How and why the main stream media have us all atwitter over Iran

by jasondylan@wordpress.com

We hear lots of cheer leading about how Twitter or Utube is the new savior of democracy here and abroad and I think we should take a closer look.  One has to be cautious of course before jumping on any bandwagon. One should have a thorough look see into said bandwagon. Take it from Borat,”There may gypsy lurking in shadow and will cast spell! I love America! Go US n A! Yak cie masz!”

I think we need to be very skeptical when the MSM (main stream media) is hyping something. They have a sad and long history of kowtowing to corporate interests. One example of this is that none of the top progressive reporters or academics are allowed to participate in the debate. Noam Chomsky has documented this thoroughly, and although he is one of the leading scholars on the geopolitical scene,  he never gets invited on a major news channel. The  views expressed on the MSM are very narrow. The type of questions asked are jingoistic and the jargon is just the lingo in between the jingles.

This is more in line with what you would expect from a public relations firm than from a free and investigative press. Whether you are watching CNN or MSNBC it matters very little. From analyzing the situation you could surmise that Fox News is allowed to exist just to make the others look good.  “Sure, things are tough all over but now that Bush is gone and Obama is in, things are headed in the right direction.”  So goes the narrative on cable news.

But for the average American it is a different story. We want and need to see real change.We want a media that is not just all pablum and pagaentry but is a real watchdog and critic of the domestic and foreign scene. A changing of the guard is great but the majority of the population is not happy with what is going on. But the cheer leaders in the media seem to not care very much and are either infighting all the time or seeming to be playing to the lowest common denominator.

It is like going to a car dealership and wanting an economical and reliable vehicle for your family only to be told that the only thing available is a sports coup.  You have the choice of  getting it in red or black, but it is neither what we want or need. We break down and buy it and maybe it gives us a thrill now and then, but this is definitely not what you need and really not what you wanted. You might have some fun with it but at the end of the day you would much rather have something more practical and useful. But it is sexy!

Let’s take the current Iran crisis for example.  The MSM holds to their dominant narrative which is, “The Iranians are rising up because of a fixed election and if we the USAns twitter enough about it, then we can help Iran achieve more independence somehow by putting pressure on so and so to be more open and free and then the Iranians will get to enjoy all of our great freedoms like eating at the fast food restaurant of their choice, or choosing from the 100’s of channels of unlimited quality entertainment that is only a click away!”  Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Pass me the Extra Cheesy Doritos please!

I will now point to a few of the more subtle ways that the MSM goes about their daily “business'”, and it is business, and try to explain some of the reasons that the media might have for these dastardly deeds.

For example, I  recently overheard someone from the CIA talk about the lack of intelligence in Iran and how this was because it is such a closed off police state and people don’t have the right to protest, they crack down on dissenters and so on. This was on NPR (National Public Radio) by the way, supposedly an independent and left-leaning liberal station, but in reality you will not hear one story, one point of view that truly questions the authority of USAn hegenomy or what in the old days was referred to as ‘Imperialism’.

This CIA intel fella also mentioned  how not being able to have people on the ground in Iran is also what happened in  Iraq. He stated that having bad intelligence was what led them to trust the word of these informants that ended up being unreliable,  but the facts are otherwise. These informants were discredited by many experts in the CIA before the report was written. Think Secretary of State Colin Powell at the United Nations with that vial of  “yellow cake” that was in reality a big hoax.

Even Mr. Powell has stated that he now feels he was used to push forward a false rationale for the Iraq War. Think “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and the outing of  Valerie Plame and the “smoking gun in a form of a mushroom cloud”, and you will have the gist of it. And to top it all off, the guy who put this piece of propaganda together is now working on a anti-populist campaign to help give Wall Street a face lift and counter the populist rage that is brewing  on main street. Yucky stuff.

You wont see someone like Noam Chomsky or even a less imposing figure such as Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! on NPR debunking these people, which they could do much more eloquently and forcefully than I can. Nor will they be on to talk  about the  irony of someone in the CIA mentioning the police state in Iran. I mean, if you replace live bullets with rubber bullets, tear gas and tasers, that is of course not a police state.  You probably wont get gunned down by the police if you protest here, but the police  in the states have a long and illustrious history of brutality that is well documented.

But you have to search for it on the net or take  political science courses at a liberal university to get this information. It is not available in the main stream media. It does not align with their corporate owners bottom line. It is not some crazy conspiracy to think that a business wants to make money and protect it’s shareholders interests. It is just a giant shame that our democracy is held hostage because of it and that people really suffer.

Then we have something like what happened recently on ‘The Daily Show’ with John Stewart. You have a young charismatic guy like Reza Aslan come on. He is obviously well versed on the situation in Iran. He is Iranian, he has written a book on the middle east and has great credentials. He talks a really good game. He seems passionate, he is playing to the audience but what does he really say? He says that there is all this infighting and it is one mullah versus the other and the outcome will probably not be good. But some very important points are being swept under the Persian rug.
He says it doesn’t matter now if the election was fixed or not. But it matters very much. If there was not a theft of the election then we are supporting a minority of the population in overthrowing the majority. This is imperialism. This is not cool. There was a very real and public psy-ops operation on the ground in Iran not so long ago, not to mention other not so public operations that were part of a US  program for destabilizing Iran. These were started by the Bush administration and these operations have been part of  our foreign policy, like forever. Now it is unclear whether Obama is continuing these operations, but if they are discontinued, why not say so.

These operations in Iran are talked about in the MSM. They are not secret and it is because of these operations and a long history that the US has in “meddling” in the affairs of Iran as Reza ironically put it, that it matters very much whether the Iran election was stolen or not. And there is real and verifiable information from reliable sources that seems to back up the case that maybe Achmadenijad did actually win in a fair democratic election.    For instance there was at least one poll taken right before the election by an independent firm showing that Ahmadinejad was leading by a wide margin. Ahmadinejad  campaigned for years and Mousavi jumped in quite late in the race. This doesn’t prove anything but at least it should be up for discussion.

So here is Reza on “The Daily Show” with this great platform, he could say stuff he can’t say on CNN or elsewhere. You can sneak stuff in here under the guise of comedy and get away with it.  Instead he plays the crowd like some young and flashier hipster version of NBC’s Brian Williams.

“Thank God for Obama” says Reza.” “You know, Barack Hussein Obama”, as he leans in and raises his eyebrows in mock disbelief,  as if we are all in on the fact that because Obama is a man of color with a Middle Eastern name he is of course going to bring real peace and stability to the region. You know, this is not “John Wayne McCain”, so of course he is not going to just do the corporate bidding and go on with business as usual. .  How you could come to these conclusions in the face of all of the recent disappointments in health care, finance and the environment  is beyond me but you know, he and Barack are like that.

What matters now, says Rezla, is that the protests are about a new Iran and that people want more freedoms. But nothing about how there is a possibility that this is being egged on at least a little by the west because the wolves of capitalism can smell the raw meat. Nothing about how Israel will feel better about having a kinder and gentler Iran that is more malleable to western interests.

And why are  we celebrating the Iranian situation and  neglecting what is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan? There are already attacks under way in villages and thousands and soon to be hundreds of thousands of people will be displaced. It is becoming a humanitarian crisis but nary a twitter. What is the difference? First and foremost the US government has a very large stake in a free and democratic Iran. I think we all know what that means. The Bulls and Bears fighting over control over the people’s resources, corporate and political control through the machinations of capitalism with not much concern over the rights or needs of the population. Kind of like what we have here.

And the real question that needs to be asked is, what is going to happen from all of this fanfare? Until we take control of our own government, until  “we the people” have at least as much power as corporations to influence the political process, then what ever the slogan du jour  is, be it “audacity of hope” or “utube and twitter are helping the Iranian people achieve democracy”, matters very little.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. tomdegan
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 13:43:22

    Nice site you have here, Dylan.

    Cheers!

    Tom Degan

    Reply

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