Prepared by Julian Macfarlane exclusively for SouthFront
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.”
Edward Bernays (1928)
“With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story “ (Article Title)
Matt Taibbi (2020)
Bernays, drawing on Walter Lippmann, as Hermann and Chomsky also did in Manufacturing Consent in 1988, got it right.
Matt Taibbi got it almost right.
“Almost”, because he seems to suggest that media censorship, redaction and news blackouts, as in the case of the Hunter Biden scandal, are exceptional events, when they are really just examples of what the Main Stream Media (MSM) does all the time: a time-honored tradition that has been a fixture of the Western World since before WWI. What Bernays called “conscious and intelligent manipulation” — molding your mind on behalf of a small group of people, “ the invisible government that is the true ruling power” — is what the media was set up to do, its main job with the advent of general literacy and newspapers.
Lippmann and Bernays claimed that this kind of subtle authoritarian control is what people wanted, an idea that Adolph Hitler naturally liked, as he did most things American. And, today’s mainstream media seem to agree — people don’t want to think for themselves.
At least, that belief is implicit in the redaction of the Hunter Biden story — along with the news blackout of Joe Biden’s past — coupled with constant repetition of Joe Biden’s faux virtues and the enthusiastic whitewashing of his cabinet of neocons and neoliberals. Redaction and Repetition” are the two, all-important R’s of mind control.
As Stephen Smith says in his blog (Picture from his site):
In the early days of the brain, before social media and even before civilization, this made sense. Repeated bad experiences, for instance what areas flood when it rains, was good information to retain. This simple approach tended to work quite well with mother nature allowing human beings to survive and thrive.
And “redaction”? Our prehistoric ancestors blanked out things that interfered with social harmony, like who screwed who last week. Bygones were really bygones. Nor they did not worry about things that were not here and now, nor of direct import, which is, in its own way, a kind of cognitive redaction.
What happened? Hunter’s Itty-Bitty Nitty Gritty
All indications are that Hunter Biden has substance abuse problems. If hadn’t been a drunk, we wouldn’t know as much about his shenanigans with Joe in the Ukraine and China. Here’s the story.
In 2019, an an unkempt man, smelling of alcohol, identifying himself as Hunter Biden, dropped off a booze-soaked laptop for repair at a well-known computer shop in a Delaware shopping mall in 2019, run by John Paul Mac Isaac, a Trump supporter, not a brain-dead, rightwing reactionary but an intelligent and educated man. Despite Op-Ed opinion, not every Trumper is a fat, white, racist, high school dropout with poor hygiene and an who doesn’t read because he can’t. The laptop contained, among other goodies:
- Joe Biden’s number and names of his Secret Service agents
- the mobile numbers for former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary
- personal documents including Hunter’s passport and driver’s licence
- details of Hunter’s drug and sex issues — $21,000 spent on adult site
Hunter never returned, nor paid the $85.00 repair bill. Drunks tend do tend to forget things. Especially rich ones like Hunter Biden who get paid for doing nothing and have time on their hands to kill.The Republic owes a debt of gratitude to Jack Daniels.
Mac Isaac was able to restore the hard drive on the laptop, and subsequently offered it to the FBI — who appear to have turned it down, only to request it later when Ukrainegate got complicated. When John Paul noticed that the evidence in the drive was not mentioned in the Ukrainegate proceedings, he offered it to Rudy Giuliani and then Senator Ron Johnson — since it provided crucial facts supporting Trump’s position and incriminating both Bidens.
Out of self-protection, Mac Isaac had copied the drive and its contents. He no doubt remembered the curious case of Seth Rich who worked for the DNC when the DNC emails were mysteriously leaked and was murdered in a robbery where nothing was stolen.
The laptop is still held by the FBI. Rather suspiciously, the FBI won’t comment: it’s an “ongoing case”.
However, someone in Senator Johnson’s office apparently leaked the contents of the hard drive before the first “expose” in the New York Post, which was promptly dismissed by the mainstream media as “disinformation”. Things got messy fast: of course — it had to be those pesky Russians — trying to mislead the public, by definition, gullible and in need to Higher Authority to tell them what to think. ! It helped the MSM counter-narrative that Mac Isaac was a Trump supporter. So they tried hard to discredit him as a proto-deplorable, which he was clearly not. They went after Giuliani, an elite-deplorable even harder. While Mac Isaac has faded into obscurity, Giuliani is still the object of ridicule and derision.
After the expose, Tony Bobulinski appeared. As a business associate of Hunter Biden, he provided text messages and emails to Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, and testified that Joe Biden knew about Hunter Biden’s business deals in the Ukraine, Russia, and China. His testimony backed up the New York Post story, adding to the small mountain of evidence that was building up incrementally from various other sources, some credible, some not.
Things should have begun to look very, very bad for Hunter Biden. Alcohol, drugs, sleazy sex! A hint of pedophilia. Politics aside, this is normally the kind of juicy stuff that the Media can never pass up. But they tried anyway — because Joe was apparently knowledgeable about his son’s shenanigans, if not complicit, and Joe just had to win the Presidency, to offer republican policies in a more appealingly wrapped package and Save America. Merry Christmas America — you’re fucked. So the MSM did what it could to bury the scandal.
The second Presidential Debate as a good example….
“I don’t get money from China, you do. I don’t make money from Ukraine, you do. I don’t make money from Russia. You made $3.5 million,” Trump said.
Trump also made passing reference to another China-related deal, inked after Hunter Biden flew aboard Air Force Two with his then-veep father in 2013 on an official visit to Beijing where Joe Biden reportedly met with Hunter’s Chinese partners. Ten days later, the troubled son’s firm inked a deal with a state-backed bank to create a $1.5 billion investment firm.
“He is the vice president of the United States, and his son, his brother and his other brother are getting rich,”
If you look at the transcript of the presidential debate, Biden really had no reply to these accusations, which he had clearly not been drilled to expect — other than to blame the Russians, which is about as convincing as blaming little Green Men from another Galaxy.
Not that you would know about this exchange at all — because the MSM mostly redacted it. Hear no evil; see no evil; even in the maw of the beast.
So, is Biden corrupt?
The Biden family’s propensity for engaging in money-making ventures that — gee whiz, just somehow seem to constantly overlap with Biden’s political career — will make him a perfect foil to Trump. Whether it’s Biden’s son, Hunter, being hired as a lobbyist for a Delaware credit card company whose favored legislation Biden was voting for; Biden’s brother mysteriously getting hired by a mid-size construction firm shortly before it received a $1.5 billion government contract; or Hunter, again, joining the board of a corruption-tainted Ukrainian gas producer while Biden spearheaded US policy on Ukraine.
Marcetic quotes Zephyr Teachout who writes that Biden has:
…perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans. Converting campaign contributions into legislative favors and policy positions isn’t being “moderate”. It is the kind of transactional politics Americans have come to loathe.
Anita Hill, years of racist legislation leading to the unnecessary imprisonment of thousands of black people, sexual harassment, support for war crimes, legislative “fixing” for Big Business, the promotion of monopolies — lies piled upon lies — a little “corruption” is just one more element for a mix as unhealthy as meth, putting aside the whole question of “crimes against humanity”.
The facts of Biden’s past are carved in the stone of history. But you won’t hear much about them from the MSM, or any of the mainstream media in the entire American Empire, which includes the Anglosphere and Europe. Here’s the Guardian, with a comment typical of the media in the Anglosphere as a whole.
Biden, whose life has been scarred by tragedy, made empathy, decency and democracy central to his candidacy in an election he characterized as a battle for the soul of America.
Huh? Clearly, if the Democrats had nominated Adolph Hitler, the Media would have skipped over Buchenwald an and focused on Hitler’s animal rights legislation and anti-smoking campaign.
Hitler may have killed millions, but Biden was complicit in the deaths of many more — although he did not get caught chortling on TV as Hillary Clinton did talking about Gaddafi’s murder by a bayonet. Hitler’s war on the Soviet Union? That’s something the US seems itching to do, if they get the chance.
The evidence on Hunter Biden’s laptop is damningly hard to disprove— as is much of the other evidence that surfaced later — but just like accusations of sexual impropriety — it can still be challenged with a little intellectual legerdemain — convoluted arguments of fakery by foreign agents and accusations of forgery and the like. Not that it needs to be challenged if you just bury the story, as if none of it every happened.
The Media tried to do this. But once out there on the Internet, the story hung on at the corners of perception, like dust you missed with the vacuum cleaner, a mote in the eye.
Dealing with that mote required what I call “strawhorse” journalism, where the media makes use of stories attacking clearly biased sources that seem to support some aspect of the story they wish to discredit, to discourage people from looking at the real facts of a case.
See: some nutcases think Hunter Biden and Joe are corrupt, which proves they are not. Fortunately for the media there is never a shortage of nutcases on either side of an argument.
A good example of this approach is the recent article in the Intercept, Questions Mount About Controversial Hunter Biden-China Dossier, which appeared after Glen Greenwald left in protest of Intercept’s censorship of his investigation of the Hunter Biden story. This article is pure misdirection and makes an effort to create a conspiracy theory to undermine Greenwald’s very solid reporting and also the September Senate report on Hunter Biden’s dealings which included such juicy morsels as:
- Hunter Biden had business associations with Ye Jianming, Gongwen Dong, and other Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and People’s Liberation Army. Those associations resulted in millions of dollars in questionable transactions.
- Hunter Biden opened a bank account with Gongwen Dong that financed a $100,000 global spending spree with James Biden and Sara Biden.
- Hunter Biden also moved millions of dollars from his law firm to James Biden’s and Sara Biden’s firm. Upon being questioned about the transaction, Sara Biden refused to provide supporting documentation and information to more clearly explain the activity. The bank subsequently closed the account.
- Hunter Biden paid nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries and who appear to be linked to an “Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.”
Questions Mount About Controversial Hunter Biden-China Dossier didn’t go into all that stuff. Nary a mention. But notice the words’ controversial” and “dossier”. “Dossier” of course recalls the infamous Steele Dossier, which accused Trump of soliciting golden showers from hookers.
The Intercept chose easier targets.
Prior to the New York Post expose, a website called Typhoon Investigations run by one Albert Marko had published a story linking the Chinese government and Hunter Biden and suggesting that Joe Biden had “shifted his view from hawkish to dovish after HUNTER began receiving entrée into Chinese elite political and financial institutions”. The story relied on research done by Michael Aspen aka Christopher Balding, an anti-Chinese academic. The story seemed to have the support of Hong Kong’s Jimmy Lai, a bete noir of the Chinese government, which normally would be a plus, but not in this case. Balding, once one of the “Good Guys” because of his attacks on Huawei and the Chinese government, instantly became a “Bad Guy”.
Added to the mix were other luminaries as Steve Bannon and the mythical “Q” of QAnon fame. “Q” apparently liked the story. “Q” who hates Biden also apparently likes Jesus — perhaps unaware that Biden is Jesus — so we can ignore him.
Now clearly someone may be biased or maybe even crazy — and still get some things right. After all, aren’t we all biased? One of the tasks of journalism in an ideal world should be to separate fact and bias. Bloomberg, WaPo, and the rest of the MSM once thought enough of Balding that they published quite a few of his articles but suddenly he was purveying false information.
Did the Intercept article deal with the substance of the allegations against Hunter Biden, the evidence on hand, and show us why they were wrong? No, of course, not. In traditional style it attacked the Messenger, or rather Messengers plural — while ignoring the Message.
Balding took fire for using a pseudonym for self-protection just as Mac Isaac was criticized for keeping a copy of Hunter’s laptop and sending it to Senator Johnson for self-protection. Bad Boy! But, if my name was “Balding” and I actually did lack hair, I would too. Lest we forget, many of writers use or have used pseudonyms including the (balding) Benjamin Franklin and the (not-balding) J.K. Rowling. Add to that: the MSM regularly quotes “sources who wish to remain anonymous”, recognizing their need to protect themselves — as long as they are on the MSM’s side of the narrative. So much for the evil of anonymization, which is OK if you attack Trump but not if you have it in for Joe.
- I did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016 and have significant concerns about his policies in areas like immigration. Having lived in China for nine years throughout the Xi regimes construction of concentration camps and having witnessed first hand their use of influence and intelligence operations, the Biden links worry me profoundly.
- Whether Joe Biden personally knew the details, a very untenable position, it is simply political malpractice to not be aware of the details of these financial arrangements.
Documentable financial issues cannot be wished away: they require intelligent analysis. The Intercept made no attempt to do that.
Marko was thrown on the rack because he is a wannabe journalist, not a real one certified by the MSM— who, on the other hand, worship at the alter of an uemployed guy with no background who started blogging conspiracy stories about Syria and won the support of the Atlantic Council — Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat, now feted as a “truthteller”.
Marko was an easier target than Balding, who , as mentioned, used to be an MSM favorite! Oh, what a tangled web we weave…
Steven Bannon? Well, everyone hates Bannon. ‘Nuff said.
No need to look at the story itself, even in the context of Greenwald’s clear, logical, well-documented and objective reporting of actual facts and documented evidence.
But “facts” are the enemies of the Mainstream Media, which picked up the poorly written Intercept smear and ran with it.
The allegations that arise from Hunter’s laptop and Bobulinski’s testimony and the historical record of the Bidens’ activities in the Ukraine are based on circumstantial evidence, but, so far, more than enough to convict if it was Julian Assange or Chelsea Manning.
Certainly, these allegations are more substantial than allegations that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election, or that the DNC was “hacked” by the Russians or by an agent of Julian Assange with some 22nd Century secret technology allowing transfer speeds far higher than will be possible on the Internet for the next 50 years, if ever. Or even that Trump behaved improperly in his dealings with the Ukrainians compared to Obama and Biden did when they oversaw a coup allowing Neo Nazis to take control of the country from a democratically elected president. and start a civil war.
Accusations of corruption are even more convincing against the backdrop of Biden’s record as a time-serving, rightwing politician without principles, a matter of historical record. His BFF friend, Mitch McConnell described him as “”a real friend … a trusted partner” for a good reason.
Yet, the MSM imposed a media blackout on this record, “Those were different times”. Or maybe “bygones will be bygones.” Rather like Joe Biden’s sexual harassment charges which are definitely “by” and “gone”. Shades of our evolutionary ancestors.
The narrative is simple. Good vs Evil.
Biden, Good vs Trump, Evil. Now, change the channel. Oh goody…Dangerous HouseHusbands!
The blackout on Biden’s past coincided with predictions of a “landslide” for the Democrats. although media like the NYT pretend objectivity, using pollsters to convey their message. See? Nate Silver says so. Everyone thinks the same. You should too. Biden for President, if not for Son of God. The Media got it wrong as did the pollsters. Only a few commentators, mostly unknown, got it right.
Fox News and the New York Post demurred. We have to have some dissent, right? But when it seemed that Trump would lose — barely — Rupert Murdoch reversed gear and shut down the New York Post and Fox News inquiries. Silence also from the Murdoch’s WSJ.
America rarely “disappears” people like they do in Latin America using sinister men in uniforms — but dissidents and progressives have an odd habit of dying prematurely —assassinated by crazies like JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King or in “accidents” like Michael Hastings. Many think it was Seth Rich who leaked the DNC emails to Assange, who as much as confirmed this. Was Rich really the victim of a robbery gone wrong, shot twice in the back and left to die, still with his wallet? While the media pooh-poohed Mac Isaac’s very legitimate fears of retaliation: it happens.
But in America, you don’t have to disappear a person to control a narrative — just use the power of the media and the complacency of the public to “disappear“ ”the story.
So it was that Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox, the New York Post and WSJ stepped in to murder the Hunter Biden expose — shooting it in the back once it was clear that Biden would win, reminding us once again of that invisible government that Bernays talked of — the rich and powerful.
But are the Media really at fault. Or, as Lippmann and Bernays suggest, the People themselves? Or both, locked in an incestuous embrace ?
No matter: the unpleasant fact is : Trump could never have been the harbinger of an American fascist state — that state is already here — and has been for a very, very long time. The media brainwashes the public. Perhaps the public wants to be brainwashed.
….in a rational world, the public would restrict itself only to online news-articles that take advantage of this unique new technological ability, which only the internet has — the ability to link to each source wherever there is a questionable allegation being made by the reporter. However, the vast majority of people are instead irrational, and the public therefore trust traditional print-and-broadcast ‘news’-media more than internet media — even more than the internet media which DO provide links to their sources (in other words: which empower their readers to check their sources).
The widespread distrust of information that’s obtained over the internet is the reason why polls show that the public consistently trust broadcast and printed news (billionaires-controlled news) more than news which is available only over the internet.
But even if what Kevin Zuesse here so compellingly argues is true and we brainwash ourselves, the Media is still derelict in its self-described duty to the truth.
The MSM have replaced religion as the opiate of the masses. Intellectual ‘oxy.
Joseph Goebbels: sig heil! — which, by the way, is an salute copied from American cheerleaders. As I said, American fascism is already here. It has been from the beginning.
The American “System”— Fixing Elections
Was the 2020 presidential election “fixed”. Of course, it was — just not in the way people think.
It was fixed in 2016 when Trump won — but not by Trump. It’s the way the System works.
In 2016, the System — what former CIA analyst Ray McGovern calls MICIMATT — the Military–Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media–Academia-Think-Tank complex — made sure that the semi-progressive Bernie Sanders was out of the running and that the people would have a choice between only two equally repugnant neoliberal candidates, neither of whom would challenge the way things are done in America. In other words, no choice at all. America is not a duopoly: it is a One-Party System.
Of course, the Democrats, as faux liberals, are the Default Political Party in America’s faux democracy. Trump’s four year rule re-established their credibility and legitimacy. After 4 years they don’t look quite as bad as in 2016, when Obama’s long con was beginning to crack. America’s 20th Century Fascism has been defeated — dead — so it can be resurrected triumphant wearing the robes of democracy — 21st Century New Fascism. Planned obsolescence applies to everything, including social control.
MICIMATT is like a Cosa Nostra gang. The legitimacy and legality of its business depends on jurisdiction — like casinos, which are legal some places an not others. Killing millions of people is not legal at home, but OK abroad, especially by proxies. Our hitmen are neonazis in the Ukraine and Al Qaeda terrorists and jihadi groups in Syria. MICIMATT claims to support freedom and democracy — at home — but abroad, its foreign wars, support for corrupt and brutal regimes , tacit encouragement of the drug trade and exploitation of the poor point to its Mafia mentality.
Thus, the entire American socio-political system is run by a gang. America is a neon tinsel dream like Las Vegas — bright lights and casinos.
In a casino, the House has to allow an occasional winner — a Jimmy Carter or Donald Trump — to keep the marks flocking to the tables: but the House always wins in the end. These outliers will be one-term Presidents. Counting cards,or anything that evens the odds, is a no-no and gets you thrown out or your knees broken.
Just as Hitler’s regime benefited from his hate campaign against the Jews, MICIMATT benefited from the MSM’s four-year hate campaign against Trump, probably the most egregious in history. Trump was forced to tack right and try to buy off the military and their supporters. That didn’t make a difference. Trump was ever really the target which was left wing collectivist progressives. The Hate campaign was /is designed not just to alienate conservative-liberal populists but to motivate them, shifting politics to the right. It strengthens a “big tent” democratic party that is now solidly neoliberal.
Who do we hate now? The Russians and the Chinese, of course.
MSM Censorship and Alternative Reality
This rightward shift can be seen in Media censorship and control as Kevin Zuesse explains here:
Censorship is the core of any dictatorship, even of ones that pretend to be democratic. The only way around censorship is intelligent usage of the internet. This article has explained basically how that is done. If there aren’t many people who care about getting beyond the propaganda, then how can democracy even become possible? A population that votes only its existing prejudices cannot even conceivably be the citizenry of an authentic democracy. And, so, they aren’t.
Censorship isn’t done only by (for example) destroying Julian Assange for his having made essential truths available to the public. But billionaires-controlled ‘news’-media encourage that — and other types of — censorship, so as to maintain their control over the Government. As long as that control continues, the dictatorship will continue.
Censorship edits our perception of reality: it ensures that the public buys into a single, manipulated take on events. It creates an alternative universe, in this case one in which Julian Assange is an abomination and Joe Biden is a paragon of the liberal ideal, just like St. Barack Obama. In this make-believe universe, the only thing wrong with America is Donald Trump. The 71 million people who voted for him? White racist trailer trash. Deplorables? Sans Culottes. Bill Gates — beware the guillotine.
The accusations that mail-in balloting, banned in most countries, undermines the legitimacy of the electoral process? QAnon nonsense!
What is QAnon? No one knows. Who are they? No one knows.
People on the Left — those who are nominally “ progressives” and see the Democratic Party as the Plutocratic Party and are motivated to dissent from the MSM point of view — are acceptable only if they also bow to the “System”, as Bernie Sanders did, and even AOC — not to mention Naomi Klein. But, if they take that knee, they are no longer what they purport to be: they are political cowards and cannot be relied upon to defend what they say are their principles.
Most people live in in alternative universe. The Media’s constant repetition of falsehoods provides a background against which the truth cannot be seen. Twisting minor facts or details can enable much larger deceptions.
Even the excellent Matt Taibbi, who criticized the shallow knee-jerk group think that characterized the Left’s response to Glen Greenwald’s schism with the Intercept as supporting Trump, managed to parrot an MSM trope — that the DNC was “hacked”, when as I have indicated all evidence suggests that the transfer speeds for the content were far too high for the Internet and a “hack” would have had to alter the laws of physics.Someone had to have used a flash drive to gain access which makes the “hack” a leak , changing everything. Assange’s insinuation that it was Seth Rich, or someone like him, is most likely correct.
Mad Matt’s mistake is small. But details are important. Changing a single detail can change a story.
Making that “leak” a “hack” was the cornerstone of the whole Russiagate conspiracy theory, not to mention the allegations that Assange was a Russian agent, partially providing legal justification for his persecution. Russian “interference” in the election through a Russian troll farm of Slavic Nerds would have been a non-starter, considering the small scale of the farm’s clumsy activities — unless you believed that the immense capabilities of the Russian government was behind them and those (probably) pimply teenagers had hidden and dangerous cyber capabilities. This theory also perpetuates the myth that non-MSM websites offer only “fake news” and need to controlled. The Russkie Boogeymen are lurking — everywhere — so Twitter and Facebook are justified in banning dissenting websites such as Unz, New Eastern Outlook and Strategic Culture. We also need Google to keep order by making sure that “alternative” sources of information are at the bottom of a Search Engine’s list.
The “hack” didn’t enable all this stuff — but it empowered it.
Russiagate was a farce but a dangerous one — an effort by elements by the “Intelligence Community” and the media to undermine a sitting President, to return the system to its default. Trump fucked up: he didn’t start any real wars.
As Caitlin Johnstone says, the murder machine is now under competent management.
Brainwashing for Dummies
As I have said, the “progressive” left will not save you, not as long as they advocate compromise and incrementalism and “lesser evilism”
Why did Naomi Klein break with Greenwald rather than with the Intercept?
Was it because Klein gets paid “bigly” by the Intercept and is loathe to leave a cash cow? I think not. Rather, it is an uncritical acceptance of the MSM line — the tropes peddled by the NYT, WaPo, CNN and all the rest — that “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” stuff which precludes being against both Trump and Biden.
Matt Taibbi is right. This is “herd journalism” and Klein moos.
MSM ‘r Us.
As are all good, rational, moral Americans. Democrats and Republican allies, God’s Chosen — exceptional — threatened by the 71 million Americans who voted for Trump , those UnAmerican “others” who serve the Great Satan. There were never any witches, but we burned women anyone. We need We need the “others” — witches, the Russians, the Chinese, “deplorables” — to focus our hatred at taxes, inequality, athlete’s foot, the in-laws, and the dog pooping on the sofa. In any case, Trump and the Trumpsters must burn in Hell, along with Vlad and Xi. For there to be Good Guys, we must have Bad Guys. If they are not “bad”, we must make them bad.
Hannah Arendt has been criticized for her book The Banality of Evil because it disagrees with this Good Guy/Bad Guy thesis. What is usually missed, however, is that the Nazis subscribed to the same dichotomy— only they thought they were the “good guys” and that the Jews and Russians were the bad guys.
Is it possible that by dividing the world into Good Guys and Bad Guys, we become that which we hate? The history of the American Empire tends to support this idea. The “Good Guys” — Americans and their allies — have the blood of millions on their hands.
Bernays thought the Public, in his day known as the “masses”, were driven by the dark forces of the Id and that Uncle Sigmund’s cigars which he gifted Edward were symbolic Id-ish penises. Bernays went on to make a fortune selling tiny white dicks known as cigarettes to women.
Perhaps, the Public is “irrational”. But I believe that its “Unconscious” is driven by quotidien forces and a cigar is just a cigar and nicotine, a drug even if Bill Clinton did use his stogie on Monica’s vagina. Bernay’s cigarette campaign was just lucky, piggybacking on the feminist movement of the 20s, which was set in motion by WWI when women were forced to take over a lot nominally male responsibilities.
The dark forces of the “Id” turn more on banal contingency and social expedience—which the media can capitalize on and direct by controlling information and our view of the world. Capitalize “on”? Maybe just “capitalize” for the media serve predatory, neoliberal capitalism. If there is a Freudian“Id” it is Jeff Bezos and Rupert Murdoch. Evil is banal.
Mad Matt Taibbi therefore was right to call out“herd’ journalism but there is no mainstream “journalism” in the true sense of hat word— just propaganda.
Lippmann and Bernays — and more recently Kevin Zuesse — are also all correct — although in slightly different ways. In the end the responsibility is ours: it is the we the people who are fault — you and me. All we have to do is to think.