Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Most people get their news from the mainstream media. These are the newspapers, radio networks, and television networks owned by large corporations. In the last few decades, the concentration of media has increased dramatically, so that programming is produced in a large center, such as New York, and is then fed out to the member stations. A certain amount of local news is still collected locally. However, national and international issues come from one source.
While there may be slight differences in the way the major media cover stories, by and large they are promoting the point of view of those who own them. These are wealthy people with connections with other wealthy people who own the large corporations that dominate the modern economic landscape. They are also tightly connected with the two major political parties in the US. In fact, they represent a very small stratum of the public: those who have stakes of ownership.
The news they report is coloured by their interests, and their interests are not the interests of the vast majority of their readers. And one of their principle interests is to keep the majority of their readers or viewers in ignorance over the true facts of US policy and the consequences of this policy on people overseas. There is minimal news reporting that deals with international affairs, and that reporting which is done is heavily biased from a simplistic "us and them" perspective. "Us" being the US and its allies, although the allies don't really count for much, and "them" is everyone else. "Them" used to be portrayed as in the sphere of influence of the Russians. Nowadays the French seem to be portrayed as the Bad Guys. Along, of course, with the entire Arab and Moslem world.
The mainstream news sites accept as a given the proclamations that come from the White House. In the period prior to the invasion of Iraq, the assertion's of the Bush Administration that Saddam was an immediate threat to the US, that he had stockpiled WMD that could be unleashed upon the US, was accepted without question by the mainstream news.