Friday, June 06, 2003

Media propaganda in the Iraq war, by Edward S. Herman
'It is fascinating to see how effectively the U.S. propaganda system has normalized and even put a very good face on its government’s straightforward aggression against—and conquest and colonial occupation of—a small, distant country. It is especially remarkable that this has happened across the board, through all major media venues, despite the fact that the media are not directly owned and controlled by the government. All of them, however, are part of a national establishment that shares an ideology and worldview, and their integration into that establishment has been increased by the steady centralization and intensified commercialization of the media, their control by a narrowing elite, and their heavy reliance on the government as a news source. The media have also been kept in line by the increasingly powerful right-wing contingent of media owners, editors, and pundits. This right-wing echo chamber pushes for imperial violence, especially when organized by a right-wing executive, and assails media deviants for lack of patriotic ardor... the media pushed this theme [WMDs] by providing saturation coverage of government charges on these matters.. Despite thousands of lines on the Iraq controversy, the New York Times never provided a single article analyzing the shifting Bush claims and enumerating the serial lies, whose exposure was a commonplace in the foreign media and Internet sources... whereas 3 percent believed that Saddam Hussein had had something to do with 9/11 immediately after the event, 45 percent believed this by the time of the invasion. This was the disinforming result of the coordinated efforts of the war-makers and media... All intelligent and honest observers understood that the inspections were a charade as far as the Bush administration was concerned, and that “disarmament” was a cover... The media collaborated fully in these various charades.'

Many people cannot understand or comprehend the proposition that the US corporate media is a propaganda system. With the Iraq example vividly in everyone's mind, Herman's article discusses how it is so and the remarkable extent of conformity achieved in this system.

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