Tag Archives: Brian Williams

The Tattlesnake The Media Monsters in a Box for John McCain Edition

“A propaganda model focuses on this inequality of wealth and power and its multilevel effects on mass-media interests and choices. It traces the routes by which money and power are able to filter out the news fit to print, marginalize dissent, and allow the government and dominant private interests to get their messages across to the public. The essential ingredients of our propaganda model, or set of news ‘filters,’ fall under the following headings: (1) the size, concentrated ownership, owner wealth, and profit orientation of the dominant mass-media firms; (2) advertising as the primary income source of the mass media; (3) the reliance of the media on information provided by government, business, and ‘experts’ funded and approved by these primary sources and agents of power; (4) ‘flak’ as a means of disciplining the media; and (5) ‘anticommunism’ [or ‘anti-terrorism’] as a national religion and control mechanism. These elements interact with and reinforce one another. The raw material of news must pass through successive filters, leaving only the cleansed residue fit to print. They fix the premises of discourse and interpretation, and the definition of what is newsworthy in the first place, and they explain the basis and operations of what amount to propaganda campaigns.”
— Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, “Manufacturing Consent,” Pantheon Books, 1988.

A barely awake Tattlesnake caught Time’s Ana Marie Cox on Col. Howie Kurtz’s “Reliable Sources” (CNN) on March 9, gassing about the importance of access to politicians and maintaining a career rather than informing the public as the US journalists’ main job. Then there was the now-fired Tucker Carlson grilling Scottish journalist Gerry Peev who printed Obama aide Samantha Powers’ remark that Hillary was ‘monster’ even though Powers asked, right after she said it, that it be off the record. Carlson, as noted in this excellent article by Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com,”Tucker Carlson Unintentionally Reveals The Role of The American Press,” seemed to also believe that the role of an American journalist is to protect their lines of access to the movers and shakers at the expense of letting the public know what they are really like, not that Tucker would qualify as a real journalist in anyone’s mind but his own.

This all smacks of so much EST-driven, psychobabble-laden, Outward Boundish, Bonfire-of-the-Vanities-Masters-of-the-Universe “I’m an asshole and proud of it!” yuppie doodah that it makes your Tattler slightly ill. Who but a yuppie idiot would think their ‘career in journalism’ was more important than the public’s right to know I mean aside from their yuppie publishers, program directors, editors, and other executive suite backwash?

And now we have the media boys (and girls) on the bus unabashedly playing footsie with John McCain because gasp! he talks to them like normal human beings! In return, the media darlings have been covering up, diminishing, or glossing over McCain’s temper tantrums, flip-flops, and blatant lies. Notice that no one called him to task for wholeheartedly accepting the recent endorsement of a Rapture-Ready neocon Christian goofball like John Hagee, while Barack Obama receiving the unwanted nod from religious nutcase Louis Farrakhan was chewed over endlessly.

So, it’s no secret that the US Big Media has a kissy-face love affair with the current Republican candidate for president — they all seem to be fighting to see how far to the bottom of the tank they can sink for their straight-talking war hero, as this wincing exchange between NBC’s Chris Matthews and Brian Williams when President Junior endorsed McCain last week elucidates (h/t to Media Matters). Warning: Swallow your coffee before you read this next part:

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