“Instead of scurrying into a corner and wailing about what media are doing to us, one should charge straight ahead and kick them in the electrodes.” Marshall McLuhan, 1960.
For the past 35 years, I’ve been pointing out “flaws” in major media presentations of the news. Specific lies, specific omissions, specific strategies intended to keep the public from knowing the truth about a variety of life and death matters.
The word “media” comes from the Latin, meaning “middle.” And “middle” suggests there are two ends. The media are between two ends. What are they?
Well, when you back up a few steps from The News, you see that elite anchors and their colleagues are interposed between EVENTS and THE PUBLIC AWARENESS OF THESE EVENTS. The anchors and reporters are the eyes, ears, and mouths for the population. This, at best, is a highly precarious set-up.
Why would anyone in his right mind place blind faith in these newspeople? The answer is simple. No one who gives that faith is in his right mind. He has surrendered his mind.
Surrendered it to the need for authority. “You have to trust somebody.” This is the rube and yokel factor. “The man behind the news desk looks good. He speaks well. He seems sure of himself. He represents a large successful organization. Therefore, he wouldn’t lie. Truth is his job description. If he’s lying, then what else about reality might be a lie? I’m not looking for a sinkhole to fall into. I want to keep my balance. The anchor helps me do that. I have to maintain a basic trust in my fellow man. It’s part of my religion…”
Then there is a psychological need for The One. More-than-one takes a person into a realm of uncertainty, and who wants that? “You mean I have to choose? I have to make distinctions? Forget it. Give me Lester Holt. Give me the anchor who looks the cleanest. Give me the one friend above all others. I have the one God, so I want the one anchor.”
But here’s the trick. No one who places his blind faith in the one anchor wants to admit that this is what he’s doing.
Instead, he might say, “Well, of course Lester is giving me the facts. What else would he be up to? Stop doubting. Stop all this conspiracy nonsense.”
In other words, there are only two supposed territories. The first is bland neutral surety. It almost sounds like science. Then there is crazy Loonsville, where insane fantasies are floated. The correct choice is obvious. “Congratulations, you just made the right selection. You get a gold star in the sky.”
In the second half of the 19th century, Western philosophers made a sharp turn. Instead of trying to describe ultimate reality (more and more, a losing proposition), they focused on the term “epistemology.” The study of knowing. How do people know what they know? This led to all sorts of hypotheses about the brain, the eye, the five senses, and so on. The philosophers, as it emerged, missed the boat. How do people know? Through The News. That’s how. Through substituting someone else for themselves. Voila.
And then the question became: who is that someone else going to be? Aha. Yes. The news networks were very interested in the question and the answer. “What will make the public choose our man? What does he need to look like? How does he need to speak? What can we do to make our man into a star?”
An effective series of strategies along that line, resulting in high ratings, opened yet another door: “Now that we have our one anchor, and now that the public has surrendered their minds to him, how can he present the news with thin surface and short circuits and tricks and lies and omissions, in order to serve our basic agenda?”
Because, face it, opting for truth, no matter where it led, no matter how deep it went, no matter who it EXPOSED, would leave the news networks naked, out in the rain, bereft of sponsors and begging for pennies on the street. It would cut them off from government and corporate sources of information. The networks weren’t looking to EXPOSE, they were looking to COLLUDE.
COLLUDE gives you power, it gives you important allies, it gives you money, it gives you uninterrupted access, it gives you a giant leg up on your enemies, it gives you the opportunity to fashion and simulate reality. That last factor creates a natural alliance with the intelligence community, because they simulate reality all day long, every day. And they have hills and mountains of interesting information they can pass along to you. They can guide you on what to broadcast and what to hold back. They can, in fact, hand you ready-made packages of false realities. They’re your best friends.
News becomes, by its very nature and essence, FAKE.
What else would you expect?
At that point, all the networks needed was a raft of executives and work-a-day drones who wouldn’t bother to think about how, for example, intentionally misreporting the vital details of a war would result in the unnecessary deaths of thousands or millions of people. And what do you know? Such employees were readily available. Pump them up with a little bullshit about the Mission of journalism, wind them up, and release them. They’ll carry out their functions.
You have a news network. Actually, you have a major corporation. And the overriding success of a corporation is in peddling product.
As long as the public keeps trusting. Blindly.
Should I continue for a bit? Why not? I’ll offer the example I’ve most often cited in these pages over the past 20 years: the Starfield Revelation. It’s based on my strategy of exposing facts FROM the mainstream in order to ACCUSE AND INDICT the mainstream. No woo-woo, no fringe, no aimless speculation.
On June 26, 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a review by Dr. Barbara Starfield, who was a respected and revered public health expert at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Impeccable MAINSTREAM credentials, all the way up and down the line. The review was titled, “Is US Health Really the Best in the World?”
Starfield stated that the death toll in the US, in a given year, directly CAUSED by medical treatment, was 225,000. (106,000 as a result of correctly prescribed medical drugs and 119,000 as result of mistreatment and errors in hospitals)
With a few seconds of extrapolation, you would arrive at a figure of 2.25 MILLION deaths caused by the US medical system, over the course of a decade.
Now, I can’t force anyone to register in their minds what that means. I can’t force them to think. I can’t force them to experience a shock to their system. But the facts speak for themselves. The US medical system kills 2.25 million people per decade.
Nine years after Dr. Starfield published her findings, I interviewed her. She told me the US government had never contacted her to consult on a plan to stop all this killing, and the US government had never put together a plan to stop all this killing.
What about the news media? Well, after the publication of Starfield’s review, there were stories in the press. For a little while. Then they disappeared. None of those stories expressed great shock or indicated that deep journalistic investigations were on the way.
In other words, the press did a limited hangout. That’s a term that comes straight out of the intelligence agencies, and it means you expose a piece of a story, not the whole sordid tale, and you move on, assuming that the (blind and trusting) public will be satisfied. And incurious.
Because, as you, the reader, can no doubt realize, mainstream news execs COULD HAVE rolled up their sleeves and said, “This is one of the biggest scandals we’ve ever seen. It’s horrendous. The cost of human lives is on the level of a war. But it’s happening in the HEALING profession, and no one in government has been doing anything to stop the war. We’re going to put our most relentless people on it. They’re going to wave the Starfield report in front of the noses of every person on Capitol Hill. They’re going to go to the White House. They’re going to interview doctors and medical school presidents and journal editors and the families of people who have died in this healing war. They’re going to invade the FDA and find out why that agency has seen nothing and done nothing. They’re going to go to the pharmaceutical companies and pound on doors until those people start to talk. There are MANY GUILTY PARTIES here, and we’re going to find out and prove who they are. We’re going to force it. We’re going to get people to roll over on each other, come hell or high water, and we’re going to keep climbing up on the ladder of influence and control and CRIME. We’re going to publish an ongoing chronicle of our findings, week in and week out, for as long as it takes. We’re going to launch a shit storm…”
You get the idea.
That’s called journalism. It’s the kind of journalism you can do when you have large resources and dedicated personnel.
But those elite news anchors—you know, the ones who are in the middle, between events and the public awareness of events—they don’t have the air time or the inclination or the courage to challenge the basic structure of their news organizations, which exist as a result of COLLUSION.
Neither do their editors and other bosses have the inclination.
On just one of a number of levels—it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what would happen to the pile of money derived from pharma advertising, if a major mainstream news network decided to pursue this story into the gates of hell.
At any rate, when I see how much time mainstream media outlets are clocking, in their crusade to call thousands of “alternative people” fake news, I register ZERO degree of wonderment or surprise. I understand their game. I know how it’s played and where it comes from. I know the character of the people who are playing it. After all, I named my website NoMoreFakeNews 19 years ago. I wasn’t buying their act then, and I’m not buying it now.
You want to see a real and genuine and serious and profound and criminal mental disorder, as opposed to the disorders cooked up by committees of psychiatrists who may as well be meeting in the offices of drug companies who are waiting for the latest categories, so they can start manufacturing toxic meds as treatments? You want to see the real thing?
Put on a helmet and a hazmat suit and turn on the news.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.
You can find this article and more at NoMoreFakeNews.