Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Mass Media Delusions
The passive method uses omission and obfuscation: certain events and facts are simply not reported. Some are willfully suppressed, others carefully underemphasized, yet others are presented in a context designed to disguise their significance. For example, anybody attentive enough could have easily ascertained that Robert Mueller is senile and in no way shape or form was ever capable of running any sort of investigation or writing a report. And yet this salient fact was not reported at all; that’s willful suppression.
But now that Mueller has provided six hours of congressional testimony to prove this fact before anyone who cared to watch, outright suppression has become impossible and context substitution has come into play: those who draw attention to Mueller’s obvious senility are accused of being right-wing extremists. But how can a readily observable medical fact be dismissed as political bias? How could he have failed to recall important details from a report he supposedly wrote (or at least read)? Mind you, I am just using the Mueller disaster as a handy example. As I have explained many times, it doesn’t matter who is president and the entire ridiculous witch-hunt is an instance of fiddling while Rome burns.
The active method is to label all those who try to circumvent their filter as “conspiracy theorists”—a derogatory term that is easy to apply, although making it stick is rather tricky. It is easy to fall into the trap by insisting on a certain version of events without being in possession of specific physical proof. But it is equally easy to act as an independent collector and connoisseur of conspiracy theories (which are popular because they are interesting) in which case your accusers must be on par with you in their depth of knowledge of conspiracies or else be ready to forfeit their position as preeminent authorities on all things conspiratorial.
If none of the major Western news outlets reported a certain salient fact that can be readily exposed and attested by multiple sources by some people who, each one separately, do a bit of research, then how are these people conspiring, and how is that a theory? It can perhaps be argued that there is indeed a conspiracy—on the part of the major Western news outlets—to suppress this salient fact. That would indeed be a theory, but a difficult one to prove, and so why would anyone care to argue this point? Why not just let the salient fact speak for itself?
In short, the trick for avoiding the label of “conspiracy theorist” when reporting an unreported or underreported fact is to always couch it in the form of a question—“Here’s some evidence of something quite important, but Western mass media has failed to cover it; why?”—and leave Western mass media with the burden of proof that they didn’t conspire to suppress the coverage. Of course, no mass media outlet would ever accept such a challenge. Alternative responses include stony silence and, when that tactic starts looking ridiculous, resorting to ad hominem attacks and name-calling. But that leads to an inevitable loss of face because it automatically reduces to the childish game of “I know you are, but what am I?” As, for instance, in “Is refusing to report on Mueller’s obvious senility a sign of political extremism?”
Western mass media malfeasance doesn’t stop at suppression of facts; there is also its massive failing to provide any sort of meaningful analysis, or even to form rather obvious conjectures that we can then consider on their merits. For example, I might wildly conjecture that Robert Mueller was chosen as a senile stooge behind whose back Hillary Clinton’s political operatives conspired to unseat Donald Trump by a combination of falsified and coerced evidence, entrapment and various other forms of prosecutorial misconduct.
Again, I don’t have a dog in this race because I believe the US is in the process of flushing itself down the same golden toilet no matter who is its president. I have no particular love of “Donny, Putin’s man in Washington” (that’s a joke; Russians find it hilarious), but I do enjoy the comedic elements of watching this “Art of the Deal” president fail to close a single deal with anyone. In any case, I am perfectly happy to wait until the truth of the matter comes out. Sure, maybe it was Putin’s clever plan to make Americans spend four years beating each other up over an orange-haired buffoon who, as ordered by Putin, has been working tirelessly to wreck the relationship between the US and China and to ease China into an alliance with Russia, and also to wreck the relationship between the US and Europe, leaving a weakened and faltering US stranded all alone on the wrong side of the planet, but that’s just a conspiracy theory, isn’t it?