Propaganda “In the Public Interest”
Vol: 57 Issue: 27 Tuesday, June 27, 2006
The New York Times has finally gone too far in its war against the US government. Note that I said ‘the US government’ rather than the Bush administration, since this latest outrage hurts the whole country more than it does the Bush administration.
Managing Editor Bill Keller’s five-day effort to spin his decision to burn one of what the government says was one of its most important war-fighting secrets as being in the ‘public interest’ is, to his surprise, not getting any takers.
One has to look long and hard for any reputable journalist willing to stick his neck out to defend the Times’ effort to wrap itself in the 1st Amendment. There ARE limits to freedom of speech.
We all live under restrictions on our freedom of speech.
There is the voluntary kind; it is unwise to tell ethnic jokes in certain places, for example. We restrict our speech so as not to offend the listener as a social skill.
One can be honest with one’s opinions without being offensive, and everybody who ever had a friend knows that there are times when it is best to keep one’s opinion to oneself. There are even times when a white lie is justified, like when somebody asks, “How do I look?”
Then there is the involuntary kind, like the dictatorial extremism of Political Correctness. Anybody who is paying attention can tell the difference between voluntary restrictions on free speech and restrictions enforced by self-styled ‘thought police’.
It is, for example, politically incorrect to identify our enemy with Islam, despite the fact Islam is the glue which binds them. Recall the RCMP’s ridiculous assertion last month that the 18 terrorists arrested in Toronto had no ‘discernible common denominator’ and that they ‘were a diverse cross-section’ of ordinary Canadians.
Political correctness requires the RCMP to overlook the fact all 18 were Islamic, and that the majority attended the same Islamic mosque.
Consider how dangerous PC thinking really is. Political correctness demands we pretend that homosexual sex is something so natural and normal that we are ambivalent about whether our children are gay or straight.
So we pretend its ok for Johnny to learn in school that ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ or for 6th-graders to be asked in a school-sponsored survey, “If you have never slept with someone of your same gender, then how do you know you wouldn’t prefer it?” (Omega Letter, Volume 57, Issue 22)
Political correctness demands that we pretend the solution to murder is to outlaw guns, the solution to unwanted teenage pregnancy is abortion, that the solution to illegal behavior is to modify the laws, and that the solution to war is surrender.
It is obvious that enforced restrictions on freedom of speech are nowhere nearly as effective as the voluntary kind. You know, the “How do I look?” restrictions we self-impose every day as a matter of social survival.
It is worth noting that, if the Thought Police had a Fuehrer and a Gestapo, it would be Bill Keller and the New York Times. The New York Times virtually invented Political Correctness as a gesture of tribute to the Clinton administration.
Following the Clinton administration’s lead, it banished the word ‘terrorist’ from its lexicon — in deference to Nobel Peace Prize winners Nelson Mandela and Yasser Arafat.
The New York Times, as America’s leading newspaper, set the standard for liberal-leaning editorial boards across America. If the New York Times was going to use euphemisms for ‘terrorist’ in its reporting as the gold standard of ‘unbiased’ coverage, well, they were too.
Since Bush’s inauguration, the New York Times has set the industry-wide standard for how brazenly a newspaper can push a political agenda disguised as news without tripping anybody’s propaganda meter.
The New York Times’ and its editorial staff are evidently so blinded by their hatred of the conservative worldview Bush represents that they can no longer distinguish between the political administration of George Bush and the government of the United States.
Right after the successful Iraqi parliamentary election and just before Congress was to take up discussion of renewing the Patriot Act, the New York Times disclosed a top-secret terrorist surveillance program, which it misdescribed it as a broad domestic surveillance undermining the civil liberties of Americans.
Turns out that it wasn’t anything of the kind. Despite much unwanted attention and scrutiny, the program was deemed to be legal, legitimate and, thanks to its revelation, useless. But anything that hurts the war effort makes the Bush administration look bad.
There is an election coming, and the New York Times wants to unseat as many Republicans from the House and Senate as possible. If that means putting our forces in danger, increasing the risk of a terror attack on the homeland, or otherwise compromising America’s security, that is not too high a price to pay.
If, as Bill Keller argued last week, the New York Times believes it is in ‘the public interest’.
Let’s stop there. Suppose you were a liberal partisan member of the Thought Gestapo. By definition, you believe that the things that the liberal left espouse; a woman’s ‘right to choose’ gay marriage, unrestricted welfare, higher taxes for ‘the rich’, etc., etc. are ‘in the public interest’. If you didn’t, then you wouldn’t support them, right?
You would work tirelessly to unseat those lawmakers who oppose your agenda as a matter of public interest. You could also quite legitimately argue that your actions served the greater good because they advanced the ‘public interest’.
Even treason, if you truly believed the government was evil. And with the right spin doctors, you might even make it sound justifiable.
Now step back with me and let’s look at the Big Picture. When asked of the signs of His coming and of the end of the Church Age, the FIRST thing Jesus said in reply was, “Take heed no man deceive you.”
The Apostle Paul said the antichrist comes to power through propaganda and thought control: “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness”. (2nd Thessalonians 2:10)
Centuries before Christ, the Prophet Hosea lamented, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)
Look at the arguments. On the one hand, we have the New York Times and its liberal supporters wrapping themselves in the 1st Amendment over the right to decide what should be classified information and what information is in ‘the public interest’.
On the other hand, we have serious, mainstream editorial pages on both sides of the political divide calling for the indictment of the Times’ and its editorial board for violating the Espionage Act — or even treason.
Five years ago, Bernie Goldberg was ostracized from the mainstream media after he published an insider book about mainstream journalism under the title, ‘Bias’. He was so completely blacklisted by the mainstream that his blacklisting became a bigger story than his book.
What were blockbuster (and hotly denied) allegations five years ago are conventional wisdom today. There is a conservative media and a liberal media. Both are [openly] propaganda agents for their respective political worldviews. They don’t even pretend anymore.
And, until the New York Times let its political agenda trump America’s security, nobody gave a rip.
The propaganda machine is too big to hide anymore. And it is too entrenched to change. Its like having an elephant in the living room. You can’t ignore it, its too big to move, so the best you can do is work around it.
Until it sits on you.