How Mass Media Manipulates Public Opinion

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Author: Fred Burkes

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The influence of the mass media on public perception is widely acknowledged, yet few know the incredible degree to which this occurs.

Key excerpts from the rare, revealing mass media news articles below show how blatantly the media sometimes distort critical facts, omit vital stories, and work hand in hand with the military-industrial complex to keep their secrets safe and promote greedy and manipulative corporate agendas.

Once acclaimed as the watchdog of democracy and the political process, these riveting articles clearly show that the major media can no longer be trusted to side with the people over business and military interests. For ideas on how you can further educate yourself and what you can do to change all this, see the “What you can do” section below the article summaries. Together, we can make a difference.

In the weeks following the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, U.S. authorities seized and suppressed film shot in the bombed cities by U.S. military crews and Japanese newsreel teams to prevent Americans from seeing the full extent of devastation wrought by the new weapons.

It remained hidden until the early 1980s and has never been fully aired. “Although there are clearly huge differences with Iraq, there are also some similarities,” said Mitchell, co-author of “Hiroshima in America” and editor of Editor & Publisher. “The chief similarity is that Americans are still being kept at a distance from images of death, whether of their own soldiers or Iraqi civilians.”

The Los Angeles Times released a survey of six months of media coverage of the Iraq war in six prominent U.S. newspapers and two news magazines — a period during which 559 coalition forces, the vast majority American, were killed. It found they had run almost no photographs of Americans killed in action.

“So much of the media is owned by big corporations and they would much rather focus on making money than setting themselves up for criticism from the White House and Congress,” said Ralph Begleiter, a former CNN correspondent. In 1945, U.S. policymakers wanted to be able to continue to develop and test atomic and eventually nuclear weapons without an outcry of public opinion. “They succeeded but the subject is still a raw nerve.”

Note: As this highly revealing Reuters article was removed from both the New York Times and the Reuters websites, click here to view it in its entirely on one of the few alternative news websites to report it. And to go much deeper into how the devastating effects of the bomb were covered up by various entities within government, click here.

Misinformation campaign targets USA TODAY reporter, editor
2012-04-19, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-04-19/vanden-brook-locker-…

A USA TODAY reporter and editor investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors have themselves been subjected to a propaganda campaign of sorts, waged on the Internet through a series of bogus websites.

Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names. The timeline of the activity tracks USA TODAY’s reporting on the military’s “information operations” program, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan — campaigns that have been criticized even within the Pentagon as ineffective and poorly monitored.

For example, Internet domain registries show the website TomVandenBrook.com was created Jan. 7 — just days after Pentagon reporter Tom Vanden Brook first contacted Pentagon contractors involved in the program. Two weeks after his editor Ray Locker’s byline appeared on a story, someone created a similar site, RayLocker.com, through the same company. I

f the websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption. Some postings … accused them of being sponsored by the Taliban. “They disputed nothing factual in the story about information operations,” Vanden Brook said.

Note: For more on a proposed amendment to a U.S. bill which would make it legal to use propaganda and lie to the American public, click here.

Media as lapdog
2007-04-27, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-palast27apr27,0,5178561.story

In an e-mail uncovered and released by the House Judiciary Committee last month, Tim Griffin, once Karl Rove’s right-hand man, gloated that “no [U.S.] national press picked up” a BBC Television story reporting that the Rove team had developed an elaborate scheme to challenge the votes of thousands of African Americans in the 2004 election. Griffin wasn’t exactly right.

The Los Angeles Times did run a follow-up article. But … most of the major U.S. newspapers and the vast majority of television news programs ignored the story even though it came at a critical moment just weeks before the election. In fact, not one U.S. newsperson even bothered to ask me or the BBC for the data and research we had painstakingly done.

The truth is, I knew that a story like this one would never be reported in my own country [the U.S.], because investigative reporting … is dying. Again and again, I see this pattern repeated. Back in December 2000, I received two computer disks from the office of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Analysis of the data … indicated that Harris’ office had purged thousands of African Americans from Florida’s voter rolls as “felons.”

Florida now admits that many of these voters were not in fact felons. Nevertheless, the blacklisting helped cost Al Gore the White House. I reported on the phony felon purge in Britain’s Guardian and Observer and on the BBC while Gore was still in the race, while the count was still on. Yet the story of the Florida purge never appeared in the U.S. daily papers or on television … until months later, that is, after the Supreme Court had decided the election.

Note: The American-born author of this article, BBC reporter Greg Palast, has repeatedly exposed major corruption in the British media, yet the U.S. press often ignores his well-researched stories. For possibly the most amazing story he wrote which got virtually no U.S. media coverage, click here.

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