|By Clyde Lewis
Not only does intelligence need help in this country so does it's media outlets. The internet has become the people's press and was able to beat the mainstream press by leaps and bounds in reporting that the government had fair warning about the attacks on New York and Washington. Those who pointed it out were labeled fifth columnists, subversives, and traitors. Get ready for something that author George Orwell called Newspeak.
I can't watch the television news anymore. I can't watch the propaganda. I am living a nightmare that has the overtones of Leni Riefenstahl's film "Triumph of the Will."
I rented the movie once. It got me a few looks form the clerk at the video store. If you ever want to see a frightening film you may want to take a peek at this one. While neo Nazis may see it as a fun little film showing Nazi power. Historians use it to demonstrate how the Nazi state drew in the masses through propaganda and also how Adolf Hitler had a unique and terrifying ability to entice crowds to his beliefs by the very power of his words.
Fascism always starts with words, then actions and reactions.
Then it gives birth to a world of constant conflict, distress, and perpetual war.
Fast Forward into the past we live in the ethereal world of George Orwell's 1984. Big Brother is pulling the strings. He is watching you. He is telling you what to say and he is creating scenarios both imagined and real to get you to act.
Big Brother's New World Order has perfected the uses of high technology to monitor the lives of its populace. The populace has unswerving loyalty to the Ingsoc party because they have been brainwashed through propaganda called Newspeak.
The actual deconstruction of the English language that hopefully will eradicate seditious and anti-social thinking before it even has the chance to enter a person's mind. If we change the words and their meaning there will be no revolution. If we use words to describe the enemy as a lower life form or a degenerate beast the hate will swell against that enemy and the love will then swell for the party.
The party knows best and anyone who has an independent thought will meet up with, Ingsoc's stormtroopers, the Thought Police. They are there to intervene; incarcerating the free-thinkers in the Ministry of Love, where they will be "re-educated" which is newspeak for "Tortured."
How Cliché is it to find a guy like me writing some essay about the deterioration of our freedoms and using Orwell's 1984 as a reference guide for our future?
Well I guess I have been thinking a lot about Orwell lately. Only because it seems that every time I turn on the TV I watch our leaders speak and I hear them use words that cause you to fall into Double think. I see the two minutes of hate every time I see the picture of some alleged terrorist. I hear new words being uttered by new reporters that mean nothing, yet trigger response. This whole dog and pony show is absolutely entertaining if not as frightening as the idea of Mister Rogers convincing children to murder their parents because he loves them more than the child's parents do.
The reason I have fired up this discussion is because of what I am seeing in the News media. A crisis is looming over the media and now it is beginning to be a forum that is ripe for the tossing of word salad and double meaning. Words used in media settings have taken on new meanings and words are being invented that are getting reactions that I find most intriguing.
The other night I was watching CNN's Moneyline with Lou Dobbs and he seemed to be in a trance. I felt like I was watching a scene from the Movie "Network" where Howard Beale played by Peter Finch flippantly remarks to his audience that he wants to kill himself on national Television.
"I'm going to kill myself...I'm going to blow my brains out right on the air, right in the middle of the seven o'clock news-it would boost ratings, A fifty share easy."- Howard Beale Network 1976
Dobbs comments weren't as grave and flippant but they gave me chills because what I got from his words was that he was a journalist that was frustrated with political correctness;
"The war on terror" is not adequately descriptive, and far too politically correct to have ample meaning, even though that is the term of art favored by the government and the media. Personally, I believe it's important for us to describe our enemies honestly, and with as much clarity as is possible. We are engaged globally against terrorist enemies far flung... whether in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East. And in each instance, our enemies are Islamists... not Muslims, not Islamics... but Islamists"-Lou Dobbs
Dobbs is taking for granted that everyone will understand what he means. I think most educated middle class Americans will see 'Islamists' to suggest 'radical Islamic extremists'.
However in Broadcasting the law always is that it is not always what you say that gets you into trouble. It is how it is perceived that gets you into trouble.
This word "Islamists" as far as I can tell is a made up brand name that he wants to try and use to eliminate the secular word terrorism. Dobbs of course is being honest. However honesty in wartime doesn't always work. Especially in times where what you say can get you into hot water with Network compartmentalized information control.
Do you honestly think that Muslims in Southeast Asia understand the word Islamist? This has nothing to do with education. It has everything to do with what is being communicated.
Most people who don't understand the way a culture communicates can misinterpret the intent. When Millions of Muslims hear the word Islamist they could easily fall into the idea that this war is a war against their religious beliefs.
Tell a Muslim who doesn't speak English, what Dobbs means by Islamist.
Try to convince a group of Indonesians that a Man who is on American television does not speak for the American People. Try and convince them that a man in a suit did not just declare war on Islam.
A big example of how American broadcasts can be misinterpreted is in the case of terrorist Mohammed Atta. Atta must have watched a lot of American Television especially late night television ads showing the obnoxious Mathew Lesko screaming about how anyone can get free money from the government.
Atta wanted $650,000 to buy and modify a crop-dusting plane in May 2000. Many people don't know this but Atta just walked into the loan office at the department of Agriculture and said that he saw a man on TV that said he could get free money from the government. He was there to get his free money and use it to build a twin-engine, six-passenger aircraft that would carry a tank for a crop dusting business.
Here we have a man in a suit that any American could see is a spokesperson. However to an outsider he looked like any other American saying "Get free Money." This shows the power of television to anyone who doesn't stop and evaluate what is being said. Television has been taken for granted and a lot of people take what is said on the tube as gospel.
It is frightening to see that perhaps our enemies see what we broadcast as gospel too.
I remember when I was a kid we were fortunate enough to go on field trips to museums and planetariums. While we were on these trips I had a teacher who told me that no question is a stupid question. She taught me that smart people ask questions and no one takes for granted that the information that they get is all true.
People make mistakes. Sometimes they give erroneous information.
That is why it is important that we should all take time out of our busy lives and devote a part of it to personal study. We should devote a time for self-analysis. We should pay attention to the propaganda we are being fed in this time of war.
During a war you can bet that you do not get a true account of what really happens.
This is a fact.
Information is distributed on a need to know basis and if the controllers feel that you don't need to know then you won't hear about it.
Well, you may hear about it many years after the fact and by then you won't care.
The war on terrorism gives an excuse to cause an implosion of what Jefferson called the "free and uncensored press." This implosion of the free independent information sources is already beginning and eventually you will see in your lifetime the full erosion of free speech, fair comment and objective investigative reporting in the media.
There were many free speech casualties after the 911 attacks because at the time it was not fashionable to question motive and to demand investigation as we were mopping up the dead and feeding off the collective anger brought on by terrorists. While the clouds of dust and debris filled the skies of New York an even darker cloud was forming in the media and many journalists and commentators fell on their own swords in the name of honesty.
It was unpopular to point fingers at ourselves.
Bill Maher of the television show Politically Incorrect was probably the best known of the casualties. While Bill and his guests were in a heated discussion about the the 911 attacks one of his guests, Dinesh D'Souza's asserted that people who are willing to die in service to their cause, whatever else they may be, are not "cowards."
Maher responded with the phrase heard round the country
"We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly." -Bill Maher
His show will officially be cancelled on June 28th 2002.
I suppose there is no argument that what he said was the equivalent of a relative at a funeral saying that the deceased family member who had a heart attack would have lived a lot longer if he hadn't eaten pizzas, burgers, and would have gotten up off his fat ass and exercised.
The thing we are missing though is that while inappropriate, the relative still has every right to say it.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, a man who can smugly lie to the American people practically told everyone that freedom of speech is unwanted in a war when he slammed Maher by saying that the comment was a terrible thing to say and Americans need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and that it wasn't a time for remarks like that; and that there never is.
Or perhaps there never will be if the newly appointed fourth Reich has anything to say about it.
As this war on terror escalates, and as we broadcast our intentions for preemptive strikes on countries like Iraq and anyone else who we assume is threatening us, the media has a responsibility to act in the public trust as a public trustee.
However the media is controlled and it is obvious that indoctrination sells more now than ever before. It is obvious that they editorialize on issues that please advertisers and the profit margin. It would be my hope that reporters have the balls to stand up to the Administration and tell them that they aren't Gods and that they are failing in their ability to impress us with murder mayhem and conquest.
They used to do it.
Oh how I long for the days of Woodward and Bernstein.
That was then, this is now.
There used to be editorial comment that was given by reporters who weren't afraid of repercussions. Now Newspeak has eliminated any talk of a revolution. It has eliminated the ability for reporters to scream "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."
Just let a reporter try and pin down a lying official and he or she will be labeled as terrorists and blackballed.
They have to play along or lose their lively hood.
How many right wing hate-mongering buffoons in the media mock the message of peaceful anti-establishment protests around the world and here in the U.S.? How many times have people who have demanded accountability and an investigation into the 911 been called conspiracy theorists and subversives?
How many alleged left wing spokespeople give some half assed attempt at deploring bombing and bloodshed yet espouse imperialist viewpoints?
The media has not done well with reporting the war.
The idea of a liberal media is a myth.
It doesn't exist in this war on terror.
How many times did we hear on talk radio shows the idea that we should get over the fact that the 2000 elections were a sham? How many people were quick to declare that questioning motives for war constitutes excoriation?
If a reporter or a citizen expounds upon election malfeasance, intelligence or defense failures, or the constant corporate theft in this country he is called a conspiracy theorist.
A word that at this epoch is a "dirty" word in the wonderful world of Newspeak and doublethink.
Because the idea of a Government conspiracy can plant a seed for revolution.
The information we consume now is nothing more than a banal mishmash of disinformation that numbs the mind and homogenizes thought. It smoothes over the rough edges and fails to expose the lies and propaganda that continues to proliferate the air waves leaving citizens no other choice but to rally around the flag and support the war effort. Even if it is beginning to look a lot like a Napoleonic conquest.
The news is only here now to pacify us.
Anyone who wants to scream out that the system needs repair and that the President is clueless is told to "get over it" and get on with the bloodshed.
People are told that we are to excuse the off handed spoonerisms of the president, and that we should forget about the fact that we have religious fanatics rolling around and speaking in tongues in the justice department.
We have our two minutes of hate followed by our two minutes of fear and a color coded system that will warn us of eminent attacks by the office of Chicken Little.
This is a war, not a weather report.
However this type of pap seems to pacify the majority.
Once again I am told to get over it.
Consumers of media are a commodity.
That is why you hear about just how important you are to them.
Why think when the media can do it for you?
After all they are your friends. At least they tell you they are.
A local television station constantly tries to convince me that they care about me. They tell me what to watch, they recommend places to visit, and events to attend. They give me entertainment. They want me to use their web mail address. They will do everything for me accept wipe my ass when I am done defecating.
They remind me that I should be with them 24 hours a day for full coverage of the War on terror. So from morning till night I get the propaganda. I can't even escape it with Jay Leno or Letterman. I have to hold down my bile when I see interviews with Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft.
They remind me that I am an American and shame on me if I forget about the 9/11 tragedy.
How the hell can I? When the media is becoming a cheerleader for our collective anger and guilt?
So I escape to the radio. Big Mistake.
I get non stop patriotic songs by Lee Greenwood and Toby Keith telling me that we will put a boot in the ass of anyone who isn't on our side.
I go back to the boob tube and I see fledgling country singers like Billy Ray Cyrus closing the broadcast day with one of the sappiest patriotic Ballads ever.
I hear so many times slogans that say things like "We are here for you" or "We are your friends" how about "working together" and "we invite you to be on our public programming committees" giving the illusion that you have a say in what they put on the air."
The biggest say of all comes with changing the channel or turning off the madness.
The biggest say comes from letters to the general managers.
Even then most letters wind up in the trashcans. Unless you demand that it should be placed in the public file.
Television and radio is an illusory medium and whether you believe it or not a lot of what you hear is being reported by people whose intelligence quotients are far below those that belong to wrestlers in the WWF.
If you are one of the intelligent few that wonder why Television is so pedantic it's because it isn't meant for you.
It is meant for people who don't know what to think. It is for people who need a scripted view of their world.
It is meant for those who don't understand that the media now is an incestuous bordello owned by a few rich men who have interest in keeping up appearances. They are in the business of brainwashing the public into homogenized robots that would jump off a cliff if the cast of "Friends" made it look cool.
The American mainstream media circus has demonstrated that it can be a tool in the hands the current administration and military. It can set the agenda for what you are supposed to pay attention to. You can choose to believe them at their every whim or you can find out for yourself what is real and what isn't.
If "Newspeak" is in our future, and political correctness is it's equivalent then your freedom to open your mouth will be curtailed and your ability to use the pen as a sword will be taken from you.Scream now because your silence is acceptance.
Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.