US census data published 9/12/12, showed the top 1% wealth (& inequality) soaring, and a large swaths of Americans in crushing poverty. Mass poverty & grotesque levels of inequality gets extra attention one day a year by US media (see The Nation piece, "Welcome to 'Poverty Day': The One Time of Year When America Cares About the Poor."), which, like the Soviet Union propaganda & censorship machine, does an amazing job of normalizing mass poverty, hunger, injustice, by "protecting" Americans from relevant international comparative benchmarks, and ensuring perceptions are self-referential (i.e comparisons are based on our pathetic past, present status-quo, not ideal, or international OECD standards).  

Indeed, no matter what the facts say, we're always, "Living in 'The Greatest Nation on Earth'"

Mass media shapes mass perception. 

Like communist propaganda & censorship regimes, the US media does excellent job of "normalizing" & legitimating mass immiseration, and whatever benefits the ruling Oligarchy, which they obsequiously serve, while occasionally, meekly criticizing their masters to retain some veneer of independence, objectivity, & neutrality.  

A study of the US media will show very rare objective comparisons to other OECD members, regardless of whether reporting on poverty, inequality, health care, education, infant mortality, etc. (for typical coverage of recent US census data on poverty/inequality, see, Washington Post article,  "US poverty rate at 15 percent in 2011; record numbers of poor persist." Only in in the US, can political & cultural elite get away with ridiculously, factually absurd claims, like "The US has the best health care system in the world!" Like in the USSR, US elite can safely resort to such Orwellian absurdities & stay in power.

The American Dream is much more a reality in virtually all other OECD countries (except Mexico or Turkey), according to a fair, objective comparative analysis of OECD countries, but you'll struggle to find an American who's aware of this truth. 

For example, the children of poor Americans are much more likely to remain poor, compared to poor children in many European countries, Australia, etc., where the poor are more likely to get a fair chance at the good life, if they have talent, study, and/or work hard. 

The the US media & Oligarchy exaggerate terrorist threats to justify more authoritarian, repressive measures, while radically understating & aggressively concealing the objective truth about the "national security threat" to our nation posed by soaring inequality, mass immiseration, and the plutocratic consolidation of economic, political power, which not-so coincidentally is being used to build a massive, repressive Surveillance & Police State apparatus, used much more frequently vs. those attempting to expose the truth or defend the interests of the bottom 99%. 

True American Patriots want a real American Dream, to have the lowest poverty rates, best health care system, most educated citizenry, & most social mobility, in the world. Other countries have significantly solved problems that plague us, who lead the world with the largest prison population...yeah, we're #1!

A genuinely 'free press' would be aggressively exposing these Big Truths, (also, see critique of NDAA 2013 proposal to legalize propaganda) humanizing the plight of 50+ million poor, and exposing the unfairness & injustices of a two-tiered legal & political system, privileging an Oligarchic Elite, like they're some neo-feudal aristocratic class, which we're just here to serve, defend & obey. 

The sad truth is kids in Sweden are much more likely to live the American Dream, and Americans will be kept too ignorant to ever learn about this moral outrage. 

However, we can count on our "free press" to drown us in reports about distracting, foreign Evils, like Russia's harsh sentencing of Pussy Riot, just like we used to hear about Soviet (but not many of the American) pro-democracy dissidents during the Cold War. 

Imagine a US "free press" that expressed a fraction of the moral outrage, and coverage of epidemic American poverty & grotesque inequality, that they devoted to the tribulations of three poor Russian woman from anarchist, punk group, Pussy Riot. Can You?

Originally posted to Christopher Tucker on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 04:48 PM PDT.

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