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In personal development, one can’t change something about themselves until they are first made aware of the pattern or problem they are experiencing. Once they know, steps can be taken to adjust, better themselves, or grow beyond the problem.
The same can be said for how our society functions. After all, we as individuals are a microcosm of our collective story.
In that sense, I am a strong believer that if we don’t have an understanding of how our world works, then we don’t stand a chance in making it a better place as we don’t know what problem we are solving.
The first step towards uncovering truth is being able to re-examine our positions and embrace uncertainty.
In my previous piece on propaganda I talked about how governments distribute a “story” or “narrative” about current events to rally the public behind an idea. It’s through this propaganda that people believe something about how the world works, even if it’s not at all true.
Mainstream media is the mouthpiece that connects government to the people. It has incredible power in shaping public opinion, and governments and powerful people know this.
The is how the masses come to believe they live in a democracy, that government is doing their best to fight enemies. Or that government is keeping people safe through their authoritarian actions, and attempting to create wellness in society. Don’t question government or else you’re a conspiracy theorist.
This narrative is all told through mainstream media. Control mainstream media and you control the masses’ perception.
There are many ways in which mainstream media can be controlled. A common belief is that newsroom directors are constantly getting phone calls from government people telling them not to run certain stories.
This may be true for a small portion of MAJOR stories as we saw with the government program Project Mockingbird.
A 1991 a declassified document from the CIA archives shows the Central Intelligence Agency had a close relationship with mainstream media and academia.
The document states that the CIA task force “now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation,” and that “this has helped us turn some ‘intelligence failure’ stories into ‘intelligence success” stories,’ and has contributed to the accuracy of countless others.”
It admits the agency had “persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories that could have adversely affected national security interests or jeopardized sources and methods.”
We learned through COVID that this sort of thing does still happen, especially with major stories. But for the most part this isn’t how media is controlled in my opinion.
One other common idea is that “all of the journalists at The New York Times or CBC know they are lying.” I don’t think this is true.
Most of these people fully believe in what they publish, and are more so regulated by a news culture and environment that is built around avoiding certain conclusions. They also tend to perform unbalanced investigation into certain subjects.
Part of how news culture is built, and what stops journalists from following their gut, is the fear of the loss of access.
Access is simple: a news outlet can gain access to certain individuals like politicians, powerful business people, or celebrities based on their reputation and knowledge that they won’t “cross the line” or surprise guests.
In this case “the line” is asking tough questions or holding people accountable. Cross the line, and word gets out that powerful people shouldn’t associate with those brands as readily.
Imagine during the Freedom Convoy if the CBC decided they were going to ask Justin Trudeau very tough questions about his abuse of power, lies, and hatred he was disseminating towards unvaccinated people.
You can bet that the CBC would be fearful Trudeau’s admin would give them less access to early stories, updates, interviews and so on if they don’t “play ball” with Trudeau.
If the CBC doesn’t play ball, they will be late on stories, their competition will get things first and the CBC would be playing catch up all the time. This is bad for business.
Access is directly tied to the profitability of many news organizations. Thus, it becomes a race to the bottom dynamic of kissing the ass of those in power and not upsetting them so you can compete amongst other news organizations to get access to stories and interviews first – or even at all.
This concept is well demonstrated in a recent interview Kim Iverson conducted with Alan Dershowitz on her show. To note, Iverson’s program is independent, and not considered mainstream media.
Iverson interviewed Dershowitz about Trump’s looming arrest. During the interview, she also asked him about his ties to Epstein and whether or not Epstein had ties to Mossad.
Dershowitz went on to provide short, weak answers to the questions, but eventually became annoyed with Iverson questioning him about Epstein.
“Are you used to having people come on your show to talk about one subject, and then sandbagging them on another subject without any warning? It’s nice to know you do that. I have nothing to hide, and I’m happy to talk about any of this, but I’m used to more ethical journalism.”
Iverson goes on to state that her team notified the people who booked Dershowitz onto the show that she would ask about Epstein.
Dershowitz said they never told him, and ended the interview by saying,
“[…] it’s the last time you’ll have me on your show, so take advantage of it.”
Iverson went on to provide proof that Dershowitz’s team was notified about upcoming Epstein questions.
Iverson asked Dershowitz tough questions that were significantly less “soft ball” than what he would get from mainstream media. He was also less prepared to tailor his answers perfectly because of an internal team mistake.
As a result, he won’t go on her show again. She lost access to him, and this message could spread throughout, causing her to lose access to others as well.
Simply put, the game is rigged. Play ball in the way powerful people want you to or you don’t get to play.
Put another way, ask tough questions that are “out of bounds” in authoritarian culture and you’ll stop getting interviews. Why then would someone ask tough questions?
But this instance also reveals something important: powerful people know the questions first before they appear on news shows. Does this make sense? Does this create the opportunity for true and honest answers?
Is real journalism even being done by mainstream outlets?
All of us who wonder why certain questions aren’t asked by mainstream journalists even when they are strikingly obvious, should consider the concept of access.
Every person listed on Epstein’s flight log could have been asked to explain themselves by The New York Times or Washington Post, but they weren’t. Because that’s not allowed.
However those organizations can forgo good journalistic practices to push COVID fear and propaganda all day long, because that will only gain them more access in the end.
Thus, mainstream media is controlled by the threat of losing access.
Does it make sense that a person should know all of the questions they are going to be asked before coming on a show? Does it make sense that they should be allowed to fully prepare those answers? Doesn’t that give a deep opportunity to deceive?
Why is this accepted as “ethical journalism” when in reality it can protect powerful people?
This is why I believe we must point out the ways in which mainstream media has no incentive to tell the truth, and point out the ways in which mainstream journalism works.
We must also illustrate the ways in which the mainstream media is obviously wrong or misleading on certain subjects.
It is often too difficult to prove EXACTLY what is true, because that can be incredibly hard to know, but to critique the MSM in ways that reveal their deception can help people begin granting less legitimacy to MSM, and start embracing more uncertainty.
I do believe more and more people are seeing how corrupt mainstream media is, and perhaps we are getting closer to a tipping point. As a result, even The New York Times is trying to convince their audience they are ‘independent journalism.’
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Further reading: After leaving The Washington Post in 1977, Carl Bernstein spent six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years. His 25,000-word cover story, published in Rolling Stone on October 20, 1977, is reprinted here.