Why the MSM Is Gung-Ho On War & Silencing Anti-War Voices

Corporate media’s addiction to infotainment is stifling debate in our country.

According to a new study by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), the corporate-controlled mainstream media completely failed to present both sides of the story in the build-up to increased U.S. action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. FAIR found that during the key moments leading up to increased U.S. military intervention, it was nearly impossible to find an anti-war guest on the airwaves.

FAIR’s study looked at a number of discussion and news programs between September 7th and September 21st of this year. Those programs included the major Sunday network news shows, as well as CNN’s Situation Room, Fox News’ Special Report and MSNBC’s Hardball.

The findings of the study are pretty remarkable. In total, 205 guests appeared on the programs studied to talk about America’s military options in Iraq and Syria, but, just 6 of those guests voiced any type of opposition to U.S. military involvement.

On the major Sunday news shows, 89 guests were on to talk about war. Of those 89, only one, The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, could be considered an anti-war guest. Meanwhile, of the pro-war guests that appeared on the shows, it should come as no surprise that a majority of them were military insiders and shills for America’s military industrial complex.

Recently, Lee Fang over at The Nation published a piece revealing the truth behind many of the so-called “policy experts” that have been pushing for war on our airwaves. For example, retired General Jack Keane has been all over the place making the case for war with ISIS. As Fang points out, Keane is the head of the Institute for the Study of War, or the ISW, which is backed by some of America’s most powerful and profitable defense contractors.

Keane is also a special adviser to the defense contractor Academi (formerly Blackwater), and serves on the board of defense contractor General Dynamics. It’s pretty clear which side he’s going to take in a debate on military involvement in Iraq and Syria.

So, why is it that the mainstream media is so gung-ho about promoting war and military intervention, and so quick to silence anti-war voices? It’s because we no longer have news in this country. We have infotainment.

Infotainment lacks patriotism or humanism - it cares neither about the good of our nation or its people. It’s instead exclusively about getting the most eyeballs, and bringing in the most dollars. Wars are really good for both of those things.

Similarly, many of the corporations that control our media have direct financial interests in war. For example, in the build-up to the Iraq War, MSNBC was owned by General Electric, which makes billions from war.

In February of 2003, Phil Donahue was the host of the popular show on MSNBC. But, he also strongly opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. On February 25, 2003, Donahue’s show was canceled by MSNBC because of his opposition to the war, and because he would be a, “difficult face for NBC in a time of war.” In other words, GE's war profits were more important than any sort of real dialogue about war and death on NBC and MSNBC's airwaves.

Believe it or not, there was a time in America when the press actually had to report the news. Before Regan blew it up, the Fairness Doctrine required networks to report on the boring, non-dramatized news. They were required to "program in the public interest," which meant providing real news.

But today, the Fairness Doctrine is a thing of the past, and networks are now putting blatantly pro-war guests - who have an economic interest in war - on the air to drum up fear and encourage war, all the while helping our nation’s military industrial complex get even more powerful.

Wake up - and know that when you see an ex-general on the air, or an advertisement for a company that makes weapons of war, it's all about influencing Americans to support wars not for the good of the country, but for the profits of the industry that President Eisenhower warned us about.


RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 9 years 30 weeks ago

War = hate, rage, inhumanity, evil, destructive, genocidal, hunger, depravity, damage, injured, mutilated, tortured, refugee, subversion, propaganda, dehumanization, pacification, murder, mayhem, destabilization, death, crime, rape,onslaught, slaughter, camps, homeless, displacement, enemy, terror, savage, cruel, cripple, domination, bombing, casualty, prisoner, target, occupation and the most important thing PROFIT.

bobbler's picture
bobbler 9 years 30 weeks ago

POOF! Here is irrefutable proof the media has no relationship to the left. Unless someone can LOL explain somehow the left has become pro-war. I know facts and reason are useless debating conservatives; so to anyone with an open mind, here is all you need to know about the liberal media claim (and therefore which side is fulloshit).

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 30 weeks ago

Right on, Bobbler. I've had similar thoughts, whenever I hear someone make one of those "liberal" media comments. If it was liberal, I'd still be watching TV.

Richardo, that's a mighty creative way of making your point!

I can't stomach watching these war mongers day in and day out, thumping their chests for more and more war. It offends me, it sickens me, and without opposing points of view challenging them I see nothing to be learned that I haven't learned already. The U.S. is not a democracy and not the leader of the "free world"; it is an empire. An ugly fascist empire. - AIW

johnbest's picture
johnbest 9 years 30 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland ---

Google "The Danger of American Fascism" by Henry A. Wallace. This article was published in the New York Times on April 4, 1944.

It seems his prediction has come true.

RFord's picture
RFord 9 years 30 weeks ago

There is something wrong with a large percentage of the species called homosapians. There are no other species on earth that gather in large numbers to kill other large numbers of the exact same species. Humans have been doing this for many thousands of years. We should know that war is wrong because it causes great suffering, pain, and death to not only to the military personel on both sides of a war but to the many thousands or millions of innocent people in the path of war. Those people on the news "shows" who favor going to war are not the ones who will be there to see mangled dead children. They are not the ones who will go to war and get their legs blown off. They are the ones who will profit from war. Isn't it a wonder how people can do things that are so very wrong and see no wrong in what they do when it is of personal benefit.

rocketman1701's picture
rocketman1701 9 years 30 weeks ago

If we put as much money and effort into tracking down and killing any one who sells anything to ISIS, especially arms and military equipment, blow up and drone strike any bank that does business with them, especially the bank presidents and CEO,CFO and then embargo, or just plain take all their assets, as in 'civil forfeiture' that we have to live with everyday.... we all would be home by now.

OR a really good non-violent approach would be to invest the same amount into H2 fuel cell and new battery technology, giive 100% grants for solar roofs, invest in one bullet train line between every city with a pop. of 1m or more, re-invest in education and well you get the idea... if we did that, and then really spent money on clean fresh water - over there! as well as here....

Kill the root cause.

johnbest's picture
johnbest 9 years 30 weeks ago

Rocketman -- Today I heard on the news that I think it was Honda who is producing Hydrogen powered cars I assume using fuel cell technology we developed for the Apollo Program. They showed a guy driving the car saying that it was silent. They went on to say that it will cost $60,000 when it comes to market next year but with "Obama" government subsidies, the price will be around $45,000. Then they bitched about how the taxpayers are paying the difference. Typical Regressive remark.

I foresee gas stations installing Hydrogen fuel delivery systems in the future. It would be simple. Of course the gas stations owned by oil companies will not install them. It's their loss. Screw them.

Another Japanese company is also making a Hydrogen powered car.

Regressive heads are going to explode. I love it.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 30 weeks ago

Reply to #4: John, thank you so much for your excellent suggestion! I googled Henry Wallace's "The Dangers of American Fascism" and copied those parts that seem most relevant to our situation today:

The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. Gee, doesn't that sound familiar!

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort…… They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead. Uh-huh.

Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. Like healthcare extortion!!

The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination against other religious, racial or economic groups. BINGO!

The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. Today one need only turn on the TV or radio to see many examples!

They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection. I think so-called "free trade" fits this description perfectly.

Monopolists who fear competition and who distrust democracy because it stands for equal opportunity would like to secure their position against small and energetic enterprise. In an effort to eliminate the possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice democracy itself. Sound familiar, as in deja vu?

Democracy to crush fascism internally must demonstrate its capacity to "make the trains run on time." It must develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels. As long as scientific research and inventive ingenuity outran our ability to devise social mechanisms to raise the living standards of the people, we may expect the liberal potential of the United States to increase. If this liberal potential is properly channeled, we may expect the area of freedom of the United States to increase. The problem is to spend up our rate of social invention in the service of the welfare of all the people. AMEN.

Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes. Ever notice how many FOX pundits would have made ideal Aryan specimans of Hitler's so-called "super race"? Blond, anglo looking...

It is an infectious disease, and we must all be on our guard against intolerance, bigotry and the pretension of invidious distinction. But if we put our trust in the common sense of common men and "with malice toward none and charity for all" go forward on the great adventure of making political, economic and social democracy a practical reality, we shall not fail. But have we ultimately failed? This article was written seventy years ago! I don't reckon Mr. Wallace would be too pleased with 21st Century America.

Thanks again, John. Great reference. Guess some things never change (SIGH). - AIW

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