elite rule the world. They have to justify that to themselves and to us.
The king and the barons had their courtiers, the clergy and a wider circle of hanger-ons who most of the time benefited enough from the system not to disrupt it. The role of the clergy in particular was to sanction the gross imbalance of power, to argue that it was God’s will. Today, the media function like the clergy of old. God may be dead, as Nietzsche observed, but the corporate media has taken his place. In the unquestioned premises of every article, we are told who should rule and who should be ruled, who are the Good Guys and who the Bad.
To make this system more palatable, more democratic, to make us believe that there is equality of opportunity and that wealth trickles down, the western elite has had to allow a large domestic middle class to emerge, like the courtiers of old. The spoils from the rape and pillage of distant societies are shared sparingly with this class. Their consciences are rarely pricked because the corporate media’s function is to ensure they know little about the rest of the world and care even less, believing those foreigners to be less deserving, less human.
If western readers, for example, understood that a Palestinian is no different from an Israeli – apart from in opportunities and income – then they might feel sympathy for a grieving Palestinian family just as they do for an Israeli one. But the Great Western Narrative is there precisely to ensure readers won’t feel the same about the two cases. That is why Palestinian deaths are invariably reported as nothing more than statistics – because Palestinians die in large numbers, like cattle in an abbatoir. Israelis, by contrast, die much more rarely and their deaths are recorded individually. They are dignified with names, life stories and pictures.
Even when a moment arrives to single out a Palestinian from the mass of death, western corporate media show great reluctance to do so. Just take the case of Razan al-Najjar, the 21-year-old Palestinian medic executed by a sniper’s bullet as she tended to the unarmed demonstrators regularly being killed and wounded at the perimeter fence encaging them in the prison of Gaza.
Gaza is slowly sinking into the sea, but who cares? Those primitive Palestinians live like cavemen amid the rubble of homes Israel has repeatedly destroyed. Their women are hijabbed and they have too many children. They don’t look like us, they don’t speak like us. Doubtless, they don’t think like us. They cannot be us.
Even those young Palestinian demonstrators, with their faces covered with strange scarves, launching flaming kites and throwing the odd stone, look different. Can we imagine ourselves standing in front of a sniper to protest like that? Of course not. We cannot imagine what it is like to live in one of the most densely populated areas on the planet, in an open-air prison over which another nation serves as jailers, in which the water is becoming as saline as seawater and there is no electricity. So how can we put ourselves in the demonstrators’ shoes, how can we empathize? It is so much easier to imagine being the powerful sniper protecting the “border” and his home.
But al-Najjar undermined all that. A young, pretty woman with a beautiful smile – she could be our daughter. Selflessly tending to the wounded, thinking not of herself but of the welfare of others, we would be proud to have her as our daughter. We can identify with her much better than the sniper. She is a door beckoning us to step through and see the world from a different location, from a different perspective.
Which is why the corporate media has not invested al-Najjar’s death with the emotional, empathetic coverage it would if a pretty young Israeli female medic had been gunned down by a Palestinian. It was that double standard in his own newspaper, the Guardian, that outraged cartoonist Steve Bell last week. As he noted in correspondence with the editor, the paper had barely covered the story of al-Najjar. When he tried to redress the imbalance, his own cartoon highlighting her death – and its oversight – was censored.
The Guardian’s editors argued that his cartoon was anti-semitic. But the truth is that al-Najjar is dangerous. Because once you step through that door, you are unlikely to come back, you are unlikely ever again to believe the Great Western Narrative.
The true message of Israel
Israel-Palestine offered me that door, just as it has so many others. It is not, as Israel’s apologists – and the upholders of the Great Western Narrative – will tell you, because so many westerners are anti-semitic. It is because Israel lies in a grey zone of experience, one that is readily available to western tourists but at the same time gives them a chance to glimpse the dark underbelly of western privilege.
Israel is enthusiastically embraced by the Great Western Narrative: it is supposedly a liberal democracy, many of its inhabitants dress and sound like us, its cities look rather like our cities, its TV shows are given a makeover and become hits on our TV screens. If you don’t stand too close, Israel could be Britain or the US.
But there are clues galore, for those who bother to look a little beyond superficialities, that there is something profoundly amiss about Israel. A few miles from their homes, the sons of those western-looking families regularly train their gun sights on unarmed demonstrators, on children, on women, on journalists, on medics, and pull the trigger with barely any compunction.
They do so not because they are monsters, but because they are exactly like us, exactly like our sons. That is the true horror of Israel. We have a chance to see ourselves in Israel – because it is not exactly us, because most of us have some physical and emotional distance from it, because it still looks a little strange despite the best efforts of the western media, and because its own local narrative – justifying its actions – is even more extreme, even more entitled, even more racist towards the Other than the Great Western Narrative
It is that shocking realization – that we could be Israelis, that we could be those snipers – that both opens the door and prevents many from stepping through to see what is on the other side. Or, more troubling still, halting at the threshhold of the doorway, glimpsing a partial truth without understanding its full ramifications.
To explain what I mean, let us digress for a moment and consider the allegorical film The Matrix.
Neo, the hero played by Keanu Reeves, starts to realise that the reality around him is not as solid as it once seemed. Things have become peculiar, inconsistent, inexplicable. He is shown the door to an entirely different reality with the help of a mentor, Morpheus. Neo discovers that in truth he exists in a dark world taken over by computer-generated life forms that feed off the consciousnesses of him and the rest of mankind. Until that point, he had been living in a dream world created to pacify him and other humans as they are exploited for their energy.
Neo and a small band of others who have liberated themselves from this false consciousness cannot hope to defeat their opponents directly. They must wage war through the Matrix, a digital world in which the computer life-forms always triumph. It is only when Neo finally grasps that the Matrix is an illusion too – that these life forms he is battling are simply binary code – that he becomes strong enough to triumph.
Back to us. On the other side of the door lies a truth that humans are all equally human. From this vantage point, it is possible to understand that a privileged westerner or Israeli would react exactly like a Palestinian if he had to endure the experiences of living in Gaza. From this location, it is possible to understand that my son might pull the trigger, just like most Israeli teenagers do, if he had been bombarded, like them, with brainwashing all his life from his media, school and politicians depicting Palestinians as primitive and violent.
From the other side of the door, Russia’s Vladimir Putin or Bashar al-Assad look as rational, or irrational, and as criminal as George W Bush, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, or Donald Trump. In fact, they look less criminal – not because they are better humans than their western counterparts, but simply because they enjoy less power and face more constraints in trying to impose their will. The issue is not about who is better. They are the same humans. It is about who has more force at their disposal – and more will to use it – to perpetuate their power.
Enslaved to power
The conclusion from this is that the way to change our societies fundamentally for the better depends on a change in our consciousness, on liberating ourselves from false perspective, on stepping through the door.
If we remain in a world of illusions, of false hierarchies of virtue, oblivious to the role of power, we will continue to be Neo living in his dream world.
And if we step only to the threshhold, glimpsing the shadows on the the other side, we will be equally in thrall to illusions, just as Neo took his battle back into the Matrix, fighting ghosts in the machine as though they were flesh-and-blood enemies.
This danger can be seen in the case of Israel-Palestine too, where the horrors that Israel inflicts on Palestinians justifiably radicalize many observers. But not all step fully through the door. They linger at the threshhold, angry with Israel and Israelis, and beatifying Palestinians as nothing more than victims. Some manage to find false consolation again, this time accepting readymade conspiracies that “the Jews” are pulling the levers that make such outrages – and western inaction – possible.
To stand in the doorway is as bad as refusing to step through. The illusions are as dangerous, the false consciousness as profound.
Our planet and our children’s futures depend on us liberating ourselves, seeing the ghosts in the machine for what they truly are. We have to begin rebuilding our societies on the basis that we share a common humanity. That other humans are not our enemies, only those who wish to enslave us to their power.
With permission from
Political leaders and the mass media deluge the public with a constant stream of frightening incidents caused by the enemy-of-the-week: nerve gas killing dozens of little babies in Syria, Russian-directed poison assassination attempts in England and terror incidents throughout Europe, requiring an increase in domestic police state surveillance and spying. Extensively monitored bank records, intrusive workplace controls, and all personal and, especially, political communications, are in the hands of state security officials or corporate security contractors.
Hundreds of prosecuting attorneys look forward to career-enhancing investigations in perpetuity, tracking the complex networks of extended personal and family links, including long forgotten acquaintances and the contents of casual conversations. Everyone may be subject to interrogations without warrant or explanation. And the ‘media’ cheers on the process.
Political trials and convictions in court and the media are rampant. Social, work-place and academic self censorship and blacklisting of dissident voices have become pervasive and accepted.
Elections and appointments are rigged by corporate and special interests to favor the most bellicose ideologues who manufacture the pretexts for war.
Political intimidation, trade wars and sanctions run amok .
‘Exceptional’ people in authority are defined by their power to bludgeon the majority into passive submission. Corporate mass media propaganda repeats brief and lurid messages calling for the death and destruction of the latest ‘fill-in-the-blank’ enemy.
War fever is everywhere infesting the weak minds of local opinion leaders, who echo the rants and raves of psychotic leaders without pausing to question.
Last week, the Mexican immigrant workers were described as dangerous invaders, drug dealers, rapists and threats to the every day life of ordinary citizens. Walls are being constructed and thousands of National Guard are called to the border to confront the invading agricultural workers and their families.
Before that, Muslims were broadly described as brainwashed terrorists, programmed to plant bombs at their first opportunity anywhere and everywhere – on mass transport, in congested amusement parks, in any public space where the innocent may be harmed. A draconian ban of the entry of Muslims has been instituted – including elderly parents joining their citizen sons or daughters.
After the latest maniac massacre of students, understaffed public schools, (but not private, elite schools), are urged to arm the teachers with baseball bats, rocks and guns. Instead of multiplication drills, terrified teachers hold daily and weekly drills in their over-crowded classrooms – stuffing their pupils into closets and bathrooms. Elementary school lunchtimes have become prison-like exercises in ‘total silence’ drills as if to fool the would-be shooter. Images of little Oliver Twist meekly whispering to an armed guard for a bathroom pass come to mind. Haunting some outraged parents is the fear that a mad intruder might set fire to the school suffocating scores of children locked in closets and bathroom stalls because ‘fire-drills’ have been superseded by ‘shooter-drills’.
Fear stalks the land! Where will it end?
An Empire Built on Fear
Domination is the driving force of US Empire builders. But today’s empire is built on fragile economic foundations. An Empire, which has aimed to dominate the world for the long duration, now stumbles over a series of military defeats abroad and increasingly relies on instilling fear, intimidation and propaganda on its domestic citizenry to regain its dominance.
Inculcating fear, especially at home, is the method of choice.
Since the ruling class of ‘the 1%’ seeks to maintain its world domination, based on increasing exploitation and widening inequalities, voluntary submission of the majority cannot be taken for granted.
The vast majority of citizens no longer trust the ruling elite. The school lessons in democracy and civic responsibility have lost their credibility. How can public school children, who now cower in closets, believe in citizen and constitutional rights?
Unending economic insecurity and the increasingly phony patriotic sideshows are beginning to stir up popular discontent. Large scale, long-term trillion-dollar bank bailouts and exorbitant military budgets are financed by the slash and burn of workers’ wages, job security, public services and the social safety net. Soaring medical costs are the primary cause of personal bankruptcy among the working and lower middle classes. A physician-pharmaceutical industry fueled opioid addiction crisis is narcotizing millions and killing well over one hundred Americans each day. The unemployed are prescribed multiple mood altering drugs to numb their anxieties about the future. Fear, incompetent medical care, self-destruction, despair and pain all lead to premature death causing the life expectancy among workers to drop for the first time in US history.
Professionals and opinion leaders, from teachers and physicians to journalists, have abandoned their ethics and enabled the mass deception and oppression of their students, patients and readers.
An empire, which fails to reward its supporters, like President Trump’s marginalized voters, and repeatedly reneges on its promises, can only rely on fear.
The fear we experience is brought about by the ruling class; repeated and embellished by the mass media; and made legitimate by local opinion leaders through face-to-face daily encounters. Teachers and terrified parents instill this fear into the very young without stopping to analyze the origins and motives behind the fear mongering.
The mass message tells us that we face daily threats from terrorists; that we must increase our vigilance; that we must constantly strengthen police state powers; that we must accept the use of advanced lethal police weaponry on our streets; that we must turn to informing on our neighbors and co-workers as potential terrorists, militants, activists, critics and immigrants embedded in offices, factories, schools, churches and neighborhoods. Meanwhile our oligarch-leaders bless themselves with massive tax-cuts and enjoy the greatest concentration of wealth in history.
Fear diverts attention from the imperial state as it engages in dozens of wars and occupies several hundred overseas military bases. The simplest comment that this has resulted in countless thousands of deaths and countless millions of destroyed lives, not to speak of the countless billions of dollars funneled into the bulging pockets of the ruling class, is censored from all public debate.
Fear permeates society: Communications are bugged and manipulated. People are afraid to discuss, let alone move to solve, their common socio-economic problems for fear of reprisals. The message to the many is ‘keep it to yourself or to your closest kin”.
Fearful people are compelled to publicly demonstrate their loyalty to the State – wear flag-pins and repeat illogical propaganda about the ‘enemy of the week’.
Peaceful objections to worshipping the symbols of the State are demonized and non-conformists, even among talented athletes, are punished by the State and see their careers demolished before the eyes of the entire society – collective punishment for any who resist injustice.
Fear and hopelessness feeds the opioid epidemic –with millions of workers addicted, a direct result of work place injury and job insecurity, as well as of incompetent medical care in the absence of a truly accountable national health care system. Physicians may have been ‘pressured’ to prescribe highly addicting drugs to workers, but they grew rich in the process.
Fear prevents speaking out and collective struggles.
Just turn on the television ‘news’: The demagogues for the ruling class direct the fearful masses to look downward instead of upward, to fear the poor or the immigrant, rather than the banker or the militarists.
Fear is converted to anger directed toward foreigners, Muslims, Afro-Americans, ‘deplorable’ (meaning poor, marginalized, working class) whites, war protestors and strikers.
Islamophobes, Russophobes and Sinophobes monopolize the channels of opinion. Any critic of Israel is fired and permanently blacklisted. Critics identifying the ‘neo-cons’, behind the current march to war, are denounced as crypto-anti-Semitites. The loudest war criminals are re-appointed to the highest political offices – despite their blood drenched past.
Fear and self-loathing go hand in hand to secure submission to the ruling class, which channels self-hatred toward political adversaries, external economic competitors and domestic victims (the poor, the marginalized and unemployed) – who cannot die or be locked up fast enough.
Pervasive fear is constantly invented and re-invented, to keep the populace on edge, unbalanced and in search of seemingly innocuous distractions to reduce anxieties.
Russia is described as an advancing menacing, murderous, blind juggernaut in order to induce popular compliance with unending arms build-ups and to provide cannon fodder for an impending nuclear war.
US organized and funded ‘regime changes’, led by terrorist proxies in the Ukraine, or direct invasion in Iraq, Libya and Syria, and the NATO encirclement of Russian borders and economic sanctions rely on fear mongering. The message is: ‘We must bomb them first or they (Russia, China, Syria, Iran…fill-in-the-blank) will launch a sneak attack on ‘us’.
The repeatedly elected Russian President Putin is demonized as a ‘KGB’ authoritarian who must be confronted by our ‘strong leader’ – the arbitrary, accidental, fearless Twitter-addict, and mad bomber President Donald Trump, aided by the Holy Alliance – Theresa May, Manny Macron, the Crown Prince MBS of Saudi Arabia and Benny Netanyahu. What will history make of a Declaration of War by Twitter! If any historians survive…
Fear is the last desperate weapon for retaining an unchallenged world empire. Fearful adversaries are compelled to negotiate away their defenses and disarm, like Iraq and Libya, and then allow the ‘empire’ to commence slaughter at will. Military threats directed against Iran are naked attempts to force them to dismantle their defensive missiles and cut ties with regional allies. The plan is to disarm and isolate Tehran, in order to launch an attack with impunity and— force 80 million Persians to submit to the combined wills of the US, Israeli and Saudi oligarchs.
China is threatened with trade wars and an air and maritime encirclement by the US military. This aims to strike fear in the Chinese leadership and force them to surrender economic sovereignty, financial markets and industrial competitiveness in order to reverse China’s growth and advances.
Step by step concessions by targeted nations will lead to great takeovers: The ultimate goal, since the time of President Harry Truman, is the re-conquest of the Asian giant, reducing the Chinese to beg with a rusted iron rice bowl.
Russia will be accused of endless poison gas attacks and war crimes everywhere and every week from Ukraine to the quiet lanes of England to the US-Saudi funded war against its ally Syria. These serve as a pretext for greater economic sanctions, cutting all possibility for debate and diplomatic resolution, leading to economic blockades and global war.
The American ruling class’ dream is to rule over a radiated world from the luxury of their billion-dollar bunkers! Even as they strike fear and hysteria in the citizenry, they expose their methods: the only real fear is the power of manufactured fear itself.
The ruling class has planted fear-mongers throughout both political parties. They only seem to compete over which is more successful in sowing confusion and fear among the voters: Millions of immigrants are rounded up from work and home; missile strikes and wars expand onto three continents; media and mass communications are largely controlled by the military industrial corporate complex; secret police investigations are routine; prosecutors seek to investigate even our grandfathers, long cold in their graves.
Fearful Americans are just spectators, ‘quiet Americans’ waiting for the next massacre, the next bomb to fall. They are told to cower in their bedrooms, while their children are shoved into closets. They are now fearful that the Russians (or this week’s ‘fill-in-the-blank’ intruder) will poison our pizza or bomb us to the Stone Age.
Wall Street fears they will lose China, the biggest financial market in the world, as ‘the Donald’s’ trade war turns ‘hot’.
The Pentagon fears that its ships will collide in the Potomac River and some ‘temp’ contractor will push the wrong button.
The Senators fear losing their perks as they drag their young interns into basement bunkers…for their own safety.
The President, his Cabinet, UN representatives and senior advisors are afraid that the population might wake up to find that missiles and nukes can move in both directions.
By the time the masses finally discover that the greatest menace stalking the country is the fear-mongering propaganda: They will have read an epitaph for their untimely nuclear death.
Prof. James Petras is a research associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, will head the “news organization” being deemed “Trump TV” funded by Trump’s reelection campaign
In a world of fake news and alternative facts it can be hard to get the “truth,” so U.S. President Donald Trump has quietly launched his own ‘propaganda’ news network in a move straight out of George Orwell’s dystopian society 1984, a Ministry of Truth.
In Orwell’s novel, the Ministry of Truth’s purpose was to dictate and protect the government’s version of reality.
Last week, it went silently unnoticed as the Trump campaign launched a state propaganda news network.
Trump’s plight about MSM news and their lack of positive news about his administration will finally be heard using Facebook to broadcast “Trump TV.” Topics include job growth, the stock market, the economy and any other positive news about Trump’s achievements for the week.
“More great economic news on Friday,” former pro-Trump CNN commentator Kayleigh McEnany says, seated in front of a blue Trump-Pence themed wall to give “the real news.”
McEnany has also just been announced to be the Republican National Committee’s national spokesperson, Politico reported. It’s unclear if this new job will affect McEnany’s ability to also be the propaganda spokeswoman for Trump TV as well. It’s also unclear whether she is being paid by the Trump campaign or the White House.
1984‘s sales raised the book back to the bestseller’s list on Amazon after Trump’s inauguration, NYPost reported.
In another video, Lara Trump talks about the president’s successes.
“I bet you haven’t heard about all the accomplishments the president had this week because there’s so much fake news out there,” she said at the beginning of the video, The Hill reported. “We wanted to give you a glimpse into his week,” Lara Trump added.
However, it’s the way she signs off the network that is worrying.
“Thanks for joining us everybody. I’m Lara Trump, and that is the real news,” Laura Trump said concluding the video.Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tweeted that the video felt like “state-owned channels” in other countries.
The director of Campaign Legal Center, Brendan Fischer, told The Daily Beast that the president “is now using campaign funds to create what looks like a quasi-state TV project.”
“A disclaimer stating that this is paid for by the Trump campaign appears particularly important here,” Fischer continued.
That disclosure “is legally required for any other ad broadcast by the Trump campaign,” he further expressed, but “there is some ambiguity about when a disclaimer is required for ads posted exclusively on social media, and the Trump campaign may be trying to assert a loophole.”
The Late Show host, Stephen Colbert, spoofed President Trump’s new “Real News” videos in a segment last week “that looks like state-sponsored propaganda,” Colbert said.
The comedian then cuts to a quick skit of his program “Real News” in which the anchors mock Lara Trump.
While Trump TV may highlight his accomplishments it certainly won’t highlight his scandals and it’s important to get a balanced diet of propaganda.
Previously MSNBC’s Co-host of Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski, has stated that it was the media’s job to “control exactly what people think.” Here at Activist Post we think it’s your job to think for yourself.
Whoever controls the media, controls the mind. – Jim Morrison.
This is the theme from a silly Canadian TV series. Silly but well written.
“Episodes revolve around Sunnyvale Trailer Park residents Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles trying to make money through petty crimes while avoiding the police. Their schemes are complicated by the interference of the park’s vindictive alcoholic supervisor Jim Lahey and his assistant and lover, Randy. Ricky and Julian’s incompetence is rivaled by Lahey’s drunken ineptitude.
Throughout the series, Ricky and Julian end up in and out of jail, with most of their schemes collapsing into failure. Later seasons adopted a cyclical formula: each season finale featured the boys’ schemes succeeding, and their future looking optimistic, while the next season’s premiere would show them explaining how everything had gone wrong in the interim. Fans learned to expect that seasons would somehow end with some or all of the main characters going to jail.”
They’ve punched holes in their own ship.
Elite TV news anchors are gone: hypnotic effect crumbling
The ship is going down
There are many reasons why viewers are deserting mainstream news. This article is about one reason that has been overlooked. One vital reason…
Elite television news anchors are absolutely essential to the hypnotic delivery of fake news. They have always been a mainstay of the mind control operation.
From the early days of television, there has been a parade of anchors/actors with know-how—the right intonation, the right edge of authority, the parental feel, the ability to execute seamless blends from one piece of deception to the next:
John Daly, Douglas Edwards, Ed Murrow, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Harry Reasoner, Water Cronkite, Dan Rather, and more recently, second-stringers—Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer, Scott Pelley.
They’re all gone.
Now we have Lester Holt, David Muir, and an as-yet unannounced permanent replacement for Scott Pelley. Muir and Holt are decidedly junior varsity; they couldn’t sell water in the desert.
Lester Holt is a cadaverous timid presence on-air, whose major journalistic achievement thus far is interrupting Donald Trump 41 times during a presidential debate; and David Muir has the gravitas of a Sears underwear model.
The network news trance is falling apart.
The networks have no authoritative anchor-fathers waiting in the wings. They don’t breed them and bring them up in the minor leagues anymore.
Instead, armies of little Globalists and ideologues who don’t realize they’re working for the Globalists have been infiltrating the news business. At best, they’re incompetent.
This is one reason why mainstream news has been imploding.
When gross liars don’t have hypnotism, they don’t have anything.
And lately, things have gotten even worse for the mainstream. Their ceaseless attacks on Trump are backfiring. More members of the public are seeing through the puerile throw-ANYTHING-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach; and more important, the style of these attacks is breaking the time-honored rhythms and pace of traditional news presentation, and thus are failing to put the viewing audience into passive brain-states.
Fundamental and tested means for trance-induction are going out the window. When you add in rude and contentious interviews and thinly disguised editorializing by “news reporters” who have no business being within a mile of a broadcast studio, who spout random shots of venom, the news-production techniques that enable an ongoing illusion of oceanic authority collapse like magnetic fields that have been suddenly switched off.
The selective mood lighting, the restful blue colors on the set, the inter-cutting of graphics and B-roll footage, the flawless shifts to reporters in far-flung places…it’s as if all these supporting features have suddenly been overcome by actors in a stage play who are abruptly stepping out of character. The spell is broken.
Humpty-Dumpty is off the wall and lying in pieces on the floor.
Elite mainstream news is committing suicide. And in a fatuous attempt to save themselves, they are trying a democratic approach. Anchors are sharing more on-air minutes with other reporters. But this is counter-productive in the extreme. The News has always meant one face and one authority and one voice and one tying-together of all broadcast elements. It’s as if, in a hypnotherapist’s office, the therapist decides to bring in colleagues to help render the patient into an alpha-state.
Network news executives are clueless. News directors are clueless. The whole lot of them are too young and too foolish to remember what once made news dominate the public mind.
Plus they are swimming in shark-infested waters. The sharks are independent media.
This is a cause for celebration.
The movie called fake reality is packaged rolls of footage in the back of a very large truck moving slowly toward a graveyard.
The elite standard has always been: can we hypnotize the viewing audience and keep them hypnotized? And now the answer is leaning further toward NO on both counts.
Information mind control, as delivered by elite television news, depends entirely on the elite anchor. His modulated voice and presence and delivery are the glue that holds the illusion together. If by some miracle, the news bosses could raise Walter Cronkite, “the father of our country,” from the dead and put him back in the chair, they might have an outside chance of re-establishing their dominance. But too many years have gone by; years of unaccomplished anchors. Humpty-Dumpty is in pieces on the floor, the horse is out of the barn, the cat is out of the bag.
This is why major news outlets have been appealing to the new king: social media. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and You Tube are, in various ways, trying to shape the news the public receives and doesn’t receive. But their desperate attempt is failing, too.
It is crashing on the rocks of vast, uneven, open decentralization of information.
One veteran news director told me several years ago, “We’re losing the war. We don’t have the stars [elite anchors] anymore. The star system is dead. The same thing happened to Hollywood. Now it’s happening to us. You could comb all the local news outlets in America, and you wouldn’t find one face and voice who could really carry the freight. They’ve vanished. The up and coming people are lame and weak. We’ve made them that way. It’s some cockeyed standard of equality we’ve internalized. And now we’re paying the price.”
Jon RappoportThe author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.
I am three months late with this post. What can I say? I have never watched this ceremony. If I would ever want to see a bunch of dunces congratulating themselves for absolutely nothing I would definitely tune in to this sickening spectacle of human debauchery and pseudo artsy fartsy culture. Give those statues to the cleaning staff, as they deserve it more than these smelly narcissists. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Oscar ratings aren’t just down because of Trump bashing, but because what society considers entertainment has changed
1. Entertainment is Totally Decentralised
Before the advent of television, people would see big Hollywood films in cinemas and at the end of every Oscar year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would award the ones they thought were the best…or the ones their friends made, or the ones whose makers bribed them, or the ones whose stars ate and drank in the same restaurants and bars as Academy voters.
In the 1950s, the popularity of television panicked the film industry, but new technology like wide-screen films and surround sound saved the industry.
Today, the pictures aren’t getting bigger but smaller and more mobile. When one can watch films both legally and otherwise on mobile phones and other portable devices, the mystique is gone. Entertainment has gone from gourmet to cheap fast food. There is no going back. People have other priorities. Watching a long boring ceremony where celebrities gush over films people view in bits and pieces as they ride the bus, is no longer essential viewing.
2. The Democratisation of Celebrity
Whether it be Paul Joseph Watson ranting about his hatred of liberals, PewDiePie talking about video games, football experts debating the last game or a cat being frightened of a cucumber, the DIY model of celebrity is becoming ever more pervasive.
What’s more is that anyone can now make their own on-line video and some of them command the kind of numbers via subscription that Hollywood filmmakers could only dream of.
Whether watching your uncle get drunk at wedding or watching independently funded commentators on everything from sport to politics, video games to music, the idea of celebrity is less about how many kids you can adopt in your Beverly Hills home and more about your number of views on YouTube.
3. Preaching Is For Church–Entertainment Is For Hollywood
Many seem to not have received this particular memo. Whether cowboys and Indians, mafia gangsters, space aliens or clowns, Hollywood used to be primarily about escapism. Now, from the films Hollywood promotes to the Oscar ceremony itself, Tinseltown has become like CNN with slightly better plastic surgery.
If people wanted hours of anti-Trump rhetoric they could indeed turn on CNN or read the New York Times. If inversely they wanted pro-Trump rhetoric they could turn on InfoWars or Michael Savage.
The Oscars isn’t supposed to be a political grandstand. Indeed, when Marlon Brando tried to make it so in 1973 by having a Native American women accept his Oscar and giving a speech condemning the treatment of Native Americans, he was roundly criticised.
In 2017, the entire thing was like being at a Hillary Clinton rally. Frank Zappa said that ‘politics is show business for ugly people’. By the standards of this years Oscars, it is now the other way round.
4. America’s Declining Living Standards
At a time when many working class people had stable jobs that could lead to easy home ownership and a decent quantity of modern material goods, one looked to wealthy celebrities with a combination of awe and intrigue, but rarely outright jealousy.
Now though, the of collapse of well paying industrial jobs that both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders talked about endlessly during their campaigns, is making overpaid celebrities appear as though they live in a parallel universe vis-a-vis ordinary people. When entire towns in America’s so-called ‘rust belt’ are destitute, these people won’t want to spend their time gazing at people whose shoes cost more than three months of their former wages.
5. Truth Is More Entertaining Than Fiction
Many people deride Donald Trump for being the former star of a reality TV show, The Apprentice. But The Donald has a knack for keeping people entertained. Growing up, many people I knew thought that ‘politics was boring’. In many ways it was, in hindsight.
But it is hardly boring anymore. With President Trump Tweeting away and his enemies attacking him left and right, it would be hard for even the best screenwriter to come up with something as fast paced.
So yes, I suppose the Hollywood elite do have some cause to be angry with Donald Trump. He’s outdone them in the light entertainment division.
If none of those explanations are satisfactory just remember that the actual Oscar ratings were very high. The low numbers are the result of Putin personally hacking the numbers. John McCain is all ready on the case.