New study documents media’s servitude to government
A newly released study from students at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government provides the latest evidence of how thoroughly devoted the American establishment media is to amplifying and serving (rather than checking) government officials. This new study examines how waterboarding has been discussed by America’s four largest newspapers over the past 100 years, and finds that the technique, almost invariably, was unequivocally referred to as “torture” — until the U.S. Government began openly using it and insisting that it was not torture, at which time these newspapers obediently ceased describing it that way:
Similarly, American newspapers are highly inclined to refer to waterboarding as “torture” when practiced by other nations, but will suddenly refuse to use the term when it’s the U.S. employing that technique:
As always, the American establishment media is simply following in the path of the U.S. Government (which is why it’s the “establishment media”): the U.S. itself long condemned waterboarding as “torture” and even prosecuted it as such, only to suddenly turn around and declare it not to be so once it began using the tactic. That’s exactly when there occurred, as the study puts it, “a significant and sudden shift in how newspapers characterized waterboading.” As the U.S. Government goes, so goes our establishment media.
None of this is a surprise, of course. I and others many times have anecdotally documented that the U.S. media completely changes how it talks about something (or how often) based on who is doing it (“torture” when the Bad Countries do it but some soothing euphemism when the U.S. does it; continuous focus when something bad is done to Americans but a virtual news blackout when done by the U.S., etc.). Nor is this an accident, but is quite deliberate: media outlets such as the NYT, The Washington Post and NPR explicitly adopted policies to ban the use of the word “torture” for techniques the U.S. Government had authorized once government officials announced it should not be called “torture.”
We don’t need a state-run media because our media outlets volunteer for the task: once the U.S. Government decrees that a technique is no longer torture, U.S. media outlets dutifully cease using the term. That compliant behavior makes overtly state-controlled media unnecessary. In his proposed Preface to Animal Farm, George Orwell noted how completely the British Government during World War II was able to control media content without formal or official censorship:
The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. . . .
So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralised, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. . . . At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was ‘not done’ to mention trousers in the presence of a lady.
In 2007, Rudy Giuliani was widely mocked for explaining that whether a particular technique constitutes torture “depends on who does it” — rarely does one find such an unapologetically nationalistic theory of morality and even language — but that’s exactly the same standard not only our government but also our establishment media has adopted.
The real issue here is the same one raised by the malleable, manipulative use of the term “Terrorism.” It’s to be expected that governments will try to propagandize their citizenry by applying completely different standards — even completely different language — to their own conduct as opposed to when other countries engage in exactly the same conduct. But when the media copies that behavior (as ours does), they’re amplifying and bolstering government propaganda rather than critically scrutinizing and debunking it. Isn’t that a fairly serious problem?
The behavior is even more egregious when government dictates (as of now, this is no longer torture) lead directly to the change in media behavior. And the ultimate effect of this joint government/media obfuscation is to further entrench the destructive notion that we’re different, exceptional, better, and therefore we deserve even a different language to describe what it is that we do. This Harvard study documents the exact process by which the political class convinces itself and others that bad and illegal things are, by definition, only what those Bad, Other Foreign Countries do, but never ourselves.
1 Comment »
or go to
From the Archives
By Andrew | Rense | 10-12-7
When you ask people to revisit the events of 9/11 and reconsider what really happened, you enter the twilight zone of public mythology where people don’t want to rethink unhappy events and where you challenge their personal egos. Did you know that for the same reason that 2/3 of the women raped never report it, 2/3 of the victims of fraud never seek redress either? They find themselves at odds with their own egos; they simply don’t want to admit that they have been so violated or duped. I believe that the story of Philip Zelikow is important to help people beyond their own egos and see how America is being raped. … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
September 19, 2011
March 8, 2011
January 2, 2011
October 10, 2010
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
- Help release Mahmoud Abujoad! November 29, 2015
- Illegal Israeli settlers threaten to burn a family of 11 November 28, 2015
- Demonstration at Huwwara checkpoint demanding the return of martyr’s body violently met by Israeli forces November 28, 2015
- Democratic Party Primaries: Progressives as Political Contraceptives November 22, 2015
TagsAfghanistan Africa al-Akhbar Al-Manar al-Qaeda American Civil Liberties Union Argentina Bashar al-Assad Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Honduras Hugo Chávez Human rights India International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Internet Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIS Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Mexico Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Palestinian prisoners in Israel Police Press TV Qatar Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela War Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
tsisageya on Syrian Army Fired Upon by Mort… Brian Harry, Austral… on Israel’s War on Jou… Brian Harry, Austral… on Gen. John Campbell, Commander… Lydia Noyes on Lies, Damned Lies, and Global… Brian Harry, Austral… on Is David Brooks Pushing For An… rediscover911com on Ukraine threatens permanent ec… mukul chand on Gen. John Campbell, Commander… Michael on Terror in Mali: An Attack on C… roberthstiver on Zionist Entity to Open First ‘… roberthstiver on Greece’s center-left gov… roberthstiver on Israeli forces shoot, injure 6… roberthstiver on 5 Acts of Latin American Solid… ARM on UK’s Corbyn ‘Syste… Brian Harry, Austral… on Terror in Mali: An Attack on C… traducteur on Israeli forces shoot, injure 6…
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,403,829 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
- Syrian Army Fired Upon by Mortars From Turkish Territory – Spokesman November 28, 2015
- Turkey’s True Goals in Syria are Much More Than Just Oil and Money November 28, 2015
- Did Erdogan Order Prominent Turkish Lawyer’s Assassination? November 28, 2015
- Terrorism, tyranny and the end of freedom November 28, 2015
- Ukraine threatens permanent economic blockade against Crimea November 28, 2015
- Is David Brooks Pushing For Another Vietnam? November 28, 2015
- Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar November 28, 2015
- Why Would Turkey Risk War Over a Russian Plane November 28, 2015
- Israel’s War on Journalism November 28, 2015
- Iran never responded to cyber attacks with counter raids: Foreign Ministry November 27, 2015
- War With Russia to Defend ISIS? Gee, Okay… November 27, 2015
- Day of protest against UK bombing Syria Saturday 28 November November 27, 2015
- Terror in Mali: An Attack on China and Russia? November 27, 2015
- OSCE Refutes US, Ukraine Allegations of Minsk Deal Implementation by Kiev November 27, 2015
- Israeli forces shoot, injure 67 Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank November 27, 2015
- 5 Acts of Latin American Solidarity with Palestine November 27, 2015
- Europe-based Forum calls for international pro-Palestine efforts November 27, 2015
- Zionist Entity to Open First ‘Diplomatic Mission’ in Abu Dhabi: Report November 27, 2015
Looking for something?
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.