Since the fiasco of this last US Presidential election cycle the corporate press has been busy launching a crusade against “fake news” and scrambling to understand why it is that so many people despise and distrust them. Unsurprisingly, they have many fingers to point, but not one of them is toward themselves. In the last week we have endured self righteous, nauseating screeds by elitist blowhards like Dan Rather and Christiane Amanpour imploring the press to “step up” now that the fascist Trump has been swept to the throne of American Empire. Their egregious lack of introspection is baffling given that only six companies own nearly 90% of all media and has been the mouthpiece for and defender of Corporate State sponsored plunder, murder and mayhem for decades.
Without a doubt Trump is horrifying. And now this megalomaniac who wears his racist, misogynistic ignorance as a badge of honor, has sweeping powers granted to him from the Obama presidency. So the question to them is where were they when President Obama was expanding these Executive Branch powers? Where were they when he was drone bombing wedding parties and ambulances? Were they too busy boozing it up at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner and laughing at the President’s joke about using these drones to take out the Jonas brothers? Where were they when he said he was “really good at killing people,” or when he codified the indefinite detention of American citizens by military tribunal, or when his regime was assassinating American citizens all without due process?
Where were they when his administration excused the torturing criminals from the previous Bush regime? Or prosecuted more whistleblowers than all US presidents combined, like the mercilessly persecuted Chelsea Manning who exposed US war crimes? Or deported more undocumented people than any other US President? Or when the news of his “Kill List” surfaced? Or when his Secretary of State pushed for decimating Libya and ghoulishly celebrated the gruesome murder of its president on one of their news segments exclaiming in true imperialistic form: “We came, we saw, he died?” Their coverage of all of this was either weak as dishwater or buried in back pages, but they had no trouble reporting “news” related to celebrities or sports, or inflating crises and stoking paranoia as in the instance of the human tragedy of Ebola in West Africa.
The same corporate news imploring the public to shun “fake news” had no problem peddling propaganda that led to the war on Vietnam and Iraq and Libya. It downplayed the cruelty of the medieval kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and the decades long system of apartheid in Israel. It has spent its lifetime being the mouthpiece for Empire, Inc. and made a career of manufacturing outrage, vapid celebrity obsession and paranoia, spinning the planet killing lies of the fossil fuel and war industries, and spreading Pentagon lies which have cost millions of lives and contributed to one of the biggest mass migrations in human history. It has suppressed existential news related to Fukushima and climate change, virtually ignored systemic racism and the prison/surveillance machine, and is turning a blind eye to the unfolding atrocities at Standing Rock Sioux. And yet somehow with all of this it has the gall to expect people of conscience to feel sorry for it, forget about these lies and omissions, and believe them now when they cry foul after that cloak of deception has been lifted.
The hubris of the powerful dances with willful ignorance in the most stunning of ways indeed.