Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why is the "Liberal" Media Afraid to Tell the Truth About Right-wing Domestic Terrorism?

Once more, I would like to thank the folks who have donated to WARN's fundraising drive

I want to acknowledge the kind donations that have been offered up so far. I appreciate them very much. We are about 90% of where I would like us to be for the fundraiser. If you can and are able, please do throw some pennies into the donation pile if you like and support my work here on WARN and elsewhere. The sooner we can close that gap (which is about 200 or so dollars), the faster I can pull the begging bowl back in. 
I just completed my interview with Mike Papantonio and Ring of Fire Radio. We talked about the Right-wing media's and elected officials' connections to the white supremacist Las Vegas shootings and other acts of domestic terrorism.

In "connecting the dots", I tried to be very forceful and direct about my utter dismay at how the Right-wing media can gin up and stoke the fires of political violence, and then in the next breath claim that they are not somehow responsible for the events they directly encouraged.

I also pushed the limits of the approved discourse in a second way: I observed that the supposed "liberal" or "mainstream" media are not holding the Republican Tea Party GOP echo chamber responsible for the spate of Right-wing domestic terrorism which has become a fixture in the Age of Obama.

[Plus, I got to mention the anime Attack on Titan in connection with Eric Cantor's loss and the Tea Party monster. Bonus points to me.]

The brilliant Noam Chomsky exposed that the "liberal media" is a myth with the following simple and incisive logic. The Right-wing wing media assert the opposite, i.e. that the media is "liberal" in order to give them cover for their dishonest presentation of the facts. The question which should be asked is, "what is the political orientation of the 'news' media?" Once we systematically gather evidence, only then can the political bent of the news media be properly determined. The evidence is overwhelming: there is no "liberal" media; there is only a corporate mainstream media. The myth of the liberal media is a distraction and canard which does the work of advancing the Right-wing corporatist agenda.

The recent Las Vegas murder spree by two white supremacist, Tea Party supporting, Neo Nazi, Cliven Bundy acolytes should be easy picking and ripe fruit for the supposed "liberal" media.

This event is the equivalent of the Whore of Babylon servicing a group of World War 2 era marines who have been stuck on some hellish island archipelago without the company of women for three months. Instead, the Right-wing media's direct connection to domestic terrorism is treated with kid gloves, talked around, delicately negotiated, and treated as a near-forbidden topic. It can be alluded to but never directly spoken of. We are allowed a peak at her slip or the strap of a bra; there is never a full reveal beyond the tease.

The Las Vegas murder spree, the Tides foundation shooter, the Tiller Case, the attack on the Atlanta courthouse, Cliven Bundy and many other events of violence, near-violence, or seemingly imminent violence, are directly attributable to the hate speech and seditious language which is circulated by the Right-wing media machine. Yet, the Right-wing media is allowed to hide behind the shield of "free speech".

Free speech does not mean that one is free of responsibility for their speech acts. The supposed "liberal media" is enabling the Right-wing media propaganda machine's denial of culpability.

I offer the following counter-factual. What if there was a TV network (along with affiliated radio shows, online media, etc.) that routinely encouraged "jihad" or "holy war" by politicized and militant Muslim Americans? Moreover, what if there were elected officials who parroted those talking points and calls for "revolution" and violence against the United States government?

The hosts on these shows repeatedly tell their viewers that the U.S. government is tyrannical, illegitimate, and that they should take up arms in an act of patriotism against it. Violence results. In such a scenario there would be no question that those Muslim "terrorists" were responsible for the violence acts of their viewers and supplicants. The catch-all defense of "free speech" would not apply. The elected officials who called those "terrorists" "patriots" would be impeached and run out of the public square after a series of trials and hearings.

Why is the "liberal media" carrying water for the Right-wing echo chamber and running interference for the latter's direct connection to domestic terrorism? What is the "liberal media" afraid of?


Craig said...

The "liberal media" media fears being a target. Terrorists in other countries always attack media personalities that criticizes them.
I mean attack with physical violence. The liberal media are people too, they can see the dangers brewing. True journalism takes real courage that goes beyond having a career.

D. Wright said...

The Far Right is Ascendant, but I don't understand how the violence of the Far Right serves corporate interests. Deregulation and privatization, sure, but I think this reluctance of corporate media to call these events of mass violence terrorist has more to do with White Privilege/Supremacy than monied interests.

KissedByTheSun said...

I agree with the sentiment here. Fear of reprisals keeps many silent on the "left". But, to call out racism/white supremacy in the right wing is to implicate themselves also. The "liberal media" is just as guilty as the right for perpetuating the myth that we are a post racial color blind society. To admit that we are not is to admit that they too have benefited and continue to benefit from the oppression of people of color. Even so called "liberal" Hollywood is just as guilty of normalizing white supremacy. Like the director of Noah explaining that having people of color in his movie would mean they're only there because of their race. So instead of having every ethnicity angry at him for not representing their people he made sure every single person was white. Because as we all know whiteness represents everyone, whereas everyone else can only represent their own people. It's difficult to expose a thief whose hand is in a mans right pocket when your hand is in his left. Naturally the man will check all his pockets at the alarm.

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chauncey devega said...

Follow the money. The corporatists want stability. They also want profit. The msm is in the business of communicating and making seem normal what is really the elite agenda. The public has been cooptated.

chauncey devega said...

Not sure on that one. Who is this liberal media? Examples?

chauncey devega said...

"It's difficult to expose a thief whose hand is in a mans right pocket when your hand is in his left. Naturally the man will check all his pockets at the alarm."

Great analysis.

D. Wright said...

"Like the director of Noah explaining that having people of color in his movie would mean they're only there because of their race."

I guess us Colored folks aren't creations of God in the moderate White church. Where oh where did we come from?

D. Wright said...

How does apologizing terrorism foster stability? It seems counter intuitive.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

I still perceive fundamentalist Islamic groups/militias/terrorist organizations to be a conservative movement. They want to "preserve" whatever core values and cultural characteristics they have decided are important based on a simplistic interpretation and application of history.

It shouldn't be too difficult to paint a portrait of Islamic terrorism as a right wing movement. Why, then, is it so difficult to make the same connection to our own country? The Christian doctrine, militia movement, demanding the government work solely toward their ends, the language associated with their opposition is extreme, the historical myopia.

joe manning said...

They don't call em the Republican Taliban for nothin.

joe manning said...

Meaning they want to normalize domestic terrorism. I think that the extent to which the elite is mobilizing a large right wing movement is a measure of their desperation in the face of unprecedented looming crises.

joe manning said...

FOX, CNN, and MSN are connected at the hip. They cooperate in dividing up the audience pool between them. The one is dependent on the other for ratings. There is a "floater audience" that watch all three networks consisting of independents, news junkies, and uninformed folks who don't know the difference between Ed Schultze and Rush. The three networks are careful not to offend said "floater audience." All three networks routinely lie to the public. They have to tell the truth about obvious things in order to maintain some credibility so folks will believe their lies. The vast majority of the public doesn't trust the news media because their lies are so transparent.

Justin M. White said...

Do mass shootings, committed overwhelmingly by white men, spurred on by entitlement, economic
decline of the white middle/working class, and gun culture, also take
the place of past violence? I was watching a discussion go on in my
Facebook feed between people I don't really know (race, of course,
didn't come up), when one person said these things didn't happen decades
ago. I usually ignore that kind of presentism, but it got me thinking:
are mass shootings just another manifestation of violence that used to
be unleashed against people of color, and hence make it easier for
people to ignore this connection (because that was a race thing back then, but not now, in the post-racial mind)?

Is there any scholarship that links the two that anyone could recommend?

Craig said...

Sorry I didnt put a lot of thought into that last comment of mine- I wrote it with a sudden surge of emotion. Reading other peoples comments gave me a more sensible perpective.
It hit me this morning that I actually worked for the corporate media as an advertisement designer. When we chose stock photos involving people, we usually tried to portray a normal, multi-racial point of view. I guess some of these images can be seen by the extreme right as promoting a liberal agenda, but we did it automatically as part of mainstream sensibilities. But let's say if a political group had approached us to create an ad campaign that related, popular right wing opinion makers, with violent extremism, we most likely would have refused the job simply because we would not have wanted to be a part of the controversy- the fear being we would lose our regular clients and that means losing our paychecks or our jobs. Anyone who would have liked to get involved in such a campaign would have had to do it alone on their spare time. Which makes me wonder: Is the true liberal media a loose network of loners? And as loners we feel more vulnerable.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

Once you have secure control of the playing field, then an authoritarian militarist system cannot actively be questioned.

I think the MSM wants to reconcile with America's other half, they don't want to alienate white America. Reminds me of the Compromise of 1877.

joe manning said...

The elite need an ever growing right wing to maintain a fragile political equilibrium since the economy is continuing to unravel.

joe manning said...

Their ratings are so low that they dare not alienate the alienate the few righties there are in their audience.

kscoyote said...

This one wasn't even covered.

chauncey devega said...

I worked in PR and advertising too for a quick second. Molding the public consciousness is part of the job. Have you seen Century of Self? If not, do watch it.

When folks in PR and advertising are not working corporate clients they are hired out top dollar to political campaigns. Is there really any difference?

R. Chan said...

Just heard you being interviewed on Ring of Fire... I almost did a 'spit take' when you mentioned "Atack on Titans". I never would imagined hearing that brought up as an analogy on a political news show.