I. This is a war.
In late April, responding to US allegations against the television channel "RT", international journalist P. Escobar suggested that John Kerry discuss propaganda with him on major international TV channels. According to him, notes "RT", just the American media and suffer one-sided coverage of events. Moreover, the alternative point of view scares them. As a result, other views, expounded on the air of "RT", are considered by politicians like Kerry to be propaganda.
Comrade Escobar said: “This is actually an information war. The United States is frightened, because now the events in the world cover not only CNN, as it was during the war in Bosnia or during the first war in Iraq. Now there are "RT", "Al Jazeera", "France24", "Deutsche Welle", "CCTV". One day, a Brazilian TV channel will appear, broadcasting for the whole world, and not just Portuguese. Americans are afraid of Iranian Press TV, which also broadcasts in English - so it was banned everywhere. If you, like RT, have an alternative opinion, you will be banned. They won't even talk to you because they are afraid. ”
The main international TV channels, as noted by Escobar, operate according to a previously prepared scenario: “When you work around the world, you see how the media work all over the world. I see how BBC, CNN and Fox News work, for example, in theaters of war or during interviews with prime ministers. Everything is prepared in advance, everything goes according to their own scenario. And if you work on an alternative scenario, as does "RT", then you are immediately bad. They won't even talk to you. Why? They are scared! ”
According to the journalist, today the American propaganda media do not listen to the opinion of neither the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine, nor those who oppose the Kiev regime. Russian public opinion on the Crimean issue also does not bother them. The position of American propagandists is always one-sided, just like it was in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan ...
The topic of one-sidedness, because of which freedom of speech is seriously curtailed in the United States, was developed by the publicist Lawrence Davidson.
In a long article published on the portal consortiumnews.com 9 May (symbolic date), Lawrence Davidson, Professor stories at the University of West Chester in Pennsylvania, called American propaganda a systemic production. The general message of the article is as follows: propaganda is aimed at manipulating the minds of citizens through the use of prior censorship of objectionable materials.
Many Americans suggest, the author notes, that their government is telling the "truth" to its citizens and defending the constitutional right to "freedom of speech." On the other hand, alleged enemies of the United States are always located, who use the tools of propaganda and censor “truth”.
In practice, this is not entirely true, comrade Davidson notes. Washington and state governments can censor, as they say, to the fullest. Here is an example: a boycott of Israeli academic institutions (government research institutions that promote illegal settlement expansion and the use of Palestinian water resources) is censored. But what about freedom of speech? It is mostly ignored. Instead, we get a "knee jerk," writes the journalist. Almost every American politician insists on the need to close such a discussion, and it comes to the fact that state legislatures threaten their state colleges and universities with a halt to funding. The latter will happen if schools start talking about these boycotts.
American censorship has long been rampant against Iran. Scientists from this country, which is considered unfriendly to the United States, were also at one time rationalized. Introducing sanctions against Iran in the 1980 year, the United States included in the list of strict restrictions on the exchange of academic scientific data. Later, some congressmen made efforts to adopt an amendment allowing for “free trade in ideas,” but the US Treasury Department, which is responsible for controlling foreign assets, wiped out these efforts.
This administration violated the very spirit of the congressional amendments. Restrictions were lifted, but formerly the editors of magazines who risked publishing Iranian manuscripts could be fined and even deprived of their freedom. Several organizations, including the American Publishers Association, filed a lawsuit against the US government on this matter in 2003. In 2004, this issue was settled out of court, the rights to use standard procedures for using hand-written materials received from Iran were returned to the publishers.
It is curious, however, that for some reason the US Department of the Treasury Department was not able to “officially publicize this change in the rules.” As a result, many journal editors are not even aware that the regulation has been revised. Many still "do not take risks" and simply return Iranian materials with the note "refused because of sanctions."
And it already came to this: today, the Internet service provider Yahoo, used by 63% of Iranians for correspondence, decided that from now on he would not allow the Iranians to create email accounts.
As a result, the termination of access to Yahoo will force many Iranians to register addresses on mail servers provided by the Iranian government - which, of course, will immediately include censorship of connections. Thus, the journalist notes, Yahoo becomes an accomplice in global censorship.
Iii. Propaganda as part of the system
But the crudest censorship that has already become a part of general culture is probably the formation of a narrow range of opinions covered in the overwhelming majority of American media. Differences in storylines and differences of opinion in "the news"Popular channels" ABC "," CBS "," NBC "and" CNN "or major newspapers and magazines are simply paltry. The author generally calls the news and opinions on Fox TV bordering on lies. The narrow range of opinions offered by the official media creates a "uniform background noise" behind which alternative broadcasting cannot be heard.
In other words, Davidson sums up, such a practice adopted in the media creates de facto censorship.
Moreover, the production of propaganda is debugged to the point that the editors of the news departments and reporters themselves, and after them and most of the society, do not realize that all together infringe the constitutional right to freedom of speech in the press.
However, Davidson found one exception to the rule. It turns out that Americans can watch a popular show with John Stewart on Comedy Central. This national show is entirely devoted to criticism of the US government and its policies. True, all this is done only in the form of funny satire.
In the US government, the prevailing view is that the media should guarantee a special approach to business, thanks to which the public will receive news in an “acceptable form”.
Further, Davidson talks about “revelations” that appeared in a recent report by the human rights organization Amnesty International. This is a trial of the so-called “Cuban Five” (five Cuban Florida residents were arrested as Cuban spies).
According to the official report of Amnesty, during the hearings, it turned out that the United States government paid journalists hostile to Cuba to cover the process in the local media, providing a negative attitude towards the accused and confirming their guilt.
With such an approach, the author continues, the “free press” has become a machine for government propaganda, which, in turn, “generally devalued the right to freedom of speech”.
Davidson recalls that at the end of last year, the Committee to Protect Journalists published a report in which President Barack Obama, who had a reputation as a liberal in the US political spectrum, was accused of putting pressure on journalists.
How did Obama put pressure on representatives of the free American press? It turns out that he "attacked the publications, arranged observation, created an atmosphere of fear and perpetrated criminal prosecution." According to the report, the B. H. Obama government filed twice as many lawsuits for allegedly leaking sensitive information ... twice as many as who? Than all previous administrations combined!
As a result of such a stormy censorship activity, the global index of media freedom, which the conservative organization Freedom House annually forms, has dropped in the United States. Freedom House claims that in the US 2014, both press freedom and citizens' rights are suppressed. Activists believe that the government is trying to suppress freedoms, guided by "national security issues."
However, at the same time, notes the journalist, Mr. Obama criticizes in his speeches those foreign governments that restrict press freedom and freedom of speech.
But here is one important detail: the overwhelming majority of Americans listen to their president, who whips foreign governments, without a sense of dissonance. This majority, after all, does not know that it is a victim of propaganda and manipulation of consciousness.
How so? It turns out that a cultural stereotype has already formed: the belief that the United States is the basis of freedom and truth. And American citizens are not trying to test what propagandists, acting through the media, offer them.
According to Comrade Davidson, there is nothing unique in this “self-censorship” of Americans. All states and all cultures to one degree or another practice this kind of manipulation of consciousness in the information environment. As a result, we have a distortion of reality.
But the question is: can we say that the United States is “a great defender of our own constitutional freedoms”? Davidson answers the question. Yes, we can, but only when such protection "complies with the objectives of the policy." When this does not happen, "hypocrisy prevails."
The system in which propaganda thrives, works quite successfully, since almost all people, with a few exceptions, have long been accustomed to ignoring one-sidedness in the press. Mass manipulation of consciousness helps to keep society united and at the same time creates conditions where hatred is easily cultivated and a huge number of people are ready to imagine enemy machine guns ...
Iv. Fighters for ideals
14 May on resource "Echo of the Caucasus" (the creative unit of Radio Liberty, which broadcasts in Russian on the Internet), a note appeared entitled “Russian propaganda does not fit with the truth - the US Under-Secretary of State”.
The text cites the words of US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Richard Shtengel, who gave an interview to the Ukrainian editorial board of Radio Liberty. This man said that "in matters of life and death, in matters of freedom and in matters of people choosing their future, it is difficult to be diplomatic."
According to Richard Shtengel, the American leaders - from the president to the state secretary - feel a commitment to these ideals, therefore, they “abandoned the diplomatic language with the support of the people of Ukraine, who choose their future.”
Mr. Shtengel believes that Russian propaganda in many cases is not burdened with the truth. But the United States is true: “It is always difficult for us to resist this, because we believe that we must adhere to the truth, we must remain true to truth and reality. In the end, I think that loyalty to the truth will prevail, but so far things are going hard. ”
Here one of two things, add from myself. Either Richard Shtengel comes from the cultural layer of Americans, which is successfully influenced by experienced propagandists from the above-mentioned sources of the “free press”, or is (by service) just the censor who intelligibly explains to the media what and what kind of “truth” must "triumph".
* * *
In conclusion, I must say a few words about the site consortiumnews.com, whose materials, of course, deserve attention.
That's what пишет about the site’s activities, its editor Robert Perry: "Consortiumnews.com continues its important work - it challenges the propaganda that is often in the news in the US media."
The materials published on the pages of this electronic edition often run counter to the official position of the White House and are distinguished by objectivity.
Observed and translated by Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru