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Media maintains Status Quo

The mass media's real "job," unbeknownst to the general public, is and has always been to protect the status quo, that is, to protect the interests of the governing classes. What currently threatens their legitimacy (and that of the ruling classes) is not that they have not been doing their job in the last few years, but rather that the public has begun to realize that the real function of the mass media (and the government) is to work against the public interest. This growing realization is a terrifying prospect for the ruling classes.
One of the problems with politically progressive people is that, themselves being decent people, they often misinterpret the real meaning of what the other side says, because they are unable to comprehend just how indecent and structurally corrupt the other side is. Hence progressives naively tend to give credit to the other side where credit is not due, because they cannot see that what looks and sounds good is not necessarily good in reality. In brief, they often fail to perceive the actual quality of what is right in front of their eyes. By the way, by "the other side" I don't just mean conservatives. To me, most "moderate" liberals are also an integral part of "the other" camp -- they are the "good cops" to the conservatives' "bad cops," so to speak.

For instance, American progressives are generally unable to see what lies behind the recent statements and opinion pieces by columnists and liberal politicians that call on the American people to resurrect their good nature and reject the evil that has overtaken their government's behaviour in the last few years. To the progressives, it all sounds like "a good thing," because it sounds like an atonement, and a return to what they have always been told are "the real values" of America, whatever those may be.

I have little doubt, though, that the US journalists and liberal politicians who write the said articles and make the speeches were just as aware of the nature and methods of their government in 2001 as they are today -- not to speak of the rest of the last 60 years. That nature and those methods (irrespective of which party happens to be in government) have not changed. What has changed is that, for the first time, those facts are common knowledge, threatening the legitimacy of both government as such and the media. That is the reason I view those types of articles or statements as amounting to an extreme form of damage control (to protect the interests of both the journalists and the government).

The mass media's real "job," unbeknownst to the general public, is and has always been to protect the status quo, that is, to protect the interests of the governing classes. What currently threatens their legitimacy (and that of the ruling classes) is not that they have not been doing their job in the last few years, but rather that the public has begun to realize that the real function of the mass media (and the government) is to work against the public interest. This growing realization is a terrifying prospect for the ruling classes. Hence they would do anything, including lamenting their own personal and individual "failures," to prevent such a ruinous outcome for the system.

To restate the matter, there has not been any failure as such. In the last few years, the mass media and the government have been doing exactly what they were designed to do within the context of the capitalist system. The lamentations are meant to keep people from realizing this fundamental fact.

By the way, Bush's recent confessions about his "failures" fall into the same category, as they are meant to deflect attention from the anxieties of the extreme right end of the political spectrum regarding the declining legitimacy of the system as a whole. Apologies by a man who has never apologized for anything are proof that something much more fundamental than his presidency is in jeopardy. For instance, Bush's overt criminality has helped raise the world's consciousness of what "freedom" and "human rights" in the vocabulary of US governments are about. Both terms in fact mean unimpeded hegemony of capital.

Of course, any opposition to Bush's crimes is welcome. Still, I think we should be cautious about the source and the reasons for the opposition.

homepage: homepage: http://www.alse.blogspot.com

Call it Corruption 20.Feb.2006 05:53

Man on the street

Republicrats and Dempublicans are only different in how they spin the propoganda. It pisses me off how mainstream media has kept quiet or shifted the focus of key issues like NSA spying, Iraqi War, and congressional corruption.
We know money can corupt the system but the media glosses over it and fails to hold congress accountable.

The real job of the media is to make money 21.Feb.2006 08:32

media watch dawg

Not to disagree, but to enhance the charge that the main "job" of the media is and has always been to protect the status quo...

Corporate media is beholden to making profit. First and foremost its about money. Forget that there is anything about providing information to the masses so they can make good democratic choices...that looks good on the blackboard in a journalism class about ethics but its pie in the sky and thats no lie. Mainstream media don't report the news, they sell it. They sell it to advertizers who give them money to print ads that will get consumers to spend money.

Here is a repost from Rogue Indymedia which talks about this point a little more, and in relation to the upcoming FIRST AMENDMENT FORUM which is an annual event in Southern Oregon:

This year's First Amendment Forum is SLANTED
 http://www.rogueimc.org/en/2006/02/6065.shtml