Thursday, August 28, 2008


A deep chasm now separates what happens in this world and what gets transmitted to the public by major US news media. The drones apparently pass along as gospel whatever is received from government sources, with little or no challenge. So corporate management advises individual reporters, through the affiliates, as to how information is to be edited or blacked out altogether. Street protest and the behavior of police is invisible; it is not happening on television.

There is then, a sinister cone of silence that has been drawn over the superficiality of our political language; a blindfold is fitted over our collective eyes, while the cancer of paramilitary operations moves freely in our streets. News like this is not pursued as an object of curiosity or concern.

It's a world of weird parallel realities; and at the recent Olympics the Chinese authorities were seen as horrible, in the eyes of indignant Americans watching TV. Look at those Chinese cops tearing down placards and banners, almost as soon as they get raised! Look at them arresting the demonstrators and leading them off! What kind of respect for human rights do you call this?

Earlier this month, the Georgians made war on civilians and killed those who were asleep in their beds, in a sneak attack on South Ossetia. Georgian peacekeepers working side by side with Russian colleagues, turned their guns on them and killed the unsuspecting men. "You shot your Russian brothers and finished them off with the bayonet."

Americans largely believe the black-is-white story of Russian aggression because they live in a protective bubble of disinformation and lies. And the lies are still being pushed by our corporate press.

Protesters in Denver have been sitting down passively in front of a sea of stormtroopers' uniforms, under the blows of truncheons and volley of pepper spray. "Look who is being violent", protesters chant. But what good does it do, considering what little gets out in the alternative press?

Even an ABC producer has been roughed up and arrested, for trying to get video of the wining and dining of Senators, at a posh hotel, by those who might be influencing them. Is anyone told about this on the floor of the Convention? No. Of course not.

Most of the rest of the world is watching our pols invent wonderfulness on a stage at the Denver Convention. And the same will hold true at the Republican Confab, to be held next week. But the bubble being created around the two parties and their ceremonies is intended to block any intrusion of harsh or disconcerting realities.

In the September/08 issue of Harper's Magazine, Lewis H.Lapham writes:
On television the voices of dissent can't be counted upon to match the studio drapes or serve as tasteful lead-ins to advertisements for Pantene Pro-V and the U.S. Marine Corps. What we now know as the "news media" serve at the pleasure of the corporate sponsor, their purpose not to tell truth to the powerful but to transmit lies to the powerless.
Imagine the whole world watching our pols inventing wonderful magic onstage at the Denver Convention. And the powerful, though stranger passions of the Republican congregation, will be on view the following week in Minneapolis. A bubble of unreality can be lethal to democracy and we will be damned lucky if we can break free from it.


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