Tag Archives: media

The No Illusions Podcast #56 – Wendy Bacon on Media Bias

Wendy Bacon is a contributing editor to NewMatilda and has reported for Crikey,  the Sydney Morning Herald and The Conversation in recent times.

She is an investigative journalist with a background in social activism who worked at the University of Technology for 21 years. Although no longer teaching at UTS, Wendy is still a Professor of Journalism at the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism.

In 2011 she published a report on the bias in Australian newspapers over their coverage of climate change. The results of this report BLEW MY MIND.

I chatted with Wendy yesterday about the report and the state of journalism in Australia.

You can find Wendy’s website here and her Twitter account here.

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Chomsky on Democracy & The Media

A speech from 1994 as valid today as it was 18 years ago.

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Is Syria another Operation Ajax?

If you want an alternative perspective on what’s happening in Syria to the one you’ve been getting on the MSM, try this one by Lebanese-American writer and activist Joyce Chediac. Is Syria another Operation Ajax?

At least since 1953 (and probably before that) it has been a tried-and-true tactic of the CIA to finance and conduct (either directly or indirectly) “false flag” civil unrest in a country they want to overthrow. They will then blame escalations of violence on the person running the government (the target of the operation) and use his perceived abuses to justify political or military intervention (directly or indirectly).

The list of countries where they have carried on this kind of operation is lengthy (I counted 53 in Tim Weiner’s book “Legacy Of Ashes”). Here’s a short list:

  • Iran (1953)
  • Guatemala (1954)
  • Indonesia (1958)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (1960)
  • Dominican Republic (1961)
  • South Vietnam (1963)
  • Brazil (1964)
  • Chile (1973)
  • Afghanistan (1979)
  • Turkey (1980)
  • Nicaragua (1981)
  • Iraq (1992)
  • Afghanistan (2001)
  • Venezuela (2002)
  • Iraq (2003)
  • Haiti (2004)

So when you see something similar happen in Syria, you’d be naïve not to wonder if the version of events we are getting from the corporate media isn’t the same bunch of fabricated bullshit that we’ve seen so many times before. Assad may be the antichrist – like so many were before him – or maybe he’s being set up. Since Washington has been funneling money to a right-wing Syrian opposition group since at least 2005, there is obviously more to the story than the one we are being told.

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Brilliant New Pilger Documentary Highlights The Lies We Are Told

John Pilger has a great new documentary called “The War You Don’t See” and it’s up on YouTube in its entirety. I highly recommend it, as a lot of the subject matter is what I’m covering in my new book “You Are Blind”. Pilger interviews a wide range of people, including Dan Rather and a plethora of journalists, about how the western media were accomplices in spreading lies and misinformation in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq. He also explains how this isn’t a new meme – the media have been spinning lies to justify war during the entire 20th century. We tend to think this happened back the “olden days” and doesn’t happen today but the opposite is actually true. It happens more now than ever – in the era of 24-hour news and media organisations with incredible wealth and concentrated power, the wool is pulled over our eyes more than ever. Of course, the lies don’t stop with the reasons we go to war – it’s much more widespread than that. We are fed corporate propaganda all day, every day, about every aspect of living in our so-called democracies. The propaganda isn’t just the stories we are told, it’s also about the absence of the stories we are NOT told. We may think we have a free media but when your media is owned by corporations with their own agenda – maintaining their own wealth and power – the stories we are told will always reflect the version of the truth that they want us to think.

Instead of watching more crap reality TV tonight, I suggest you watch this instead.

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Fairfax Board Wants To Influence Editorial Content

Jack Cowin

From the Business Spectator:

One of Gina Rinehart’s closest advisers has argued that the Fairfax Media board should have the right to influence the editorial direction of the company’s media outlets, especially if the actions were designed to increase Fairfax profits, according to a Fairfax report…..Channel Ten board member, and Hungry Jacks founder, Jack Cowin told ABC Radio that newspapers are a business, not a public service, and that preventing board members from influencing Fairfax newspapers “would be like Qantas not allowing its directors to talk about aeroplanes,” Fairfax reported.

via Fairfax board should be able to influence editorial content: Rinehart adviser | News | Business Spectator.

So much for even pretending to have “editorial independence” which has usually been an illusion anyway. Cowin (and we assume Rinehart) don’t want to pussyfoot about when it comes to telling any media assets they might have control over what to write about or how to write it. Hey – it’s a BUSINESS, dummy.

As if we needed reminding.

Meanwhile… for those of you who are Mad Men fans, here’s Enoch Light’s original version of “Autumn Leaves”, as sampled by RJD2 on his track “A Beautiful Mine” which is used as the Mad Men theme.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YE088AE_4Q]

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Chomsky: America’s Rank Hypocrisy — Why Is it Only an “Atrocity” When Other Countries Do It?

I’m about 20% of the way into my new writing project “You Are Blind” – a look at how propaganda works in a corporatocracy – and it’s going very well.

Meanwhile, OpEdNews has this excellent new article by Noam Chomsky.

He starts by quoting  international affairs scholar James Peck who states:

“In the history of human rights, the worst atrocities are always committed by somebody else, never us” — whoever “us” is.

Chomsky then presents a few recent examples of how the western media loves to focus on atrocities by “the bad guys”, such as Syria, while ignoring (or justifying) similar or worse atrocities committed by “our side”. Or they highlight China’s treatment of dissidents like Chen Guangcheng while ignoring 0r justifying American treatment of dissidents like Bradley Manning.

It’s all part of what I’m writing about in my book. We are programmed from birth by our governments, corporate media, corporate PR departments, the education system (co-financed by the government and the wealthy elite) and religions to believe that a certain set of truths are self-evident – and that this programming is so pervasive that we don’t even notice it.

don't ask, don't tell

don’t ask, don’t tell

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Bill Maher Nails It.

Chrissy and I both agree that this is the most articulate narrative about Obama’s administration that we’ve heard from anyone in the mainstream media so far.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax15XRL1URQ&w=560&h=315]

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When The CIA Took Over The Media

I’m still reading this book about LBJ’s involvement in JFK’s assassination (LBJ: The Mastermind of The JFK Assassination by Phillip F. Nelson) and it introduced me to one part of the CIA’s history I either didn’t know about or have forgotten – something called OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD.

CIA Logo

Mockingbird isn’t some conspiracy theory – like MKULTRA and the 638 attempts at assassinating Fidel Castro, it’s a genuine part of CIA history. MOCKINGBIRD has been written about in detail since the late 70′s, but it’s one of those pieces of U.S. history that isn’t talked about much in the mainstream media. Why? I assume because they would prefer people don’ t know about it as it would make them ask too many questions, such as “how do we know the CIA isn’t controlling the media today as well?”

It’s also one of those events in history that should help us all realize that we’ve been manipulated and lied to by the government and the media in the past so it’s entirely rationale to believe they might be manipulating and lying to us still today.

SO WHAT WAS OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD? 

Basically Mockingbird was a CIA operation that ran from the 50′s through to the 70′s and which used the U.S. corporate media to deliberately spread lies to the American people and international readers (and media). 

Carl Bernstein, one of the guys who broke the Watergate scandal, wrote in Rolling Stone in 1977 that Mockingbird was the story of:

How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency

Bernstein goes on to explain that the most powerful people in the US media were happy to work with the CIA:

American publishers, like so many other corporate and institutional leaders at the time, were willing to commit the resources of their companies to the struggle against “global Communism.”

The CIA basically had the co-operation of the news media to publish lies about foreign governments (e.g. Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Indonesia), designed to indoctrinate the American people to believe the official stories and to look the other way while the CIA illegally overthrew governments and started civil wars. News organisation involved in Mockingbird included:

CBS, Time and Life Magazine, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Star, The Miami News, The Louisville Courier-Journal, The Copley News Services and The Christian Science Monitor.

Of course, these same news organisations were used to promote the official version of JFK’s assassination (the “lone gun” theory) and completely ignoring the evidence tying LBJ and the CIA to the hit or the massive holes in the Warren Commission’s official report.

The MOCKINGBIRD story has lots of twists and turns. For example, the story of Mary Pinchot Meyer. Her husband, Cord Meyer, worked for the CIA and was heavily involved in MOCKINGBIRD. Her sister married Ben Bradlee, publisher of The Washington Post. Her best friend married James Angleton, chief of the CIA’s counterintelligence division. In the late 50′s, Cord Meyer decided to leave the CIA. Not long after, one of their sons was killed by a mysterious hit-and-run accident outside of their home and Cord changed his mind. Cord and Mary divorced in 1958. In 1961 Mary started having an affair with JFK, whom she had known since she was a teenager and had lived next door to in Washington for several years before he was President. According to Timothy Leary, the father of the LSD movement, Mary told him she and JFK were smoking marijuana together and taking LSD. She said this was part of a plan she had to influence the President to bring about world peace.

After Kennedy’s assassination, Mary called Leary and said “They couldn’t control him any more. He was changing too fast…They’ve covered everything up. I gotta come see you. I’m afraid. Be careful.”

A year later, two days after the Warren Commission’s report was released, Mary Meyer was shot to death. One bullet to the heart, another to the head. The man charged with the murder was found innocent, despite an eye-witness testimony. Meyer’s private life (who her ex-husband was and that she had been sleeping with JFK) was kept not only from the courtroom but also from the attorneys involved.

In 2001, several months before his death from lymphoma, when asked who killed his ex-wife, Cord Meyer said  “The same sons of bitches that killed John F. Kennedy.”

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The Propaganda Model

 

The propaganda model is a theory advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky that alleges systemic biases in the mass media and seeks to explain them in terms of structural economic causes.

The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

First presented in their 1988 book Manufacturing Consent: the Political Economy of the Mass Media, the propaganda model views the private media as businesses selling a product — readers and audiences (rather than news) — to other businesses (advertisers) and relying primarily on government and corporate information and propaganda. The theory postulates five general classes of “filters” that determine the type of news that is presented in news media: Ownership of the medium, the medium’s Funding, Sourcing of the news, Flak, and Anti-communist ideology.

The first three (ownership, funding, and sourcing) are generally regarded by the authors as being the most important. Although the model was based mainly on the characterization of United States media, Chomsky and Herman believe the theory is equally applicable to any country that shares the basic economic structure and organizing principles the model postulates as the cause of media biases. After the Soviet Union disintegrated, Chomsky said terrorism and Islam would be the new filter replacing communism.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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No Illusions Podcast #41

News updates from around the globe. Includes the following stories:

Former Tasmanian MP found guilty of having sex with a 12 year old girl, but gets no jail time. 

Time Magazine Doesn’t Want To Show U.S. Citizens Pictures Of Revolution. 

U.S. Senate Are Voting On Legislation That Allows Their Military To Arrest Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime, and in Any Country. Including the U.S.A.

More US Soldiers Committed Suicide Than Died in Combat

US Military Manipulates the Social Media

U.S. Army and Psychology Largest Experiment Ever

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