I know I haven’t been writing much on the political tip. This is four fold: 1. I’m busy. 2. I’m busy at a place that puts me at odds with a lot of the things I believe. 3. It’s hard to write cohesively on opinion based topics….and have time to organize my thoughts (see first two points.) 4. I hate putting a lot of work into pieces that like 8 people will see. I know this is probably my fault, because I’ve slacked off in writing and promoting the site.
But I’m looking for a resurgence of sorts, and I’ve decided to just go forward with it anyways. So here is goes, my series on what I feel is an invisible crisis: the destruction/deconstruction of information. This is such a wide ranging topic, that can stretch into such giant octopus-like proportions, that I really feel a bit undereducated to speak to it. But I feel that I’m in a unique POV to talk about it. This will not be a specific government is evil piece, because, I believe it’s really about even more than that. There is a base reason I will build to if you bear with me, and excuse my typos and whatnots. I don’t know all the answers. If it sucks, I’m sorry. (…not really.)
I read some recently that puts a lot of what I’m going to say on Part I into a closer focus. From the Rolling Stone‘s James Bamford:
“According to the Pentagon documents, the Rendon Group played a major role in the IOTF. The company was charged with creating an “Information War Room” to monitor worldwide news reports at lightning speed and respond almost instantly with counter-propaganda. A key weapon, according to the documents, was Rendon’s “proprietary state-of-the-art news-wire collection system called ‘Livewire,’ which takes real-time news-wire reports, as they are filed, before they are on the Internet, before CNN can read them on the air and twenty-four hours before they appear in the morning newspapers, and sorts them by keyword. The system provides the most current real-time access to news and information available to private or public organizations.”
The top target that the pentagon assigned to Rendon was the Al-Jazeera television network. The contract called for the Rendon Group to undertake a massive “media mapping” campaign against the news organization, which the Pentagon considered “critical to U.S. objectives in the War on Terrorism.” According to the contract, Rendon would provide a “detailed content analysis of the station’s daily broadcast . . . [and] identify the biases of specific journalists and potentially obtain an understanding of their allegiances, including the possibility of specific relationships and sponsorships.”
Now, this is JUST for the Iraq war. And this is what I want to discuss today: the destruction through deconstruction of information, with a specific focus on news coverage.
Usually, the news is taken at face value, by basically anyone who sees it. You get your Starbucks coffee/sugarccino and pick up today’s local or national paper, or flip on CNN/Fox/MSNBC/BBC/etc. and you get a steady stream of seemingly informative tidbits. Some of them with stay with you long enough that you’ll go around having conversations about at later times and locations, with others. This is basically where news, especially mainstream news, really works. You disseminate out, casting the widest net possible to blanket everyone, then you let THEM push forward your agenda. It’s actually a beautiful plan because, at this point, the reader is now the authority, with an article as his co-sign. If the person is influential, even under the best pretenses and intentions, he/she will end up bending the news. I don’t believe this should be underestimated because it is at this point, not at the initial dissemination, in which ideals and morals are developed and truly ingrained. It’s come to the attention to an attentive few, through studies, that people just aren’t reading as much as before. This activity has been in steady decline for decades. If you haven’t watched the news that day, you are hearing about it second-hand. Even if you’ve heard the news second hand, and then went back the web or TV to get the full story, you’ve just decided to take what’s been said at face value.
Moving backward, what is the problem with “news”?: The entire set-up and concept of it being new, and the deception of what is said as being complete. First of all, you’re not present during the event, so automatically, you’re being told second hand. Not only is it second hand, it’s been flowed and vetted through so many channels, that it’s usually not, if it ever was, the whole truth or factual. Even worse, the story could’ve been an outright lie to begin with. This is the inherent issue with the news: because it’s doesn’t tell a complete, objective story, it’s basically a lie. Simplistic – yes. There is literally no way to be objective. The stories are being fed through and written by human beings – human beings with feelings, agendas, motives, etc. On top of it, there is no interest in giving a person the complete story, in that they can draw their own conclusions. If you have the conclusion created for them, fed that conclusion as the news – you leave the reader/watcher to try to figure out how something could’ve happened.
Look at every news story you’ve read or watched. How is it led? Conclusion first, every time. There is no beginning, middle, end….like a police investigator getting a person story for their case. The end is a given, but the backtracking of information literally runs into a sort of wall, and you are not allowed behind this wall. if you believe the New York Times is the beginning and end of what it puts out – you are very sadly mistaken and naive. I read a lot of independent news, like Democracy Now! or The Raw Story, and others. But even then, there is an invisible wall to where the reader has no context on the genesis of the story. You heard stories of drugs in America, but you never heard about HOW they were initially brought in. Story: a drug dealer is arrested —- they find drugs in his apartment in a wall —- he got them from who/where??? —- the drugs where shipped from where? — the drugs were wholesale bought and shipped by who?, and so on. If you are interested enough, you can trace the story back a decent ways, but you still run up against some walls, in that now you’d have to venture into the world of drug trafficking. Who really wants to do that? So you take the story as is, and you vilify the drug dealer, an action to which he is deserving, and move on. But you have failed to gain a complete perspective because they’ve neutered the sense of the bigger issue. You’ve taken to the very temporary feeling of justice being served (he will be out in a year anyways), instead of looking for the more important and rather convoluted reasons it happened to begin with. You’re cut off from the source before you realize that there must be one, somewhere.
The news is just the easiest example. The media, at large, obviously knows you literally don’t have the time to run down a story they’ve given you to ponder. You ARE just supposed to take it. The big issue is that they is being done at every single turn, from the news, to what you buy, to the church you go to (a fertile topic in and of itself). You purchase things based on the influence you’ve gotten through your senses, and usually it’s through sight. The fashion police on TV says that Nicole Kidman’s outfit is lovely, and that Kate Winslet’s eyes look baggy. The automatic reaction/conclusion is also fed to you because they always have those people in 2-3 person teams to synthesize the information into (usually) one voice that says Nicole Kidman = stylish, Kate Winslet = worn out. I could splinter into all kinds of directions on this alone, but I will attempt to stay on course. My point, in this instance, is that the media is really trying to spoon feed you what they believe you need to like and dislike, and also HOW and WHY.
Going back to the story I have leading this, which says a public relations company used/uses a program that vets, shuffles, and orders article before they can be put out, so that a counter story can be run with it, it’s easy to see how this can happen in every piece of information put out. This takes it a step further, in the race to control hearts and mind. Now that the men behind the curtains can’t always control the flow of information, because of, again, human emotions, (self) righteousness and personal motives. They have decided to give themselves “top cover” by putting out disinformation, paralleled against stories that could hurt the overarching agenda. The interesting thing about Stars and Stripes is that it’s a paper devoted to information dedicated to military activity. I saw them all over the place in various locations in places I’ve been in my travels, and soldiers and civilians take to them like flies on shit. If the military doesn’t want a reporter, from what’s supposed to be THE pro-agenda paper, to be embedded because they are afraid of the slant that maybe be used in future reporting, then you see why they would want to get a public relations firm involved.
This would seem to be a subtle win. Maybe, in a way, it is. But then the media heads know this as well, which is why they’ve moved on to, or endorsed, the viral types of media: these short, power packed, bursts of bullshit information.
Next – Part II: Why you need to close your Facebook account.