freedom of the press is withering

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freedom of the press is withering
I know that for many, the knowledge that the mainstream media (MSM) is an unreliable source of information is common knowledge, but just in case someone didn't get the memo, it bears repeating.
 
In the 1980s, there were approximately 50 major media organizations in the world.  We are down to 6.  And they all get their news from AP and Reuters.  And AP controls Reuters. And the Rothschild family is the majority shareholder of AP.  Want some evidence of common scripting?  Watch.   
 
And you wonder why former CIA officer, Robert David Steele, says believe nothing you see on TV, hear on the radio, or read in newspapers and magazines ... that books and blogs are the only sources of truth left in America and obviously, one has to be discerning about them as well.
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Eye opening clip AO.. and I will raise you one

Saw that the other day...  really more sinister and sickening than it is funny.. not sure if Conan really understands this.  Anyway... to build on the case, here's another one that should really make you feel sick to your stomach - what country is this we live in?  From Denninger;

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=218097 

Obama Thinks Threatening Bob Woodward Is A Good Idea?

  akcs-www?get_gallerynr=3904There's dumb, there's stupid, and then there's insane.

Threatening the man who was behind the original investigation of Watergate for reporting something that is absolutely true and in fact irrefutable falls into the latter category.

(CNN) - Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said Wednesday he was threatened by a senior Obama administration official following his reporting on the White House's handling of the forced federal spending cuts set to take effect on Friday.

"They're not happy at all," he said on CNN's "The Situation Room," adding that an e-mail from a senior administration official - who he would not name - communicated a message which caused him great concern.

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Re: freedom of the press is withering

I truly am puzzled by the mechanism and intent behind the phrase "You don't need us to tell you that gas prices are back on the rise!"

It's clear that the phrase came from some centralized source, possibly a wire service because the stations in the clip do not all belong to a single network, and it seems well crafted.

First the cancelling negatives - sort of - that create an odd tension in the phrase:

"You don't need us to tell you that gas prices are back on the rise!"

Second, I learned a long time ago that when someone says 'you don't need me to..." they are really saying you do need them.

But beyond some apparently simple calls to trust authority it appears that there's something a bit deeper about this campaign regarding gas prices.  I am truly intellectually curious about the source and intent behind this phrase.

For the record, I see similar examples appear in the press every single day.  There are constant attempts to sway beliefs and shape opinions and many of them are quite sophisticated.  

the fact that these efforts now reach all the way down to local news programs is a new one to me though...I still thought that they were constrained to the major outlets...I guess there are sufficient resources to reach a bit deeper these days?

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Some fanciful ideas

ao,

Truly eye opening. It would seem that life is increasingly scripted. Is this simply an example of catching talking heads blindly reading meaningless platitudes or was there a purpose to the words?

With regard to the query by Chris, if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that 'You don't need us to tell you' would be a trigger statement to absorb the following message "gas prices are back on the rise".

Stepping out further onto the conspiracy ledge, the question is then, who is the intended audience and what are we/they supposed to do or feel? It seems that mass media is now doing double duty as both the bread and circuses of our time and the font of official propaganda. Are enough of the masses suitably programmed to respond on cue? Is this preparing the ground for something else?

Ok, I guess I'll step back from the ledge and go back to the climate thread now.....

Mark

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I guess it all depends on where you stand
Mark Cochrane wrote:

Ok, I guess I'll step back from the ledge and go back to the climate thread now.....

Like that's any safer?  cool

Travlin 

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cancellation of negatives and the centralization of source
cmartenson wrote:

I truly am puzzled by the mechanism and intent behind the phrase "You don't need us to tell you that gas prices are back on the rise!"

It's clear that the phrase came from some centralized source, possibly a wire service because the stations in the clip do not all belong to a single network, and it seems well crafted.

First the cancelling negatives - sort of - that create an odd tension in the phrase:

"You don't need us to tell you that gas prices are back on the rise!"

Second, I learned a long time ago that when someone says 'you don't need me to..." they are really saying you do need them.

But beyond some apparently simple calls to trust authority it appears that there's something a bit deeper about this campaign regarding gas prices.  I am truly intellectually curious about the source and intent behind this phrase.

For the record, I see similar examples appear in the press every single day.  There are constant attempts to sway beliefs and shape opinions and many of them are quite sophisticated.  

the fact that these efforts now reach all the way down to local news programs is a new one to me though...I still thought that they were constrained to the major outlets...I guess there are sufficient resources to reach a bit deeper these days?

Chris,

you've reminded me of a BBC interview called "The Big Idea" [transcript] that was broadcast in February 1996 between Andrew Marr - British journalist and political commentator - and Noam Chomsky - American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, historian, political critic and activist.

Marr's questions are written in italics:

Now, if the press is a censoring organisation, tell me how that works - you’re not suggesting that proprietors phone one another up, or that many journalists get their copy "spiked", as we say?
 

It’s actually... Orwell, you may recall, has an essay called "Literary Censorship in England" which was supposed to be the introduction to Animal Farm, except that it never appeared, in which he points out "look, I’m writing about a totalitarian society, but in free, democratic England, it’s not all that different", and then he says unpopular ideas can be silenced without any force, and then he gives a two sentence response which is not very profound, but captures it: He says, two reasons - first, the press is owned by wealthy men who have every interest in not having certain things appear but second, the whole educational system from the beginning on through gets you to understand that there are certain things you just don’t say. Well, spelling these things out, that’s perfectly correct - I mean, the first sentence is what we expanded...
 

This is what I don’t get, because it suggests - I mean, I’m a journalist - people like me are "self-censoring"...
 

No - not self-censoring. There’s a filtering system that starts in kindergarten and goes all the way through and - it doesn’t work a hundred percent, but it’s pretty effective - it selects for obedience and subordination, and especially...
 

So, stroppy people won’t make it to positions of influence...
 

There’ll be "behaviour problems" or... if you read applications to a graduate school, you see that people will tell you "he doesn’t get along too well with his colleagues" - you know how to interpret those things.
 

I’m just interested in this because I was brought up, like a lot of people, probably post-Watergate film and so on, to believe that journalism was a crusading craft, and that there were a lot of disputatious, stroppy, difficult people in journalism, and I have to say, I think I know some of them.
 

Well, I know some of the best... best-known investigative reporters in the United States - I won’t mention names - whose attitude toward the media is much more cynical than mine. In fact, they regard the media as a sham. And they know, and they constantly talk about how they try to... play it like a violin: If they see a little opening they’ll try to squeeze something in that ordinarily wouldn’t make it through. And it’s perfectly true that this is a crusading profession, adversarial, "We stand up against power", very self-serving view. On the other hand, in my opinion, I hate to make a value judgement but, the better journalists, and in fact, the ones who are often regarded as the best journalists, have quite a different picture and, I think, a very realistic one.
 

How can you know that I’m self-censoring? How can you know that journalists are...
 

I don’t say you’re self-censoring - I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying; but what I’m saying is, if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.

The interview itself:

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Like Brothers From Another Mother

ao,

thank you for creating this thread.

Something I was drawn to a little while ago - both the Australian Prime Minister and the Canadian Prime Minister using the self same speech just two days apart - respectively, the 18th of March 2003, and the 20th of March 2003:

 

It took five and a half years for the BBC to publically admit proof that Owen Lippert - the author of the speech' - had supposedly been "overzealous in copying segments":

Canada PM faces plagiarism claim

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

A Canadian Conservative Party speech-writer has resigned after Prime Minister Stephen Harper was accused of plagiarism in a speech he made in 2003.

Owen Lippert admitted he had been "overzealous in copying segments" of a speech in support of the invasion of Iraq by then Australian PM John Howard.

Mr Lippert said neither his superiors nor Mr Harper, who was opposition leader at the time, had been aware. [More]

Isn't it nice to know that - at the time - all western political and media allies were on exactly the same page, and the public were well informed.

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Mushrooms in the dark.

What a pity. 

The top video has been taken down already with the Message tha Conoko has blocked it to Australia on copyright grounds.

I guess that I am a mushroom.

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or, it could just mean that gas prices are going higher!...

Gentlemen, I love you all and forgive me if I don't see or care that there is a sinister plot behind everything. I have no time in my day to reflect whether something is a double negative or not. This isn't meant to mean I do not care but honestly, if this is the world today, and every sentence gets broken apart, and a review of the origin of the content being spoken is truly this important then we are doomed to fail, and life itself has no meaning at all. Just mail it in Folks.

Lastly, at the risk of getting slammed, and not being prepared for the Rowe conference I thought it necessary to do some research, and get a feel for whom I may run into at the conference. If this is any indication of the subject matter at Rowe then we will have opposing viewpoints. It isn't that I don't see your point of view or that I am unprepared because I am not. I just refuse to have it dictate my every thought. I propose to deal with whatever comes my way as it happens, in real time. 

I hope I am not the only one who could give a crap about this line of thinking. In addition to this, I hope you Folks are mature enough to step back when my voice opposes your point of view as it smacks of a paranoia.

Incidentally, I DO NOT watch TV News, or any such thing but Sports. I get all my information including the weather online from sources I trust like every single one of you Good People. Fact is: I boycott that which offends me. Air Travel, restaurants, people, etc...

Lastly, I have NO ISSUES debating anyone at PP on anything. I will NOT subject Barb to anything other than gentlemanly behavior so be kind, and give me a heads up if this is the topics of conversations. Please. Our Family dynamics are well defined so please be respectful of this. Thank you

Do Love you All

BOB

Note: Any spelling errors are that of spell checks, and all opinions expressed are my own not Barb's. Additionally, my sentence structure may be offensive, and lacks my efforts towards my early studies.LOL

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Bob, I appreciate your point

Bob,

I appreciate your point of view.

I recall you recently wrote on another thread:

"I am happy that the hard fought rights to be human has been in some small measure built here in the United States, and it is an imperative that we continue this yet completed goal set and continue resisting.

We have given the world the Internet, and this will pay dividends as we go forward. Maybe the greatest invention ever."

"There is no mystery to today as it has all happened before, and it was the good Folks in the world who still will fight against their oppressors, they always have."

To quote Edmund Burke:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Do not allow evil to triumph. Do not sit by and do nothing."

I cannot sit idly by and do nothing. If something good can come through the empowerment of people - of the collective knowledge of our history - then it will be a job well done when evil will not triumph. The internet will indeed be "the greatest invention ever".

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Yes Sir,

we only lose our voice if we allow someone to quite it. That just can't be.

I do appreciate hearing from those who DO understand, are fearful, but still speak.

Peace

BOB

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Ericksonian induction script and double bind characteristics
cmartenson wrote:

I truly am puzzled by the mechanism and intent behind the phrase "You don't need us to tell you that gas prices are back on the rise!"

It's clear that the phrase came from some centralized source, possibly a wire service because the stations in the clip do not all belong to a single network, and it seems well crafted.

First the cancelling negatives - sort of - that create an odd tension in the phrase:

"You don't need us to tell you that gas prices are back on the rise!"

Second, I learned a long time ago that when someone says 'you don't need me to..." they are really saying you do need them.

But beyond some apparently simple calls to trust authority it appears that there's something a bit deeper about this campaign regarding gas prices.  I am truly intellectually curious about the source and intent behind this phrase.

For the record, I see similar examples appear in the press every single day.  There are constant attempts to sway beliefs and shape opinions and many of them are quite sophisticated.  

the fact that these efforts now reach all the way down to local news programs is a new one to me though...I still thought that they were constrained to the major outlets...I guess there are sufficient resources to reach a bit deeper these days?

Chris,

As a scientist, your observations are astute.  At least one possible explanation comes from the world of Ericksonian hypnosis (the predecessor to NLP).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_H._Erickson

My studies in this area were informal and incomplete but I know enough to recognize it when it's being used, both from these studies and from past association with a master Ericksonian hypnotist.

 

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Hypnosis

My Pops used to say he would never allow hypnosis because "a mind is a terrible thing to waste". I agree. There's laughter in there you just have to look. We always just laughed and laughed together. That's good, right?

OK, I am up at 3am and we know what hour that is!! I NEVER get up at three, so please, whatever sentence it was that one of you good Folks placed in your thread that put a jinx on me and my most necessary sleep, could you now count to three so I awake and go back to sleep. Thank you...Ahahahahahaha! Levity has its place.

I have a crave for popcorn and a soda too! Another-ahhahahahahahhaha.

Get it?! Subliminal suggestion. That's what they called it back in the day. I know, I know, it's different this time.

Rowe has me absolutely giddy, I really cannot wait to be with you Folks.

I gaurantee, I am NOT who you think I am. I make this promise, we are going to have a GREAT time.

BOB  

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I bought my first computer in the 80's!

I couldn't get the Internet either. I lived in the country.

We live in a computer driven society. Cable this and that. I wonder, perhaps, if, just maybe, it could be, perhaps possible, that 50 news cast went to 5 or 6 because of cable and the Internet. Additionally, why perhaps, just maybe, could be, that, newspapers have come to the same fate as television. An interesting concept I know. I'm puzzled.

Further, these hidden messages, combined with the fact that everyone is now on the computer, probably playing war games, and the fact that the American population is getting less smart down to the new born, if these messages are even understood because we are just not smart enough to understand the messages.

If this is the case/possible then I stand by my theory that it will be the less educated, and street smart, gifted, Good Folks out there who will survive much better than us really smart people. I contend that these street Folks are better adapted than we are, and our future must look bright. Why this assumption? Well, because more and more of us are getting poorer, and we will soon join these Good Folks thus creating a Super Society of the really gifted stupid Good Folks. I love it.

1, 2, 3...Wake up!, and now go back to bed. Levity has.......... 

Regards

BOB

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ao wrote: And they all get
ao wrote:
And they all get their news from AP and Reuters.  And AP controls Reuters. And the Rothschild family is the majority shareholder of AP. 

Hi ao et al,

My first post here - likely the first of many. I'm quite a fan of this site. I saw the onslaught of reality six months ago when I read, pretty much by accident, The End of Growth by Richard Heinberg. My wife and I will be moving back to my native Canada, from her native Europe, in July to start a homestead.

But that's an aside. I felt compelled to intervene in this thread because I have spent many years working for one of the two media organizations cited above. I needed to clarify that The AP is a co-op - owned collectively by thousands of newspapers across the US. The Rothschild family is not a majority shareholder. Actually, nobody is. The New York Times may have a great deal of influence by being 'the paper of record,' but that's a more nebulous matter. And The AP definitely does NOT control Reuters. Absolutely nothing of the sort. From 1992 to 2003, I worked as a war correspondent for one of those wire services (alongside the oft-cited Chris Hedges). I only wish that I could have influenced the competition!

However, ao, I agree strongly with the gist of your statement - "Freedom of the press is withering."

It's not a matter of sinister secret shareholders censoring our work though. It's much more dangerous than that. It's a matter of the general public telling us what they want, through `likes,' clicks, subscriptions and reader surveys.

The public is an unstoppable force. And what does the public demand? The public demands pablum.

I left the mainstream media two years ago precisely because of that. I had no more respect for my profession.

Let's imagine that, as a general journalist, I had a choice. In this fictional scenario, I can get only one of two scoops:

Scoop 1 - Saudi Arabia's oil reserve numbers are falsified. And I have a video interview with a senior Saudi figure saying it.

Scoop 2 - Justin Bieber is about to dump his girlfriend. And I have a video interview with him saying it.

Which one is going to get more attention (likes, clicks, subscriptions = money)?

I don't need to tell you.

In short, I'm a much maligned lifetime member of The Mainstream Media (TMM). As such, this forum calls me a "Bernanke mouthpiece" a "mainstream toadie," etc. My best friend of 30 years is a high-level investment banker, and my wife is rapidly advancing in the same direction. They are even more maligned than me. But ... all three of us are acutely aware of the issues discussed in Peak Prosperity et al. And we would do pretty much anything to head off the coming crisis.

We can't though. The people have made a choice.

Cheers,

Mac

 

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A MSM Journalist! Welcome Mackay.

Excelent. A main Steam Journalist gives us the inside skinny on how it all works. I encourage you to post often Mac.

The public is an unstoppable force. And what does the public demand? The public demands pablum.

Why do the Martensonians abhor pap?

And love spelling checkers?

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Thank you Mackay

I'm wondering what you're thoughts are on the internet as a source of news? Where the MSM seems to consolidate their news into two opposing viewpoints, leaving the reader to "decide," the internet is often awash in hackneyed opinions making it difficult to decide what is credibile. My wife and I gave up TV in 1992, so we stopped watching the infomercial news a long time ago. Gave up reading the newspapers about 10 years ago since they went the same direction. I've primarily consumed a lot of books and non-MSM source articles. 

It's not a matter of sinister secret shareholders censoring our work though. It's much more dangerous than that. It's a matter of the general public telling us what they want, through `likes,' clicks, subscriptions and reader surveys.

I agree with you and Ao. I don't think your viewpoints are exclusive or necessarily in opposition. I think conspiracies (whether subtle/overt/altruistic/evil/etc.) work in relation with PR/advertising, public demand, systemic organization, etc. I don't think that TPTB have as much control over the masses as some think. The world is still a big place and human beings are unpredictable. There are techniques that are intuitively implemented to maintain order, which in the end keeps society from diving into chaos. For instance, the FED is often criticized on this site as a bunch of irresponsible nitwits that are part of an overall conspiracy to keep the TPTB in power and maintain the status quo. I have been one those guilty parties. But I also keep an open mind that they could also be trying to limit the amount of suffering, and are trying to transition our economy to something more sustainable using the only tools they have available to them. I can imagine they may be terrified right now.

Your friends in the banking system who on the outside may look like the 1%, may acknowledge on the inside they feel like a "cog in the wheel" of a system in which they have no control. These same feelings are wide-spread in the field of education, and I imagine most systems/bureaucracies.

It appears to me that the "system" that we have all created is a mass-societal one that statistically supports (through data, likes, thumbs-up, polls, etc.) the perpetuation of that mass-society, and websites like this one are outlets for the alienation we feel, but also are filling the void of meaningful dialogue that is missing in the MSM. One of my concerns is that as this site and other sites like it grow in popularity, the views will merely be absorbed into the MSM, which may in turn make them into cliches.

The more I struggle with this, the more I wonder if we were all born hypocrites. Sorry, that's kind of a bummer idea, but you get what I mean. I actually have more hope now that changes and dialogue are coming from the bottom up that are beginning to awaken the masses. I have many more questions, but I'll stop there.

Thank You and Welcome!

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Welcome Mackay

Glad to have your voice.  I affirm your observation about us, the public, being our own worst enemy.  "We the people" are directly and indirectly responsible for most of this mess.  Of course there are some who take the pulse of the herd and selfishly turn it into a profit for themselves to the further detriment of the herd, but even allowing that is our responsibility.  And we don't want to hear the truth from politicians, business leaders, religious leaders, or journalists.  If we can't tune them out, we'll exile them, or string them up.  We're like addicts, and only a crushing bottom brought on by a breathtaking crisis will get our attention.  When that moment comes, there will be a brief teachable moment where we might listen and turn in the right direction.  On the other hand, we might just elevate a sweet sounding dictator with impossibly easy answers. It's written in all the history books. 

Tom

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Hi Mackay, This is

Hi Mackay,

This is interesting.  I just spent an hour composing a lengthy response.  Computer froze.  I know I'll never again be able to phrase what I said the way I want to say it.  Tried again.  Locked up again.  If I were paranoid, I'd swear there's hanky panky going on.  I'm going to run a scan and I will get back to you.

ao

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Another welcome

MacKay

Add my welcome to your collection.  I’d like to hear much more about your observations and thoughts.  I agree with your post, but I’m sure you have plenty to add to that.

Travlin

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Pablum

The public may demand pablum but many of us come here to learn, to encounter thought provoking conversation and ideas. We get the benefit of others perspectives, knowledge and teachings. And, in the process we often encounter humor and a few oddballs too. Thanks to all who take the time to share which really is teaching. I personally look forward to finding out what path my thoughts will be lead to from the discussions and topics on this site. Keep posting you never know who needs to hear what you have to say.

AK Granny

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It’s nice to be noticed
AkGrannyWGrit wrote:

And, in the process we often encounter humor and a few oddballs too.

“I resemble that remark.”  cool

Travlin 

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Welcome Mackay

Thank you Mackay. Interesting indeed.  The public gets what it wants  (clicks , subscriptions...etc) . Money talks.  I guess the public prefers pleasure than pain. Deeply ingrained in our most basic humain nature.

We also need fresh outlooks coming in here because we also get stuck in our own collective views and perceptions on PP. You just threw a stick in our wheel .    What a twist on our perceived assumptions here.

Sonya 

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Snake Oil

Mac,

I read what you wrote and found I agree with both you and ao for different reasons. Yes, journalism is the peoples choice, with a cause and effect of collective choice an end result often far from acceptable - even to the journalists that write it.

This is where I - and I think ao -  visualize the steering force of public relations working behind what drives the media.

To paraphrase Robert Anton Wilson, perception is a gamble and not reality. I think this rings true. If perception can be twisted - using cultural devise or such - the outcome can be something as simple as a means of distraction.

When first thinking of how I wished to respond, I thought of a quote by Chomsky [On Power and Ideology]:

One of the most effective devices is to encourage debate, but within a system of unspoken presuppositions that incorporate the basic principle of doctrinal systems. These principles are therefore removed from inspection; they become the framework for thinkable thought, not objects of rationale consideration.

Thankfully, I found Ellis Medavoy [hat tip RogerA] putting it in plainer english:

[T]he propagandist creates a fact that will result in a human emotion. I say fact, and the human being reacts with, say, outrage. Now we're cooking. Now we have a fact that gets an emotion sprouting all over the place. The emotion is the closer, the convincer. Now the human being really believes in the fact because, after all, he just responded to it! What could be better than that? [T]he human being is so self-centered that he believes his own emotion makes a fact real. He is saying, essentially, this fact couldn't be a lie because I just felt A, B and C.

In my search today, these quotes above lead me to a (2007) transcripted interview on the subject of the blogosphere, and how it has effected mainstream media:

Implicit behind a lot of this stuff, like being asked to do blogging, is that we're getting a more representative view of the public.

That's a great paradox. It's a wider thing than the internet, but the internet sums it up. It's that on the surface it says that "the internet is a new form of democracy". So what you're seeing is a new pluralism, a new collage, a new mosaic of all sorts of different ideas that's genuinely representative.

But if you analyse what happens, it simplifies things.

First of all, the people who do blogging, for example, are self-selecting. [...] The internet has removed a lot of constraints on them. You know what they're like: they can be emotional, and they often do little research of their own.

What then happens is this idea of the 'hive mind', instead of leading to a new plurality or a new richness, leads to a growing simplicity.

The bloggers from one side act to try to force mainstream media one way, the others try to force it the other way. So what the mainstream media ends up doing is it nervously tries to steer a course between these polarised extremes.

So you end up with a rigid, simplified view of the world, which is negotiated by mainstream media in response to [...] extremities.

Far from being "the wisdom of crowds", it's the stupidity of crowds. Collectively what we are doing is creating a more simplified world.

So it's more homogeneous?

Yes, it is.

I've talked to news editors in America. What they are most frightened of is an assault by the bloggers. They come from the left and the right. They're terrified. If they stray one way they'll get monstered by bloggers on the right. If they stray the other way they'll get monstered by bloggers from the left. So they nervously try and creep along, like a big animal in Toy Story - hoping not to disturb the demons that are out there.

It leads to a sort of nervousness. The moment a media system becomes infected by nervousness it starts to decline.

Isn't that a specifically American problem? I remember the first time I walked into a newspaper office there, I saw all these desks are creaking under their trophies. Each journalist has about twenty awards on his or her desk - that's just armour plating for their egos.

Well, there are two things you are dealing with here.

What it reflects is a much wider insecurity amongst the media class. The media class grew up during a period of certainty which was the Cold War. All those famous reporters bestrode the world and told us what because everything was simple. We knew who was wrong and who was right.

But now they don't know anything. They know nothing!

It started with the Berlin Wall. None of those guys predicted the Berlin Wall would come down. Ever since then it's been quite clear that most mainstream news journalism has absolutely no idea about what's really going on. It reports the "factlets" really well, but when it tries to join up the dots, it often leads you into a strange either fantasy world, or simplified world.

But above all they know that they don't really know. And what that leads to is a terrible sense of insecurity.

So what happens? The internet comes along, and the utopians of the internet portray this as a new form of populist democracy. And those media barons who know they don't know what's going on, see in this a wonderful salvation. Because they can then say, "Ah, we'll let the people tell you what's going on".

I see it in my own organisation [BBC Current Affairs]. Those people who run the current affairs organisation embrace this with a, "Ah... oh my god, at last, we're off the hook! User generated content!"

And suddenly you get the world reported in even more fragmented terms - and people have no idea what's going on.

“Far from being ‘the wisdom of crowds’, it’s the stupidity of crowds.”

In a way you can understand why it's happening. It's a loss of confidence in a class that was once supreme, and it's a terrible cocktail. They were brought up to believe they were strong and powerful - but now no one cares, it leads to this terrible arrogance and nervousness. They see User Generated Content as the way out.

But these people are paid a large amount of money, actually, to be clever and to tell us about the world - and they're failing. It's not their fault, but they are failing at it.

[Link to the completed article]

Marshall McLuhan's - The Medium is the Message  - is his coined phrase, meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.

I believe society met a threshold many years ago that is playing out in our present. By way of metaphor, we can't put the smoke back in the cigarette:

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LogansRun
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Mackey, welcome. I can

Mackey, welcome.

I can appreciate that this is what you understand to be the true situation at AP/Reuters.  But do you or anyone else really believe, that just because you work at an institution, you have the true story behind the agenda, or ownership?

I worked for one of the elite intelligence training groups in the US (world).  I trained, lobbied, coerced, etc....and I was in the top 15% in regards to authority within the organization.  But during the years that I worked there, I had NO idea as to the true nature/workings of the organization or it's true agenda.  Not until I sat down with the Chairperson of my organization (and a "friend of sorts") in my last 2 years of employment, did I come to understand what I had been doing, and why.  I was one of the lucky ones, as I had an inside source (Shit, he was the Chairman and extremely powerful!).  But to this day, none of the people I associated with, have a true sense of what's taking place, and who's truly in charge.  

So Mackey, again I can appreciate your perspective.  But AO's version of the truth, is well documented. Your version is what I'd expect from someone that is an employee of the system.  Nothing wrong with that, but you haven't been able to get out of the "frequency" (This is how the above Chairman explained it to me) to see the truth.  

Welcome again!

PS:  I wish this damn forum had built in spell check!  Makes no damn sense.

Mackay wrote:
ao wrote:
And they all get their news from AP and Reuters.  And AP controls Reuters. And the Rothschild family is the majority shareholder of AP. 

Hi ao et al,

My first post here - likely the first of many. I'm quite a fan of this site. I saw the onslaught of reality six months ago when I read, pretty much by accident, The End of Growth by Richard Heinberg. My wife and I will be moving back to my native Canada, from her native Europe, in July to start a homestead.

But that's an aside. I felt compelled to intervene in this thread because I have spent many years working for one of the two media organizations cited above. I needed to clarify that The AP is a co-op - owned collectively by thousands of newspapers across the US. The Rothschild family is not a majority shareholder. Actually, nobody is. The New York Times may have a great deal of influence by being 'the paper of record,' but that's a more nebulous matter. And The AP definitely does NOT control Reuters. Absolutely nothing of the sort. From 1992 to 2003, I worked as a war correspondent for one of those wire services (alongside the oft-cited Chris Hedges). I only wish that I could have influenced the competition!

However, ao, I agree strongly with the gist of your statement - "Freedom of the press is withering."

It's not a matter of sinister secret shareholders censoring our work though. It's much more dangerous than that. It's a matter of the general public telling us what they want, through `likes,' clicks, subscriptions and reader surveys.

The public is an unstoppable force. And what does the public demand? The public demands pablum.

I left the mainstream media two years ago precisely because of that. I had no more respect for my profession.

Let's imagine that, as a general journalist, I had a choice. In this fictional scenario, I can get only one of two scoops:

Scoop 1 - Saudi Arabia's oil reserve numbers are falsified. And I have a video interview with a senior Saudi figure saying it.

Scoop 2 - Justin Bieber is about to dump his girlfriend. And I have a video interview with him saying it.

Which one is going to get more attention (likes, clicks, subscriptions = money)?

I don't need to tell you.

In short, I'm a much maligned lifetime member of The Mainstream Media (TMM). As such, this forum calls me a "Bernanke mouthpiece" a "mainstream toadie," etc. My best friend of 30 years is a high-level investment banker, and my wife is rapidly advancing in the same direction. They are even more maligned than me. But ... all three of us are acutely aware of the issues discussed in Peak Prosperity et al. And we would do pretty much anything to head off the coming crisis.

We can't though. The people have made a choice.

Cheers,

Mac

 

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ao
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is the MSM independent or influenced by the public or by TPTB

 

Hi Mackay,

Back again for a second try. If I am in error about the Rothschild majority shareholder and AP/Reuters issue, I stand corrected. I had read about this quite a while ago and my bad for not going back and checking on it and being accurate in what I stated. So much of what I read spoke of Rothschild control and influence (not necessarily share ownership) of both AP and Reuters and the fact that AP and Reuters essentially appeared as different sides of the same coin.

Since “AP is a co-op - owned collectively by thousands of newspapers across the US”, how do the owners exercise their ownership interests? Does each one have an equal share or single vote or is ownership based on size? There is a CEO and executive board, correct? Are they free of any kind of direction from a higher authority? The reason why I ask these questions is that communal ownership rarely remains completely communal. Sooner or later, especially with an entity as influential as the AP, a small group, handful of individuals, or individual grabs power, especially when a power vacuum exists. Also, co-ops are generally started by a small number of people but even though membership is expanded, power usually remains with the small handful OR an outside power intercedes and grabs the reins of power.

For example, on a much smaller scale, when I think of Co-op City in NYC, those building weren't just put up by a group of ordinary people deciding to build some housing. There was major money, influence, connections, and power behind that. The organization benefits a specific power interest, despite much PR to the contrary. I have a hard time imaging the same isn't true for the AP.

Also, what I find interesting is what AP (and Reuters) cover and, even more so, what they don't cover. Stories which support a particular agenda are repeated again and again in various permutations and combinations. A good example is this winter's repeated story of the importance of getting vaccinated against the flu. We were given horror stories of young children dying, mothers of children dying, middle aged people dying, and the elderly dying (covering the entire age demographic in successive articles), all drumming home the point that great horrors would befall you if you didn't get vaccinated. Of course, to give the (false) impression of equal treatment of all sides of the issue, a story appeared about “alternative” health approaches to the flu but the topic was treated dismissively and the article was punctuated with stern warnings about only going with trusted (i.e. pharmaceutically backed) therapies. Of course, the subsequent article that just came out last week about the gross failure of the flu vaccine to help more than a very small portion of those inoculated (I don't have time to check the number but is was under 10%) barely got any media attention and certainly was not repeated over and over and endlessly rammed down our throats like the former articles.

Furthermore, I've never seen the AP address, to any substantial or deep extent, the inner workings of the Federal Reserve Bank (or any of the other central banks or the BIS, for that matter), fiat currency, historical hyperinflationary calamities, fractional reserve banking, banker support of everything from the Russian Communist revolution to the Nazis, the abject failure of the CFTC to prosecute any wrongdoings of substance, growing income and wealth inequality, or any other newsworthy information that may run counter to the agenda of the monied interests. On the other hand, there are endless articles of the “happy days are here again” type hyping our recovering economy.

Furthermore, the MSM, in general, gives virtually no attention to such topics as the positive accomplishments of faith based organizations, the virtues and strengths of the traditional family unit, successful citizen prevention of crime with firearms, great scientists or mathematicians in our society who have contributed to the welfare of us all, how students can achieve academic and life success on their own terms, how people can learn how to learn (rather than always trusting in an external authority), cutting dependence on centralized authorities and services, etc. On the contrary there is a great deal of attention to endless criticism of various societal standards, mores, and structures and a persistent trend towards social actions that are progressively destabilizing societies.

With regards to your allusion to the AP and Reuters competition, there is indeed competition. But it reminds me of the competition between the US Army and the US Marine Corp or that between the CIA and the NSA. They're competing in a manner of speaking but both for the same cause and under the same control and direction. Their stories never seem at great odds with one another whereas very often, the alternative media provides a whole different slant on an issue or event.

AP's stated mission is “to gather with economy and efficiency an accurate and impartial report of the news”. I'm curious if you actually believe that? I know I don't. Accuracy is not infrequently questionable and impartiality is largely non-existent any more, at least where political and economic forces come into play.

There is no doubt that there is a consolidation of media organizations. As the saying goes, “Little by little, more and more is being controlled by fewer and fewer.” And AP and Reuters certainly control the lion's share of the news of national and international significance. There are abundant rumors of Rothschild ownership or control or influence of these organizations to the extent that there would seem to be some kernel of truth there. Of course, with the Rothschild family (and the Rockefeller family as well), we've been led to believe that their 19th century and early 20th century wealth has dwindled away and while they are wealthy, they are certainly not the powerhouses like Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, et al. Of course, the possibility of tracking the wealth of the Rothschilds and Rockefellers with their spiderwebbed trusts, foundations, holding companies, shell companies, etc. is a virtual impossibility without their expressed consent (a situation which is unlikely in the extreme), If you notice, they've disappeared from various lists like Forbes' of the wealthiest people in the world. To that I say, if you believe that their wealth has largely vanished, someone may have a bridge in Brooklyn they'd like to sell you.

I'm glad you agree with the gist of my statement about the freedom of the press withering. However, to refer to sinister secret shareholders censoring the work of the media is, if you'll forgive, an overly simplistic if not cartoonish, representation of the situation. If it were only that overt. We know the level of control is far more subtle and sophisticated than that. Even years ago, with old masters like Bernays and Goebbels, it was more sophisticated … and even clumsy modern American practitioners like James Carville and Karl Rove have it down to a high science.

I agree with you about the culpability of the public in this matter but to blame it entirely on the public, or even to blame a major portion of it on the public, is, to me, disingenuous. Who creates the programming? Is it the MSM or the public? Why the MSM, of course. The public wasn't clamoring for reality TV. But the MSM gave them that low brow fodder and then started paying attention to consumer reaction and sentiment, carefully tailoring and repackaging the product to the most plebeian of tastes.

The public is indeed an unstoppable force. But that force is similar to an unthinking herd of stampeding cattle. The question is, who starts the stampede and in which direction do they drive the cattle? It is our educational system (which is under many of the same influences as the media) and the MSM which create, shape, and mold the beliefs, opinions, wishes, desires, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions of the public. The oft used saying, “garbage in, garbage out” holds just as true with the intelligence, reasoning facility, and wisdom of the public. Regarding your scoop 1 on energy issues and scoop 2 on celebrity issues, it's the media that hypes the latter. The fans simply follow where they are led. Certainly, useful and enlightening intellectual material could be made interesting, appealing, and exciting with the right touch and the right skills. But it's virtually never done. Heaven forbid the MSM might cultivate an informed, enlightened, intelligent, questioning, reasoning, and wise public.

And in the rare instance of the media doing the latter such as NPR, the lean of the material is unfailing to the left. If the media is so focused on responding to the clicks, likes, etc., why is the right totally neglected with the exception of Fox. I'm not saying this in support of Fox. By and large, I eschew the MSM in its entirety. But the unfailing slant of the media to the left is most certainly pervasive.

In short, the public wants pablum because if they're starving and that's all they're fed, that's what they'll gorge themselves on. The fact that a large percentage of the public is not satisfied with pablum is clearly demonstrated by the large scale abandonment of the MSM for alternative media. This abandonment is especially true of the young who recognize how they've been deceived and have been led astray by the MSM and are looking elsewhere in their search for information and ultimately, the truth.

With regards to being a much maligned member of the MSM (the convention here rather than TMM), do you think that scorn is undeserved? How about your investment banker friend and wife? Do they think the scorn is undeserved? Or have they convinced themselves that, like Llyod Blankfein, they are “doing God's work” or like my nephew and his former investment banker girl friend, that they are serving the public interest by facilitating efficient distribution of capital? Or are they willing to abandon their careers based on principle alone? Would they really do pretty much anything head off the coming crisis? Because if they really mean that, they wouldn't continue doing what they are doing.

When you say the people have made a choice, it reminds me of the choice that is made for the Chairperson of the Federal Reserve Bank. If I'm not mistaken, the choice the POTUS makes is from a slate of candidates … provided by the Fed … so he really has no choice. It's like the German people in the early 1930s being offered a choice of Herr Hitler, Herr Himmler, Herr Goerring, Herr Goebbels, or Herr Borman. Heads they don't win, tails they lose.

I hope to hear more of your thoughts and perspective as a MSM insider. Once again, welcome to the site.

 

ao's picture
ao
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LogansRun wrote: I can
LogansRun wrote:

I can appreciate that this is what you understand to be the true situation at AP/Reuters.  But do you or anyone else really believe, that just because you work at an institution, you have the true story behind the agenda, or ownership?

you haven't been able to get out of the "frequency" (This is how the above Chairman explained it to me) to see the truth.  

Exactly!  In my own field, the vast majority of those within the health care field seem to be the most blind to its failings.  The exceptions are rare.

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ao
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fionnbharr, Excellent

fionnbharr,

Excellent thoughts. 

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Mackay
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Posts: 17
Hello all, And thanks for the

Hello all,

And thanks for the many welcomes! Even with ocassional differences in opinion, we're clearly on the same side here.

It looks like I'll have to answer in batches though - quite a few questions.

 

gillbilly wrote:

I'm wondering what you're thoughts are on the internet as a source of news? Where the MSM seems to consolidate their news into two opposing viewpoints, leaving the reader to "decide," the internet is often awash in hackneyed opinions making it difficult to decide what is credibile.

You touch on one of the biggest problems with the way media works - the obsessive need to get two sides to the story. It forces us to give near equal time to a viewpoint that we know to be nonsense, if not outright lies. In other words, it forces us to give wide exposure to the self-interested, liars, etc, who may be simply making things up. On the other hand, the mainstream media is much more likely to get its facts straight than random internet opinions, with a system of fact checkers, etc. Neither system is satisfactory.

I guess the best (online) alternative we have so far are sites such as PP. The community is highly interested in a topic, and small enough that people get to know each other enough to judge credibility.

You also commented that "Your friends in the banking system who on the outside may look like the 1%, may acknowledge on the inside they feel like a "cog in the wheel" of a system in which they have no control."

You hit the nail on the head. The problem is that a system has been in place since before we became journalists, investment bankers, educators, etc. It can only be challenged bit by bit, as we enter the profession. To reject it totally is to not enter the profession at all. Or to leave it, as Chris Hedges did.

Mackay

 

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Mackay
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Hi Fionnbharr, I guess my

Hi Fionnbharr,

I guess my above comment about entering a pre-established system is summed up better in your Chomsky quote. Perhaps more concrete examples would be useful.

For about a year, I covered global energy. At the time, oil was at about $20. I got an anlyst report claiming that he could see it shooting up to $50 - or even more. He was such an outlier that he didn't get much coverage. For me to justify writing a story about that prediction, I would have had to prove the guy had the extraordinary evidence to back up his extraordinary claim.  The decision to give little space to that story was based on what the average reader would consider credible.

Now, imagine if he had said $147.50! At the time, he would have been labelled a kook and I would have been labelled gullible. Unless, of course, I doublechecked all his research myself, and then got another several experts to agree with him on the record.

1 - With internet-timed deadlines, there is never enough time to check all his work.

2 - If he's already an outlier, where am I going to find the other sources to back him up?

Just a few of the myriad limitations.

Another post above - sorry but I can't remember the name of the poster at the moment - spoke about journalism's susceptibility to PR, misinformation, etc. Of course, it's highly susceptible. Journalists work with limited word counts, tight deadlines, and the need, in general, to get people to go on the record in order to cite them in stories. Manipulators have no such "handicaps." It's probably the most disagreeable aspect of how journalism works.

Anyway, I still have quite a few replies to read.

Thanks,

Mackay

 

fionnbharr wrote:

When first thinking of how I wished to respond, I thought of a quote by Chomsky [On Power and Ideology]:

One of the most effective devices is to encourage debate, but within a system of unspoken presuppositions that incorporate the basic principle of doctrinal systems. These principles are therefore removed from inspection; they become the framework for thinkable thought, not objects of rationale consideration.

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Mackay
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Posts: 17
Nice to meet you ao, The

Nice to meet you ao,

The bigger members of The AP do have more say than others. I had mentioned the New York Times as one. And The AP does have a board. You're right in these observations. It's just not so black and white. If it were' media manipulation would be a lot easier to call out and counter.

As far as the major media covering the obscure inner workings of the Fed, the dangers of fiat currency, etc, you're more or less right about that too - it's a limitation of the form of media. It does happen (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732371700457815715246448659... is a recent example I can think of)  but that kind of story is generally relegated to "feature news."

It's pretty much impossible to cover issues such as those in a hard-hitting, headline-grabbing daily news story. So, on the rare ocassions that a writer is talented enough to make a story like that readable to a wide audience, it's relegated to the inside pages, or not used at all because it's too long, etc. I'm oversimplifying, but that's the gist of it. In general, nobody is going to tell a journalist not to write a story like that - it's just that few people would read it. It's a limitation of the form.

Now, if you mean a real scoop that proves massive collusion or manipulation and threatens the status quo, it's feasible a journalist could be pressured by people in power to not write something. And it may work. My question is - how would a journalist find out about it in the first place? It happens, but it's rare.

Or maybe you mean the kind of coverage that simply puts two and two together based on commonly available information. That, then, would fit in the editorial pages. It's not "news" that could make the front page, and certainly not TV.

I hope you understand that I'm not condoning any of the above limitations. Just giving examples of how what is often seen as "self-censorship" or worse, simply stems from a lack of understanding of how the mainstream daily media works. If I want to understand an issue deeply (like those discussed here) I read a book. Then I visit forums such as these. I am then better able to fill in for myself the reams of information that is necessarily missing from the daily news coverage. A story about, say, the future of Venezuelan oil output after the death of Chavez is probably not going to mention overly optimistic Saudi estimates, the rapid depletion that plagues fracking, etc. I'm responsible for learning that myself and completing the picture.

Ao - I'll need to shift to work for a bit, but will look more closely at your other points as soon as I can. Again, I think we agree on much, or most of your points. The media is doing a very poor job of informing the public and/or challenging the status quo, which has gone haywire. I'm just trying to point out the mechanics - and show why the media is never going to do a good job of it, except for in rare circumstances forced by rare individuals who happen to also have good timing. It's more about inability than unwillingness. The media as we know it does not need to be badgered or pestered. It needs to be replaced.

Cheers,

Mackay

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