Tuesday, 18 October 2016

As Media Credibility Dies, Obama Announces War on Free Press

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Expressing nostalgia for the days when just three establishment-controlled propaganda organs dominated the public narrative, President Obama lashed out at what he called the “wild, wild west” media landscape that allows non-establishment voices and viewpoints to be heard. Claiming that “censorship” would not be the answer, Obama called for Americans to submit to a vaguely defined (presumably government-run) “curating function” that would help “discard” unapproved information. Critics, though, warned that an increasingly desperate establishment was plotting all-out war on freedom of the press and the free Internet.

Speaking at an innovation conference in Pittsburgh last week, Obama called for what analysts said sounded like a government crackdown on free speech and online freedom. “We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to,” he argued, expressing concerns about “conspiracy theorists” and skeptics of the man-made global-warming theory having a platform. Other senior Obama officials, including former “regulatory czar” Cass Sunstein, have even proposed a government “ban” on conspiracy theorizing.

Praising the days when just three TV channels dominated the news and people still “generally” trusted their propaganda, Obama, implying Americans are too dumb to sort truth from lies without government help, said something had to be done about the free flow of information. “There has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world,” Obama claimed. Apparently he was not referring to the establishment media-created alternate reality that is increasingly falling on deaf ears. Ironically, though, Obama has openly boasted about lying to the American people.

While short on details and how his scheming would square with the Constitution's First Amendment, Obama's comments sounded suspiciously totalitarian. “That is hard to do, but I think it’s going to be necessary, it’s going to be possible,” he said at the summit, without giving details on just how it would be done, much less how it would be done constitutionally. “The answer is obviously not censorship, but it’s creating places where people can say ‘this is reliable’ and I’m still able to argue safely about facts and what we should do about it.”

Some have speculated that Obama wants to create a government-run media organ, though that would probably have even less credibility than the government or the establishment media do now. Other analysts suggested that, despite the denial, censorship is exactly what Obama and the establishment have in mind. In the European Union, it is already well underway, with help from America's biggest technology companies. Essentially, it sounded like Obama was calling for the establishment to set the acceptable parameters of debate, and then tolerate any views within the establishment-approved box while silencing any others.  

“The way I would like to see us operate is, yes, significant debate and contentious debate, but where we are operating on the same basic platform, same basic rules, on how do we determine what's true and what's not,” Obama continued. “Everything on the internet looks like it might be true. And so in this political season, we've seen — you just say stuff. And so everything suddenly becomes contested. That I do not think is good for democracy, and it's certainly not good for science, for progress, for government, for fixing systems.” Of course, America is a republic, but that is besides the point.

The establishment has good reason to be concerned — or perhaps even panicked. What was left of the increasingly left-wing “mainstream” media's credibility is in tatters. Just 6 percent of Americans said they really trust the establishment press, according to a study by the Media Insight Project, a partnership of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute. Another poll released last month by Pew Research found that almost two thirds of Americans doubt the veracity and neutrality of information coming from the establishment's once-powerful propaganda organs.

Among Republicans, awareness of establishment media deception is even higher. According to a Gallup survey released in mid-September, just 14 percent of GOP voters express trust in the mischaracterized “mainstream” media. Less than a third of Americans have even a “fair” amount of trust in the press, the lowest level since Gallup started its surveys on the question in 1972. One of the likely causes, Gallup said, was the widespread perception of media fawning over Clinton and unfairness toward Trump. “This may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more,” Gallup said.

And the trends are accelerating as the media exposes itself as little more than an extension of the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Obama administration, and the globalist establishment behind them. Indeed, explosive e-mails released by WikiLeaks (and ignored by the media) have exposed leading establishment media organs and “journalists” in recent weeks as literal lackeys shamelessly doing the bidding the Clinton machine. The New York Times, for example, described as a “propaganda megaphone” for the establishment by a reporter who resigned in disgust, was caught giving the Clinton campaign “veto power” over news reports. Politico's “chief political correspondent” Glenn Thrush, admitting he was a "hack," did the same for Clinton campaign boss and anti-Catholic bigot John Podesta. More examples are surfacing daily. In a sign of desperation, CNN even tried to tell viewers it was illegal for them to look at the Wikileaks e-mails.

Even social-media services such as Facebook and Twitter, along with search engine giant Google, have been exposed as dishonest tools of the establishment working to propagandize, manipulate, and even illegally spy on Americans. Just this week, Facebook was caught in leaked e-mails handing crucial data to the Clinton campaign to aid in her election. Before that, it was caught promoting leftist sources and censoring alternative and conservative views in its “trending” section. Google has also been caught manipulating search results to protect Clinton. Twitter, meanwhile, continues to censor conservatives, most recently blocking Project Veritas' James O'Keefe as he prepared to release video proving Democrat plots to steal the election. All of the companies listed have jumped in bed with the totalitarian-minded EU to censor views the establishment disagrees with, too.

At the same time, alternative media outlets are surging, with the influence and readership of non-establishment sources exploding in recent years. Indeed, many “alternative” outlets opposed to the establishment's misleading and often totally false narratives — conservative, libertarian, nationalist, anti-globalist, real liberal, and more — now have readership numbers that dwarf many leading establishment propaganda organs. And with the proliferation of media sources in the form of blogs, websites, magazines, Youtube channels, and more, the establishment narrative has imploded like never before in recent history.   

Consider as just one example that even after years of constant propaganda treating the Obama-backed man-made global-warming theory as a fact, just four in ten Americans actually believe in the theory, according to a Pew poll. Even with the entire establishment press frothing at the mouth about Donald Trump — including the allegedly “conservative” establishment media such as National Review and Weekly Standard — Trump dominated in the GOP primary and remains ahead of Clinton in many leading national political polls. His rallies attract tens of thousands while Clinton struggles to bring out a few hundred.

Whether you like Trump or not, or believe him or not, it is clear that vast swaths of the American people are tuning out the establishment press. In short, the American people increasingly realize that the media lies, distorts the truth, omits the facts, ignores important stories, manufactures bogus scandals, and creates an alternate reality with little connection to the real world. That has Obama and the establishment he represents upset and deeply alarmed.          

As its control over the narrative and the public mind crumbles, it is no surprise that the establishment and its operatives would seek to strike back. In response to their loss of control, the establishment is right now in the process of launching an all-out war on Internet freedom, free speech, online anonymity, freedom of the press, and more. It is going to get more intense in the weeks and months ahead. But the establishment's desperation is a good sign — it means the truth is winning out over the propaganda and the lies.  

Americans should do what they can to educate themselves and educate others, while supporting alternative sources of truthful information. It is crucial to resist Obama's assaults on “wild west” press freedom. As the small number of Americans who still trust the media wake up, they too will need alternative media outlets dedicated to liberty and truth. Everybody can contribute by sharing articles and supporting outlets such as The New American magazine and many others that tell the truth and expose the establishment's lies and deception. Now is the time to push ahead.

 

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.

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