I listen to FM radio music at work. I used to listen to NPR, but it has been ruined with what I call fake news, whereas local radio features a lot of no news. Worst of all are the dreadful number of fake ads for products which can’t possibly work and services designed to extract revenue, but offer dubious value.
This is nothing knew. Many times I’ve thought that everything we see and hear is a lie, if we’re not actually paying for it. The 2012 NDAA “effectively nullified the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion” by ” legalizing the use of propaganda on the American public.” The 2016 NDAA funds an Orwellian Ministry of Truth to crack-down on anything it labeled fake news. Rather than doing away with diet pill ads, it will “Counter Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation,” most of which only exists in the minds of NYT and WaPo editors. Of course, the whole point of false narratives is to make people believe things which are not true, such as that Russia invaded Ukraine or illegally annexed Crimea.
One of the reasons I don’t listen to right wing talk radio is it tends to engage in conspiracy theory, something invented by the CIA “as a means of undercutting critics of the Warren Commission’s report that President Kennedy was killed by Oswald.” You may have noticed how lots of conspiracies are becoming fact, as the mendacious villainy of our government is exposed by leaked news, which is the most dangerous of all and probably a big reason for the new Ministry of Truth.
Diet pill commercials are the result of national ad buys where local ads appeared in better terms. Indeed, we tend to overlook the annoyance as the price we pay for the music. Given that the CIA has been contravening the Smith-Mundt Act since at least the early sixties, it makes sense they would make it legal and ‘task the Secretary of State with coordinating the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to “establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response,” which will pinpoint sources of disinformation, analyze data, and — in true dystopic manner — ‘develop and disseminate’ “fact-based narratives” to counter effrontery propaganda.’
Of course, this only works so long as the CIA owns the WaPo and is able to influence the NYT and CNN. Of course, the CIA made Google and Google made the NSA. Those stories have been relegated to conspiracy theory as fake news some time back. The formalization of a policy going back at least fifty years seems a bit late, but the proliferation of alternative websites and social media must seem daunting to those who want to control us. Perhaps a legitimate modern analog will arise to Churchill’s decision not to evacuate Conventry, lest the Germans discover their Enigma machine had been decoded, but I doubt it. The converse seems to be more likely: that whistleblowers and leakers will continue to provide evidence that our government is up to no good.
At this point, Ministry of Truth developments to disseminate fact-based narratives seem increasingly weak, as we know not to trust their media and have much evidence they have been engaged in the opposite. The ignorance and apathy of the general public is facilitated by local no news and fake ads. I simply think everything is a lie.