It's nearly impossible to find an anti-war guest on American airwaves, according to a new study by the media watchdog group FAIR
This article originally appeared at The Smirking Chimp
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 US action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
FAIR found that during the key moments leading up to increased US military intervention, it was nearly impossible to find an antiwar guest on the airwaves. FAIR’s study looked at a number of discussions and news programs between September 7 and September 21 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 US military options in Iraq and Syria, but, just 6 of those guests voiced any type of opposition to US 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 antiwar 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 the US 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 (ISW), which is backed by some of the US’ 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 antiwar 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 US 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 the US 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 the US public to support wars not for the good of the country, but for the profits of the industry that President Eisenhower warned us about.