The December 5th, 2011 cover of Time Magazine represents a disturbing truth: the American corporate-controlled establishment media presents a picture of the world that is meant to placate and pacify the people of the United States in favor of presenting reality as it is.
While the covers of the European, Asian, and South Pacific editions have an image of chaos in the streets in Egypt with “Revolution Redux” in bold white letters in the center, the American edition is a cartoon with the headline “Why Anxiety is Good for You.”
Is this just a meaningless marketing tactic or does it exemplify the greater trend in how the American corporate media presents the world to the people of the United States?
I tend towards the latter, given the fact that this is something that is inescapable when consuming media marketed to people in the United States.
When I have the unfortunate pleasure of turning on the radio and listening to National Public Radio, I never cease to be amazed by the topics they choose to cover.
While much of the economies of the world are in shambles, uprisings both real and manufactured are occurring around the globe, brutal police crackdowns are taking place in the United States and the federal government is attempting to legalize indefinite military detention of civilians, even American citizens, without trial or charge, they opt for fluff stories with little-to-no meaning whatsoever.
This is the unfortunate nature of the “infotainment” industry that appeals to the lowest common denominator instead of attempting to inform and educate their audience.
The debatable aspect of this grim fact is if it is simply a result of sacrificing information and content in favor of ratings or if it is a calculated agenda to dumb down the American people.
I tend to fall into the camp of people who believe that this has been too pervasive and relentless to be the product of just doing whatever it takes to get ratings.
Take, for instance, the recent study that found that viewers of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News were actually less informed about current events than people who watched no news at all.
While this probably seems like a somewhat obvious conclusion to anyone who has sat down and watched Fox News, the fact that it was actually shown in a study is quite surprising.
Then again, when their own hosts don’t watch the entire clips they are covering and supposed legal experts claim that pepper spray is a food product while proving they are wholly ignorant of California legal precedent, one can’t expect much.
The poll was conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University and utilized 612 New Jersey natives. Fans of Fox News failed questions about Syria and Egypt, even when compared with people who said they didn’t watch the news.
The New York Daily News wrote, “Fox News fans flunked questions about Egypt and Syria when compared with people who don’t watch the news. Fox viewers were 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians toppled their government and 6 points less likely to be aware that Syrians have not yet overthrown theirs.”
That being said, I might point out that the Egyptians did not in fact “topple their government” instead they ousted Mubarak and replaced him with an arguably even more brutal military junta.
Dan Cassino, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the poll said that since they controlled for partisanship, this was not a question of Republicans or other groups being more prone to watch Fox News.
The results actually found, “there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions that those (sic) who don’t watch any news at all.”
How can this happen? Is it just that they are seeking to entertain and not really inform? Or are news outlets like Murdoch’s Fox News actually there to make the American people perpetually ignorant?
The mainstream media presents such a limited spectrum of the information out there, especially when it comes to broadcast television, that it is hard to believe that it could simply be a natural result of the push for ratings over all else.
The world view presented by the establishment media is so consistent and carefully crafted that it would be quite surprising if they all happened to decide to present such a version of reality completely independently.
This outlook claims that the economy recovered when the government said the recession was officially over, that the government told us the whole truth about the attacks of September 11th, 2001, and that we are never deceived about the true intentions behind conflicts abroad.
However, reality continues to smash through this false paradigm presented to us by the establishment media and with every passing week another crippling blow slams into the false narrative.
Despite the efforts of Time to present a cartoon and a light-hearted cover story as the most important news, much of America is realizing that there is truly important information out there that is just waiting for them.
The most fatal flaw of the establishment media is the Orwellian doublethink that is used on a disturbingly common basis.
One of the most glaring examples in recent history is the case of Libya where al Qaeda-affiliated and rabidly racist rebels who are comprised mostly of fighters belonging to designated terrorist organizations became freedom fighters and pro-democracy protesters.
While we are supposed to praise and laud these murderers according to the corporate media, we are still supposed to believe that the al Qaeda boogeymen are around every corner hoping to blow us up.
A slightly more obscure example from September of this year came up when Fox News was covering the usage of weather modification, also known as geoengineering, to combat a drought in Texas.
While weather modification is an irrefutable fact, it is still nonsensically treated as a conspiracy theory in some circles.
When they speak about it on the mainstream media it is a normal and acceptable solution to environmental problems, but if you speak about it you’re labeled a conspiracy theorist.
Unfortunately this type of blatant doublethink and outright deception is becoming more prevalent and the upcoming Time cover is a great example of how the events of the world are shaped and spun in the American mainstream media to keep the people of the United States from becoming agitated or asking too many questions.
Thankfully, there is the alternative media which is growing independent of traditional news organizations and funding sources thanks to readers and business owners who are willing to support the new wave in journalism.
We will continue to present the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, while the establishment media continues to present dumbed-down nonsense which will only serve to drive their viewers to sources of real information.