Diversionary Conflict in Politcal Media

In the Article by Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips “Media Democracy in Action” they talk about a “Truth Emergency”. An emergency in America media in censorship and what the american people deem important news worthy information. At the the start of the article They talk about the fact that while the US ambassador to Iraq had misplaced 12 billion dollars that were flown to Baghdad, the current US new media was focused on Anna Nicole Smiths death, so much so that on CNN there was a solid 2 hours of uninterrupted, with out commercial, news coverage. This was the longest uninterrupted news broadcast at CNN since 9/11. Now Huff and Phillips seem to look at this as the news media having its priorities straight and that this is the birth of the infotainment society. While i agree somewhat with what they are arguing i think they are missing something very important. That this “lack of priorities” is completely intentional, its the government flexing their control over the news media in the most effective and long lasting way they can, with distractions. Anna Nicole Smiths death is only one of many seemingly strategic distractions in news media history. Back in 2004 tens of thousands of protesters marched against Bush during his visit with Tony Blair, Bush’s then imperialistic partner in the Middle East.

Protesters_wearing_George_W._Bush_and_Tony_Blair_disguises_(2004).jpgThat same weekend, thousands of Americans demonstrated their displeasure over FTAA trade policies and tactics at its conference in Miami, during which they were subject to police violence and brutality. Police violence was calculated, massive, swift and ugly. First Amendment dissent will not be tolerated in Bush’s America, something thats perhaps being eerily mirror with our current president. Remarkably, the protests in London bore little resemblance to Miami’s with police dog enforcers, funded, incidentally, by monies appropriated for Iraq. As if out of nowhere, pop star icon Michael Jackson suddenly got splashed across news screens. Allegedly for child molestation, a warrant had been issued for his arrest, and it quickly flooded and dominated the news. British and U.S. protest coverage collapsed into a media black hole. At the same time, protests against Georgia President Edouard Shevardnadze received extensive media coverage, a despot notorious for committing election fraud. Interestingly the alternative press reported the protests were actually engineered by U.S. elites fearing Shevardnadze would stray back into the Russian fold. Nonetheless, the law of diversion is strongly evident here, democratic protests were eclipsed and then stealthily replaced with Jackson and Shevardnadze. Back in December 2004 President Bush signed into law H.R.2417, which expands the FBI’s power to investigate and to reduce the privacy rights of American citizens. Prior to its passage in Congress good old Congressman Ron Paul said of it “It appears we are witnessing a stealth enactment of the enormously unpopular ‘Patriot II ‘ legislation…Perhaps the national outcry when a draft of the Patriot Act II act was leaked has led its supporters to enact it one piece at a time in secret. Whatever the case, this is outrageous and unacceptable.” So with this monumentally unpopular bill about the be passed suddenly it is reported that Saddam Hussein had been captured on December 14. Hussein’s apprehension immediately commandeered the media ‘s attention.  Furthermore on Monday, December 15, “Sen. Bill Nelson reported ‘the Bush administration told senators Iraq had the capability to hit the U.S. East Coast with WMD, leading to their vote to use military force.'” And on Wednesday, September 17, “CBS Evening News reports that for the first time, the chairman of the independent September 11 commission is ‘saying publicly that 9/11 could have and should have been prevented. I think its more than clear this goes beyond mere circumstance. Sometimes diversion goes beyond a blatant distraction, sometimes its just straight up obscured. Politicians have been using the limitations of CSPAN for decades now. whether its blind sighting the public with more bills then can be covered with the 3 CSPAN channels or passing them so late a night most americans aren’t awake to even be conscious of whats happening. On a night in March 2005 at 2:54 a.m, the Republican-led House cut veteran’s benefits by three votes, on a night in April 2005 at 2:39 a.m., the Republican-led House slashed education and health care by five votes, on a night in May at 1:56 a.m, the Republican-led House passed the tax-cut bill by a few votes, and on a night in June at 2:33 a.m., the Republican-led House passed the Medicare drug bill by one vote.Logo_of_C-SPAN.svg.pngCongressman Sherrod Brown said “But what did the public miss? They didn’t see the House votes, which normally take no more than 20 minutes, dragging on for as long as an hour as members of the Republican leadership trolled for enough votes to cobble together a majority. They didn’t see the GOP leaders stalking the floor for whoever was not in line. They didn’t see Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority leader Tom DeLay coerce enough Republican members into switching their votes to produce the desired effect…In other words, they didn’t see the subversion of democracy.” And even today in trumps presidency we’re seeing these distractions take place just the same, a CNN sotry on Sean Spicer attacking the media for its reporting on inauguration attendance was shared 169,700 times on Facebook. A story on Trump’s executive order to start rolling back Obamacare clocked just 71,100 shares. On The New York Times’ website, the most widely shared story debunked Spicer’s “alternative facts.” It showed up on Facebook 170,900 times. The New York Times piece about Trump’s executive order abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership got 44,600 shares. So what is there to be done with this, with such deep roots corruption in todays media one has to go look towards independent news sources and activist media for the kind of honest news coverage people deserve. Unfortunately the kind of coordination needed to produce big stories like mainstream media does is sometimes hard to accomplish independently and in a way creates the same problems of distractions with an over saturation of conflicting stories. In the article “Drawing and Effacing Boundaries in Contemporary Media Democracy Work” by Christina Dunbar-Hester, she covers how different groups approach media reform with their own personal priorities and strategies. Namely Activists and Scholars, each groups with their own perspective on whats the most important parts of news stories and their attitudes towards distributing information.