Friday, January 28, 2005

The Day the Media Died

If any of you watched Nightline last night, or any of several nights of late, you must surely realize by now that what you see is propaganda, not discussion. Last night their errors were particularly egregious. Nightline purported to present a "discussion" on the war in Iraq, giving the appearance of presenting "both" sides because there were two people on one side of him saying we were right to have gone in and two people on the other side who said we went under false pretenses (to find Weapons of Mass Destruction). And the audience members were allowed to speak as well. So what was wrong with this picture? The balance of questions and answers came only from the pro-war side. Very little time was given to the we-were-so-wrong side.

This writeup, posted on Daily Kos, describes some of what we, the TV audience, could not see. It's from a participant in the Town Hall event.

I have to tell you, from personal experience, you cannot really grock the true dishonesty of the media until you experience it firsthand. I've been at events that I've later seen grossly misrepresented in the press. I've researched subjects that have then received astonishingly dishonest treatments in the media. I've been interviewed, only to have words quoted back and attributed to me that I didn't actually say. So I have no trouble believing the report linked above.

When I started watching Nightline, my ever hopeful heart leapt at the notion that maybe the arguments for how wrong we were would finally get an honest hearing. Before several commercial breaks, Ted Koppel said that after the break, we'd hear from Joe Wilson, the man who originally broke the plan and reported that hey, there are no WMD in Iraq. But each time, after the break, save the last time, the pro-war team would get the microphone. I realized I was watching a staged propaganda event, designed to look like a 'fair and balanced' report but with the right plants in the audience given the bulk of the time. Please take a moment to read the account at this link. It's important to know what the producers decided we should not see or hear.


Blogger Jim French said...

Another fine article from you and this one touching on how our history will be written by the way it is being spoken (not our Real History, the other history, you know, that one) So...would you please take a peek in and let us know how our "Post 911" history is currently being taught? Do you have the means/interest to look into how 911/Iraq/War on Terror is being in the school systems today? Public schools, private, charter, home school curriculums? What are they telling the children?
Just wondering in North Carolina.

5:55 AM  
Blogger George said...

I found the book Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky prepared me many years ago to watch for the "news" media's complicity in misrepresenting current events.

7:43 AM  

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