Corporate Media, State Interests

The media’s complicity in suppressing information governments deem unworthy of our attention is not exactly newsworthy any more. In the age of Chelsea Manning, Wikileaks, and Edward Snowden it is no longer surprising to discover that state interests are considered sacred by most journalists and pundits in the corporate media. This was expressed most clearly by Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, in a review of Times‘ dealings with Julian Assange. Pontificating on the role of the media, Keller declared that the newspaper of record was “invested in the struggle against murderous extremism” and had ” no doubts about where our sympathies lie in this clash of values.” This was a wholesale adoption of the government’s position in the War on Terror and a complete abdication of the supposed responsibilities of the press.

A new report in The Miami Herald is simply another example in this long history of collusion between the state and corporate media–the consequences of which, as this report details, can be deadly. The failed military invasion of Cuba by a CIA-sponsored paramilitary organization in 1961 was “a decisive point-of-no-return for the Castro regime” which “substantiated the Government’s warnings against imperialist aggression from the United States,” according to a dispatch from the Canadian embassy in Havana.  There were casualties on both sides and the invasion itself strengthened the Castro regime. According to a memorandum from Kennedy aide Richard Goodwin, months later Che Guevara would thank Goodwin for the Bay of Pigs–as the invasion came to be known–calling it “a great political victory.” For the United States, it was a strategic disaster by all accounts.

Continue reading “Corporate Media, State Interests”

New York Times and Pakistan’s Double Game

New York Times editorials are usually a reliable guide to ruling class opinion in the United States. They don’t always echo government pronouncements and there is often disagreement with official government policies. They eagerly suggest alternatives to pursue while pointing out the ramifications current policies may have. Propaganda is of course at its most effective when it is subtle and seems iconoclastic. Such is the nature of New York Times editorials: even as they disagree with official government policies they demarcate the boundaries of what is acceptable and what isn’t.

A recent editorial in the newspaper of record concerns US aid to Pakistan. ” Since 9/11,” it reads, “the United States has provided Pakistan with billions of dollars, mostly in military aid, to help fight extremists.” The editorial board, however, has “doubts about the investment,” which they explain as follows: “Doubts about the aid center on Pakistan’s army, which has long played a double game, accepting America’s money while enabling some militant groups, including members of the Afghan Taliban who have been battling American and Afghan troops in Afghanistan.”

Continue reading “New York Times and Pakistan’s Double Game”