Tuesday, May 8, 2012

you gotta believe!

-- In the U.S., the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, went before an expectant gaggle of reporters to announce that a 'terrorist' bomb plot against the United States had been thwarted in Yemen. I have read three versions of this story, and not one of them contains the kind of substantive information that would lead me away from the conclusion that the U.S. feels it must continue to speak of threats if it expects the military money to keep flowing. I don't want to reach this conclusion, but the story is so incredibly skimpy that even an exalted personage like the secretary of defense cannot excite my credulity. When did it happen specifically? What evidence other than Panetta's word suggests that this was a truly threatening situation? Where's the bomber? What is his name? Is he connected to some truly nefarious and well-organized group or is he just one of three of four guys who has it in for the great Satan U.S.? The questions go on and on and the media seems to acquiesce (again) ... we cannot tell you the facts because it's all so delicately secret. Just send in your money and believe!

-- China expelled an al-Jazeera reporter for unspecified reasons.

Chan’s expulsion comes as China, keen to burnish its international image and its “soft power” on the world stage, is ramping up its own media presence overseas, particularly in Washington, now the hub of the global news gathering operations of China Central Television or CCTV. The state-controlled broadcaster, part of the ruling Communist Party’s propaganda apparatus, has poured tens of millions of dollars into an expansion drive it hopes will allow it to compete with CNN, the BBC and al-Jazeera.
Reading the Chinese news agency Xinhua used to be a journalistic eye-opener. The agency was so clearly biased towards governmental policies, that it was a wonder when the average citizen could bring his truth to the fore. These days, China has gotten more wily and wise and tailored its news coverage to the sort of coverage offered in the U.S. ... the kind that looks good, but is rife with subtext governmental agendas.

Abraham Lincoln once observed, "You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Chinese and American media know this, but they also know that you can fool enough of the people all of the time so the rest of us can suffer in the credulous fallout.

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