At the World Russian Forum, foreign affairs columnist Patrick Smith talks about the state of media, democracy and empire in the United States
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Patrick L. Smith is the foreign affairs columnist at Salon and author of “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” (2013). He was the International Herald Tribune’s bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992 and a contributor to the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly and other publications.
The key points of Smith’s interesting speech:
- American media have had an unhealthy relationship with political power from 1898 and the first advance into imperial adventures
- You can have democracy or you can have empire, but you cannot have both at the same time
- You can have a healthy press or you can have imperial ambitions, but you cannot have both
- The American media had a really bad Cold War and never got over it
- In 2001 the media didn’t rise to the occasion and bent to power
- Quantitative in media had become qualitative
- Informally American media function as state supervised institution
- America is in the late imperial phase
- The Ukrainian economy is a humanitarian tragedy
- The so-called 'alternative media' are not an alternative to anything; alternative media tell the truth, but they just don’t have the means of production and infrastructure like mainstream media have to push it out there.