Just a quick contribution to point out the weakness we have for having someone tell us what to believe and what not to believe... and from whom.
I will start with this recent example courtesy of ZDNet Government's own David Gewirtz, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer.
Foreign news outlets
cynically bash America's new emergency communications executive order
This article contains a message that will make many people smile... but they won't all be smiling for the same reason....
First let's not kid ourselves about the subject being criticized in the article... here are the examples the author cites as problematic - It all
revolves around a single news item, recently explored by many members:
President Obama issued an Executive Order, in which he assigned
Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions."
Our fellow ATS'ers have not dallied nor remained detached from the development:
(I may have missed some discussions, but you probably get the point)
Essentially, this particular executive order addresses the repeated national-level failures of communication command, control, and preparations for
large-scale emergencies such as the infamous terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and the equally damaging tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. Any
nation must have a true plan and reasonable efficiency to maintain and make use of communication capabilities throughout the agencies and services
which ostensibly exist to serve during such hard times. It stands under scrutiny because this order appears to engender better results from the same
entities that repeatedly failed before; not by increasing accountability, but instead by increasing some levels of authority and power to the agencies
Our author has defined some foreign journalist's opinions expressed as "cynical bashing" and starts with a small diatribe about RT.com...
On the other hand, depending on where you read the news, you might get a completely different perspective. For example, take RT.com. RT stands for
Russia Today -- so you know their [sic] perspective. If you read RT's article, you'd read "Obama gives himself control of all communication
systems in America."
The esteemed Mr. Gewirtz professes he can assure us that...
I've represented America's strategic perspective as a guest on Russia Today's TV show .... and I can tell you that it's an enormous,
well-funded propaganda machine.
I'll be returning to this point...
Gerwitz also cites another case of "cynical bashing" from Canada's Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) as their article on the subject is
entitled "Obama Seizes Control of All Communications Systems With Executive Order".
For some reasons, Canadians seem terribly upset with this particular executive order. The Canada Free Press screams, "Obama’s obsession with
In contrast he praises as "sane" the 2-paragraph reporting on the topic by the Washington insider favorite "National Journal" ("Obama Outlines
Emergency Communications Authority")... but never mentions that the author is a former employee of the Senate Press Office. When the National
Journal was re-launched in October 2010 it featured a full page photo of President Obama along with the headline "I've got a lot of work to do."
Gerwitz also liked the article written in FeirceMarket's sub-forum FierceGovernmentIT ("Obama establishes new emergency comms effort") ...
never-mind that this is no news source - but a marketing tool to serve government employees in the tech industry. In short, they are talking to their
customers, about their boss.
All of these examples are offered by the author to demonstrate that "propaganda" should be looked for because, in his words...
Like I said, news on the Internet is a funny thing. Whenever you can, explore beyond the 140-character Twitter headline and go to the source.
Otherwise, like many misinformed Twitter tweeters this week who retweeted RT's headlines, you may find yourself repeating Russian propaganda while
thinking you're being a good American.
NOW... many would think he is full of wisdom and common sense. So be it. I disagree... why?
BECAUSE he forgot to mention the ownership of his own "news" organization such as the Columbia Broadcasting Company, the Hearst dynasty of news
media, and their own litany of transgressions against "sane" reporting. He fails to note in his ironic phrasing "Foreign news outlets cynically
bash America's ...." when if fact it was Obama whom they were criticizing not "America." And even the "sane" reporting examples he includes
identifies the order not as American - but as Obama's.
I'm sure we needn't discuss the Hearst empires early 1900's consolidation of coast to coast newspapers and what role they played in the "Jekyll
Island" plan to help centralized banking to usurp American citizens' interest in favor of the robber barons. And speaking of "enormous,
well-funded propaganda machines"
... how about CBS remaining a key propaganda deliverer for numerous agencies.. with our own government not
being the least of them. Does he not remember the PCB fiasco of the 70's the General Dynamic war machine advertising strategy, or so may other
situations where the Military Industrial Complex bedded the "Big Four" broadcasting companies to ensure America never learned of their profiteering
in Vietnam, and then Iraq? Or how about mentioning that "news" is entertainment in his American 'information' industry where truth and fact are
I recognize the wisdom of "do your own research" when it comes to the internet... but this guy completely jumped the tracks by confronting what he
declares as propaganda - with propaganda of his own.