Piercing the Fog of War
Hooray! President Obama and the Democrats have been forced to backpedal from their war project. It’s not over yet, but the conversation changed.
I would like to blame war on the Right-Wing noise machine, but the best fog generators are Very Serious People like Mara Liasson from NPR, Dan Balz from The Washington Post, and some local journalists who want to support the careful thoughtfulness of certain indecisive Democrats. Sometimes money is involved like sponsors on PBS. Sometimes access is involved. It was really refreshing a few weeks ago when Matt Lee of the Associated Press started asking State Dept. Spokesperson Jen Psaki real questions.
The best part about the recent backpedaling is that we can now discuss other topics. The War is not over and we need to pay attention, but we can get back to asking President Obama and the Democrats about jobs.
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook received a visit from US Senator Marco Rubio, the intended darling of the Tea Party, main Republican Party, and the Immigration Reform movement. This week, Mark Zuckerberg announced his appointment to meet Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives. MR talks to Z; Z brings cash to RL.
The mainstream media had a really difficult time doing the pivot on the War with Syria even though the public overwhelmingly opposed the war. These large organizations can speed sophisticated news crews to disasters halfway around the world in a few hours, but the news staff kept returning to the War with Syria and refusing to ask the important questions. Rebecca Hellmich and Peter Hart at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) posted an article about how “Powerful interests are often pundits’ real bosses.”
So, now we know that reporters may be influenced by cash to their media organization, by their dependence on access to certain leaders, and now by the classic “two masters” where one hidden master pays much better than the other public master. This week, Politico’s Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen published an article about an organization that pools money from the Koch brothers and their friends to promote political causes. The payments from this organization are now public, but the donors into the bank are still secret. I wonder how many pundits are not only stenographers, but also the propaganda gardeners paid by this Koch bank to plant the distractions later reported by so-called journalists. Did this manufacturing of propaganda contribute to the delay in pivoting the news away from war? I wish I could see the money flows to nominate Larry Summers for the Federal Reserve. Does this corporate money explain why news about Immigration Reform is always about the legitimate problems of cooks, nannies, and DREAMers, but never about equally real employment difficulties for US citizens who studied science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM), even from news organizations like Huffington Post and “Democracy Now!” ?
Let’s keep an eye on President Obama and Syria, but let’s also ask other questions. Let’s make it harder for “them” to use their excitement to start a war as a fog to misdirect us about issues like jobs, global warming, and access to healthcare.