“Most voters still get their news from television,” a Rasmussen survey sadly reported before dropping the big bomb. “[They] consider the news reported by the media generally trustworthy.”
Any serious student of media and propaganda rapidly comes to the conclusion that if one strives to be misinformed, they must watch the evening news. This is nothing new (and hence not news). Long ago a wag opined “Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion on a ukulele.” Little changed when news quit being produced with ink and started emanating with electrons. During the recent Boston Bombing, the media castrated their credibility by pimping purveyors of political propaganda.
Yes, CNN was involved.
Ted Turner’s bastard child is not the worst media outlet on the airwaves, though my conservative friends insist CNN stands for the “Communist News Network.” But in their rush to create news when little exists to report, CNN often reveals underlying biases. In the hours after Boston spectators were maimed, CNN aired their national security “analyst” Peter Bergen, who wasted bandwidth trying to equate America’s right wing with Al Qaeda terrorists. His feeble attempts at political skullduggery prove that security analysts should leave that work to propaganda professionals, namely CBS news anchors.
Early in Peter Bergen’s opinion piece (so labeled by CNN themselves), he says about explosives-based assassination attempts that “… 48 were right-wing extremists, 23 were militants inspired by Al Qaeda’s ideology, five have been described as anarchists and one was an environmentalist terrorist.” (emphasis mine). The phrase “right-wing” was repeated often and annoyingly, which was the first clue that Bergen had an agenda as opposed to a report. Permitting Peter as much leeway as one should give any member of the media, we have to understand what “right-wing” means and how Bergen may have become biased (aside from being part of an industry statistically heavy with left-wing extremists).
Etymologists note that right-wing devolved from revolutionary-era France, a place and time when left-wing restraint was unknown. In their parliament, first-estate elites – the few nobles who kept their heads about them – sat on the right side of the hall. Hence, any person who resists change has forever been labeled right-wing, which is odd given that “right” can also mean “correct” and the Latin term for “left” suggests “sinister” behavior. Where people and the media error is in using the term “right-wing” willy-nilly to describe anyone not progressing in ordained liberal directions (that direction evidentially being into the commode given demonstrated left-wing guidance of the U.S. economy).
This is where language becomes important and lexicographers become sinister. If opposition to change is the origin the term, we marvel that “right-wing” has been redefined as being “reactionary”. Even Google, a normally neutral organizer of bits, says right-wing means “conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system” and adds insult by following that summation with the example “a right-wing Republican.”
Like all things aside from Obama’s dogma, lexicons are malleable.
In 2002, when waterboarding was first called torture, I looked up the word’s definition in no fewer than four dictionaries. The original definition was “the use of extreme physical pain or discomfort”. Since waterboarding causes psychological terror by triggering an anti-drowning reflex, but not physical pain per se, it is not torture by definition. In the subsequent decade, dictionaries have been augmented to include non-physical inflictions in the definition of torture. Lexicographers have altered the meaning of a word to fit their own biases, just as the phrase “right-wing” has mutated to serve left-wing masters.
Karl Marx accelerated the realignment of the term. One entomology dictionary notes that the father of socialist evil (no, not Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz) used “reactionary” to marginalize anyone opposed to revolutionary conversion to communism. In America’s meme melting pot, agitators – who loved all things all things communistic – would interchangeably use “reactionary” and “right-wing” to describe people that preferred written constitutions and gobs of freedom. Hence, for decades kids absorbed the artificially dualistic obfuscation of the true origin and basic meaning of “right-wing” while attending their liberal arts colleges (tech school students would never suffer a socialist to be on campus).
Which brings us back to the media (populated by liberal arts graduates) and poor Peter’s propaganda. You’ll notice that his report posted on April 17th at 11:45AM. However, the afternoon before Bergen bemoaned that right-wingers were likely behind the Boston bombings, the National Journal (April 16th at 3:42PM) had already published a piece skeptical that “home grown terrorists” were behind the mayhem. And the Hindustan Times beat the National Journal by three hours in an analysis showing that pressure cooker bombs were in vogue with Al Qaeda. In short, CNN not only got it wrong, but did so a full day after east Indians got it spot-on.
Does CNN provide staff with ukulele lessons?
None of this slowed Bergen, who ham-handedly wove statements designed to associate “right wing” with Al Qaeda in particular and terrorism in general. After madly mentioning the right-wing moniker, he ties the general notion of being right-wing with white supremacists, caps that with a drive-by remark about “right-wing militia groups” before slithering into discussions of Muslim terror campaigns and finishing by resurrecting more white supremacists.
None of this should be surprising since Bergen is a director at the New America Foundation, a joint whose board is left littered with George Soros’ son and similar ilk.
It is little wonder that Americans are increasingly disenchanted with the media. The common man possesses common sense and sees through broadcast canards.