“The News” – Jefferson, Chomsky, propaganda, and alternatives

As I keep saying, stop watching, reading or listening to “the news.” It is misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, distortion, lies and illusions, mass distraction and mass manipulation – psychological warfare, to put it in the terms of the “intelligence” community – mixed together with a healthy dose of sheer trivia, sensationalism and fluff ( also largely a form of psychological warfare).
Thomas Jefferson was right, “He who does not read the newspapers is better off than he who reads them, because it is better to know nothing, than to have your mind filled with lies, half-truths and illusions.”
Chomsky also summarized it perfectly well. The mass media acts as a propaganda system, working on behalf of the ruling elite, by a great number of well-trained, deeply indoctrinated, self-censoring individuals along with simple liars, creating “necessary illusions” and “manufacturing consent” so that the business elite who rule the society can keep the masses controlled, alienated, divided, demoralized and distracted, while they rob and pillage the nation and the world.
If you want to know what’s going on, go to the library, and read a book. If that doesn’t seem enough, which it is, and more than enough, if the books are well-chosen, then go to CounterPunch, Global Research (Centre for Research on Globalization), the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Trends Research Institute or Gerald Celente. Unlike the vast majority of media outlets, journalists and commentators (including most of the so-called “alternative”, “progressive”, and “independent” ones), they don’t lie and they don’t have their heads up their asses. They will tell you what’s really going on. With only a rare few exceptions, virtually all of the rest are pure drivel at best.
JTR,
January 26, 2016
See:
Necessary Illusions – Chomsky
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Mass Media
and my own recently released work:
Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium – on Amazon now.

 

7 Responses to ““The News” – Jefferson, Chomsky, propaganda, and alternatives”

  1. jtoddring Says:

    What we should know, versus what “the news” tells us: here is a very good synopsis, in a single image/meme/poster, which, unfortunately, I have not been able to upload or paste here into this post. It’s worth having a look. Hopefully the link at least works. My apologies for being all thumbs with digital technology.

  2. jtoddring Says:

    That second image from facebook was not intended…. Darn WordPress bugs…..

  3. jtoddring Says:

    By the way, WordPress seems to insert whatever kind of formatting of my posts it feels like on a given day, no matter how many times I try to correct or change it. Sometimes it won’t let me use paragraph breaks, or spaces between paragraphs – another very annoying thing about this mucho-buggy platform. If I did not find it so daunting to switch platforms, I would make my exodus today. WordPress techies, please fix this, before people leave you in droves. Sooner or later, they will get fed up with it if you do not.

    And make it simple, for anyone, that is, and not just tech-savvy people, to upload and arrange images. Really – come on.

  4. Very insightful blog. Agree 100%.

    A troubling development in the political-activist social media I’ve noticed is that it tends to follow the lead of the pundits in the mainstream media.

    Take the issue of electoral reform. Given how our corrupt voting system allows people like Harper — or Donald Trump — to seize absolute power on 40% of the vote, you’d think this would be a priority issue among new media activists. Yet if you scan “Progressive Bloggers” you rarely find anyone writing about the issue, even after Justin Trudeau put it on the map.

    This is because the social media follows the mainstream media, which keeps the people in the dark and feeds them horseshit on voting reform. Why? Because it’s much easier for plutocrats to capture the leadership of a two-party system, especially one where a leader only needs 40% of the vote for a “majority.”

    But this definitely illustrates the cozy relationship among the big players in society that Chomsky talks about: plutocrats, executives of corporate news media, editors of news media, and politicians. They use subtle and sophisticated means of corporate culture to find ways to breach the public trust: marking it to market and then liquidating it. All get their taste from looting the economy. The global financial bust out of the 2000s is a very troubling example.

    So perhaps activists can turn the bad habit of their daily reading of op-ed pieces into a good thing: instead of looking for leadership on what to think about, try to spot the corrupt political agenda they are attempting to foist on the people by manipulating their opinions with rhetoric and lies. Then think and write about that.

    In fact, what I’ve found over the years, is that by spotting the agendas, one can get a photographic negative of the truth.

    • jtoddring Says:

      Thank you sir for the very thoughtful response. Your comment on activists following the lead of mainstream media pundits is dead on the money, all too often, I’m afraid. Even the “alternative/progressive/independent” media fall flat on their face and repeat the same lies, half truths and illusions as the major media, far, far too often, and too habitually, and have far less presence of critical or independent thought than they imagine themselves to have. More good books and less time spent on the media in general, I think, is one major part of the answer. Another is for people to slow down, simplify their lives, and above all, to actually allow themselves to have – and actively, deliberately, stubbornly carve out and create the space for – quiet time to think and to reflect. Most people are so sensory-overloaded, over-stimulated, glutted with information they cannot process or digest, as well as systematically indoctrinated and conditioned, and excessively, almost frantically busy, that it is almost surprising they have any capacity for intelligent or reflective thought remaining at all. Slow down, simplify, ponder more and read more – and more selectively – would be my principle answers to the problem. The media is not the problem. The problem is unreflective and uncritical media consumers, who will ingest arsenic-laced opium, and think that that is the way to get “informed.” Above all, people need to trust themselves. Only then will they begin to think for themselves, and to question what they read and what they hear – most of which, is sheer delusion, or simple deceit.

  5. jtoddring Says:

    And thank you Daily Kaos for proving the point. It would be annoying if it weren’t so amusing. Liberal media is so predictable. Conservative media is even worse. And true alternatives are rare – at least in media la-la land.

    Out on the streets, and in the fields, great things are taking shape, but the vast majority of the media pundits will be the last to know about it, or at least, the last to realize its significance. But, they can catch up later. Certainly we cannot wait around for them to figure out what’s going on.

  6. jtoddring Says:

    Who do I like? I like Chomsky, Celente, Cenk, Taibbi, Chossudovsky, Naomi Klein, Naomi Wolf, Paul Craig Roberts, Peter Dale Scott, Greg Palast, Nafeez Ahmed, Michael Albert, Vandana Shiva, Arundhati Roy, Joanna Macy, Ronald Wright, Bill Moyers, David Suzuki, and many more. I may not agree with everything they have said or written, or all of their views, but I respect and admire them, and they seem to have both courage and integrity, as well as a high degree of awareness, and an ability to cut through the lies and illusions, and to speak the truth plainly and openly, without fear. But they are the glowing exceptions to the rule, and the vast majority of both the mainstream and alternative media falls far, far below this standard.

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