Tag Archives: NPR

Mark Weisbrot ~ The More Nefarious US Foreign Policy, The More It Relies on Media Complicity

CommonDreams August 6 2013

Americans are shielded from the ugly consequences of US military power by our journalists’ self-censorship

Former Guatemalan special forces soldier Pedro Pimentel Rios at his trial for his role in the Dos Erres massacre, one of the worst genocides of the post-war era. (Photograph: Moises Castillo/AP)

The US still has military spending that is higher in real, inflation-adjusted terms than it was during the peak of the Reagan cold war build-up, the Vietnam war and the Korean war. We seem to be in a state of permanent warfare, and – we have recently learned – massive government spying and surveillance of our own citizens. This is despite an ever-receding threat to the actual physical security of Americans. Only 19 people have been killed by acts of terrorism in the US since 11 September 2001, and none or almost none of these was connected to foreign terrorists. Also, there are no “enemy states” that pose a significant military threat to the US – if any governments can be called “enemy states” at all.

One of the reasons for this disconnect is that most of the mass media provide a grossly distorted view of US foreign policy. It presents an American foreign policy that is far more benign and justifiable than the reality of empire that most of the world knows. In a well-researched and thoroughly documented article published by the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), Keane Bhatt provides an excellent case study of how this happens.

Bhatt focuses on a popular and interesting National Public Radio (NPR) show, “This American Life” and, most importantly, an episode that won the Peabody Award. The Peabody Award, for distinguished achievement in electronic journalism, is a prestigious prize. So, it makes the example even more relevant.

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Paul Craig Roberts ~ Washington Thinks You Are Stupid

Paul Craig Roberts August 6 2013

There’s the old saying that if the government fears the people, there is liberty, but if the people fear the government there is tyranny. The criminals in Washington not only do not fear us, they do not respect us. Washington looks upon Americans as stupid sheeple.

Washington believes that it can tell the population anything and the people will believe it. For example, the official line is that the recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009. Many Americans believe this even thought they have not personally experienced economic recovery. Indeed, they are sinking further into poverty and near poverty.

And don’t forget those nonexistent weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein was alleged by Washington to possess. Or the Gulf of Tonkin fake event when Washington claimed that its warship was attacked by North Vietnam. Really, the list of official lies is very long. Anyone who believes anything that Washington says is too naive to be let out of the house alone. But Americans believe the lies, because that is what they think patriotism requires.

Relying on the proven gullibility of the bulk of the US population, Washington claims to have uncovered an al Qaeda plot to attack US embassies across North Africa and the Middle East. To foil the plot, Washington closed 19 embassies for the past week-end and for this week also.

Washington has not explained how closing the embassies foils the plot. If al Qaeda wants to blow up the embassies, it can blow them up whether they are open or closed.

If al Qaeda wants to kill the embassy personnel, they can kill them at home or on the way to work or later in the embassies when the alert passes.

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Paul Craig Roberts ~ America’s Greatest Affliction: The Presstitute Media

Paul Craig Roberts June 3 2013

When Gerald Celente branded the American media “presstitutes,” he got it right. The US print and TV media (and NPR) whore for Washington and the corporations. Reporting the real news is their last concern. The presstitutes are a Ministry of Propaganda and Coverup. This is true of the entire Western media, a collection of bought-and-paid-for whores.

It seems that every day I witness a dozen or more examples. Take May 31 for example.
The presstitutes report that US Secretary of State John Kerry and his German counterpart are working on Russia to convince that country to be a “party to peace” in Syria by not supplying the Syrian government, whose country has been invaded, with arms. Kerry and the Israelis especially do not want Russia to deliver the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria.

This was the extent of the presstitutes’ report. The presstitutes made no mention of the fact that the invasion of Syria by al-Qaeda affiliated radical Muslims was organized and equipped by Washington via its proxies in the region, such as Saudia Arabia and the oil emirates. Americans sufficiently stupid to rely on the presstitute media do not know that it is not Syrians who want to overthrow their government, but Washington, Israel, and radical Islamists who object to Syria’s secular non-confrontational government.

One might think that the US media would wonder why Washington prefers to have al-Qaeda governing Syria than a non-confrontational secular government. But such a question is off-limits for the US media.

Israel, unlike Washington which so far hides behind proxies, has actually openly committed war crimes as defined by the Nuremberg trials of Nazis by initiating unprovoked aggression against Syria by militarily attacking the country.

In reporting Kerry’s pressure on Putin, presstitutes made no mention that the Washington-backed attempted overthrow of the Syrian government has run into difficulty, causing president Obama to ask the Pentagon to come up with a no-fly plan, which means according to the Libya precedent NATO or US air attacks on Syrian government forces. As the S-300 missiles are a defensive weapon, Obama’s plan to send in Western or Israeli air forces to attack the Syrian army is why Kerry is pressuring Russia not to honor its contract to deliver to Syria the S-300 missiles, which can knock US, NATO, and Israeli aircraft out of the sky.

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JG Vibes ~ Whole Foods CEO Identifies Obamacare As “Fascism”

theintelhub.com | January 17, 2013

In a recent interview Whole Foods CEO John Mackey rightfully identified Obamacare as “Fascist”, reflecting on comments he made years ago when he referred to it as socialist.

According to The Hill:

“The CEO of Whole Foods Market said President Obama’s healthcare law is more like “fascism” than “socialism,” a parallel he drew in 2009, to some backlash.

John Mackey made the remark in an interview Wednesday with NPR.

“Technically speaking, it’s more like fascism,” Mackey said of the Affordable Care Act. “Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it, and that’s what’s happening with our healthcare programs and these reforms.”

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NPR Staff ~ A Startling Gap Between Us And Them In ‘Plutocrats’

NPR | October 15 2012

Brian Ferraro ~ Chrystia Freeland is an editor at Reuters. Her previous book was Sale of a Century: The Inside Story of the Second Russian Revolution.

Journalist Chrystia Freeland has spent years reporting on the people who’ve reached the pinnacle of the business world. For her new book, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, she traveled the world, interviewing the multimillionaires — and billionaires — who make up the world’s elite super-rich. Freeland says that many of today’s richest individuals gained their fortunes not from inheritance, but from actual work.

“These super-rich are people who, as they like to say, ‘did it themselves,’ ” Freeland tells NPR’s Steve Inskeep. “And what’s interesting for me, and actually I didn’t expect it, I think it’s a paradox of this sort of working super-rich, which is that you would think … that having done it yourself, you might have more sympathy, be closer to the 99 percent.”

But, she says, that’s often not the case. “In many ways, that personal history of really feeling like, ‘I did this! By myself!’ actually creates more of a chasm between them and the rest of us, and, I would say, a certain degree of disdain.”

Those at the very top, Freeland says, have told her that American workers are the most overpaid in the world, and that they need to be more productive if they want to have better lives.

“It is a sense of, you know, ‘I deserve this,’ ” she says. “I do think that there is both a very powerful sense of entitlement and a kind of bubble of wealth which makes it hard for the people at the very top to understand the travails of the middle class.”

One standout moment Freeland recalls is a conversation with a billionaire who spoke with great sympathy about some friends who’d come to him for investment advice. “And he said to me, ‘You know what? They only had $10 million saved. How are they going to live on that?’ I kid you not, he was really worried about them.”

Today’s plutocrats come down across the political spectrum, Freeland says; there are definitely liberal billionaires. “It is, however, also the case that in the United States there has been a real shift away from Barack Obama, and a lot of these guys loved him in 2008 … They feel really angry at Obama, and it’s not just the question of taxes.” Freeland calls it “a profound emotional thing.”

“In America,” she says, “we have equated personal business success with public virtue. And to a certain extent, your moral and civic virtue could be measured by the size of your bank account.”

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Paul Craig Roberts ~ The Republicans Cross The Rubicon

Paul Craig Roberts | September 4 2012

Does anyone remember when National Public Radio was an independent voice?

During the 1980s NPR was continually on the case of the Reagan administration. NPR certainly had a Democratic slant, and a lot of its reporting about the Reagan administration was one-sided. Yet, NPR was an independent voice, and it sometimes got things correct.

In the 21st century that voice has disappeared, which was the intention of the George W. Bush regime. Bush put a Republican woman in charge who made it clear to NPR producers and show hosts that the federal part of their funding was at risk.

Money often over-rules principle, and when corporations added their really big money NPR collapsed. Today the local stations still pretend to be funded by listeners, but if you have noticed, as I have, there are now a large number of corporate advertisements, disguised in the traditional terms “with support from . . .” If you are not listening to classical music, you are listening to corporate advertisements.

Today the entire “mainstream media” is closed to truth-tellers. The US media is Washington’s propaganda ministry. The US media has only one function–to lie for Washington.

What reminded me of NPR’s surrender was NPR’s August 31 report with its two regular talking voice political pundits discussing the Republican Convention and Romney’s speech. After witnessing the Republicans at their nominating convention at Tampa violate all their own rules and ride roughshod over the Ron Paul delegates, one expected some discussion of the Republican Party’s refusal to allow Ron Paul to be placed in nomination or his delegate account to be announced.

The operative question was obvious: How can the American people trust the Republicans with the awesome power of the executive branch when the Republican Party just finished demonstrating for all to see its Stalinist qualities by crushing the anti-war, anti-police state wing of its party?

The authoritarianism was gratuitous. Romney had a sufficient number of delegates to be nominated. It would have cost Romney nothing to follow the rules and allow Ron Paul to be placed in nomination and his delegate numbers to be reported. Instead, Romney wrote off the liberty contingent of the Republican Party. The Brownshirts demonstrated their power.

The last Republican who wrote off a chunk of his own party was Barry Goldwater, and he went down to crushing defeat. Makes one wonder if the Republicans are relying on those electronic voting machines programed with proprietary Republican software that leave no paper trail. The Democrats have acquiesced to Republican election theft. There have been numerous cases where exit polls indicate that voters chose a different candidate than the one chosen by the Republican programmed voting machines.

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