The Gary Null Show(Oct.22,2021)
21 OCTOBER—Watch and listen, O you with open eyes and ears. The national security state’s long, very long campaign to control our press and broadcasters has taken a new turn of late. If independent media are what keep alive hope for a vigorous, authentic Fourth Estate, as argued severally in this space, independent media are now subject to an insidious, profoundly anti-democratic effort to undermine them.
The Independent Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Frances Haugen, Maria Ressa: Let us consider this institution and these people. They are all frauds, if by fraudulent we mean they are not what and who they tell us they are and their claim to independence from power is bogus.
The Deep State—and at this point it is mere pretense to object to this term—long ago made it a priority to turn the mainstream press and broadcasters to its purposes—to make a free press unfree. This has gone on since the earliest Cold War decades and is well and responsibly documented. (Alas, if more Americans read the many excellent books and exposés on this topic, assertions such as the one just made would not arrive as in the slightest outré.)
But several new realities are now very evident. Chief among them, the Deep State’s colonization of corporate media is now more or less complete. CNN, filling its airtime with spooks, generals, and a variety of official and formerly official liars, can be counted a total takeover. The New York Times is prima facie government-supervised, as it confesses in its pages from time to time. The Washington Post, owned by a man with multimillion-dollar CIA contracts, has turned itself into a comic book.
For reasons I will never entirely fathom, corporate media have not merely surrendered their legitimacy, such as it may have been: They have actively, enthusiastically abandoned what frayed claim they may have had to credibility. The national-security state incorporates mainstream media into its apparatus, and then people stop believing mainstream media: The thrill is gone, let’s say.
Infra-dig. The Young Turks children take to the air. (tytvault, cc by SA 2.0/ Wikimedia Commons.)
In consequence of these two factors, independent media have begun to rise as … independent media. They accumulate audiences. A little at a time, they acquire the very habits of professionalism the mainstream press and broadcasters have let decay. Gradually, they assume the credibility the mainstream has lost. The media ecosystem—horrible phrase but there it is—begins to take on a new shape.
Certain phenomena engendered by independent media prove popular. There are whistleblowers. People inside Deep State institutions start to leak, and they turn to independent media, most famously WikiLeaks, to get information out. While the Deep State’s clerks in mainstream media keep their heads down and their mouths shut as they cash their checks, independent media take principled stands in favor of free expression, and people admire these stands. They are, after all admirable.
Those populating the national-security state’s sprawling apparatus are not stupid. They can figure out the logical response to these developments as well as anyone else. The new imperative is now before us: It is to colonize independent media just as they had the mainstream in previous decades.
There are some hopelessly clumsy cases. I urge all colleagues to stop bothering with The Young Turks in any capacity. Those running it, creatures of those who generously fund it, are simply infra-dig. As Matt Taibbi pointed out over the weekend in a piece wonderfully headed, “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Deep State,” they’ve now got some clod named Ben Carollo proclaiming the CIA as an accountable force for good, savior of democracy—this in a video appearing under the rubric “Rebel HQ.”
As an East European émigré friend used to say, “Gimme break.”
‘Famous long ago.’ Ms. Goodman in an outdated ad. (Roy Blumenthal, Flickr/ cc by SA 2.0.)
Democracy Now! is a subtler instance of colonization. The once-admirable Amy Goodman drank the Russiagate Kool-Aid, which I counted the first indication of covert intervention of one or another kind. Then she caved to the orthodoxy on the chemical-weapons scam during the Syrian crisis, and lately—you have to watch to believe—Goodman has begun broadcasting CNN “investigative” reports with unalloyed approval.
The debate in this household is whether Ms. Goodman had a long lunch in Langley or her donors started threatening to delay their checks. I have no evidence of either but tend to the latter explanation.
Courtesy of Consortium News.
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