I thought we learned our lesson after the WMD fiasco. It’s as though our nation is beset by collective attention deficit syndrome. Fifteen years after being rushed into war on trumped up charges of Iraq possessing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, once again the public is being forced fed into accepting media narratives that are light on substance and paper thin on evidence.
There was a time when reporters used to independently verify and validate stories before they printed government assertions as facts. We no longer live in those times, thanks to the consolidation of news outlets, news channels, online publications and the corporate takeover of media, what we are left with are a coterie of courtiers whose paychecks depend on toeing company lines. Corporate journalists don’t question, they just parrot and run to social media to collect more likes.
The Russia narrative is the most glaring example of what has become the norm. Without offering any direct proof or independently corroborated evidence, politicians and pundits alike have collaborated to assert that Putin diabolically interfered in the 2016 elections. The smoking gun that keeps being presented is the indictment of 12 Russians and the charges that have been laid at the feet of Trump’s associates.
I’m not writing this to defend Donald Trump, however I sure know a rush to judgment when I see one. What I find astonishing is that people who were indignant over the lies that marched us into the Iraq war are now eating up the same type of unsubstantiated charges and rumor mongering this time around. Robert Mueller is being treated as though he is the Oracle of Delphi, this is the same Mueller who took part in a concerted effort to propagandize the American people into a war with a country that never attacked us in 2003.
I’m no lawyer, but last time I checked, indictments and charges do not convictions make. It is oft said that prosecutors can indict a ham sandwich. Just because you level accusations at someone does not mean you have proved your case. Yet, this is exactly what is going on right now with the Russian interference storyline; forget due process and habeas corpus, the government says it so, it thus must be so.
Not only is the so-called free press not questioning government accounts, they have accelerated the alarming practice of hiring former spies and political operatives as reporters and anchors. This is beyond conflict of interest, it is a journalistic malpractice. We are now expecting people who have peers and friends in government to keep government honest. The incestuous relationship between power brokers and power checkers has all but erased checks and balances, the public is now depending on people in positions of authority to self-report.
Why did Trump meet 1 on 1 with Putin? What might he be hiding from Bolton, Pompeo, Kelly, & the American public? How will Putin use whatever Trump could be hiding to advantage Russia & hurt America? Trump’s total lack of credibility renders spurious whatever explanation he gives.
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
What we are witnessing is the perils of a government that is not accountable to the people and operating without any reins. The fourth estate was supposed to be the last line of defense between federalism and tyranny. The inundation of our political system and mainstream media has rendered both servants of moneyed interests. Instead of a free press checking the government, both are actively working together to further the agenda of their corporate masters.
We have entered into this weird space where truth is processed through political prisms. Consequently, dismissing one side’s assertion automatically gets you labeled as a stooge of the other side. Talk about the Balkanization of America, the “us versus them” syndrome has reached such fever pitch that we can’t even agree on a set of facts. When group think is more valued than critical thinking and political fidelity becomes more important than seeking truth, what we get is a government that acts with impunity and media that caters to our basest instincts. Click To Tweet
This is why Trump has become a boon to both. Politicians and media personalities from all sides latch on to Donald because he is a lightning rod that distracts us from the wider picture. As long as our focus is on him and his antics, the gentry can go about fleecing all. Go to CNN, Fox News, MSNBC or any of your favorite mainstream sites and you will see wall-to-wall coverage of Donald Trump. As Wall Street keeps climbing new highs, the reality of most Americans is that of economic anxieties and financial uncertainties. Lest we wake up to this ongoing hustle, we are kept medicated by the opioids of politics.
What a perfect storm, we are sandwiched between the raving rantings of a carnival braggart in the White House and a quintessential bogeyman in the form of Russian strawmen. One minute we are drawn to Trump’s incoherent tweets and the next minute being conditioned with accusations spun as indisputable truths by the media-politico complex. Forget the marketing slogan of the Washington Post, this is how democracy dies in daylight. #WMuellerD
“A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence.” ~ Richard Dawkins
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Latest posts by Lij Teodrose Fikremariam (see all)
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