America’s New Demons and the Second Coming of the Neocons
by Andrew Levine
The horror of a Clinton v. Trump election is making everybody who pays attention a little crazy. Not paying attention isn’t easy – not with everybody hooked into social (actually anti-social) media and with“ news” and commentary coming from every direction.
The hypocrisy is breathtaking.In the midst of it all, the American propaganda system, the one that supposedly doesn’t exist, has gone berserk — targeting RT America (formerly Russia Today).
Anyone who relies on The New York Times or The Washington Post or NPR or, worse, CNN or MSNBC, to find out what’s shaking – or rather what the guardians of the status quo want people to think is shaking (and “fit to print”) — and who also has access to RT America on satellite TV or a handful of cable stations, or who goes to the trouble of watching it over the internet, will know what I mean.
RT America is a better source for news and commentary than America’s finest by many orders of magnitude. It is less biased too.
The Russian government funds it, but this doesn’t make its output propaganda – not unless anything funded by governments is propaganda by definition. RT America is more like the BBC or CBC than, say, Radio Free Europe.
The New York Times and the others, NPR excepted, get no government funding; their money comes from advertisers. They therefore spew out truckloads of commercial propaganda. NPR does too – not according to legal fictions of their own contrivance, according to which advertisers become “underwriters,” but in effect.
The American public, comprised of individuals taught from birth to venerate the invisible hand of the market and to derogate the visible hand of the state, doesn’t hold that against them. This is one reason why the idea that America’s “free press” is a propaganda system goes against the grain.
But “by their fruits, ye shall know them.” The only way to deny that America’s free press produces propaganda is, again, by definition.
This always becomes clear in time; when it no longer matters. For example, the anti-Communist propaganda of the 1950s, a staple of respectable media outlets at the time, nowadays seems like a total and complete hoot.