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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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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice diary (4+ / 0-)

    The US press also suppresses how many countries we are bombing, or how many innocent civilians we kill.
    Face it, the US press is a joke.
    They will tell bold lies, and keep us little peons distracted and fighting each other, while the rich steal us blind.

    If the Fetus you Saved was GAY, would you still fight for it's RIGHT'S?

    by snoopydawg on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 11:25:01 PM PDT

    •  not a nice diary at all... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sky Net

      хуита на поцном масле.

    •  Can we change the joke (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I agree, and try to pressure media to remember why they became journalist & all the noble services a "free press" provided democracies.

      •  sorry... (0+ / 0-)

        just delete this diary and try again. You use something for comparison that you deem unimportant compared to whatever domestic issues you consider that is in actuality pretty fucking important. Three young women were thrown in jail on totally bogus charges, while a nuclear power is lumbering towards theocracy. I feel insulted, and not at all inclined to listen to whatever you are trying to say.

        Delete this diary.

        •  50+ million in poverty & censorship (0+ / 0-)

          Again, I don't deny PR case is important. I've published criticism of the harsh sentence, which sends the same "chilling effect" US policies are creating & you're trying to create by telling me to delete diary that displeases you. Ignore it. You're free to believe PR case deserves more media coverage than 50+ million Americans in poverty & rising concentration of wealth by top 1%.

  •  Regarding Pussy Riot in the title... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sky Net

    only mentioned once in the last paragraph of the diary. First, bait and switch, second, false choice (it's not a choice at all - we must fight for the right thing BOTH at home and abroad), third, if you thing things are bad here, spend a week or two in Boguchansk or Spas-Demensk.

    To summarize, this diary, in my humble opinion, sucks. Or, in Russian, полная хуйня.

    •  Warum Hast Du Fremdsprache Benutzt? (5+ / 0-)

      Why do you use a foreign language to make your point? To be honest, it was one of my blogs/diaries, in which I invested less time/effort, but still wanted to get something out topical.

      1) It's not really bait/switch, as theme runs throughout, but fair enough...I should've kept original title.

      2) Second, false choice indeed, which is why I suggested US media spend fraction of time on poverty/inequality they devoted to Pussy Riot.

      3) Obviously, compared to Niger, we look fantastic, just like Michael Jordan could kick my ass in basketball, but that would be a ridiculous comparison. The point was that Americans get ethno-centric view into reality, and is failing to reach its ideals/potential, not that other places suck.


  •  This is pretty moronic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, misslegalbeagle

    God forbid we take any interest in human rights overseas.  Coverage of Pussy Riot is hardly more than the vast amount of domestic press coverage.

    History will be kind to us because we will write it.

    by Sky Net on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 01:40:20 AM PDT

    •  for crying out loud, (0+ / 0-)

      that show trial split the country's talking class apart...

      •  I think what the diarist means (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Christopher Tucker

        Is that the American media is very good at discussing other countries' human rights violations, while they ignore and sanitize the same violations here in the US. The same goes for American politicians.

        “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

        by 420 forever on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 06:32:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, & Media "Normalizes" US Inequality/Pover (0+ / 0-)

          By the way it frames the data (e.g. unwelcome, but not crisis or undermining democracy), quantitative low-level coverage, and by insulating Americans from relevant international comparisons, which shapes/distorts mass US perceptions in direction of tolerating grotesque inequality/poverty levels, concentration of wealth.

          Researcher has shown an international "demonstration effect," in which people's perception about what's normal, what they deserve, etc. By keeping Americans in the dark about international comparisons, and devoting minimal, non-urgent coverage to these issues, media reinforces the status quo, undermining US democracy & reform efforts.

          If you analyze media coverage you'd get a very bizarre picture of what is deemed important, urgent, crisis in the US.

          If US media ramped up the pressure to significantly reduce overty/inequality problem to level put on Russia b/c of Pussy Riot, politicians & public might perceive status quo as urgent crisis & intolerable.  

    •  We can/should focus on Human Right here & abroad (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But I dare say that 50+ million in poverty, millions in hunger, is important and does not receive enough coverage. Never did I imply the media shouldn't cover PR, and have done so myself.

      I'd like to see US media invest as much effort covering human rights violations inside US (e.g. media hardly covered NDAA trial, determining if US could indefinitely imprison citizens for exercising their right to free speech/assembly, which is a lot longer than 2 yr. PR hardsh sentences).

      You pose either/or choice. I say cover both, but highlight a bias that affects suffering of 50+million, and this affects US democracy in major way. Some of these comments illustrate my point.  

      •  How about this? How dare we criticize without (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Christopher Tucker

        being willing to critique our own abuses? I think that's pretty witless and arrogant, myself. Should we attack human rights abuses elswhere - of course. But look at what we're doing to protesters here, now.

        If we want to shame the Russians, let's make it count by not slipping down the same road.

  •  Thanks for the diary on this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christopher Tucker

    But, seriously, what's new about it?  I am mid-fifties and the broadcast media has always been like this.  It is exciting that there are at least some glimmers here and there about the outrageous inequality in the USA.  Keep it up.  Who knows, maybe we can win a few rounds for the people.

    The Long War is not on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran. It is on the American people.

    by Geonomist on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 08:07:19 PM PDT

    •  Thanks. We can't expect a resilient victory (0+ / 0-)

      For the American people/democracy, unless the media shapers of our collective perceptions becomes more self-reflexive, and adversarial towards Establishment politicos & corporate elite, which wants this neo-feudalism "noramlized" in Americans minds.

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