February 22nd, 2014

Circle dancing: the media is the message

The Anchoress has a lot to say about the Obama’s administration’s proposal to use the FCC to “study” the newsrooms:

…[The administration is] thinking no one in the mainstream press has asked them a difficult or challenging question in 7 years, so why would they start now…

The biggest problem in our nation is not the Democrats, or the Republicans; it is not the Obama Administration, just as it wasn’t the Bush Administration, and it won’t be future Clinton or Warren Administrations. Our biggest problem is that the press has voluntarily surrendered its freedoms for the sake of idols and ideologies..

Because this is true, our government is either factionalized, fictionalized and bombarded with daily media outrage and indignation, or it is given an utterly free pass, with no accountability required…

I’ve been saying this for a long time. We’ve all been saying if for a long time, but the Anchoress says it especially well (please read the whole thing). I would only add that the press is only one half of the equation; the other half is a receptive audience that lacks the historic and/or critically aware background to evaluate what it reads, or perhaps even to pay much attention.

I read the liberal press’ spin on something, and then I hear it parroted back by a group of acquaintances of mine, who all nod their heads in synchrony and agreement. And yet if I ask them a few questions about something that reflects poorly on liberals or the administration, something only the right has covered, they’ve never even heard of it and don’t want to hear of it. If a tree falls in the conservative forest, does anyone other than conservatives hear it?

Even if you try to mention any particular offense (for example, the recent effort re the FCC monitoring newsrooms, with which I began this post), its significance is only really understood in context. It’s the totality of the picture that is especially alarming. But it’s the totality that is especially hidden, and even if news of one or two suspicious actions of this administration manages to seep through the information barrier, without the whole picture a conservative’s reaction can easily sound paranoid to the liberal listener. That is by design.

Some people wonder why I bother to write about the egregious bias of the press anymore. After all, there’s nothing new there, and what good does it do to belabor the fact? I do it because the press continues to be one of the most important things in our lives, and has the power to shape our future.

In closing, I’ll reprint something I’ve posted here before. It’s the words of the Czech author Milan Kundera, from The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, which he wrote in the late 70s:

Circle dancing is magic. It speaks to us through the millennia from the depths of human memory. Madame Raphael had cut the picture out of the magazine and would stare at it and dream. She too longed to dance in a ring. All her life she had looked for a group of people she could hold hands with and dance with in a ring. First she looked for them in the Methodist Church (her father was a religious fanatic), then in the Communist Party, then among the Trotskyites, then in the anti-abortion movement (A child has a right to life!), then in the pro-abortion movement (A woman has a right to her body!); she looked for them among the Marxists, the psychoanalysts, and the structuralists; she looked for them in Lenin, Zen Buddhism, Mao Tse-tung, yogis, the nouveau roman, Brechtian theater, the theater of panic; and finally she hoped she could at least become one with her students, which meant she always forced them to think and say exactly what she thought and said, and together they formed a single body and a single soul, a single ring and a single dance.

39 Responses to “Circle dancing: the media is the message”

  1. Cornhead Says:

    Really smart guy I know (and business owner) told me he was going to vote for Obama the first time in order to restore our reputation in the world.

    That was straight from CNN.

    1. Who cares what they think about us? They don’t live here.

    2. How has that worked out?

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “I would only add that the press is only one half of the equation; the other half is a receptive audience that … if I ask them a few questions about something that reflects poorly on liberals or the administration, something only the right has covered, they’ve never even heard of it and don’t want to hear of it.”

    Yes, I’ve seen it too as have we all. I’ve concluded that willful denial lies at the heart of liberal ignorance.

    And, the reason that they are so wedded to their willful denial is because in embracing their modern ‘liberality’ they have, to one degree or another, selectively (the Lanny Davis’s) rejected conscious attachment to fact, reason and logic of necessity… in order to retain support of the ideology, memes and narratives that they have embraced.

    But further, that conscious rejection is the result of having subconsciously rejected traditional religious beliefs.

    The profound consequence of rejecting religious belief is the necessity to embrace some other faith-based schema in which to believe, thus the various religions of the left; socialism, communism, feminism, environmentalism or anthropogenicism, etc. as human nature demands something larger than itself in which to believe.

    Everyone has the psychological need to believe that their lives have purpose and meaning, that their existence counted toward something they can embrace as worthwhile. Whether its only the personal accumulation of power and/or wealth or a ‘noble cause’, the same motivation applies to both the left and the right. At base, it’s the ideological/philosophical premises that separate the two. The premise determines the path and that makes all the difference. And our premises are our subconscious assumptions and thus most resistant to disputation by fact, reason and logic.

  3. Mr. Frank Says:

    The liberals’ destruction of primary, secondary, and higher education is paying large dividends for them.

  4. carl in atlanta Says:

    It’s tribalism and the need to be loved and accepted. As adolescents and young adults, everyone wants to be ‘in with the in-crowd’, accepted as one of the cools kids. Many people outgrow that stage, but many (half?) cling to their youth and spend their lives trying to stay hip. I think this is especially so in the case of people who call themselves progressive. They spend their lives espousing the latest fads and fashions, chasing Bob Dylan’s “Mystery Trend (which was actually the ‘Mystery Tramp’, but same difference). Members of the MSM most of all: they who announce what (and who) is currently cool, hip, and ‘correct’.

  5. Snackeater Says:

    Ah, the Battered Wife Media.

  6. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Herein lays the evil and extremely effective genius of pre-WWII Italian Communist Party Member and Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci’s playbook of unrelenting, all-spectrum warfare against the nations, governments, cultures, and societies, mindset, behaviors, expectations, laws, institutions, and leadership cadre (the “hegemony”) of the traditional, Judeo-Christian, “bourgeois” West. This is the Left’s patient, decade’s long, relatively violence-free, propaganda and media based “Long March through the Institutions/Culture,” which has pretty much swept its enemies from the field of battle, many of whom never knew what hit them, or that there was even a battle going on.

    In one of many linked and mutually reinforcing campaigns, the Left first subverts, then takes over the media so that the news—media and its news which Gramsci foresaw would use new technical means to increasingly penetrate every nook and cranny of our societies–is manipulated, twisted, sliced and diced, trimmed and truncated, reported or not, and “transformed” into whatever the Left’s agenda requires. The MSM thus creates and sustains a false “reality” that increasingly diverges from actual reality (the work of the similarly subverted and taken over Entertainment Industry and the Arts, and the corruption of language and philosophy are key weapons here and in all other campaigns as well, greatly aiding in and assuring the Left’s victory).

    Another field of battle—one of many–in the Left’s comprehensive assault against the West is the educational system and the Academy. The Left also subverts and takes them over so that, increasingly, more and more of those given basic as well as advanced education who see, read, and hear what the MSM reports have neither the necessary knowledge nor the means to analyze and judge what they see, read, and hear, and to compare it with actual reality, which is ignored and/or covered up by its MSM created camouflage.

    No guns, no tanks, no bombs nor bombers or fighters in the sky, no missiles on pillars of fire, nor aircraft carriers or movements of vast armies across seas or borders and, yet, you have subverted and conquered your enemies, “transformed” and limited their knowledge base, limited their ability to perceive, to analyze, to discuss and judge, thus “transformed” their view of reality, their mind-set, their behaviors, and their expectations.

    Increasingly, you have displaced them, and you and your ideology have largely replaced their “hegemony” with yours, and more and more often you now sit and rule in their place, ensnaring and imprisoning people in your “reality,” and enforcing your agenda.

  7. Gary Says:

    Some people wonder why I bother to write about the egregious bias of the press anymore. After all, there’s nothing new there, and what good does it do to belabor the fact?

    I say keep hammering away at this point because a hell of a lot people still haven’t gotten the message. Which is why the MSM continues to be able to determine the worldview of a frighteningly large percentage of the public, many of whom vote.

  8. Gary Says:

    Some people wonder why I bother to write about the egregious bias of the press anymore. After all, there’s nothing new there, and what good does it do to belabor the fact?

    I despise this blatantly cynical Clintonian tactic:

    Step 1: Do something really bad.

    Step 2: If it gets noticed and someone actually has the gall to question you on it, just stonewall awhile.

    Step 3: Wait for the problem to die out.

    Step 4: If someone actually has a memory and persists in questioning you, dismiss the subject as “old news.” Repeat at Step 1.

    Of course the “egregious bias” of the MSM is “nothing new.” But the fact that it just keeps happening in spite of the fact that it has repeatedly been pointed out, actually makes it more newsworthy, not less.

  9. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Other key foundation elements, building blocks, keystones, and major supports of Western bourgeois societies that it was absolutely imperative for this Gramscian campaign to also attack were the Religious Establishment and Faith, and the Family (aspects including child rearing, control and content of children’s education, parent child relationships, sexual identity, family structure, and male-female sexual relationships and roles), for if those key, fundamental supports and elements of Western societies were subverted, disrupted, and damaged so that conflict, anxiety, anger, rootlessness, chaos, and despair increased, the Left’s arguments and solutions would have less resistance to them, and they would have a more receptive audience, hungry for “new” solutions that would supposedly make things better.

  10. waitforit Says:

    Intractable. vol II. preface:

    Volume I is our history. This volume seeks to understand and combat the right enemy. We begin by trying to understand the intractable nature of man. Various sciences (economics, sociology, psychology) will detail why and how man must behave. That man has violated these sciences is an unavoidable fact. Ultimately, despite many victories and near successes, we must admit our sciences are wrong. We have been fighting the wrong war.

    Although we have, at times, gained near insurmountable power, our own collapse has always been due to our own failures. Treasonous members and conflicting ideology has fragmented a perfect solution. Further, we admit now the free will of man. Having made such a reversal, we feel it is now in our power to study and effect a new program of control. This volume on man’s free will is challenging and frustrating to all new robots. You will need to often access your learning subroutines.

  11. parker Says:

    “the other half is a receptive audience that lacks the historic and/or critically aware background to evaluate what it reads, or perhaps even to pay much attention.”

    When one in four people in a survey believes the sun revolves around the earth its an uphill battle. MSM statists, drones who automatically vote D, and ignorant dolts on the dole gave us the return of the selfie president. Retaining the house majority and wining a majority in the senate is a modern ‘d-day’ because we need a beach head in order to begin gaining real yardage.

  12. Ann Says:

    According to this piece at National Review, the study was “concocted under the former [FCC] chairman Julius Genachowski”, who stepped down just last November.

    Part of Genachowski’s background includes this: “Chief of Business Operations and a member of Barry Diller’s Office of the Chairperson at IAC/InterActiveCorp and executive responsible for the creation of Fox Broadcasting Company and USA Broadcasting.”

    Responsible for the creation of Fox!

    And he’s now joined The Carlyle Group.

    Carlyle = Bush!

    Washington D.C. really is a world unto itself.

  13. Matt_SE Says:

    I continue to believe humanity is neither as good nor as bad as usually made out to be.
    Crass self-interest devoid of philosophy is the order of the day. According to some in antiquity, their unexamined lives are not worth living. Maybe so.

    But since socialism cannot provide them the material benefits they blindly crave, it’s only a matter of time before they turn on the “elites.”

    I think we’ll all be feeling better after November…assuming the economy doesn’t collapse before then.

  14. waitforit Says:

    Given the continual assault from the Obama administration in order to deaden the populace to constitutional restraint, it is not unreasonable to assume an economic crisis will be used to repeal the November elections.

    What would be the reaction and who would be the defenders?

  15. waitforit Says:

    I often go to Calvary Chapel. It’s such a huge church that my disbelief in the divinity of Christ escapes notice. But I love the people and I need people because I understand Kundera’s message of man’s need for absorption or oneness. But at the same time that need cannot supplant individual responsibility.

    We are and we are not alone. This basic illogical dichotomy almost allows me to believe that a man is God.

  16. rickl Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    February 22nd, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    And our premises are our subconscious assumptions and thus most resistant to disputation by fact, reason and logic.

    Remember the old bumper sticker “Question Authority”? (Funny how I never see that one any more.)

    Since my political change I’ve often thought there should be one that says “Question Assumptions”.

  17. Mike Says:

    She is right it’s the media, but for the wrong reason.

    The Media is bad because the people are bad. Period.

    The problem is all the people who vote Dem. There is no other problem right now. They are it. Period.

    The Media are only their emanation, there penumbra of their rotten and murderous hearts.

    Let’s review the facts: Democrats start with baby killing for breakfast. They’ve done in 50m of them since 1973.

    Everything that enables that and everything that follows from that – from propaganda sitcoms to tyrannical governments is the result of that first fault.

    If they off babies, it is nothing for them to oppress you. Nothing. They are letting us all off easy in that sense.

  18. br549 Says:

    I remember when your site meter was well under one million.

    I am, and have been, deeply concerned with the media and with bureaucrats. I also see Ukraine and / or Venezuela in our future. It will take longer here, because no one of us wants to lose their comfy 400K home, their nest egg, their job. I look around me…..in the office where i work. I try to see any of these people in the streets, and break into laughter. But who knows……….

    I can’t wait to see California section off into 6 separate states. I’m storing up soft drinks and pop corn to watch the show. Even though this nagging voice tells me I should be storing up bullets instead.

  19. Mythx Says:

    Unfortunately to me it seems like we are in a race. Can normal relatively uncorrupt people take back positions in education,government and the media before things have tipped too far? (I think expecting zero corruption is a fantasy).

    I like to think yes, but there are two things besides those institutions working against it.
    First western governments have rapidly upped deficit spending. To the point that we now rely on zero interest rates just to avoid austerity. So when we are unable to sell further debt (as just happened to Russia) a massive crash will begin to happen. I believe that those in power realize this and are simply trying to flog as much money out as they can now and are saying to hell with everyone else.
    Second, it started with Egypt, then Syria and now has has global with the Ukraine and Venezuela. With things as poor globally as they are now I think this will continue to spread. Its impossible to really say exactly how but this has been the legacy of the 20th century. Until countries start swinging away from their addiction to socialism(really despotism) and its siren song. The problems will continue.

  20. Ymarsakar Says:

    They are pre triggering a response to media bias, then using government commissar checks as the solution.

    That way, it doesn’t matter what people believe, they fall into the trap either way.

    If the Leftist media is accurate and objective, mission accomplished. If they aren’t and need government intervention to be accurate, then mission accomplished.

  21. Ymarsakar Says:

    Until countries start swinging away from their addiction to socialism(really despotism) and its siren song. The problems will continue.

    Most of the current world’s economic problems are caused by the United States power and leverage. When it dips and goes down, the rest falls with it.

    Military and economic control has also degraded other nation’s ability to self sustain themselves. American democracy is the poison, the Left is just the con artist that profits from it.

  22. Mythx Says:

    I believe you have the cause and effect exactly backwards.
    The reason the US has so much power and leverage to begin with is that many countries simply abdicated their responsibility to defend themselves.
    Europe’s turn to socialism during the cold war shrunk their militaries into completely ineffective units. So they could then turn use their capital to boost domestic spending while the US footed the bill for mutual defense.
    Much of the problem now is that the US is following suit. Admittedly very ineptly. We are simply spending for the sake of it. Without it seems any regard for actual returns.

  23. Beverly Says:

    This is worth passing on — a letter to America from a Soviet refugee.

    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2014/02/dear-beautiful-america-please-stop.html

    I’m printing it out and sending it to all my nieces and nephews. I hope all of you will do likewise. The tone is perfect: regretful, warning, but not hackle-raising.

  24. Mythx Says:

    Beverly,

    A friend of mine I have know for 30 year married a wonderful woman he met that was from Latvia. I have spent hours and hours talking with her about how things were for her there in the 70′s and 80′s.

    She unfortunately sees us heading down the wrong path in a similar way as the author does. Its a shame we have not learned from history. But its hard to fault everyone simply because so many have spent the past decades glossing over the problems with socialism.

  25. southpaw Says:

    Neo- you need new friends. Sad as it is, I gave up on the friends (who were fun to hang out with) who were not just well meaning, but ignorant, and hopelessly so – All the while thinking themselves uniquely informed.
    They are stubbornly voting me and you and my children into slavery, dependency, and poverty. I cut them loose – They are supporting my jailers. I decided to simply avoid them, realizing I could not pretend to think about them in the same way any longer. The brainwashed cannot be deprogrammed without some fragment of intellectual honesty in their character. If some exists, they will come to it eventually, but it is a rare quality (in my experience) where a person is able to recognize they have been mislead.
    As you have stated, a mind is a difficult thing to change. From my perspective, these are who lack critical thinking ability, or refuse to use it, or haven’t the confidence or curiosity to question the group-think mentality. And so they succumb to it spectacularly. The human psyche is a strange and frightening thing.

  26. Eric Says:

    Wolla Dalbo,

    Good summary.

    The thing is, the Left can be competed against and defeated by the same tactics they’ve used to gain dominance.

    They’ve successfully programmed our society to respond to Marxist-method activism. It’s the only social-political game there is. But that same Marxist-method activist program can be used to compete against the Left.

    It’s just a methodology. The Left doesn’t own it exclusively. Anyone with sufficient will to compete with the Left can apply Marxist-method activism against the Left.

    This is why they want to gain positive control of the media now, while they hold the advantage, even though most of the MSM seems to be effectively in the tank.

    They’re simply playing the long game and anticipating contingencies. Their reliance on the MSM is a potential vulnerability as long it’s not fully under their control.

    That concern is warranted. Media is a key node in the Marxist-method activist game.

    When I was an activist, one of our first building block achievements that set up our eventual victory was securing the support of community media.

    We were able to secure their support because community media was still a free agent. The Left wants to close that vulnerability in case and before the Right gets its act together in the Marxist-method activist game.

  27. Eric Says:

    Add: Related is the calls to suspend academic freedom in universities in any direction deemed politically incorrect.

    The Academy may overwhelmingly favor the Left now, but it’s still a potential vulnerability down the line as long as it remains a free agent, *if* the Right ever gets its act together in the Marxist-method activist game.

    Again, that concern is warranted because every tactic used by the Left in its ascendancy can be used against it.

  28. Eric Says:

    In other words:

    The Left wants to pull away the Marxist-method ladders they set up and used successfully to climb the mountain.

    The Right would be smart to move ASAP to use the same ladders set up by the Left, and proven by the Left to work, in order to climb the mountain and chase down the Left before the Left can close off the path they forged.

  29. Ymarsakar Says:

    Europe’s turn to socialism during the cold war shrunk their militaries into completely ineffective units. So they could then turn use their capital to boost domestic spending while the US footed the bill for mutual defense.

    While that may be true for Europe, especially France’s reason for being in NATO, you can’t say that about Japan, where the US wrote their pacifist constitution and declared the limits of Japan’s military power, in return for American naval bases doing the security.

  30. SteveH Says:

    “”It’s just a methodology. The Left doesn’t own it exclusively. Anyone with sufficient will to compete with the Left can apply Marxist-method activism against the Left.”"
    Eric

    I don’t see mimicking these people and their deceitful methods as winning anything. You will have become them, an ends justifies the means person and a manipulator of free thought in a supposedly free society.

    I don’t want anybody coerced into obeying my world view anymore than I want progressives coercing me to obey theirs.

  31. Ymarsakar Says:

    The reason the US has so much power and leverage to begin with is that many countries simply abdicated their responsibility to defend themselves.

    This wasn’t true right after WWII. What happened in the US was that FDR redistributed American wealth via printing money and war success, to other nations. Like most people who accept charity, they were grateful the first time, expectant the next, and then dependently addicted on the third.

    The US was already socialist and wealthy by the end of WWII or even the beginning of it, exporting US free money to the rest of the world, making people reliant upon US power and economy.

    Western Europe had yet to accept the fascist socialism or the Russian socialism just yet. By the end of WWII, for a number of reasons including American free money, socialism sounded a lot better to people. So long as America was around to forgive their debt and to provide free blood to protect European shores, why would anyone be motivated to defend themselves? We see it now in the uS, with people telling us the police are here to protect us so we should disarm. It’s the same mentality.

    The thing is, the Left can be competed against and defeated by the same tactics they’ve used to gain dominance.

    I think in the opposite fashion, that the Left was created using war techniques to destroy Western civilization, thus the Left itself is not particularly vulnerable to Leftist attacks the way Western civilization was vulnerable to the Leftist evil.

    They’ve successfully programmed our society to respond to Marxist-method activism.

    All societies were able to be destabilized. Marx created a set of ideological manuals for defeating Western civilization. But, if he was up against an Authoritarian Slave Empire like the Aztecs, it would not have worked very well. The Leftists would have died, just like Pinochet killed them by the tens of thousands. It didn’t defeat the Left because other nations hosted the evil and let it regenerate.

    Of course the Left will prevent competitors from arising. That’s what the Revolutionary Guard is for in Iran. Like rich Democrats Bill Gates and Buffet, once they get rich using American liberty, they will ensure that nobody else can ascend to the same heights by rationing and regulating their competition in such a fashion that it favors the status quo. That’s because in order to graduate up the ladder of power, those at the top must be incompetent or weak enough to let the new kiddies stay alive long enough. The Left was given this stay of execution for near a century. The Left, however, will not give their competition a century or even a decade to work things up to the same level.

    True the Vote’s suppression by the entire Fed bureaucracy is literal proof of this. The Left knows what they have done with voter type 501s that verify get out the vote results. They know, which is why they won’t let people get that power. Right now they don’t look like they are clamping down on academia, because they think it is safe from the touch of American patriots. Once they feel different, they will burn the bridges down.

  32. kit Says:

    Japan was an axis power aligned with hitler for world domination. Just ask China about Japan. Japan has a VERY bloody history.
    They needed to become more peaceful but here we go again with blame the US for everything including wars we did not start.
    I still believe in American exceptionalism of the old America and I am still grateful I was born here.
    Just a little doff of my hat to America and my ancestors who knew to come here.

  33. FOAF Says:

    What kit said. Especially about the ancestors.

  34. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    I think it may be time for us to revisit and pay closer attention to what Eric Hoffer had to say about the “True Believer,” and the roots and origin of mass totalitarian movements in individual feelings of inadequacy and meaninglessness, the very harmful effects of social and cultural change that is too fast, and the bad effects on people who lack the experience of the rite of passage that is work.

  35. Mike Says:

    Bingo Wallo.

    If you really want to pay attention the key word you use is “meaininglessness”.

    Why would a life be meaningless? There are a limited number of answers to that question.

    Since the threat of meaninglessness is rampant for the shallow and hollow men and women we’ve bred into the modern spiritual gene pool…people will do anything, and I mean anything to get meaning in their lives.

    They will, for example, vote for a malicious socialist from Chicago who never did a damn thing in his life or one day of honest work for President if his skin is dark and they want to be “relevant”.

    They will, if they are Occupy Wall Street smash windows with large pieces of hard word bats if they can therefore be “cutting edge” progressives.

    One day, trust me, they will get “meaning” by putting decent people in camps and cutting off their heads if they have to.

    The alternative (for them) is unthinkable: meaning the old-fashioned way – as children of God working out their salvation in humility and gratitude for the very lives they’ve been given.

    Naaahhh.

  36. Tonawanda Says:

    The oddest thing about life and the meaning of existence is the recognition of our (each individual’s) death.

    In addition to the principle of logic oddly implanted within each of us (to different effects) there is also the implanted illogical (and heroic) resistance to death. Why are they side by side? No one knows.

    Life is meaningless outside of the meaning those we actually know help to give us, which in turn depends on the more extensive culture which affirms the personal nature of human existence or divorces our relationships by policy.

  37. Ymarsakar Says:

    I still believe in American exceptionalism of the old America and I am still grateful I was born here.

    No other nation has exported as much socialism and dependence as the United States. A lot of people are unable to differentiate between that and what they think is exceptionalism, because they’ve never been forced to think about it in that fashion.

    So long as people stick their head in the sand and overlook the century long history of the Leftist alliance in the US, they will only see the surface propaganda.

    Pax Americana is over. That’s not due to the Japanese or some external threat. That’s due to something more on the domestic side.

  38. Ymarsakar Says:

    here we go again with blame the US for everything including wars we

    Explain this “blame” thing you’re seeing here.

    Because from my viewpoint, it’s a trigger for Leftist conditioning.

  39. Lee Says:

    There is nothing new about the media.

    Most of them are lazy, and just want the next big thing–more money, a cushier gig, some big prize ( a Pulitzer?), a house bigger than Tom Friedman’s–and will do pretty much what it takes to help them achieve their goal, including willful omission, closing their eyes, exagerating, lying…

    I lived in Israel in the early 1980′s, and knew a BUNCH of journalists. Many of the agencies had an office in a certain building in Jerusalem. There was a bar nearby (that served pretty good cheeseburgers), and a LOT of them hung out there. Thing that one scene in “The Year of Living Dangerously.” These were journalists from the US, from Australia, from Europe. Few knew any Hebrew, and almost none knew any Arabic. They were covering the ENTIRE Middle East–with the a$$e$ on stools in a bar in Jerusalem. Because Jerusalem was a LOT nicer than Cairo, Amman and Damascus, and the bars were better. They relied on their “stringers” for information. (Something the PLO figured out, and started getting their members to land jobs as stringers.) They would talk about the stories they wanted to find–and if the found any information to the contrary, that didn’t fit the narrative that they had already preconceived, than, well, that was just a “fluke” and not worth noting.

    They might run, drive, fly, whenever they heard a “story” was going to break–but they weren’t exactly sniffing our the stories.

    I peridiodically wonder if I ever met Friedman in that bar some time or another. He may have been “dispatched” to Beirut when he was hired by the New York Times, but odds are he actually lived, and hung out, in a bar in either Jerusalem or Nicosia. (Another popular comfy place to “cover” the Middle East.)

    Anyhow…

    It’s not like thirty years ago, journalists (as a whole) had the sort of work ethic we imagine they had. And as we know from Randolph Hearst to Walter Duranty, “news” and “truth” were relative terms well before the crowd I met in Jerusalem all those years ago.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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