A sampling of headlines from the major corporate controlled news outlets today has stories concerning Carmen Electra, Madonna, Shirley Temple Black, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, the results of the latest edition of American Idol, and who the finalists are in a dating show from MTV featuring former Poison vocalist Brett Michaels. Almost as an after thought, we learn that a U.S. ship fired upon an Iranian patrol boat that strayed too close, causing oil prices to spoke when word of the incident reached Wall Street.
Once respected news outlets all now follow the Fox News example of 'National Enquirer' types of reporting, going for what will titillate the reader or viewer, and skipping or glossing over the news that we as a nation need to hear.
News such as Israel's rejection of a 10 year ceasefire offer from Hamas, which would have had a profound impact for chances of a lasting Middle East peace. Mentioned in passing by the American corporate media, we learn from overseas sources that the true reason for the rejection is so Israel can continue to disregard the Geneva Convention in their plans to build more settlements in the Palestinian Territories.
Ashlee Simpson is featured on the cover of Shape magazine in a string bikini, according to a full page article on one news site. Ben has gotten revenge on 'Lost', Wesley Snipes is going to prison, and (gasp!) Tom Cruise is going to be on the Oprah show again!
When the newsboys of old used to stand on the street corners and yell out the old "Read all about it"!, it usually meant something of importance had occurred. A Presidential decision that would affect all of us, an act of Congress, or an in depth update from a war zone.
Today's mantra would be along the lines of what's happening to the poor little rich girls in high society, with important issues being shoved to the back burner. If it doesn't feature Paris Hilton in a sex tape, or Britney Spear's latest show of instability, it isn't news to our media.
But why would the media try to institute such a mindset in this country? Why are issues of extreme and vital importance glossed over, under reported, or not reported at all. Why would they forcefully push an agenda of fear into the minds of the people of this country, by reporting on every little word spoken by the fear mongers in charge of the government?
The answers are as simple as understanding that an uninformed populace can not make rational decisions for itself, and therefore must turn to either the media or the government for guidance. Simple as knowing that the defense contractor owned media in this country has to perpetuate the climate of fear and come up with a constant stream of new enemies and boogeymen for us to fear, or they're main business, manufacturing weapons, would go down the drain.
The recent revelations that the so called 'expert' military analysts that appear regularly on the mainstream media, to give the country an in depth look at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, were actually working for the government in an attempt to lie to the people of the United States should have been the basis for Congressional hearings, outcries, and marches on Washington.
But none of this happened. It didn't happen because the stories were there one day and completely gone the next. All out warfare is breaking out in areas of Baghdad again, but yet we are treated to the news that Lindsay Lohan refuses to do completely nude scenes in her upcoming movie.
We hear the tit for tat jabs that the candidates are tossing at each other, with most media outlets only telling part of the story, and telling or printing quotes completely out of context. To tell us the entire truth would be a boring story, and so editors make sure reporters 'spice' up a story to sell more ad space. David Barsamian, a journalist and publisher, sums it up pretty well when he says "One of the intentions of corporate-controlled media is to instill in people a sense of disempowerment, of immobilization and paralysis. Its outcome is to turn you into good consumers. It is to keep people isolated, to feel that there is no possibility for social change."
Keep us immobilized and disempowered. Distract our attention from hard news on favor of bikini clad rich girls that we will never meet, so you won't notice the shenanigans going on in the halls of power, or the multi billion dollar robberies going on right in front of our faces in the form of no bid contracts. They give us this week's wackiest videos, while bombs rain down on our troops overseas. The media itself whores itself to the government and corporate interests by enjoying parties with the very same people they are supposed to be reporting on. Fair and balanced? In your dreams.
And so while millions starve in Africa, Russia reverts back to the old Soviet ways, China continues it's human rights abuses and our very own government destroys the pillars of the Constitution, you can go to bed tonight, safe in the knowledge that Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are making a new movie together and all of the poor little rich girls will be out strutting their stuff tonight. Just in time for the morning editions.