Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Boston Marathon Bombing and The Propaganda Machine


The coverage of the bombing at the Boston Marathon we saw yesterday was a bizarre mixture of news and propaganda, little of it useful to understanding, but almost all of it intended to shape and control opinions about what happened and who might have been responsible.

This was the American major news media on full display for what it really is: a propaganda machine first and foremost, not much different than the propaganda ministries and their "news" outlets in former totalitarian countries.

Their function is not news by any stretch of the imagination.

Of course, we've known this for many a long year, but most of the time -- except for FOX -- the news media manages to curb its enthusiasm for propagandizing and opinion molding sufficiently to maintain the fiction of the Fourth Estate, dispassionately reporting the happenings of the day.

The idea that the press and media actually exist to make us believe something, and furthermore to make us buy something (including our beliefs), and what they want us to believe is what their corporate owners -- and to some extent sponsors -- want us to believe (and buy) , solely for the benefit of those owners and sponsors, seems so contrary to everything we've been taught about the Free Press and Media in This Land of Liberty that it practically defies belief itself.

The touching naiveté of so many on the Interwebs -- if naiveté is what it really is -- about the nature and purpose of the news media in modern society is one of the hoariest traditions of the Internet. There always seems to be a cohort of media critics online who all say the same thing, no matter what their ideological persuasion might be: the press and media are supposed to be an independent watchdog on the operations of government. It is their job to investigate and report on mal- and misfeasance. They are supposed to stand up for the public interest -- and Liberty! -- in the face of government lies and oppression. It's their job! Why don't they do their job!?

 But of course we know that the news media really exists to serve the political and financial interests of its owners and sponsors -- and it has always been this way. There has never been a time when the press and media has not been actively promoting the pecuniary interests of those who hold the purse strings and pay the bills -- and for the most part, that's never been you and me. There have always been marginal media outlets that are more closely aligned with the People, but they can never become 'major mainstream' media for the simple fact that they don't have -- and are often actively denied -- the resources necessary. This is about as straightforward as it gets.

So yesterday, the coverage was bizarrely discordant as reporters on the scene attempted to simultaneously gather information and convey the company line about what happened.

 Interestingly, this caused an almost automatic response among some of the audience: what happened was clear enough as it seems to have been a near carbon copy of the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing of 1996, which was eventually found to be the work of a well-known right-wing domestic terrorist, Randall Terry Eric Rudolph [total brain fart, sorry], who -- apparently -- wanted the attention. Of course, like almost all domestic terrorist actions over the last several decades, the Olympic Park bombing was initially blamed on nefarious and unnamed "Arabs."

Thus, it is always a shock! to discover that the real terrorist is some white man with a grudge who wants attention.

In this case, it was pretty obvious, from the moment of the first explosion, that that's what this was likely to be. Yet I heard endless speculation about "al Qeda" and the supposed instructions in "al Qeda" sites on the internet about making and planting bombs at public events in the United States to cause the maximum disruption and destruction. Much later on came the reports of the Saudi man (in some reports injured) who had been tackled by a valiant citizen as he was running away from the scene who was turned over to the police.

Bit by bit -- without any evidence at all, and in spite of clear indications that the bombs were set by domestic rightists -- the media was building a case against "Arabs" even going so far as to broadcast pictures of the Boston skyline from across the Charles River to evoke the view of Lower Manhattan as the towers fell on September 11, 2001. There was much -- much -- chatter about how, "in this Post-9/11 World," security was of paramount importance, and how important it is to enhance security at public events such as the Boston Marathon.

Yet despite the fact that there were all these police and military personnel on scene as security for the event, someone, somehow, was able to plant at least two and possibly more bombs without detection. How is it that security was so lax? How could it be in this "Post-9/11 World?"

It's easy. White men are never subject to suspicion, are they? While surveillance is everywhere and is nearly 24/7, certain categories of individuals seem to be exempt from suspicion: they are the rich of any gender, ethnicity or persuasion, and white people in general, specifically relatively young white men.

And this goes directly to the nature of the current campaigns to arm "everybody" (except certain categories of people to be determined later) as "security" against "criminals."

It struck me as obvious yesterday that the bombings were part of the hostage taking process for the purpose of having the greatest public impact for very little expenditure, with the goal of terrifying the People in general into accepting without question yet another ratcheting of the security gears. This ratcheting has been going on pretty consistently since the OKC bombing, and the Arm "Everybody" (except...) crew has long been part of it. Any sort of rational gun control is held hostage to this "security" meme, and somehow it is always these scary brown people that White Americans need all this "security" to protect against.

The occasional bombing and mass slaughter are "the price we pay" not for Freedom, but for security against the Brown Hordes. Sometimes certain white guys get overenthusiastic. That's all. And also, too, there's the issue of Tyranny Which Must Be Fought.

As I think I've pointed out before, it's not really about fighting tyranny, it's about determining who shall impose tyranny.

There is no Liberty in this conception -- except the liberty to impose authority on others.

Of course it may turn out that yesterday's bombings had nothing to do with any of that, and I'm just spinning out a web of speculation and disbelief. It will never be entirely clear, in any case, because of the purpose and power of the Propaganda Machine to shape and control what people believe.

Even if it was what I think it was, an act by white men to get attention and to ultimately protect their privilege in the face of the Brown Horde by killing, maiming and scaring the crap out of random marathoners, the Propaganda Machine will ensure that the only version we are allowed to believe is one that protects the interests of the Highest of the Mighty against all comers, and that ensures that We, the People, accept an even greater level of surveillance and security.

Get ready for more and still more Security Theatre, more and more invasive surveillance, and no real progress at all on gun control.

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