Wednesday, December 29, 2010

War propaganda

In a recent column, Glenn Greenwald noted that, when you listen to their arguments, you can't hear any difference between establishment "journalists" and the government officials they are supposed to be monitoring in their role as public watchdogs. Corporate journalists are essentially government stenographers--especially when it comes to matters of foreign policy and military affairs.

Two recent programs, available to watch through the magic of internet video, document the degree to which American media act as the psychological operations arm of the military industrial complex.

The first is an episode of Al Jazeera's "Empire" program, "Hollywood and the War Machine." The program shows the symbiotic relationship between the film industry and the Pentagon, and features an extended conversation with former war correspondent Chris Hedges (arrested two weeks ago at the White House, with veterans protesting America's current wars), and dissident filmmakers Michael Moore and Oliver Stone.

The other is a documentary by the courageous Australian journalist, John Pilger, called "The War You Don't See." It lays out the intellectual origins of the propaganda system necessary to maintain the national security state, and how that system operates today to keep the citizenry confused, misinformed and apathetic.

--Michael Hasty

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