My view

Lies swamp the media

Posted 5/14/24

We are used to hearing very lofty, self-congratulatory rhetoric when describing the American tradition of a free press that supports a vibrant democracy, where the good of the people is ultimately …

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My view

Lies swamp the media


We are used to hearing very lofty, self-congratulatory rhetoric when describing the American tradition of a free press that supports a vibrant democracy, where the good of the people is ultimately served. But in the new age of genocide, that image of our media system is proving to be a sham.

In the rapidly unfolding protests that are reverberating around the globe, emanating from the epicenter of the Gazan genocide, all media with a corporate parent in this country, are saturating the airwaves and print with a brazen, monolithic lie that keeps the public misinformed and unable to exercise knowledgeable self-governance.

That lie is that the people who are protesting the ongoing massacres, atrocities and dehumanization in Gaza, people of all religions and races who are calling for an end to the apartheid system in Palestine, are all unreconstructed anti-Semites, bent on instigating a genocide against Jews.

This is an easily disprovable smear. All any of these media outlets need to do to verify the truth is to send a reporter down to talk to the people who are organizing these protests and find out what motivates them. What they would quickly discover and could report back to their viewers is that overwhelmingly, the principles being championed by these protests are that all people are equal, that all people should have equal access to justice, that race and religion should have no bearing on whether a person is allowed to be free, and that the safest societies are those where different groups and religions live together in peace and tolerance. These happen to be the very heart of American civic values.

And yet we have a multi-billion-dollar media infrastructure that consistently not only denigrates these American values and the people who want to preserve them, but runs cover for and gives material support to the commission of war crimes and atrocities overseas.

That Israel has carried out a genocide on the people of Gaza is now an historical fact. It can’t be swept back under the rug, although that appears to be the goal of the current coverage. When the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered a ruling of plausible genocide, it offered Israel the opportunity to take remedial steps to demonstrate good faith—stop the indiscriminate killing of civilians and ensure sufficient aid reach the people. 

Israel’s response was to expand the bombardment of innocent people and attempt to destroy the credibility of UNRWA, making it harder for aid to reach civilians. This response is a virtual admission of guilt. Just as Israeli officials have made clear in public statements, over and over. Their intention in this war is to wipe out or move out these people.

When major news fails to mention the over-arching, ongoing historical fact of genocide that gives context to the protests appearing on your screen, they are trying to turn the American public into idiots. Telling lies and omitting context should not be the purpose of journalism in modern society. It shouldn’t even be tolerated. The public owns the airways, and we should demand that advocacy for a genocide, by any group, is not permitted.

Our media are suffering from the same malady as our political system: everything has become transactional. If you want a certain government policy, you go to the politicians with your checkbook. If you want certain coverage for your story, you make a payday happen for some media conglomerate, and the entire organization gets in lockstep behind the predetermined message. None of it serves the public interest.

But what happens to a society that has been so steeped in disinformation and lies that people who believe in equality and justice are called anti-Semitic, that a call for a peaceful political settlement is equated with a call for genocide against Jews? Where bald-faced crimes are flatly ignored? So much purposeful disorientation will lead to the collapse of public morality, as appears to be well underway.

Doug Rogers is a musician, composer and carpenter who lives in Long Eddy, NY.

democracy, gaza, palestine, israel, conflict, my view, media


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