Friday, June 18, 2010
Suppression by Omission
Attack and Destroy the Target
Slighting of Content
1. Suppression by Omission
we hear about political repression perpetrated by officially designated “rogue” governments, but information about the brutal murder and torture practiced by U.S.-sponsored surrogate forces in the Third World, and the U.S. national security state are denied public airing
In 1965 the Indonesian military overthrew President Achmed Sukarno. it took three months before Time magazine, and another month before the New York Times (April 5, 1966 and then, that praised the Indonesian military, “rightly playing its part with utmost caution.”
Forty years, the CIA involved with drug traffickers in Italy, France, Corsica, Indochina, Afghanistan, and Central and South America. Investigation by Senator Church, Congressman Pike, Senator Kerry, But the corporate capitalist media seem not to have heard about it.
Alfred McCoy, The Politics of Heroin In Southeast Asia
and its sequel, a compass
Douglas Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 1930-1968.
The Strength of the Pack: The Personalities, Politics and Espionage Intrigues That Shaped the DEA, Douglas Valentine
Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press, Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair
2. Attack and Destroy the Target
When a story reaches a larger publics, the press moves from avoidance to frontal assault. In August 1996, the San Jose Mercury News printed a series about CIA-contra crack flooding East Los Angeles. The first story to flash on the Internet. There was a barrage of hit pieces from the Washington Post, New York Times, network television, PBS. The major media exonerated the CIA.
Prefigure our perception with a positive or negative label, “stability,” “a strong defense,” The label defines the subject. Common negative labels are: ... Labels we will never be exposed to are... A new favorite is “reforms,” or a policy dedicated to undoing the reforms. “Reforms” in Eastern Europe... “Free market” is a pet label
Another favorite is “hardline.” Labels like "hardline" are never subjected to precise definition.
“stability,” “the president’s firm leadership,” “a strong defense,” “a healthy economy.” “leftist guerrillas,” “Islamic terrorists,” “conspiracy theories,” “inner-city gangs,” “civil disturbances.” “class power,” “class struggle,” and “U.S. imperialism.” “reforms,” “welfare reform.” “Free market” “hardline.”
4. Preemptive Assumption
Proposes an increase in military spending, press discussion is limited to how much more spending is needed. It is assumed that U.S. forces must be deployed around the world. Social Security “reform,” a euphemism for the privatization. The media assumes the position that SS is in danger of insolvency.
5. Face-Value Transmission
Many labels are fabricated by US officialdom, governmental and corporate. They talk about “our global leadership,”... they mean is “All Power to the Transnationals.” The media accept these official views. The reporters respond that they cannot inject
personal views. Their conventional ideological perceptions usually coincide with
bosses. This uniformity of bias is perceived as “objectivity.” The alternative is to question the assertions. This is not an ideological, but rather an empirical and investigative one
6. Slighting of Content
The political campaign is reduced to a horse race: actual issues are accorded scant attention. Accounts of major strikes, heavily on process, Missing is substance. pundits talk about the “larger picture.” Instead give us the smaller picture. In demonstrations against NAFTA and GATT as contests between protestors and police. vote in Florida during the 2000, problems relating to questionable counts “dimples” and “chads.” hardly a word about suppression and disfranchised, it does not challenge the legitimacy of the electoral process and the authorities.
7. False Balancing
Both sides are seldom accorded equal prominence. NPR, supposedly the most liberal, a right-wing spokespeople is frequently interviewed alone, liberals are offset by conservatives. Both sides are not usually all sides. Left-progressive and radical portion is amputated. BBC World Service report (December 11, 1997). violence between Indonesian forces and Timorese guerrillas”. Makes genocidal invasion sound like a grudge fight, “killings on both sides.” gives a neutralizing gloss. Guatemala and El Salvador, 1980s, false balancing, those who burned villages and those having their villages burned are depicted as equally involved. the appearance of being objective, neutralizes the subject and warps it
8. Follow-up Avoidance
When confronted with dissident response, quickly change the subject, break for a commercial, inject an identifying announcement: “We are talking with [whomever]. avoid the politically forbidden even if need a follow-up query. “Christmas in Cuba: For the first time, then linked up correspondent who said, very much like last year. a statement that craved clarification, but quickly switched question. On PBS talk show, Charlie Rose whether Castro was bitter, guest replied, he is proud, health care
education, full employment. ferocious glare and Rose ignored him the rest of the program
most effective is framing, bending the truth to create a desired impression without resorting to explicit advocacy and without departing from the appearance of objectivity. packaged. Newscasters use themselves, smooth delivery, convey detachment, affect a knowing tone to foster credibility, aura of certitude. “Authoritative ignorance,” like “How will this situation end? Only time will tell.” Or, “No one can say for sure.” Trite truisms as penetrating truths. things are reported, few are explained. Little about how the social order is organized or to what purposes. It is a scatter of events propelled by happenstance, circumstance, confused intentions, bungled operations, and individual ambition — rarely by powerful class interests. Passive voice and impersonal subject for this mode of evasion “fighting broke out, Recessions just happen, “globalization,” is an inevitable development. the liberal paradigm. never asks why things happen. Social problems are rarely associated with the forces that create them. So we truncate our own critical thinking. Suppose instead of just deploring this fact we also ask why