There is deep context for every political story in the news. Of course, the networks and major newspapers don’t explore it. But it’s there if one wants to bother tracking it down.
How do you cover “quantitative easing” (printing endless money) unless you discuss what the Federal Reserve is and isn’t? You can’t. You get a body with its head chopped off. You get severely truncated information.
And this describes what the news does and what politicians do. They omit context. From A to Z. They chop heads.
The effect? A trance.
A trance IS what happens when the mind enters the dead zone where information doesn’t have a basis. A trance is that float.
Watching and listening to news and political statements is entering the float. The questioning mind piles up queries until it goes on overload and surrenders.
Because there is no context.
It’s like walking into a room where a group of strangers is discussing a story in midstream. You play catch-up. You try to fill in the blanks. But you’re lost.
Tech blather has already begun, since Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, bought the Washington Post at a fire sale. Jeff Genius will invent new ways to transmit the news to ‘people on the go’ and make the Post a smashing success. (See Wired, “How Jeff Bezos Will Reinvent Legacy News Media,” by Puneet Mehta.)
The new Washington Post. Mobile devices. Multiple platforms. Digital, taking over from print. Ads customized to fit readers’ interests (profiling). News stories customized to fit readers’ interests (more profiling).
I can see it now. John Smith spends every waking hour watching porn. So HIS Washington Post will sport a page-one headline, LINDA LOVELACE RETROSPECTIVE RAISES PROTESTS.
Just what we need. Perfect.
A Democratic voter in Chicago will get a different page-one headline, OBAMA PROMISES NEW PROGRAMS FOR CRIME PREVENTION.
Streamlined media. Market-driven. More absurd than ever. A reflexive bubble inside which the reader can be entertained. Your own search engine without the need to search.
Another way of delivering content without context.
The Post will become an updated corpse burying the old corpse of the paper. Here’s my headline: WAPO PIG WITH LIPSTICK LAYS TO REST WAPO PIG WITHOUT LIPSTICK.
This is what a real publisher would do, in case anyone’s interested:
He’d assemble his key editors and reporters in a room, lock the door, and say: “All right, we have a handful of scandals here. The IRS targeting specific kinds of groups on non-profit status. Michael Hasting’s death. The NSA spying on AP reporters. Fast and Furious. Benghazi. NSA-Snowden. Now, if you were honest and open and unafraid, by some miracle, which one of these stories would you pick for a good old-fashioned slaughter?
“Which scandal do you think goes the deepest? If you were inclined to do an actual investigation, no holds barred, all the way to the bottom of the dung pile, to find the REAL secrets, which scandal would you choose? I’m talking about a series of, say, 50 page-one stories, during a relentless six-month blood bath.”
And then that publisher would sit back and listen to his lackeys bloviate for an hour or so.
Then he’d interrupt: “No, I don’t think you understand me. I’m not asking for pontification. I’m asking for reporters’ opinions. The real opinions. The ones you may have had before you sold out to the demands of your former employer. Get it?”
Then, assessing some of the blank looks around the room, he’d fire half his staff. Just as a warm-up.
“Okay now, the rest of you—you castrati who’ve been living off the largesse of this paper. Wake up or get out. We’re going to cover a scandal the way it should be done. We’re going to give our readers context for it. Actual background. Prior crimes, hidden players, covert ops, that sort of thing. Am I getting through at all, or do I have to hire kids who are currently working at high-school newspapers?….Excuse me? What did you say? You want to know what this has to do with mobile platforms and customized news for subscribers ON THE GO?…Is that what you actually said? I want to remember it word for word so when I write a letter to your mother I can explain what a complete moron you are and why I fired you…
“Anyway, since you buffoons can’t come up with the one scandal we should cover wall to wall, I’ll go with my own gut. It’s Benghazi. There’s murder there, and a major cover-up. Liars at the State Department, which means Hillary, and liars at the CIA and the Pentagon. And that’s just for starters.
“I want to know EVERYTHING about where the missiles went and who shipped them. I want witnesses who’ll testify the US government has been arming low-level terrorists to fight in Syria with those weapons. Nail it. Track it. Find out who’s covering it up. Climb the ladder. Can you see it? WHITE HOUSE USING TERRORISTS TO MAKE WAR. There are people in this city who have the answers…”
Yes, that’s the stuff of movies; not real life in the pigpen of major media. In real life, papers like the Washington Post are part of the cover-up. Their actual work is no work at all. Their principal mission is making sure they don’t dig deep on certain scandals.
There should be Pulitzer Prizes for media outlets based on stories they avoided and covered via limited hangout.
“This year, the Committee awards a Pulitzer for Omission and Limited Hangout to the Washington Post for its ‘coverage’ of SSRI antidepressants pushing children into committing suicide and murder all across America. What coverage? Exactly. Congratulations.”
I’m looking forward to a Washington Post that runs, on mobile devices, 5000 different page-one headlines every day, beamed at profiled readers.
THIRTY YEARS OLD AND LIVING IN YOUR PARENTS’ BASEMENT? NEW STUDY SHOWS VITAMIN D COULD IMPROVE SKIN HEALTH
SELLING WORTHLESS STOCKS TO SUCKERS: STEP ONE IN A CLIMB TO THE TOP
PENTAGON CHIEF SAYS BOYS WHO EAT FROZEN DINNERS MAKE BETTER SOLDIERS
TOP UNIVERSITIES SEEKING STUDENT ATHLETES WHO CAN’T READ: ABSOLUTELY NO BARRIER TO GRADUATION (If you’re a high school coach, read this headline to a 300-pound tackle.)
25 TO 44 YEAR OLD READERS WITH DISCRETIONARY INCOME FORM CLUB TO DISCUSS BEST MOBILE DEVICES, AS PREDATOR DRONES ATTACK IRAN NUCLEAR LAB
Yes, I see a great future for the Washington Post.
The big lie? “Once a great newspaper…” No, I’m afraid not. Mainstream journalism periodically reinvents its own past to pad its reputation. Straight con. There was never a golden age of journalism.
Actual investigative reporting was always the rare exception in major media. And these days, it’s virtually extinct.
Ditto for “the golden age of television broadcast news.” Ed Murrow. Chet Huntley. David Brinkley. Cronkite. I was there. I watched them do their dog and ponies night in and night out. Never an authentic context for a story in the whole lot of them. What they had was deadpan self-assurance. That was the basis of their act. It played well.
The Washington Post built its rep on Watergate, which was twisted from the beginning. Nixon was in David Rockefeller’s crosshairs. That’s where it all began. Nixon had laid tariffs on certain goods coming into the US. He violated the sacred Rockefeller principle of “free trade” (Globalism). He had to go. When he did go, a sop named Gerald Ford moved into the White House and brought along David’s brother, Nelson, as his vice-president.
I hope Jeff Bezos, or someone of his persuasion, ends up owning the NY Times and the LA Times, too, and turns them into advertising giants. Forget news content, except as pauses between commercials.
It’s what these papers deserve. They’re poseurs who’ve pretended to provide the real news for decades. Fake depth takes very little skill.
Most mainstream reporters are extremely low-level insiders, which means they can attend cocktail parties on the East coast and rub elbows with people who help shape government. These reporters come to know there is a standardized list of reliable sources for stories. A quote from such a source qualifies a media piece as authentic.
Attempting to write stories that cross swords with those sources’ agendas dooms a reporter. Access is thereafter denied. The result? The toilet flushes and his career spins down into the sewer.
A journalist who lasts 20 years in the business has sold out everything he has to sell. He comes to believe the bubble in which he lives is the only reality. He’s like the high-fashion PR person who hypes grotesque and buffoonish clothes stick-figure models wear in runway shows, insisting nothing is more beautiful.
The main difference between reporting and investigative reporting? In the first instance, the journalist moves laterally between two basic sources, each of which has a different version of facts or meaning. In the latter enterprise, the reporter digs down vertically and gathers testimony and documents that expose an underbelly. Then he looks for confirmation of what he’s found, while digging still deeper.
In the summer of 2009, while the CDC was promoting Swine Flu as the next end-of-the-world pandemic, Sharyl Attkisson at CBS discovered the CDC has stopped counting Swine Flu cases in the US.
This was explosive. How then could CDC, the agency tasked with reporting case numbers, claim Swine Flu was everywhere when they weren’t even countng. The CDC reacted with anger and began sidestepping and making absurd excuses.
The story was just taking off. It obviously had more secret compartments, but someone at CBS flashed a red light, and the coverage stopped in its tracks.
Now, four years later, writing in the online British Medical Journal, Peter Doshi has added another major layer to the scandal. Every year, Doshi states, samples from hundreds of thousands of people in the US, who have been diagnosed with flu, are sent to labs for analysis. Only 18% of those samples reveal the presence of ANY flu virus!
Knowing this in 2009, the CDC would have had a very good reason to stop counting Swine Flu cases. Their whole vaccine-promotion campaign was a fraud.
OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF SWINE FLU CASES IN THE US HAVE NO FLU AT ALL. CDC KNEW.
CBS was on the cusp of blowing it all wide open, and they stopped.
“Yes, we here at CBS do a little investigative reporting, but only a little. When things get too hot, we run for the hills and hide.”
Mainstream media outlets have an important job to perform. They must build up politicians and experts as very important and authoritative figures. After all, comments from these towers of power drive many stories. So it all has to look on the up-and-up.
If CBS hit the CDC amidships with a series of torpedoes, suddenly the leaders and the experts at the agency would appear to be utter quacks and crooks, which is exactly what they are. That can’t happen. It would, among other things, reduce the prestige of CBS, because the network relies on such people to impart a major gloss to the news.
One domino falls, two dominoes fall, and pretty soon…“CBS regrets to announce that upwards of a hundred experts and political leaders on whom we’ve been basing our broadcasts and stories are all idiots and liars who should be in jail.”
And believe me, if CBS had pursued the Swine Flu/CDC story to its core, that agency would have collapsed. There are many more scandals hiding out at the CDC, not the least of which is the absurd contention that poisons in vaccines cannot cause what is called Autism.
The CDC scratches CBS’ back, and CBS returns the favor. They’re partners. Sharyl Attkisson never had a chance of tracking the Swine Flu story to its conclusion. She would have, had her bosses let her, but there was too much at stake.
That’s why turning major media outlets into mobile-device “on the go” advertising platforms, with all their users profiled, is a logical conclusion to the history of these organizations.
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com / www.jonrappoport.wordpress.com / link to original article