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 »
Settlers march through occupied al-Khalil attacking, insulting and threatening Palestinians and internationals
or go to
From the Archives
By Brandon Martinez | Non-Aligned Media | April 4, 2012
Ami Ayalon, the former chief of Israel’s internal security agency Shin Bet, told Charlie Rose in a 2012 interview that Israel hoped to foster a ‘Sunni coalition’ led by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to assail Shia Muslims of the region led by Iran.
Ayalon told Rose that, “Iran is a huge threat. We cannot live with Iran having nuclear military power. We should not accept it.”
“How much time do we have and what do we do?” the Israeli spook asked.
“[We need to create] a kind of a Sunni coalition … with Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia… who understand that the major conflict is with Shia [Muslims] led by Iran.”
Interestingly, such a coalition has indeed formed in recent weeks with the Saudi-led bombing offensive in Yemen against the Iran-aligned Shia Houthi rebels who have seized power in the war-torn country. … 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
- Gaza – a bloody Friday October 9, 2015
- Young Palestinian man held in metal box in al-Khalil October 9, 2015
- Settlers march through occupied al-Khalil attacking, insulting and threatening Palestinians and internationals October 8, 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 Europe European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Honduras Hugo Chávez Human rights India Intelligence International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Internet Iran Iraq Iraq War 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 Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela War Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
roberthstiver on Casualty Count: 794 Palestinia… Chris Robison on Why Would Seahawks Coach Pete… Ruben R. Colorni on A Perspective on the Rise of… richard123456columbi… on Tehran Has No Info on Cruise M… Brian Harry, Austral… on Tehran Has No Info on Cruise M… Brian Harry, Austral… on That Awkward Moment When One N… roberthstiver on That Awkward Moment When One N… Bill Mitchell on NY Times Botches Reporting on… doodaa on Guantánamo reinstates genital… Bill Mitchell on NY Times Botches Reporting on… Ld Elon on Guantánamo reinstates genital… William on Guantánamo reinstates genital… traducteur on Living on Borrowed Time in a S… roberthstiver on US slams Russia for striking… roberthstiver on US slams Russia for striking…
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,335,304 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
- The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots October 9, 2015
- Casualty Count: 794 Palestinians, 7 Israelis—NY Times Obsesses on Israeli Victims October 9, 2015
- Cell Phone Video Clears Canadian Man of Assault Charges Despite Phone Going Missing in Police Custody October 9, 2015
- Connecticut Cops Blast Own Empty Car in Fear For Lives, Face State Firearms Charges October 9, 2015
- Saudi juveniles now in ‘solitary confinement’ far from families, says father October 9, 2015
- Neither Served, Nor Protected October 8, 2015
- Settlers march through occupied al-Khalil attacking, insulting and threatening Palestinians and internationals October 8, 2015
- MH-17 Yet Again, Poring Over the Data (and Translations); Serious Factual Errors by Time and Western Media October 8, 2015
- Tehran Has No Info on Cruise Missiles Which Allegedly Landed in Iran October 8, 2015
- NYT Claims Russia is Enemy of Sunni Arabs October 8, 2015
- Mexican Marines Place Community Under Siege, Disappear Two People October 8, 2015
- Video: Israel lures protesters into trap October 8, 2015
- That Awkward Moment When One Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bombs Another October 8, 2015
- Yemen’s Houthis conditionally agree to UN-brokered peace plan October 8, 2015
- Jordan: Human Rights Activist Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison After Unfair Trial Before State Security Court October 8, 2015
- Prelude to Iguala: “Heavy-handed police tactics” used against Ayotzinapa students in 2011 October 7, 2015
- US slams Russia for striking terrorists October 7, 2015
- Belgian police clash with anti-austerity protesters October 7, 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 email@example.com.
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.