Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Media in-Between

In the nineteen forties, as the US was fighting on two fronts, a popular song encouraged Americans to “Accentuate the positive, Eliminate the negative, Latch on to the affirmative, And don't mess with Mister In-Between.”
Contemporary journalists are mostly too young to have heard that song, but it aptly describes what they’ve been taught to do: Being mostly negative, international news is simply not covered, giving Americans the impression that beyond the United States is a no-man’s land — unless a government is (nonsensically) killing its own people, requiring us to ride in on a white horse and save them.
Since the revival of the Cold War, journalists have honed their craft so finely that by adding or dropping a word here and there they convey an impression of righteousness when actually, barbarism (to borrow a wrongly used expression from our ambassador to the UN, Samantha Powers) is running rampant.
Recently, NATO’s ever greater presence on Russia’s western frontier - the one taken throughout history by Europeans thinking they could take it over — is reported as “aggressive moves by Russia toward the tiny Baltic states, it’s planes daring to fly over the tanks we’ve massed on its border!”
The technique has been refined since 2014, when the US organized a coup in Ukraine (just as we had decades ago in Chile and Honduras, and as we tried to do in Georgia in 2008).  Having installed a neo-fascist government in Kiev, complete with swastika flaunting militias, we accuse Russia of invading its neighbor.  No mention of Eastern Ukraine’s Russian speakers’ visceral horror of a Neo-Nazi regime, stemming from the fact that Ukrainian nationalists fought alongside Hitler’s troops in the hopes of gaining independence from the Soviet Union. The Right Sector and similar groups today are free to operate across Ukraine according to the same ideology their “Banderisti" grandfathers defended, and they proved they haven’t changed in 2014 by killing ethnic Russian Ukrainians, as they did during the war, along with Poles and Jews, upping the ante by burning some alive.

Evidently ‘forgetting’ the number of times the US landed troops in a foreign country, ostensibly to protect American citizens living there (Grenada in 1983, Panama in 1989), the US media, followed obediently by the rest of the Western press, is messing with a negative of its own fabrication, creating an ‘in-between’ that leaves readers wondering how they got presidential candidates with the highest ever negatives.

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