I TEND to get too emotional and have a hard time organizing my words in a way that I am happy with. But I felt I had to write this. What I resent is the deliberate use of language by the Press to brainwash the readers.
by Debbie Menon
Are we being spun?
I think the time is right that we all get ourselves an old desk chair from the office and set it to free spin around in circles, looking at all the junk we are being fed about Iraq, terrorism, the economy, and how well it’s expanding, outsourcing of jobs being a good thing for the future, spreading democracy in the Middle East, globalization, and the free market. Everywhere you look, read or imagine there is a spin.
Now put your feet down firmly on the ground and open your eyes wide. This is the first step in thinking on your own without the aid of a media interpreter. Headlines peddle newspapers, not news. And editorials peddle ideas, not necessarily the truth. It is marketing at its worst.
Here’s what I mean about headlines: The AP news is always put on page one with new headlines representing the slant of the owners. It’s getting so obvious for those of us who care to notice. ‘The War on Terror is being won in Iraq, and things are looking better’; ‘The War on Terror is being lost and Iraq is melting down into Civil War’. ‘IAEA finds no proof of Iranian nuclear weapons program me’. ‘The UN Agency finds Iran non-compliant’. What on earth do you believe?
Robert Fisk describes his newspaper, ‘The Independent’ of UK, as the ‘viewspaper’. It didn’t pretend to objectivity in its stories, but was keen to publish the insights of its journalists as part of their stories. Fisk describes having dinner with American journalists and having interesting conversations. But when the journalists wrote their articles, he found they did not write what they had seen and heard. Fisk also points to the way that language is abused in the US Press. He gave the example of articles referring to the ‘fence’ Israel is building in the West Bank. Rather than calling it a wall, like the Berlin Wall, it is called a ‘fence’. Who would ever protest about a fence, asks Fisk rightly, pointing to the impact that the choice of language used in a news story has on readers’ ability to understand what is at stake. The consequence of how events are portrayed in the US Press is that the public is kept from asking ‘why’, explains Fisk. This does not help them to understand what is going on in the world.
I love it whenever I come across a piece of writing or speech that says something that encapsulates or perfectly nails a lie that is being committed and lays it out for all to see. “Witnessing the Truth.” It’s the only way to fight the ugliness that is put forth every day by the people that have bent the reality to their own uses. It just makes you wonder sometimes if they have schools and universities to educate these writers in the techniques of slanting the news and spinning the facts, they surely must have schools that teach readers how to correct them when seeking the facts behind the words. It’s only fair that if all good writers are trained to use them, then all good readers should be equally trained to recognize them.
Being a keen observer, I’ve learnt it the hard way. Bias is bias. The writing style should tell you which way the writer leans, so you just lean a bit farther in the other direction when you read. It’s like two on a motorcycle when one goes to sleep. I must admit, I keep falling off the cycle several times, because I find myself always leaning so far in the other direction! Jokes aside, it is really beginning to come down to a really simple formula:
Whatever mainstream US-Zionist owned and controlled media endorses by way of reporting, infections, biases and repetition is bad for you.
Whatever mainstream US-Zionist owned and controlled media does not report is of course real news that you should be aware of, but are not.
How does all this play out on the stage of life, in which we all have a part to play day in and day out? Do we become cynical when deceived by some shyster in the street or in the White House? Do we trust that because someone holds the ultimate position of trust that they will lead us down the path of righteousness and truth to better our life or country? Does the cynicism remain with us after we have been deceived or do we return to trust until proven wrong in our assumptions once again? How long do we go on living with and accepting deception before enough is enough and we make a stand for our fundamental beliefs?
If you know you are being lied to and you are absolutely sure that you are being steered down a dead-end street that is causing you to forsake your moral judgment and the foundation of your upbringing and making a mockery of everything you hold as the truth, should you tolerate it?
Don’t let there be a mushroom cloud on the horizon that will erase your ability to make the nightmare go away for generations to come. You have got to make it happen before it’s too late to put the train in reverse and send the liars to Mars on the next flight out!
This article was first published in the Khaleej Times in 2003.