by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog
During the recent wave of rebellions in the US I was reminded of just how woefully, woefully inadequate the US nationwide media truly is. I only foresee one solution to ferret out what is truly going on in the United States during the 2020 summer & fall of discontent – going local, nationwide.
(However, I do please need help with this solution – more on that shortly.)
It’s not just CNN, MSNBC, PBS, NPR, etc., but the major city newspapers too, as they are owned by the same corporations/conglomerates, after all. Therefore, tuning into any of these stations/newspapers is to see the same story over and over and over; to watch just one of them is to watch them all, such is their uniformity.
That’s a huge problem in creating a politically-intelligent citizenry.
There is also a significant trend in US newspapers about which I have not read any comment: The New York Times has become not only the nation’s “paper of record” but apparently also a newswire. Look at your major city daily and you’ll likely find that reprints of Times articles are not quite on par with usage of the Associated Press but certainly exceeds the number of Reuters articles.
That’s a significant development for US culture: it certainly increases the amount of NYC-centeredness, something which had already exploded with the advent of cable TV. Using more Times articles also means less space for local coverage (newspaper journalists always view everything as a constant and hierarchical battle for precious inch space, LOL) and thus the local culture suffers from exclusion. Disagree with that? Consider radio:
For much of the 20th century local US musical culture could be rewarded with local #1 hits which were big regionally but never broke nationwide – this fostered a unique local musical arts scene, and explains why US musical culture was so vibrant and diverse in the 20th century. But steady deregulation, beginning with Jimmy Carter, and permitting the rise of media conglomerate domination – sealed by the Clinton administration’s Telecommunications Act of 1996 – immediately resulted in a total stagnation, sameness and dullness in American music (in every genre but country music).
Consider the incredibly banal and unexceptional “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X – last year it inexplicably became the longest running #1 hit ever in US history – it spent a stunning 19 consecutive weeks at the top of the charts. Some say that Lil Nas X was only so heavily promoted by the media conglomerates because he became the first openly homosexual rapper, but that misses the larger trend: we see that nearly all of the #1 hits which have spent 10 weeks or more on the charts occurred after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 – the main story here is how the cultural omnipresence of media conglomerates has standardised US culture and eliminated once-vibrant regionalisms. What holds true for music holds true for news.
However, it’s quite, quite a change in US newspapers to open one up these days and discover that half the national and world coverage are reprints from The New York Times. Only an idiot would uncritically accept the Times latest allegations based on anonymous AND discredited sources – alleged Russian bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan – but they did the same thing to provoke Gulf War II, of course.
For real news go local and – surprisingly – go to local public television
If you really want to find some actual current information in the US you have to go to local public TV.
Take Chicago, for example, the 3rd-largest city in the US: The Chicago Tribune did just a terrible job precisely covering the enormous local impact of the Floyd rebellions, rather nullifying the usual consensus that print is more intelligent than TV.
As a journalist whose background is in print please believe that I am usually biased in print’s favor, but there is a reality about print which is rarely stated: the very medium of print lends itself to conservatism when presenting new and urgent issues.
A huge part of this is caused by the “objective” method of reporting so popular in the US – to read the newspaper is to read a “balanced” accounting, but one which is always “balanced” (i.e. censored) in favor of the corporate fascism and capitalism-imperialism upon which the US system is undoubtedly ideologically constructed. Thus, even though for the first time in 50 years Americans were in the street demanding radical changes and revolution the average newspaper was unable to reflect those demands without an omnipresent, and editorially overt, status-quo-loving counterbalance of “many believe these are mere rioters and that it useless to discover if there is a coherent ideology behind their actions”.
Television, contrarily and undoubtedly, can stick a microphone in someone’s face and that person can scream bloody murder – you can’t “balance” that via toning down their sentiments with a rewrite back at the office.
This explains why the only place I found some real discussion about actual issues which truly affect the average person is the local news on the local PBS channel (PBS is the lone public TV channel in the US).
Chicago is an interesting place in the US because it’s the 3rd-largest city but totally absent from US national coverage, which is dominated by NYC, DC and LA. However, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones: win over (understand) Chicago and you win over the bulk of the US. Chicago is the undisputed Qom of neoliberal thought, and yet also gave the world May Day. There’s no doubt that the average American peasant & worker lives/thinks/feels more like a Chicagoan than like any in that trio of rather incredibly resented US cities, so we can somewhat confidently extrapolate the current problems/solutions/rebellions/economic catastrophes seen in Chicago to the myriad of other cities both non-Americans and actual Americans never hear a word about in the national media, such as Cleveland, Tallahassee and Pittsburgh, to say nothing of Oskaloosa, the Quad Cities and anywhere in inland California.
So if you are looking for actual on-the-ground information regarding the US 2020 dystopia and the ongoing Summer of Hate as experienced by the average American, may I recommend you check out WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago – here is the home page for their main news program, Chicago Tonight. I saw their live coverage of the protests and I was surprised at what a solid (but not “leftist great”) job they did. Contrarily, I saw much more cowardice, stupidity and craven compliance from national MSM journalists doing live coverage of the rebellions.
If you watch their “full show” or just certain clips you will find intensely critical local officials & local citizens, honest roundtable discussions, sound bytes which aren’t 5 seconds long, and reporters who actually know and care about what is going on around them – these are all things absent in the national MSM. In 2020 – that’s as precious as gold. They travel all around the near-megalopolis and ask about things like: “How is the Corona hysteria ruining your business?” instead of “How is Russia ruining our country and your life”?
I have no idea why you would ever want to tune into CNN’s Chris Cuomo again: I have never seen any TV journalist use the words “I” and “myself” as often as he does. Rachel Maddow – here’s a minute-by-minute breakdown of her in 2018 and the conclusion was clear: she is not a journalist but an unprincipled propagandist, just like how Tucker Carlson’s lawyer stated last month that his viewers should not expect him to state nor verify truthful facts. The national news of Washington-based PBS or NPR? PBS fails to see the problem with using military brass as foreign policy analysts, LOL, while Neocon Public Radio is the most unabashed proponent of useless & divisive identity politics. Bottom line: if you want to see all of these places at once – just go check out The New York Times.
That is the echo chamber of the modern US – it will make you crazy, and it will certainly make you stupid with identity politics, Trump Derangement Syndrome and Russophobia.
With public TV you can actually find out what is going on with the average American in the average community – turn off the national MSM and go local: it’ll be nice to be reminded that you aren’t alone and that all Americans aren’t totally out of touch.
A request for your help
I don’t recall ever asking readers to share one of my articles, but I wish you would please share this one: I am hoping people can please pass on a truly reliable local TV news source other than in Chicago?
Please comment below if you know of one – I will check the internet and find your comments. If people give enough news sources I will make “Part 2” to this article and list them.
Wouldn’t such a list be really useful? If a munitions plant poisons half of Texas, wouldn’t it be good to have a list at your disposal to find the good local news resource?
During the recent rebellions there were major & unique happenings in places like Minneapolis and Memphis but I could not find a similar news program like Chicago Tonight to really find out the local assessments, problems and proposed solutions.
However, I have already asked dozens of journalists and activists and gotten scant replies – I worry that everybody is glued to the national MSM? Really, you need to learn more about Chris Cuomo’s personal greatness?
Given the current/looming economic disaster, even more than the upcoming presidential election, we really need to find out what the heck is actually going on in the US, no? And we can’t rely on the MSM for that.
So, if you could please pass on a reliable, quality local news recommendation I will be happy to compile them and include them all in an article on this subject in the near future.
Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.
Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020
Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020
A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020
– March 25, 2020
Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? –
March 26, 2020
If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30,
Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020
Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020
(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020
Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020
Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020
‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020
Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020
No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020
Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020
No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020
Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020
We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20,
Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020
Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020
The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,
The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020
What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020
ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020
Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020
The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020
May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020
Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020
Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020
Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020
France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists? – May 15, 2020
Why haven’t we called it ‘QE 5’ yet? And why we must call it ‘QE 2.1’ instead – May 16, 2020
‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty public servant!’ That’s Orwell? – May 17, 2021
The Great Lockdown: The political apex of US single Moms & Western matriarchy? May 21, 2021
I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately – May 25, 2021
August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin – May 28, 2021
Corona proving the loser of the Cold War was both the USSR & the USA – May 30, 2021
Rebellions across the US: Why worry? Just ask Dr. Fauci to tell us what to do – June 2, 2021
Protesting, corona-conscience, a good dole: the US is doing things it can’t & it’s chaos – June 3, 2021
Why do Westerners assume all African-Americans are leftists? – June 5, 2020
The US as Sal’s Pizzeria: When to ‘Do The Right Thing’ is looting – June 6, 2020
The problem with the various ‘Fiat is all the problem!’ (FIATP) crowds – June 9, 2020
Politicisation of Great Lockdown result of ‘TINA’ economic ignorance & censorship – June 14, 2020
Trump’s only hope: buying re-election with populist jobless benefits – June 16, 2020 (Hey, I took a break since this one – so sue me. And maybe I should retire this list, LOL….)
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.
How you have brought to my remembrance the immortal words of Malcolm Muggeridge and moved me to again read that great and powerful thesis of his Christ and the Media!!!! Thank you!
“The media in general, and TV in particular, are incomparably the greatest single influence in our society . This influence is, in my opinion, largely exerted irresponsibly, arbitrarily, and without reference to any moral or intellectual, still less spiritual guidelines whatsoever.” Throughout his journalistic career, Malcolm Muggeridge was a commentator. On radio and television, as a lecturer, journalist and author, he fascinated, delighted, provoked-and sometimes infuriated-his audiences. Christ and the Media is a sharp, witty critique of media-oriented culture with such intriguing fantasies as the “the Fourth Temptation,” in which Jesus is approached with the offer of a worldwide TV network. “Future historians,” wrote Muggeridge, “will surely see us as having created in the media a Frankenstein monster which no one knows how to control or direct, and marvel that we should have so meekly subjected ourselves to its destructive and often malign influence.
and sorry I can’t help you identify any good ones not being in the US.
As for ‘Leftist great’ :-)
Time of Pseudo . Between Fake News and Conspiracy theories .
Where is the truth?
I think truth is not available and ready to hand,
We have to struggle for it and find it in darkness that we live in.
The premise of this article is a good one. You simply cannot have a democracy unless you can get accurate information.
And you cannot get accurate information from the likes of CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times or their ilk.
But where I live the local media is just as bad.
I gave up on the local public television news. It was simply a regurgitation of whatever narratives happened to be trendy in the New York media.
The private media (and I have known some people who worked in local private media) had some good people. But the good people all eventually gave up and left to work in other fields. As one reporter told me, “we weren’t doing journalism, we were just reprinting press releases.” Another reporter – through great legwork – uncovered a very newsworthy story only to have it quashing by an editor who was afraid of government blowback.
I would love to find accurate sources of news, but real journalism is increasingly rare.
Perhaps one should consider who controls all the neworks and most of the newspapers.
I would call that a clue.
Where I reside, both the North Coast Journal and the Lost Coast Outpost provide reasonably balanced (read “not overly-influenced by state intelligence agencies”) reports of current events, though with an understandable emphasis on local news.
While the former, at times, shows an occasional mainstream “liberal” bias (as was evinced during Russiagate v.1.0), both seem to strive to report all aspects of the given topic.
Thanks for your own excellent reporting, and best for the future; things are getting bumpier all the time.
Oh good heavens Ramin. You’re looking for a needle in a haystack. Hack, print journalism is not completely dead, but it is being ventilated … and totally dependent on oxygen forced into the lungs for survival.
With virus/novirus, alt media started following their nationwide media, just calling it the opposite – just for fun you know… the nation media is wrong, so, the opposite is perhaps true and we will fight for that.
I’ve resorted to specific writers, bloggers and commentators. The media is all lying under ventilators. I mean I can give you a list of the alts, serious voices, but heavens … needle in haystack. I find more reality in the Chinese media on US stories than in the US itself.
Agreed, US national media is useless, even the American President calls it fake news and truthfully states the USA is the worst country to deal with even worse than north Korea or Iran because the backstabbing in the US system is so severe. That’s a pretty tough thing to say for an American Nationalist and exceptionalist like Trump (who idiotically claims that America is the best at everything – something that is objectively absurd and untrue but is something he desperately wants to believe).
That all said, isn’t Iranian, Chinese, European and (especially) British news also useless. And let’s add to the news in the Arab world and El Magrebh (hone). Don’t all state controlled media lie and sell Us BS that suits the ruling elite? For instance here in morroco we get see objective news about things that don’t threaten the established leadership of the country, but never will we get objective truth if it has an impact on morroco,’s elite.
For example in the current near war situation unfolding between India and China, which has zero impact on the ruling class here, we actually get objective news. We learn that China has bitten off more than they can chew and find that they have blundered their way into a confrontation with the Indians that they cannot win but only lose. Of course all of this is irrelevant to the average Moroccan so we get objective truth. However how would the Indian media or Chinese portray it?
The Indian media will go over the top and gloat and chest thump knowing they have the chinese PLA in a trap because attempts by the Chinese to intimidate India into backing down failed and now the chinese are facing a hot war in their most vulnerable theatre. Meanwhile what is the chinese media doing? Covering it all up and minimizing it. So it seems to me all major power structures play with the “news” when it threatens or favors their narrative.
Perhaps the best easy to get objective news to access the news of a disinterested party or nation on a particular issue. So access Russian news to understand a conflict in subsaharan Africa, or access news in South America to understand the conflict in the south pacific caused Australia domination of Melanesia.
Just a thought.
You write “We learn that China has bitten off more than they can chew and find that they have blundered their way into a confrontation with the Indians that they cannot win but only lose. … so we get objective truth”
One never knows what is irony on the Internet: I assume you mean that ironically, yes?
Yes they did Oliver k, what bubble are you living in? China tried to seize an area in India’s Ladakh region that they had been recognized for years as a neutral buffer that both armies took turns patrolling. When the Indians objected they were ambushed by 3 times as many PLA soldiers who used metal clubs studded with welded-on spikes (it takes preparation and premeditation to have such weapons ready in a zone where firearms fire is prohibited): hand to hand combat occurred (to the credit of both sides neither used the ak-47s and hand guns both sides carry). In the hand to hand combat, the Indians lost 20 men, the PLA lost between 35 (CIA estimate) to 47 men (Indian Army claim).
Then a standoff began with China amassing 20,000-40,000 PLA and armoured groups on their side. The Chinese demanded India stop all roads building on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The Indian response was to triple the rate of road building, rapidly deploy 40,000-60,000 Indian Army along with their Airforce and armoured forces as well raising forces along the entire India-Tibet portion of the boundary with China.. Then the Indian PM visited the high altitude area and implied (in a speech to his soldiers carried live to all 1.3 billion Indians) an all out theatre-wide war with China if they did not stand down to pre conflict positions. The Chinese backed down, and have begun dismantling the structures they had set set up in the neutral area that Indians objected to. Both countries made a joint statement of withdrawal of forces from the area in question.
China blundered, it happens: sometimes nation states make strategic errors. Their attempted bluff was called by India and the chinese folded. Russia was very quick to meet all India requests for additional Su-30MKI and mig-29s that India requested on emergency basis.
Those are the facts. Russia (Putin) is pretty angry that things have unraveled this way because it has started to the cleave-apart his vision of the RIC. China made demands on Russia not to supply the weapons India requested: Putin pointedly ignored this demand. The Chinese demands were made via diplomatic channels and editorials published by the CCP mouthpiece, The Global Times ( they also started reiterating claims about Chinese claims to Vladivostok and other far east areas of Russia). Go to the Global Times website and see for yourself.
China also suffered financial losses due to major Chinese social media apps being banned in India (including Tik-Tok, which lost over 200 Million Indian users overnight). Some estimates show that the combined loss of IPO and market cap for these social media companies is over $20 billion due to being permanently shut out of their 2nd largest market, India https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2020/06/30/tiktok-just-lost-200-million-users/)
Attempts to ignore these facts or censor them, like in the Chinese media, isn’t going to change these facts, it’s only going make those in denial look weak, insecure and ridiculous.
Oliver K, feel free to correct any errors in my post.
I think the reality is a bit more subtle than that. In my opinion, it’s rather simplistic to claim that China backed down in the face of Indian military pressure. I believe a consensus emerged between India and China to de-escalate tensions.
The links you’ve provided are opinion pieces and seem to me to be irrelevant to the point being made by anonymous who posted China is estimated to have lost $20 Billion due to Tik-Tok and 58 other china based social media services being banned in India. His or her point was to simply lay down the facts of the stand off. One is free to believe whatever what one wants to, but it does not change the facts. China has been greatly damaged by this incident: it has freed up all the very small nations in Asia who were too scared to speak out about Chinese excesses (even Burma/Myanmar issued a demarche to china to stop support “terrorists” or armed rebels in Myanmar the day the Indian PM implied that war was imminent) all of ASEAN took the opportunity to censor China over their unilateral claims on the south China Sea (something ASEAN was too intimidated to do earlier), even Philippines, which had openly courted China has issued a threat to use military force if china enters Philippines waters during the upcoming naval exercises by the PLA Navy.
The thing that really tells me some people in Beijing had lost the plot was their attempt to order/browbeat President Putin of Russia not supply the weapons India requested. Many are perplexed why China is behaving this way with so many countries it can’t be in China’s best interest, what is going on?
As of now the Indians have also permanently banned both Huawei and ZTE from all 4G and 5G bids, in addition, the loss of 200 million users (as well as 100s of millions over future Indian users) for very successful chinese social media services and a permanent ban on another 58 chinese apps and services out of the largest internet market outside of China is now estimated to be over $100 billion.
The only silver lining in this mess is that US was threatening India with sanctions (legislation known as CATSA) if India purchased any further Russian weapons: the result was that India dithered for over 18 months on awarding bids to Russia on India’s interim combat plane tender. Thanks to this crisis, pro-US bureaucrats in India’s ministry of Defense were brushed aside with India giving American CATSA sanctions the middle digit and awarding Russia all iterim combat airplane bids. It also signals that India will not allow itself to be Japan style “ally” (aka vassal) of the US as some had hoped: India chose the middle path.
Things aren’t over though, India still believes China might attempt an incursion or land seizure in the near future. As a result the military forces India has mobilized will stay deployed close to the border and airbase construction along the Tibet sector of the border, previously suspended by India to placate China, will be completed on an accelerated basis. This has backfired badly on China.
” it’s only going make those in denial look weak, insecure and ridiculous.”
Some coercive social relations are prone to projection of what they fear most, which can be useful in formulation, implementation, monitoring and modulation of lateral strategies of transcendence.
One projection of “The United States of America’s” is illustrated by their resort to sanctions predicated on belief that others are “afraid” of not having “friends”/partners to take to the senior prom.
Your projection ” it’s only going make those in denial look weak, insecure and ridiculous” is a derivation of not having friends (like minded believers) as a function of looking weak, insecure and ridiculous.
Thank you for illustrating a way in which the US national media is not useless, and illustrating other components in the petri dish of the opponents’ culture.
@Amazih, what you call disinterested reporting in Marocco re. the Kasjmir issue is actually your media taking side with India against China. Probably directed from abroad. ‘zero impact on your ruling class?’ Wait and find out.
In my opinion, the media in most countries (whether in America, Russia, China, Europe, Africa or the Middle East) no longer care about objective truth. What matters increasingly is using a particular narrative to shape perception. To get the truth or something close to the truth, you have to look for it. Essentially read or view both mainstream and non-mainstream sources and apply commonsense, critical thinking and logic to decide what is true.
“In my opinion, the media in most countries (whether in America, Russia, China, Europe, Africa or the Middle East) no longer care about objective truth.”
“”I think the reality is a bit more subtle than that.”
Words and ideographs are catalysts of connotations, and connotations differ within the same social relations/language/culture as assays/functions of cultural facility.
You cite a collection of social relations/cultures/languages within which it is unlikely that you have facility in all to recognise connotations – and even if you rely on the translations of others for this aspect of social relations/languages/cultures, you will remain subject to the interpretation of others which in turn you will likely interpret.
“Some coercive social relations are prone to projection of what they fear most, which can be useful in formulation, implementation, monitoring and modulation of lateral strategies of transcendence.”
Some are aware of all of the above through regular testing and evaluation, and if their purpose is to facilitate cooperation rather than coercion, this knowledge facilitates opportunities of transcendence of opponents by cooperation, including but not limited to, the complicity/cooperation of opponents.
The tendency of projection in some coercive social relations is not limited to broadcast but includes interpretation, consequently they tend to restricted by their interpretation, and to some degree engage in dances/trances around fixed points..
Omniscience does not exist in any lateral interaction even when methods such as critical thinking and logic are followed since neither critical thinking nor logic are omniscient, and hence an absolute – “truth” – can never be attained, only approximated “truth” in varying assay.
All of the above are useful in “hiding in plain sight”, including of broadcasting approximate truth in varying assay, which opponents will tend to view as deception, since they believe such not to constitute “plausible belief” as a function of their resort to projection.
It appears that you are also prone to resort to projection and hence restricted in your concept of “media” – “”In my opinion, the media in most countries (whether in America, Russia, China, Europe, Africa or the Middle East) no longer care about objective truth.”
Article is absolutely spot on, unfortunately. There really is no truth, the stenographers all read from the same script, and woe on to those who stray outside of the script or write or publish anything the goes outside of the designated narrative. The so called journalists are probably really lower than the “oldest profession” as at least the oldest profession provided “something, while the so called journalists really provide nothing but a reading or recitation of the false script.
As we have seen over and over, the false script does not provide truth, facts do not matter, and the show must go on and continue. Case in point is this latest charade with the “bounty hunting” Taliban, um now, criminal elements.
The bottom line, however, again unfortunately, is that the solution is not with local news either-they are either owned or controlled by the corporate conglomerates.
Thanks for the article, Ramin, I wish I could offer some constructive ideas but none come to mind.
Great article, Ramin. An important piece.
It reminds me actually of your premise regarding the Cultural Revolution in China, and the urban/rural divide that created a narrative and history not shared by the peasantry on the land. While the national culture of the USA is articulated, as you say, in LA, DC and NY, the majority of the US population doesn’t live there. We all live elsewhere.
Maybe this is why we have a better sense of what people are thinking than the national pundits.
I actually turn to my neighbors and colleagues locally to give me a national benchmark, and it seems reliable – they reflect not only what they feel but what they hear about what others feel. Somehow one can put this all together, and compare it against the factual truth of things as found in the Russian, Chinese and Iranian media, and specialist sites such as this one.
As for local channels, like the other commenters here I’m stumped. I don’t use them. But when it comes to local TV news, I have noticed that an individual can quite easily access this. So the message there can be what you want it to be. And I suppose, then, this means that the net messaging from all the local outlets is what the people are trying to say.
How to string all this together and aggregate it into a useful feed is beyond me. But I like your idea. Maybe we can find a way. Sorry not to help, but please keep pondering and exploring this – it has some potency for grass roots activity (such as truth-telling).
Those are all mostly international.
and many more.They report on events in US mostly, and some international flair.
Best filter is common sense and logic
Wake up,people you are witnessing 1917 in real time.If you do nothing your nightmares will become your reality.
And mine.There will be no place to hide.
Not TV, but print> “Anderson Valley Advertiser” ( http://www.theava.com/ ) seems pretty solid to me. It is a tiny thing, but a high quality journal.
Thanks for the Chicago TV source.
Good (somewhat) local newssource? Try the Saker website; http://thesaker.is.
Seriously; when Soleimani was assassinated and Iran was about to strike back, I found the most up-to-date information was actually coming up on the Saker’s blog from people writing in.
News is not information or analysis – News is what is fit to be printed for the lazy and inert masses. Ramin you are looking for something that does not exist in the US and Canada. Here in Toronto there is no news – even the local news – crime/weather/sports is awful and lazy – literally wired in.
Grading of MSM news sources is binary – if they have a comments section terrible – if they have no comments allowed far more terrible.
On the national level you are absolutely right – personally I prefer Fox news and specifically Tucker Carlson – not for news but rather the tone. The problem with CNN and the so called fake news gang is that they cannot keep their stories straight or more than one narrative thread concurrent – so it is impossible to gauge where the propaganda is heading. The talking heads are extraordinarily stupid and dull across the MSM – especially on CNN.
The interesting thing, however, about Tucker Carlson is not his content but rather the well placed reveals – listen carefully and no matter how tone deaf or misleading the monologue appears he drops in damning attacks on zionazis corporate America’s war on the world and the American people. Remember that he had Roger Waters on the show – very much a subtle dig at the DP/RP occupied Palestine narrative.
Like the New York Times – twitter has become a catch all for news. Both are echo chambers used to amplify and propagate corporate misinformation. The best that you can do is squint when viewing the MSM to read between the lines.
Try RT online, and then make up your own mind.
This is the site to keep up with the virus.
Thank you for this! News on COVID treatments is heavily censored where I live in Japan. They appear to be having Remdesevir forced on them, even giving up on a promising treatment produced by one of their own companies.
Great article as usual. I’m in the Seattle area and can report that the overwhelming majority of people in my area completely reject the plandemic and simply play along to get along. Knowledge of the absurd game being played is spreading much, much more rapidly than this mostly harmless virus.
Me thinks the cabal shall fail.
Humans are going to win this.
I checked out your recommendation: WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago. I am always looking for more news sources.
The video is of “Chicago Tonight” (starting at the 15 seconds mark).
The first 22 minutes of the round-table were about Covid-19. Then at the 22:23 mark they did “the week in review” with “national news”.
The brief “national news” segment reminded me of the lead up to the invasion of Iraq – 2003. “Intelligence” was stove-piped through anonymous sources to the mouth pieces in the media and the munchkins on the receiving end always acting as predictably as they would were someone to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
The above video will probably soon go into their archive under July 4th and easily found and accessed
from the same page you linked us to https://news.wttw.com/video
I may give the link you provided one more chance before removing it from my Bookmarks.
It worked. For the warmongers, that is.
The stove-piped “intelligence” was just cited as a reason by the House to pass legislation in order to make it much, much more difficult for Trump to pull out troops from Afghanistan.
The above video has not been archived yet. You can still follow the above link (recommended by this article)
and see the relevant propaganda at the 22:23 mark.
This is the archived video:
Capital City New Jersey, USA – https://www.trentonian.com – Every once in a while, keen opinion pieces/local news mainly of the capital city – Trenton. Although, due to its relatively small circulation, this paper publishes wire-fed pieces.
A fairly decent summary of the total insanity, indeed depravity, of today’s press-as I have mentioned before, craig roberts calls the press presstitutes, implying that they have or lack comparable “standards” to the world’s oldest profession.
I think this is a dis-service to the oldest profession. I believe as has been demonstrated over and over that the current press is lower than the oldest profession in many ways:
Thanks again, Ramin, for this article.
The Santa Fe New Mexican and the Albuquerque Journal are both reasonably good, if mostly provincial, small(er) town sources. God knows they give the local pols and that world class cesspool of corruption, THE Los Alamos National Laboratory the business pretty regularly. As you might imagine, with not one but TWO national nuclear labs within a hundred miles or so of each other (Sandia in Albuquerque, is the other), New Mexico might be fairly termed a slush pit of DC, DoE, and DoD corruption and malfeasance, but the locals seem to give almost as good as they get when it comes to standing up to, or at least recognizing, it. Yes, the corrupt bastards are still winning, just as they are everywhere else these days, but the locals are still taking names at least.
Other than for comic distraction, the MSM is useless. I stopped watching TV decades ago. Even on the internet the truth is suppressed on a regular basis, with contrary articles going down the memory hole as fast as they are put up. Have to say, the worst of it started with 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act and the 2001 National Defense Authorization Act. They were written well before the 9/11 attacks and are supported by both major parties, to this very day. They are why are constitutional rights to free speech have been shredded.
Speaking of 9/11, that was the first time for me that it became clear how the MSM was in on the coverup of the truth. That they could be fingering Osama bin Laden and his merry band of 19 Arabs as the perps within hours of the events, way before any actual investigation could have possibly been done, was an indication that they were being fed the “official” narrative, promoted by… the neocons, the CIA, the Deep State, call it what you want. Every attempt at a real investigation has either been thwarted or suppressed, as was the secret Sandia Labs investigation that proved the Twin Towers were brought down by mini-nukes, and guess who is the only nation on the planet that could have done it?
One can only get information like this from Veterans Today, No Lies Radio, and other sites that have been scrubbed from Facebook and YouTube. It’s a guessing game which sites are going to be suppressed next, but thankfully they tend to reemerge just as fast as they are suppressed.
You wrote: ” That they could be fingering Osama bin Laden and his merry band of 19 Arabs as the perps within hours of the events…”
Reminded me of this. Within hours the Pentagon was telling their MSM mouthpieces that they had satellite evidence that showed either Russia or the pro-Russia separatists had brought down MH17 with a surface to air missile.
Funny. Of course no one saw missile contrails heading up to destroy MH17. But what are you going to believe, what you are supposed to believe or your lying eyes?
It was interesting to watch that Russian language BBC report, interviewing locals in the area of the crash.
All of them saw military jets shadowing the airliner. Many of them described explosive sounds coming from the sky, but none of them saw anything launched from the ground.
I still think it was part of a plan to tilt the battlefield in favor of the orcs. Demand a ceasefire, evacuate the cauldrons, and re-form the orc battle lines. — supported by lies about the Donbass militia preventing ‘humanitarian’ access to the wreckage site.
That BBC report quickly disappeared from view. Later I watched the BBC shamelessly steal video from the maverick reporter Graham Philips, strip the soundtrack, and relabel it ‘Russian aggression’.
The MSM lies.
Right now the best way to find out what’s happening locally, pretty much anywhere in the country, is Twitter. Lots of immediate on scene reporting and videos etc. It’s actually the same for foreign news, the first and far and away most accurate info on what’s going on in Syria or Libya or China, (for English speakers) are the dozens of local Twitter feeds reporting and posting pictures and videos as things happen. Nothing else comes close honestly.
Alvin Toffler has written decades ago: Media, back then News papers and TV are not there to inform butto garner attention in order to sell commercials
The assumption in the article is that the protests were/are spontaneous outpouring of sentiment of individuals as a response to an actual event.
That is not allowed in Corporate USA.
Everything is manufactured and uniform across the nation. From food to entertainment. The protests were/are manufactured by the national security apparatus from the triggering event to the masses in the streets.
Politicians are the same, party affiliations are meaningless. The desires and needs of the People are never considered in Legislation and Executive decisions. The difference between the two allowed political parties comes down to just two primary colors, red or blue.
Fast news and fast food, both are non nutritive sources.
Sensible news about Texas:
I can’t talk about local US news, not being there myself, but in Japan, NHK (the national TV broadcaster) has an “anti-American” faction that gets air time late at night when they occasionally air items unfavorable to US interests, and they carry news from around the world, including Vesti in Russia, early in the morning. There are a number of weekly magazines that carry hard-hitting articles internationalists don’t like, such as an expose of the controversy behind 5G.
The national dailies are generally cowardly as is most TV aside from NHK. There is a Sunday afternoon talk show based in Osaka that airs in most of Japan, in which knowledgeable panelists have been free to say what they want about anything (“Koko Made Itte Iinkai?” mentioned here https://www.debito.org/?p=844 which says it is not airing in the Tokyo region), but recently my husband says there’s been a clampdown on what they are allowed to discuss (nothing critical of the Abe administration).
‘The News’ as we know it, is ‘news’ from a massive corporate invested in perpetrating lies. People don’t just want bare fact news, but latest events with real, high quality explanations, insights based on sound knowledge, and intuition based on experience, that’s why they visit Saker’s and many other sites. This goes for cultural news too, music, and all the arts.
The written word conveys this the best, and writer’s and journalists with a keen sense for universal approaches, and vitally important, knowledge presented without personal ego investment. These sources and commentators that reach out, attract and unite people in freeing ways in support of their lives.
Thank you Mazaheri, keep going !
Bits and parts do slip through. For instance, the Department of Interior recently moved the BLM, (Bureau of Land Management that is), from Washington D.C. to a small city in western Colorado. Check out the article 7/5/ 20 gjsentinel.com
Fortyfive top positions . Read between the lines, They hope that they can sell their homes to make the move.
When I was in America, I sometimes turned on the television news, but I couldn’t take it for more than a few minutes before turning it off. It was so mind numbingly awful that my brain literally started to seize up. The people presenting it seemed to be incredibly ignorant, infantile, retarded, hapless half wits. That seemed to be the main qualification for the job.
Most Americans I knew were incredibly ignorant about the outside world. They hardly knew it existed. They had never travelled abroad and knew about as much about other countries as they did about the dark side of the moon. But that is scarcely their fault given the state of their media.
Hello Ramin, I found this article interesting as a Chicagoan born and bred. I spent some years here involved in what I like to think of as distinctly non-fake-left activity. I’ve managed to weather, at least personally, the decline of the movements, post Vietnam, the rise of identity politics, the Asian wars, the endless braying about “our democracy” conjoined with the media domination and consolidation whereof you speak. Of course, you’re correct in saying there has been a conscious extinction of seriously oppositional views in said media. This looks to me to have begun in all seriousness around the time of Jimmy Carter and to continue. The Chicago Tribune, now in the process of big-time staff buyouts, more and more carries NYT articles as its main form of national and international reporting, reserving actual journalistic activities for local and state news, arts coverage and for its famously reactionary editorial page, mixed with mostly rightist and some fake-left op-ed opinion.
So it was thought-provoking to me that you cited Chicago Tonight as a rare avenue into actual views of actual people reported on by actual journalists. I don’t follow the show that closely to say if I agree that is truly a big part of it. When I do tune in, I mostly run into blathery summaries of local politics along with fairly interesting talking head discussions on various local issues. In fact, I thought the show’s coverage of the local George Floyd protests and connected Juneteenth celebrations was spotty and, in the latter case, know it to have been incomplete. The Juneteenth coverage focussed on a quite small downtown event when I know that there was action on the South Side where so much of the Black population actually lives. None of the local “news” sources I accessed, including WTTW (producer of Chicago Tonight), covered what went on down there.
But I agree that, should we be so lucky as to get some actual views of actual people, it would largely be due to the efforts of local journalists, whether TV or print, who seem to be able to get those views past their commissars (oh, I meant “editors”) as quotes or paraphrases of people who happened on the scene. As a case in point I cite, of all places, today’s (July 9) Chicago Tribune http://digitaledition.chicagotribune.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=145ef941-71de-432a-8cd2-ffeb2db71d9d, Christopher Borrelli’s tongue in cheek article about a gigantic mural with a text by rapper, Kanye West. It’s posted outside a downtown Gap and flacks him and his line of clothes for that corporate sweatshop giant. The article reproduces both an image of the mural and, in the body, the rambling text, itself, along with responses from various people on the scene. To me the most meaningful part of the report is the following:
“Indeed, a moment later, as if on cue, a man stopped, read the wall, then turned to Hill and Moore and, for 10 minutes, on the warm sidewalk, he lectured them, a ramble not without its points: Considering West’s local roots, the man argued, he would have preferred to see West supporting Black-owned businesses on the South and West Sides, he said it would be the more honorable thing to do, he said he hopes that West wants to inspire beyond Michigan Avenue, he said that Chicago could use him in the neighborhoods right now. Then he apologized for the rant but said it needed saying..[some snipped]..The man — who identified himself only as ‘I ain’t even from this world’ — continued on.”
Innocent enough as reportage and amusing–decent local work, I’d say. But it seems to me to reflect a level of thought on the part of the reported-on citizen about the nature of publicity and selling out that is probably widespread, worth knowing about, and contributes to the changing (I hope for the better) climate in the US. That climate can and never will be honestly reported on in any detail by corporate media.
For an interesting take on related (and organized) activities that could be characterized as part of the “old worm” slowly turning, you might wish to listen to the Black Agenda Radio podcast for July 6. I do find that podcast and its associated website to be one of the few non-fake-left outlets I continue to scour for actual news.
In another one of your current articles, you speak to mis-informed people tearing down or defacing statues, regardless of whether or not they understand the memorialized person’s historic role, citing Cervantes. Yes, we need to celebrate, not condemn Cervantes and work to get him better understood. But you need to consider the overwhelming effect of systematic miseducation on ordinary people here. I’m so happy to see the Confederacy and Columbus being torn down! We’ll have to allow for some mistakes and consider putting Cervantes back up or cleaning up any defacements at a later date, if not sooner.
Much of the local news is rehashed MSM. But here and there you can find good bits. Not much as far as commentary, and most local news just focuses on what is happening locally that isn’t relevant to the national or world stage. However Channel 2 in Atlanta sometimes carries important news. The trick in finding good news is to catch it before it is censored or buried.
Since I disconnected my propaganda box years ago in total disgust, I cannot say if TV has improved at all, but local news in Milwaukee cannot be considered news. The format is weather, sports, sensationalism, trends, and meaningless feel good isolated incidents. I seriously fail to see why anyone would even waste their time watching it. When I first moved to this hell hole, the only thing that the local news covered was Laurencia Bambenic, somekind of renegade criminal that everyone supported with run, Bambi, run. I should have headed back east immediately! Protests may be covered better by local news than national media, but at least in Milwaukee, that is has been the exception.