We are no longer the U.S.A. We are the U.S.P. The United States of Propaganda.
Almost everywhere we turn, The Spin and The Big Lie face us. Take your pick. Left, right, TV, radio, film, newspaper, you name it. At their very best when it comes to factual reporting most media outlets can be described as timid. Truth has lost its way. Opinion and propaganda have taken over.
It should come as no surprise then to those Americans who can still think objectively that the growth of Propaganda and the demise of the local, independent newspaper go hand in hand.
The old-fashioned newspaper, for all its many faults, offered us our only chance at a search for truth in a world of nasty opinion-makers, a world of corporate smoke and mirrors. Because many years ago newspapers abandoned their traditional roles in favor of profits this is what has happened: Into the vacuum plunged Propaganda. Dreamland in essence has become reality.
Take Michael Savage, the vicious ultra right-wing radio host. Last Friday night, May 1, he floated a rumor that the Deepwater Horizon oil explosion in the Gulf of Mexico was caused by a North Korean submarine. He had no proof of course. Only a suspicion.
Savage’s over-heated listeners soon pitched in. One, sounding very much like a plant, suggested it was a U.S. government plot generated of course by Savage’s much reviled antagonist, the“radical, Communist, Socialist, dictator” Barrack Obama. That gave Savage the opportunity to say the assertion was beyond belief, to appear as the voice of reason, which he is anything but.
That is not to say that the oil spill was free of a deliberate act. Perhaps in time we will know the truth. In the meantime, the Olbermanns, the Limbaughs, the Hannitys and Mr. Savage will hold sway.
I pine for the old days, in the Seventies even, before Reaganomics and its corporate afterbirth sucked the heart and soul out of American newspapers.