Death of Democracy by a Thousand Cuts (part 2)

Recently, the Biden Administration has stepped up its censorship activities.

Perhaps the clearest evidence that our government promotes disinformation that perpetuates war and deceives the people, is the creation of a “Disinformation Governance Board” on April 27. Homeland Security Secretary Majorkas called it a “working group.” Nevertheless, after strident opposition from both the left and the right, the Department “paused” the DGB. Just “pausing” it does not diminish the intent of the government to control information.

Social media and cable giants have worked hand-in-glove with the federal censors. Last year the FBI shut down alternative news sources such as Russia’s RT America, and Iran’s Press TV. Twitter, YouTube, and other media providers have blocked prominent opposition journalists including Chris Hedges, Scott Ritter, Pepe Escobar, and Lee Camp.

The tip of the censorship spear is the continuing prosecution/persecution of Julian Assange. British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has signed off on his extradition to the US to face "espionage" charges that could lead to the remainder of his life spent in a US supermax prison. Dr. Jill Stein, past two-time Green Party presidential candidate and international organizer for “Doctors for Assange” clarifies his fragile mental and physical health and states clearly “that to extradite Julian Assange would be not only medically and ethically unacceptable but negligent and a violation of basic human rights and health protections that should be a part the extradition process”. “It is very scary for all of us who rely on journalists to tell us what is going on” reports Dr. Stein.

Recently, President Biden, who as a candidate promised to make Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salaam a “pariah” for orchestrating the killing and dismemberment of another courageous journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, now is visiting the Crown Prince to “rebuild relationships.” Does this not underline the global crisis of journalistic suppression?

Let us now review the evolution of this censorship crisis.

Mainstream Media Just 37 years ago, there were 50 companies in charge of most American media. Now, 90% of the media in the United States is controlled by just six corporations: AT&T, CBS, Comcast, Disney, Newscorp, and Viacom. Advertising revenues and government-issued licenses drive their news content. When did you ever see or hear a major ad by an anti-war/pro-peace organization? No, the revenues which drive the profitability of media organizations come from other giant corporations. Will corporate advertisers with major government contracts support news that challenges the government line? No. The more centralized the control, the more the prevailing “storyline” must align with corporate interests.

Alternative digital media/Social Networks Originally, these newer vehicles were seen as a democratizing forum challenging corporately controlled MSM. However, “splintering of news and audiences” and the opportunity for “disinformation”, are partly “the result of very specific choices made by the companies that have come to dominate the internet generally and social media platforms in particular,” according to President Obama recently. To stop the “back-sliding of democracy” he and many others call for “government oversight” to sort out “fake news” from trustworthy news.

Censorship is censorship! Censorship is the death knell of democracy!

The relationship between the mainstream political parties and the information they seek to control is of great concern. A case in point is the current censorship regarding the Ukraine war. For those who dare present news and views challenging the US Administration or its allies, (see the commentators above) flip the switch, change the algorithms, publicly ridicule them as Putin puppets or traitors or simply remove them. The rulers of American politics are strategizing over the ability to merge government control with new technology. As of this writing, they appear to have the upper hand.

We must not allow ourselves, or others to “cancel '' critical thinking and blindly lead us into perpetual war or, worse, to a nuclear winter.

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  • Jack Swindlehurst
    published this page in News 2022-07-01 20:59:19 -0400