Friday, March 17, 2006


Over at The Adventures of Chester the latest AP reporting is highlighted--just in case you hadn't noticed the latest propaganda methods of the press. Here is the story he refers to:
Iran Offers to Enter Iraq Talks With U.S. - Yahoo! News:
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran offered Thursday to enter into talks with the United States aimed at stabilizing Iraq, the first time the Islamic republic has agreed to negotiate with the superpower it calls the "Great Satan."
The offer appears to reflect the desire of at least some top Iranian officials to relieve Western pressure over Tehran's nuclear program in return for help on Iraq, which is sliding ominously toward civil war.

(emphasis Chester's)

And here is part of Chester's rant:
I'm so sick of this crap. Civil war is in no faction's interest whatsoever. Not the Kurds, not the Sunnis, who will be annihilated, not the Shi'ites. If it happens it will be largely provoked and prosecuted by the militias -- the Sopranos of the country.

We shall see, my friends in the press, we shall see.

This story was written by, "ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writers". Three years from now Iraq will be a peaceful, prosperous democracy, Ali. We'll see what shinola you're peddling then, and for whom . . .

Why must we all put up with this? This stuff really pisses me off.

We are witnessing the death of the Fourth Estate my friends, let there be no doubt about it.

Yes, we have all become witnesses at a death. Cori Dauber at Rantingprofs has been documenting this sort of thing for years now.

The thing is that still, for the most part, most of the American Public does not realize that they are being constantly manipulated. From the outrageous headlines that are not justified by the content of the story; to the ubiquitous, yet casual insertion of blatant opinions into a "news" piece; to the careful selection and timing of stories.

Additionally, most Americans do not even realize WHO is actually gathering the news reports in Iraq. Here is something most people don't realize (from Professor Dauber):

It's been known for awhile that print journalists especially rely on Iraqi stringers as a way to work around the limitations imposed by security concerns in Iraq. And I've mentioned before some of the writing about the way that often means unacknowledged limitations on the reporting itself, and possible real reductions in quality.

But what if part of the quality problem is that the Iraqi stringers, no fools, have realized both that their bosses want stories about violence more than they want stories about reconstruction, and that their own value depends on hyping the sense of danger -- because if it began to appear possible for reporters to move about more freely they wouldn't be as necessary?

The system would be magnifying every piece of legitimate information about security risks like an echo chamber. And precisely because reporters in that situation aren't able to do independent reporting and independently confirm what they're being told -- that's the whole point -- there's little way to exit from that system once you've entered.

Is it any wonder that the American public seem to think that Iraq is going to hell in a handbasket? It is precisely because the handbasket has been carefully crafted by the artisans within the MSM. What is really going on in Iraq is far less disastrous and far more complicated than they would like us to believe. How much have you read lately about the new parliament in Iraq? How many of the key political players can you name? I'll bet you know about Sadr and his militia; but can you discuss the recent decisions by the parliament in their efforts to form a coalition government there? If you rely on the MSM, you won't know anything about the real political situation--only about the dead bodies.

Whether this results from gross incompetence or a careful and deliberate intent to mold public opinion to a particular agenda (and I think it is both) hardly matters.

What matters is that we are being manipulated. I don't know about you, but the idea of that really really upsets me. Like Chester, I am sick of it. It is the reason I started to read blogs in the first place, because I had this nagging sensation when I read the print media that things--important things--were being left out.

I was right. When I started reading blogs, I started getting all the context and background that used to be a normal part of news stories. I can't pinpoint when this started to change, but somewhere in the last decade or so, the journalism profession took a profound left turn and became more interested in promoting an agenda, rather than reporting on what was happening in the world.

Now, I know I am not the first one to say this; and I won't be the last. This perversion of journalism that we now have to deal with though is simply astonishing when one looks at the big picture of the potential impact it has on people.

The sad truth is that most Americans do not yet read blogs. Almost none of the people I know do so routinely and most look at me in confusion when I try to relate information that I obtained from one blog or another.

"Why haven't we read or seen anything about this?" they ask me--with the implication being that if it is not in the newspaper or on the TV news, then it must be suspect.
It will, unfortunately take a long time for most people to realize that the opposite supposition is the correct one: i.e., if you do read about it or hear it from the usual news outlets, then it would be wise to check and see what's really up.

Historians will eventually sort out all of this, but not in time for it to make a difference in the events we must assess accurately today. Events that are being distorted through the agenda-driven lens of a media we once could unquestioningly rely to bring us the information we needed to make our decisions.

The postmodern media have abandoned objective truth and objective reality, and have given in to the heady, latent narcissism of all postmodern rhetoric -- which says in effect that the truth is whatever anyone says it is; everything is relative and subjective anyway; and feelings are far more important than facts.

You already know the "fake but accurate" and other hysteria driven drivel (a la Katrina) that results from this kind of belief system.

Yes, we are witnessing a death, rather like someone who has gradually declined from effects of an illness into a persistent vegetative state and, in order to survive, must now must be force-fed nutrients through a tube. But in this case, the MSM is both the patient and the ones who play god and have decided they no longer need the feeding tube or any treatments that might lead to improvement.

A news media that no longer cares about the facts, background or context of a story except when it suits their template; a news media that is solely agenda-driven--in short, a news media that is MANIPULATING the news, is already brain-dead and in a persistent vegetative state. It is only a matter of time before we witness the final rasping noises that signify death.

From the blogsphere, we can stand by the bedside and observe how the final moments in the life of the Fourth Estate play out.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has an update on the death watch.

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