The Phaserl


The Day Zero Hedge Goes Dark

by Robert Gore, The Burning Platform:

The alternative media is a giant thorn in the side of the powers that be. They will strike back.

The mainstream media’s (MSM) coverage of Hillary Clinton’s medical travails offers yet another instance of its blatant bias, and its distortion and outright suppression of the news. The roots of the captive MSM stretch back to the 1940s, which helps explain the waning prospects for dissemination of the truth in 2016.

Veracity is the first casualty of war. During World War II, the government openly co-opted the media, including Hollywood, as propaganda organs. Radio and television stations and networks had to obtain permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to operate. They toed the government’s World War II line. A few newspapers and individual journalists, notably H.L. Mencken and John T. Flynn, challenged it, but Roosevelt pretense of being against US involvement in the war, Pearl Harbor’s vulnerability, the alliance with Joseph Stalin, who was at least as bloodthirsty and tyrannical as Hitler, massive fire bombing of civilian populations in Germany and Japan, and the decision to deploy the atomic bomb should have raised far more questions than they did.

Without missing a beat the government transferred its World War II rationales for “managing” the news and media to the Cold War. The key figure of the era was Allen Dulles, the Director of the CIA from 1953 until 1961. In 1977, Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, detailed the CIA’s relationship with the press in the 1950s and 1960s in a lengthy expose for The Rolling Stone. Dulles instituted a partnership, Operation Mockingbird, between the agency and the media. The agency would supply journalists with information and access to situations that would have been otherwise inaccessible in exchange for on-the-ground intelligence and the occasional performance of agency requests. Implicit in the arrangement: journalists would hew to the CIA line.

A veritable who’s who of the media elite embraced the arrangement. Per Bernstein: “By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc.” No questions were asked in the bland reports that the duly elected leaders of Iran and Guatemala had been deposed, CIA-orchestrated operations. Nor were they asked in the early days of Vietnam, as the CIA set up shop in Saigon and the press worried about falling dominoes in Southeast Asia.

Some of the agency’s screw-ups were too big to whitewash. After the Bay of Pigs fiasco, President Kennedy asked Dulles for his resignation. Dulles’ subsequent membership on the Warren Commission, where he stage-managed the investigation to its preordained conclusion, raised eyebrows. However, the raised-eyebrow set were disparaged as “conspiracy theorists,” a term invented by the CIA to discredit anyone questioning the official version of anything.

The Vietnam War was too extensive and lengthy to hide. As the years rolled on and the body count mounted, questions were asked. Journalists had remarkable latitude to roam, often accompanying military units to battle zones. They saw fighting first-hand and talked directly to the fighters. Their stories were a sharp contrast to the military’s bland briefings in Saigon. That Vietnam was, at best, a hopeless quagmire and probably a lost cause was a bottom-up realization; the soldiers and the in-the-field press covering them knew it long before the brass and its house-broken reporters. Publication of The Pentagon Papers in 1971 marked the media’s finest hour in Vietnam. Its revelations of duplicity reinforced America’s mood; by then all it wanted from Vietnam was a graceful exit.

After a ten-year hiatus dating from the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US establishment acquired a new enemy. Despite the pyrotechnics of 9/11, the terrorists presented orders of magnitude less of a threat than the Axis powers in World War II or the Soviet Union during the Cold War. However, a war on a tactic—terrorism—can be waged anywhere and against anybody the government chooses. It can and apparently will go on forever; victory in such a conflict being impossible to define, much less achieve. All this was obvious before the US ventured into Afghanistan and Iraq, but few in the media questioned the conceptual basis of those forays.

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