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The Revolution Isn't Being Televised

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/27/revolution-isnt-being-televised

Why, oh why, would corporate media, sitting near the very apex of power in this country and the world, for that matter, put the image of questioning authority in the masses’ mind (singular usage intentional)?

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Excellent points in this article. Wish it had paid a bit more attention to the undistinguished (or perhaps distinguished), nuances between the state media i.e. Voice of America, BBC, RT, etc, and the big corporate media.

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Precisely what GIl Scott Heron (nearly a half century ago) told us would happen.


Headline sez:
“The Revolution Isn’t Being Televised”

… because television isn’t being revolutionized.


This is hardly new-news, but I guess we need reminders. I’ll never forget the total media-non-coverage most of the massive protests I attended from the late 90s to the late 00s.

Most notable was the massive, inaugural parade turned-into-a-gauntlet of jeering protest in January 20, 2001. With incredible control-room skill, the TV (and the next day, print) media totally edited the loud protestors lining almost all of Pennsylvania Ave out of history.

But one quibble with this article why the scare quotes around “repressive” and “dictatorship” regarding China? I don’t think there is any disagreement that that is what president-for-life Xi’s China is. It seems that while pointing out the greatly under-covered protests elsewhere, Mr. Macleod couldn’t help but to slip in a bit of pro-Beijing tankieism.

When it comes to the Empire’s Propaganda Program & the MSM there is no delinking of message; no separation of point of view or discussion of alternatives, outside of military tactics and minimal foreign policy tweaks. Their collective eyes are on the same prizes.
The mission remains, as always is, " to enrich the rulers of The Empire ". The NY Times and WaPo function merely as cheerleaders, picking the chants to the " rah, rah, rah, go team go "the Empire demands they repeat and bullhorn, leading the spectators in a frenzied ritual of another quazi-national victory, of sorts. As the band blares out yet another tedious rendition of God Bless America, of course.
" We’re going to win so much, you’ll get tired of winning, they’ll be so much winning. " Candidate Trump. This was the MSM’s cheerleading task on touting one of our own best people. A product of a much bigger project to sell. The Sounds of Empire always winning, no matter what the circumstance. No matter how the victory was won.
I can only imagine that if Gil Scott-Heron wondered what hell sounded like, he couldn’t imagine the nightmare of being forced to listen to The Sounds of Empire, for an eternity. Neither can most of the rest of us poorer souls, either.

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“The Peoples Revolution Isn’t being Televised”, there fixed it for you.

The Empire’s Revolution - “Look at all the bad Venezuelan people”, or “The bad Chinese Government”.
The Peoples Revolution - “Nothing to see here, move along.”

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These large scale mass movements are what bring about dramatic social change. Prolonged large scale public actions, such as described in this article, are what are needed to promote change in the US plutocratic friendly economics, domestic repression, imperialism, and militarism. But, I am not convinced that enough of the population of the US is ready to engage in the level of public demonstrations that are needed to bring about change.

It’s not scare-quotes, it’s quotes. MacLeod is citing the actual language used by specific media outlets. He’s not making a case one way or another about the nature of the Chinese government, just pointing out the disparity in reporting.


The same process occurs at the national and local level as it does at the international level. As example some years ago I was struck by the coverage given to a white blonde female from the USA disappeared and murdered in some Country in the Caribbean yet at the same time women of color were disappeared and murdered inside the USA and it not considered newsworthy. Here in Canada this happens with our First Nations women. There very little coverage when one vanishes and later found murdered whereas if the woman in question was white it would be front page news all the time.

I can not believe this happens by accident. Someone has to very deliberately picking and selecting these stories for public consumption just as happens with these stories of protests at the international level.


would have been nice to mention that the title is a reference to gil scott heron though…

Welcome, nice name!