Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fox News is not an aberration

Click on that image to the left and take a good long look at it. That's Paul Revere's woodcutting of the "Boston Massacre". Note the deliberation on the part of the British troops. Note the foppish way they hold their feet and the cruel smirk on their faces and how they are all lined up and deliberately firing upon an unarmed crowd.

This woodcut is, of course, long on propaganda and short on fact. The first person to die, Crispus Attucks, was *black*, not white as depicted here. The mob was engaged in attacking the Customs House at the time in protest of taxes and had assaulted the troops, the crowd wasn't standing peaceably around across the street and troops just decided to open fire on them. And there was no organized volley fired by British troops, but, rather, a ragged fire from those behind the troops being assaulted through the gaps to try to drive off the mob that threatened to overrun them. The mob itself was well armed with clubs and stones, if not firearms, and was decidedly a physical threat to the British troops -- yet in the woodcutting you see not a single stone nor club held by the crowd. The end result was that a jury of Bostonians found the soldiers "Not Guilty" of murder when they were brought to trial, defended by lawyer John Adams who later became famous as our second President.

This is what our founding fathers meant by "freedom of the press" -- the freedom to lie. Fox News is not an aberration. Fox News is exactly what our founding fathers intended -- a propaganda mouthpiece in the hands of the wealthy elite used to control and mold the public discourse. The only thing aberrant about Fox News is that they make it obvious, whereas most of our news media in recent times has tried at least to appear "fair and balanced" (Fox's self-mocking slogan for themselves).

One of the continual items of discussion on the left (the real left, i.e., the European left, not the moderate centrists labeled "the left" here in the USA) is the question of why socialism took hold in Europe, but there was never a viable socialist party with a chance of winning the Presidency here in America and instead, liberalism became the predominant philosophy of the political "left" in America. This peculiar definition of "freedom of the press" in America -- the freedom to lie for propaganda purposes -- is, I suggest, a large part of it. In Europe, the press can be sued successfully for libel or even shut down if they tell lies about events or public figures. Yes, there is a long tradition of "tabloid press" in Britain (for example), but there must be at least a certain amount of respect for the truth, and as Stephen Colbert is fond of satirically saying, "the truth has a liberal bias" (thus why righties use "truthiness" as their way of judging what to believe or not, "truthiness" being what their own personal prejudices *wish* was the truth). Here in the USA, our press has by and large been a propaganda arm of our wealthy elites since day one -- indeed, since *before* day one -- and our peculiar definition of "freedom of the press", which is defined as "freedom to lie blatantly", protects that. The result is that we've never had the free and open political discourse here in the USA that they have had in Europe because anything not in the best interests of our wealthy elites simply never gets published, or gets lied about in the press to such extent as to repulse people. So it goes, in the United States of Illusion, where we think we're free -- because that's what our wealthy elites tell us.

-- Badtux the Propaganda Penguin


  1. Well said.

  2. I'm free, my retirement is okay and I have enough income for my lifestyle.

    But I don't suppose that you could live on less than a grand a month being as you may think that you deserve more than that.

  3. Absolutely!

    Hey, wasn't New York called New Amsterdam at one time? And didn't the Spanish, English, French, and Dutch all claim that this land we now call the US was their colony? And a colony by nature sends raw materials to the mother country?

    And the mother country has a place to dump it's debtors, petty criminals, excess population and bastards of the rich to make their fortune.

    Damn those potatoes, lol.

  4. Hey, we get to vote for one of two people every four years. That's freedom, baby!


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