The American print and TV media have never been very good.
These days they are horrible. If a person intends to be informed, he must turn
to foreign news broadcasts, to Internet sites, to foreign newspapers available
on the Internet, or to alternative newspapers that are springing up in various
cities. A person who sits in front of Murdoch�s Fox �News� or CNN or who reads the New York Times is simply
being brainwashed with propaganda.
Before conservatives nod their heads in agreement, I�m not
referring to �the liberal media.�
I mean the propaganda that issues from the US government and the Israel Lobby.
It was neoconservative
Bush regime propaganda fed to America through Judith Miller and the New York
Times and through Murdoch�s Fox �News�
that convinced Americans that they were in danger from a small secular Arab
country half way around the globe, called Iraq. It was the American media that
convinced Americans that getting rid of dangerous �weapons of mass destruction,� weapons that did not exist in Iraq,
would be a cakewalk paid for by Iraqi oil revenues.
It is the same propagandistic American print and TV media
that have rationalized Bush�s illegal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan based on
seven years of lies and deception.
It is the same media that today provides only Israeli
propaganda as �coverage� of the
Israeli war crimes in Gaza.
It was the New York Times that spiked for one year
the leaked information from the National Security Agency that the Bush regime,
in violation of US law, was illegally spying on Americans without warrants. The
�liberal� New York Times agreed
to suppress the story so that Bush would not face reelection under the cloud of
his outlaw behavior.
Conservatives think the Washington Post is �liberal media� despite the fact that
the editorial and commentary pages are controlled by neocons and their
During the run-up to wars and during wars, the American
media have always been propagandists for the government. The only exceptions
occurred during the Vietnam war and the Contra-Sandinista conflict in Central
America. Karen de Young and some others tried to honestly cover the Contras and
Sandinistas and were demonized by �patriots�
taken in by the government�s lies.
Conservatives still blame the �liberal� media for losing the Vietnam War, when in fact all the
media did were to provide some truthful reports that opened some American eyes.
When the truth cuts against the position of the US
government, conservatives see it as �liberal.�
When propaganda supports the government�s lies,
conservatives see it as �patriotic.�
However, any resemblance to independent reporting
disappeared from the American media when the Democratic regime of President
Clinton allowed Murdoch and a small handful of moguls to concentrate the
American media in a few corporate hands. That was the end of American
Journalists disappeared from media management and were
replaced by corporate advertising executives with an eye not to offend any
source of advertising revenue, and certainly not to offend the government,
which controls the broadcast licenses that comprise the value of the
mega-companies. Today, reporters write the stories that their masters want to
hear, or they are out. The function of editors is to make certain that no
uncomfortable information reaches the public.
The public is slowly catching on, and the print media is
slowly dying. The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Los
Angeles Times are all on the ropes to one extent or another.
Americans are still subjected to Fox �News� and CNN propaganda piped into airport waiting rooms,
doctors� offices, and exercise centers. It is very much the situation that
George Orwell describes in 1984.
People ask me where they can get reliable information. I
tell them that their goal cannot be reached without their commitment of time.
People who have access to television services that provide
English language foreign broadcasts, such as Iran�s Press TV, Russia Today, or
Al Jazeera, can get news and insights from those parts of the world demonized
by the US media.
The BBC World Service still reports facts while covering
itself by providing the views of the US, UK, and Israeli governments.
Both the Asia Times and Israeli newspapers, such as Haaretz
can be read online in English. There are other such newspapers, and all of
them provide information that Americans will never see in their own media. Any
American newspaper that was as truthful about the Israeli government as Haaretz
would be closed down.
The only US print media with which I am familiar in which
some honest reporting can be found on a regular basis is the McClatchy papers.
Americans addicted to print media must turn to alternative
newspapers, which tend to be weekly or bi-weekly. However, the news and commentary
provided are often superb.
I have made no study of alternative newspapers and know very
few. The Rock
Creek Free Press is terrific. After reading one issue, you
will waste no more time on the �mainstream
media.� The Rock Creek Free Press is likely to rescue even the
dullest mind from its brainwashed state.
Other alternative newspapers, such as The Liberty Voice, lift your
spirit as well as inform.
Alternative newspapers are often the children of people
motivated by a sense of justice and the love of truth. Such people have become
an endangered species in the American �mainstream
media.� The free press Americans have today is online and in the
The function of the �mainstream
media� is to sell products and to brainwash the audience for the
government and interest groups. By subscribing to it, Americans support their
Craig Roberts [email
him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President
Reagan�s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has
held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair,
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University,
and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was
awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the
author of Supply-Side
Revolution : An Insider�s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation
and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown:
Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M.
Stratton of The
Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the
Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for
Peter Brimelow�s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent
epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.