Home | About | Donate

As President-Elect Trump Stomps on Fourth Estate, Corporate Press Rolls Over


#1

As President-Elect Trump Stomps on Fourth Estate, Corporate Press Rolls Over

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

The American press must not be complicit as President-elect Donald Trump attempts to neutralize and game the fourth estate, critics said this week.

"Rather than doing their jobs and being adversarial to Trump, rather than responding to this sort of bullying with some dignity and return aggression, it is a very good bet that they will respond with greater submission."
—Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept


#3

Well that's a lovin surprise! imagine, the Fourth estate not fulfilling its critical responsibility to our republic! An under-educated and ill-informed public is bad enough, but when the press are complicit to lies and deception and just repeat the lies, that is something else.......but expected at this point......


#4

Whatever we think of Trump, one has to admit that he played the lapdog MSM like a fiddle. Now the Fourth Estate has their perfect leader for the Fourth Reich.


#5

more than "complicit", largely responsible for the dumbing down of Amerika


#6

As the article points out, distrust in the media has been going on long before trump. In fact the low matches the low of the 1990s. That distrust was something the media EARNED for itself given the only variable that the same is that media.

This not due to Trump. Trump recognizes that distrust and exploits it. Trump also recognizes that same media as one that is devoid of integrity willing to pander to anyone in power for access.


#7

The mainstream press "rolled over" long before Trump.

Both politicians and the mainstream media have dodged responsibility by pointing out, as Abe did - that without the people on side - nothing can succeed.

But Abe was also a politician - and I am not.

There are times when the "rules" need to be broken - dispensed with.

This is such a time.

I included the following in an email I sent this morning to Catherine McKenna, the Canadian Minister of the Environment:

1) CO2 must be brought down to somewhere in the vicinity of 350 ppmv (James Hansen's many publications) This can only happen with the addition of direct air capture machines augmenting natural measures. No other geo-engineering options are worth much.

2) Half the Earth needs to be set aside to preserve ~ 80% of our current biodiversity (Edward O. Wilson, "Half-Earth")

3) Population needs to find a way, agreeable by all, to come down to some five billion (rough estimate, Lester Brown, "Plan B".)

4) Our economic model needs to become for the first time ever an "economic" model, after the GREEK "oikonomia", a sustainable path for households which deals with 'real' goods and services.

Our present "economics" is a misrepresentation, it is in fact much closer to the GREEK Chrematistics, i.e., all about money - its tracking & accumulation, in essence, modern capitalism.

I have begun a series of emails, and I will add further to this list, in short form as follows (THINKING OUT LOUD):

5) Rights for the Environment (Christopher Stone, 1972, "Should Trees Have Standing"), & The Bolivian "Rights for Mother Earth" (at the People's Conference on Climate Change")

6) Nuclear is not the answer (John Gofman, "Irrevy", ca 1979).

nor are hydro-electric dams (citations will be provided at a future time.

Manysummits in Calgary


#8

This dog was neutered long ago.

Had the press done it's job we wouldn't have this situation. Can't seem to get beyond the daily talking points. Pathetic.

Pretty bad when it takes a Jon Stewart or Colbert to do your job.

Edward R Murrow is rolling over in his grave.


#9

The Press was neutered long ago.
If the Press does not play along, then it loses access.
And access means power.
And that is the game that the US government has been playing, especially in the last few years.
The government is in control of the press and all of the major networks are essentially an arm of the government/corporate propaganda machine. (Government and Corporations are just different branches of the same organization.) Remember when we were kids and the government would tell us how bad the state-run Pravda was in the "evil empire"? Well, welcome to the American Evil Empire.

Just look at "embedded" reporters with their military handlers as the military attacks foreign and non-embedded journalists. NPR (National Pentagon Radio) meets the demands of its owners because Bert and Ernie are still being held hostage but NPR pretends to be the "liberal press" as they feature a conservative/liberal expert ratio of something like 9:1.

Trump is no dummy. He knows how important it is that the government retains control of the Press, and now, unfortunately, he is the government.


#10

The press made Trump and now find it impossible to make him go away.


#11

Of course it isn't due to Trump.

Of course the propaganda machine for corporate governance would serve CEO Elect Trump, the billionaire who pledged to reduce corporate tax rates, et al.

That Trump was just such a threat to the Establishment!

Trump certainly will be even more of a threat to REAL investigative reporting, there should be no doubt.

Wolf and the rest of these schmucks will normalize this fascist jerk for the beneficiaries of corporate governance which will accelerate big time with the Trump.


#12

Not sure how you can assert that Trump EVER represented a threat to the "Washington-Zionist-Saudi Terror Network".

He did? How?

Aside from his statements in regard to Putin/Russia (you know the guy that months ago took on Super Neocon James Woolsey as advisor for his military buildup and foreign policy) Trump has been right on page with the neocons in regard to Israel, Iran, and ME foreign policy in general. He will soon be frolicking with the House of Saud in their palaces, doing who knows what, apart from his predictable cavorting with all of those icons of super wealth. I mean, Trump is one of them, don't you know.

And your assertions about Trump being attacked by the MSM are just so much hooey. What real investigative reporting was done by the MSM in regard to Trump? As for the rest of it, wasn't Trump driving the MSM instead of the other way around?

By the way, didn't you catch his speech to AIPAC? That didn't tell you anything about the dickhead Trump?

Trump IS the establishment-corporate everything, don't you know.


#13

This piece is from last February---the writing about where the u.s. is headed (fascism? inverted totalitarianism?)has been on the wall for a long, long time---much longer than last February when Juan Cole wrote:

“This is how the dictators came to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Good people remained silent or acquiesced. People expressed hope that something good would come of it. Mussolini would wring the laziness out of Italy and make the trains run on time.
When Benjamin Franklin was asked by a lady after the Constitutional Convention what sort of government the US had, he said, “A Republic, Madame, if you can keep it.”


Not only did the DNC and the media “acquiesce” but they promoted Donald Trump and now this . . . . .
scary shit. Truly scary shit. I’m getting my passport this week.

It’s like watching a movie about the rise of Hitler and wondering: “why didn’t they leave when they could?”

My daughter is afraid to participate in college protests. I am afraid for her to participate in protests.

She is begging me to leave this country so she has a safer place to come home to. Is there a "safer place"?

She goes to school in the midwest and hate crimes have gone through the roof.

Oh and btw as if the rise of Trumpism with the corporate press predictably rolling over isn't enough----the corporate press has been complicit in minimizing and denying the apocalyptic threat related to human induced climate disruption and the fact that the arctic ice is in free fall:

From Eric Holthaus yesterday:

"what's happening this week is truly remarkable. The best guess is the current decline in global sea ice is partly a carryover from El Niño, and partly a symptom of climate change. But it's clear that the above graph is shocking. It's something that should keep scientists up at night trying to explain it—and a possible sign of a scary new era in which all bets are off."

and

http://tinyletter.com/sciencebyericholthaus/letters/today-in-weather-climate-sea-ice-tipping-point-edition-monday-november-21


#14

It seems to me the press gave up any shred of decency or honesty in reporting during the primary. Remember Trump was the boogie man and Hillary could do not wrong. Not to mention Sanders, which they tried very hard for a year not to do. If they don't roll over I'll be surprised, they've been doing that for years. They're worthless if there is any question about it one way or the other, there should not be a question.


#15

Hi Caroline,
* The main problem with finding a "safe" harbor is that most of the so-called safe places have already been hit by the Wehrmacht, or have had black ops remove their elected representatives in favor of Reich leaning Quislings.
* Any place left that seems safe probably has something of value in it, which means the Reich will get to it sooner or later, when the Oilagarchy tells it to.
* I really think We the People could bring this whole mess to a halt in just a few weeks, if we would just get our act together.
* If we just had a real general strike (we've seen it work in other countries). Nobody goes to work, nobody drives anywhere, nobody shops, nobody travels. Just have some good books and a lot of blankets at home.
* Results, planes don't fly (no crews, no passengers) trains don't run (same reasons), Stores empty, no staff, no customers. Power goes down, no crews, no workers, maybe even water shuts down. Maybe even cops and firefighters might contract the "blue flu". Even much of the disgusted military might stand down.
* After a week of this, the Robber Barons might begin to panic as their bottom line drops. We the People might be able to dictate terms to them for a change.
* The main problem with this plan is that there a lot of opportunists that would jump at the chance to make big bucks scabbing for the Oilagarchy, to keep the system running. Perhaps our disgust at these scabs might bring them to heel. Nobody likes to be shunned, for instance.
* Just some thoughts for a hopefully non-violent solution.
* The violent solution will be a real mess. We've seen that in other countries, also. It would be nice if that last resort did not prove to be necessary.
;-})


#17

The media was complicit in creating this monster and he has manipulated TV/Print/Radio media playing them like a cheap, shrieking fiddle. And NBC made a mint off The Apprentice when DJT was king (watch out, Schwarzenegger is the replacement...wretching while writing). Idiots that watched this program became pawns in DJT's playing to the "identity politics" game crowd...ignorance and all. So nothing has really changed the love relationship between DJT and all media in the US...it's always about the money.


#18

Excellent stuff. A book I read some time ago, the title which now escapes me outlined the means by which much more of the planet than the 50 percent suggested could be returned to wilderness even with the current level of population.

In a truly sustainable model that not built around consumption and obsolescence a city unit can be self sustainable without the need for external resources.

When I was still a teen I belonged to group called The Mars Society which was envisioning the Colonization of Mars. They designed and field tested small totally enclosed ecosystems which got no external inputs outside of sunlight and which were intended to support a population for going periods of time based on a model that was self sustaining.

It all very possible. The single largest impediment is our current "economy" which is based on private property, the generation of profits by externalizing of costs and inequality.

The "I have a bigger house/car/bank account and so am superior to you" mentality is not intrinsic to life.


#19

Reading all these comments about propaganda and the media, once again, reminds of these Noam Chomsky "Chronicles of Dissent" excerpts, in response to David Barsamian's questions... from over 30 years ago, 1986, and now even far more relevant! (in fact, every time I re-read them, it's difficult for me to fathom how he came to his lesser-evil voting view of this 2016 election... it's almost as if he had to ignore his own, and Herman's, four decades of brilliant media/propaganda/information-dissemination research). Anyway, figured these excerpts would fit in well here in this discussion...

Noam Chomsky: "That's quite accurate. I've also written about that many times. Just think about it. Take, say, a country which is at the opposite end of the spectrum from us domestically, the Soviet Union. That's a country run by the bludgeon, essentially. It's a command state: the state controls, everybody basically follows orders. It's more complicated than that, but essentially that's the way it works. There, it's very easy to determine what propaganda is: what the state produces is propaganda. That's the kind of thing that Orwell described in 1984. In a country like that, where there's a kind of Ministry of Truth, propaganda is very easily identifiable. Everybody knows what it is, and you can choose to repeat it if you like, but basically it's not really trying to control your thought very much; it's giving you the party line. It's saying, "Here's the official doctrine; as long as you don't disobey you won't get in trouble. What you think is not of great importance to anyone. If you get out of line we'll do something to you because we have force."

Democratic societies can't really work like that, because the state can't control behavior by force. It can to some extent, but it's much more limited in its capacity to control by force. Therefore, it has to control what you think. And again, democratic theorists have understood this for 50 or 60 years and have been very articulate about it. If the voice of the people is heard, you'd better control what that voice says, meaning you have to control what they think. The method Otero mentions there is one of the major methods. One of the ways you control what people think is by creating the illusion that there's a debate going on, but making sure that that debate stays within very narrow margins. Namely, you have to make sure that both sides in the debate accept certain assumptions, and those assumptions turn out to be the propaganda system. As long as everyone accepts the propaganda system, then you can have a debate.

The Vietnam War is a classic example. In the major media, the New York Times or CBS or whatever -- in fact, all across the spectrum except at the very far-out periphery which reaches almost no one -- in the major media which reach the overwhelming majority of the population, there was a lively debate. It was between people called "doves" and people called "hawks". The people called hawks said, "If we keep at it we can win." The people called doves said, "Even if we keep at it we probably can't win, and besides, it would probably be too costly for us, and besides maybe we're killing too many people," something like that. Both sides, the doves and the hawks, agreed on something: we have a right to carry out aggression against South Vietnam. In fact, they didn't even admit that it was taking place. They called it the "defense" of South Vietnam, using "defense" for "aggression" in the standard Orwellian manner. We were in fact attacking South Vietnam, just as much as the Russians are attacking Afghanistan. Like them, we first established a government that invited us in, and until we found one we had to overturn government after government. Finally we got one that invited us in, after we'd been there for years, attacking the countryside and the population. That's aggression. Nobody thought it was wrong, or rather, anyone who thought that was wrong was not admitted to the discussion. If you're a dove, you're in favor of aggression, if you're a hawk you're in favor of aggression. The debate between the hawks and the doves, then, is purely tactical: "Can we get away with it? Is it too bloody or too costly?" All basically irrelevant.

The real point is that aggression is wrong. When the Russians invaded Czechoslovakia, they got away with it. They didn't kill many people, but it was wrong because aggression is wrong. We all understand that. But we can't allow that understanding to be expressed when it relates to the violent actions of our state, obviously. If this were a totalitarian state, the Ministry of Truth would simply have said, "It's right for us to go into Vietnam, period. Don't argue with it." People would have known that's the propaganda system talking and they could have thought what they wanted. They could have seen that we were attacking Vietnam just like we can see that the Russians are attacking Afghanistan.

You couldn't permit that understanding of reality in this country; it's too dangerous. People are much more free, they can express themselves, they can do things. Therefore, it was necessary to try to control thought, to try to make it appear as if the only issue was a tactical one: can we get away with it? There's no issue of right or wrong. That worked partially, but not entirely. Among the educated part of the population it worked almost totally.

There are good studies of this that show, with only the most marginal statistical error, that among the more educated parts of the population the government propaganda system was accepted unquestioningly. On the other hand, after a long period of popular spontaneous opposition, dissent and organization, the general population got out of control. As recently as 1982, according to the latest polls I've seen, over 70 percent of the population still was saying that the war was, quoting the wording of the Gallup poll, "fundamentally wrong and immoral," not "a mistake." That is, the overwhelming majority of the population is neither hawks nor doves, but opposed to aggression. On the other hand, the educated part of the population, they're in line. For them, it's just the tactical question of hawk vs. dove.

This is, incidentally, not untypical. Propaganda very often works better for the educated than it does for the uneducated. This is true on many issues. There are a lot of reasons for this, one being that the educated receive more of the propaganda because they read more. Another thing is that they are the agents of propaganda. After all, their job is that of commissars; they're supposed to be the agents of the propaganda system so they believe it. It's very hard to say something unless you believe it. Other reasons are that, by and large, they are just part of the privileged elite so they share their interests and perceptions, whereas the general population is more marginalized. It, by and large, doesn't participate in the democratic system, which is overwhelmingly an elite game. People learn from their own lives to be skeptical, and in fact most of them are. There's a lot of skepticism and dissent and so on.

Here's a case which is an interesting one because, while the technique of thought control worked very effectively, in fact to virtually 100 percent effectiveness among the educated part of the population, after many years of atrocities and massacres and hundreds of thousands of people killed and so on, it began to erode among the general population. There's even a name for that: it's called the "Vietnam Syndrome", a grave disease: people understand too much. But it's very striking, very illuminating to see how well it's worked among the educated. If you pick up a book on American history and look at the Vietnam War, there is no such event as the American attack against South Vietnam. It's as if in the Soviet Union, say, in the early part of the 21st century, nobody will have ever said there was a Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Everyone says it's a Russian defense of Afghanistan. That's not going to happen. In fact, people already talk about the Russian invasion of Afghanistan -- maybe they defend it, maybe not -- but they admit that it exists. But in the United States, where the indoctrination system is vastly more effective, the educated part of the population can't even see that it exists. We cannot see that there was an American invasion of South Vietnam. It's out of history, down Orwell's memory hole."


#20

"power; the more Trump exhibits, the more submissive they will get." - Trump is playing his usual game - that is to thoroughly confuse everybody he is dealing with, which gives him the ultimate power over the results - look how he is 'choosing his people' - keep them all guessing, keep bringing in more diverse unlikely candidates until no-one has any idea where he is going with all this - HE WINS because only HE is in charge & they are all bending the knee - the thing he absolutely adores the most !!! Look at the things he's said for the past year - he has been into every possible position on everything - the only logical, rational response to Trump from everyone should be - 'stuff it I will not work in your administration' - stop him from having the power !!!!!


#21

..and just one more Noam Chomsky "Chronicles of Dissent" excerpt, which seems to fit in well in this discussion...

Non-Conspiracy Analysis of Propaganda System

October 24, 1986

Barsamian: ... [W]ho are the mandarins, or to use Gramsci's term, the "experts in legitimation"?

Chomsky: "The experts in legitimation, the ones who labor to make what people in power do seem legitimate, are mainly the privileged educated elites. The journalists, the academics, the teachers, the public relations specialists, this whole category of people have a kind of an institutional task, and that is to create the system of belief which will ensure the effective engineering of consent. And again, the more sophisticated of them say that. In the academic social sciences, for example, there's quite a tradition of explaining the necessity for the engineering of democratic consent. There are very few critics of this position. Among them is a well-known social scientist named Robert Dahl who has pointed out -- as is obviously true -- that if you have a political system in which you plug in the options from a privileged position, and that's democracy, it's indistinguishable from totalitarianism. It's very rare that people point that out.

In the public relations industry, which is a major industry in the United States and has been for a long time, 60 years or more, this is very well understood. In fact, that's their purpose. That's one of the reasons this is such a heavily polled society, so that business can keep its finger on the popular pulse and recognize that, if attitudes have to be changed, we'd better work on it. That's what public relations is for, very conscious, very well understood. When you get to what these guys call the institutions responsible for "the indoctrination of the young," the schools and the universities, at that point it becomes somewhat more subtle. By and large, in the schools and universities people believe they're telling the truth. The way that works, with rare exceptions, is that you cannot make it through these institiutions unless you've accepted the indoctrination. You're kind of weeded out along the way. Independent thinking is encouraged in the sciences but discouraged in these areas. If people do it they're weeded out as radical or there's something wrong with them. It doesn't have to work 100 percent, in fact, it's even better for the system if there are a few exceptions here and there. It gives the illusion of debate or freedom. But overwhelmingly, it works.

In the media, it's still more obvious. The media, after all, are corporations integrated into some of the major corporations in the country. The people who own and manage them belong to the same narrow elite of owners and managwers who control the private economy and who control the state, so it's a very narrow nexus of corporate media and state managers and owners. They share the same perceptions, the same understanding, and so on. That's one major point. So, naturally, they're going to perceive issues, suppress, control and shape in the interest of the groups that they represent: ultimately the interests of private ownership of the economy -- that's where it's really based. Furthermore, the media also have a market: advertisers, not the public. People have to buy newspapers, but the newspapers are designed to get the public to buy them so that they can raise their advertising rates. The newspapers are essentially being sold to advertisers via the public. Since the corporation is selling it and its market is businesses, that's another respect in which the corporate system or the business system generally is going to be able to control the contents of the media. In other words, if by some unimaginable accident they began to get out of line, advertising would fall off, and that's a constraint.

State power has the same effect. The media want to maintain their intimate relation to state power. They want to get leaks, they want to get invited to the press conferences. They want to rub shoulders with the Secretary of State, all that kind of business. To do that, you've got to play the game, and playing the game means telling their lies, serving as their disinformation apparatus. Quite apart from the fact that they're going to do it anyway out of their own interest and their own status in the society, there are these kinds of pressures that force them into it. It's a very narrow system of control, ultimately.

Then comes the question of the individual journalist, you know, the young kid who decides to become an honest journalist. Well, you try. Pretty soon you are informed by your editor that you're a little off base, you're a little too emotional, you're too involved in the story, you've got to be more objective. There's a whole pile of code words for this, and what those code words mean is "Get in line, buddy, or you're out." Get in line means follow the party line. One thing that happens then is that people drop out. But those who decide to conform usually just begin to believe what they're saying. In order to progress you have to say certain things; what the copy editor wants, what the top editor is giving back to you. You can try saying it and not believing it, but that's not going to work, people just aren't that dishonest, you can't live with that, it's a very rare person who can do that. So you start saying it and pretty soon you're believing it because you're saying it, and pretty soon you're inside the system. Furthermore, there are plenty of rewards if you stay inside. For people who play the game by the rules in a rich society like this, there are ample rewards. You're well off, you're privileged, you're rich, you have prestige, you have a share of power if you want, if you like this kind of stuff you can go off and become the State Department spokesman on something or other, you're right near the center of at least privilege, sometimes power, in the richest, most powerful country in the world. You can go far, as long as you're very obedient and subservient and disciplined. So there are many factors, and people who are morwe independent are just going to drop off or be kicked out. In this case there are very few exceptions."


#22

Good.

May the Fourth Estate R.I.P.

Turn off the TV, my fellow Americans! It's all lies anyway. Get your news from sites like C.D. and search engines.

Look at old Wolf Blitz-brain sweating in that photo. He never broadcasts any news anyway. He knows, we know, he's a fake. He's about to be out of a job. I love it. They probably exaggerated the "40 percent trust the media", just like they said Clinton was going to win. It's probably only 20 percent of Americans trust the media.

Outstanding. Turn OFF the TV my countrymen! Let's ditch this establishment brain-washing machine once and for all.