Lies, Damn Lies, and the Media

By David Swanson

ACORN is shutting down because of a fraudulent video pimped by the corporate media.  U.S. forces in Afghanistan have heroically laid seige to and conquered a fictional city, helping build the case for further escalation.  A cable news channel has created a right-wing mass movement by pretending it already existed.  Congressman Dennis Kucinich voted for a health insurance bill he believed would deprive more people of healthcare (and wealth and homes), because fraudulent reports had convinced his constituents of the opposite.  The peace movement was defunded in November 2008, because of a fraudulent presidential election campaign.  71% of Americans believe Iran has nuclear weapons.  41% of Americans think the quality of the environment is improving.  Has the power of the corporate media to overwhelm all before it begun to sink in yet?

ACORN’s funders didn’t have to run and hide because of a bunch of laughably bad lies, but they were afraid.  The most common excuse of progressive congress members for anything they do is fear of the media.  The peace movement didn’t have to shut down, but its funders had used war as a criticism of Republicans; opposing war for its own sake was secondary, and their televisions told them peace had arrived. Kucinich could have stuck to his No vote on healthcare, but he probably wouldn’t have lasted long in Congress.  We don’t have to be suckered by comically manipulative war news, but all the big media outlets want war — and the Democratic-party outlets especially favor war now.  Fox News could not have created the Teabaggers on its own, but MSNBC and the Democratic blogosphere spend a majority of their time focused on Teabaggers and Republicans because it unites their viewers/readers against something uglier than elected Democrats, never mind that in Washington the Democrats technically have all the power.


This is the biggest lie of them all: the system works. Vote for this corporatist war party or that warmongering corporate party, and you will have played your role well. The system works. The president makes the laws. The Congress gets in the way. The two parties are significantly different from each other and represent our views. News stories that include the views of both parties are complete and admirable journalism. The journalism itself has no viewpoint at all. The role of a citizen is to support politicians and parties.


We need independent media, meaning sources of news that are independent of either political party. We could easily find the money to create it right now if we chose to make that a priority. We will do so or we, and this republic, and the world as we know it will perish . . . in horrible pain, with a grin on our face.

Read all of it here…


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    • Edger on March 23, 2010 at 10:41

  1. metaphorically speaking too.

  2. I wrote something while you were gone, that I hoped very much you would read. It was after your dream essay.

    I hope your trip went, ummm….well, it couldn’t go good, but at least helped both of your hearts.

    Love to you,


  3. …he didn’t it call it that.

    Generally I don’t talk politics and the like at work because of the media illiteracy of most of the people there.

    Not that they aren’t intelligent or whatever, but if someone gets their “news” from watching Brian Williams a couple of times a week I don’t feel that my vocabulary or conceptual framework would be understandable to them, like coming from different worlds.

    • banger on March 23, 2010 at 17:34

    for most people at the moment. People are hypnotized because that is genuinely what they want. People, on the whole, don’t like what you and I believe is the truth. I’ve seen it time after time in society, politics, economics, marketing and my personal life. You tell the truth too often and people stay away from you with rare exceptions and those people are your real friends.

    So, pols and the mind-control experts ply their trade easily. Do you really see any trend that is moving towards people actually wanting to know not only what is happening but what happened? If you do, let me know.

  4. Since this diary is about media I would invite folks here to check out a progressive blog I ran across recently.

    It is” Southern Beale” a political blog by a woman (Scorpio) from Nashville TN who writes on National and Tennessee issues. She has a nice writing style and sense of humor, and since politcal blogging seems so male dominated I thought  supporting a woman blogger made sense.

  5. culture or it cannot take place. The significant events that take place in our republic must be discussed regularly by the “citizens” in order for them to be informed. And I use the word informed to mean having thought out through dialogue with other citizens the facts, issues and remedies that are necessary for  solutions.

    If genuine political dialogue is not a regular feature of a Democratic Culture, Democracy cannot survive. Watching T.V. and listening to radio are passive, and do not create dialogue. Blogging is at least interactive, but I don’t think yet dialogic, where new understandings and appreciation of other viewpoints regularly take place.

    The founders, as flawed and hypocritical as they were, knew that in order to survive, Democracy needed hard work, sacrifice and selflessness to ward off the natural tendencies toward aristocracy, the preferred model since Ancient Greece.

    IMHO, only genuine political discourse can get rid of the static that is constantly sent out over the airwaves. Yes, conversant citizens can penetrate the bullshit if they work at it. But it may be asking too much, as our culture completely loses touch with its ideals, and our lower instincts begin to surface. We can’t escape history nor ourselves.  

  6. … opinion and entertainment today?

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