Thursday, December 1, 2016

Robert Parry — The Orwellian War on Skepticism

Official Washington’s rush into an Orwellian future is well underway as political and media bigwigs move to silence Internet voices of independence and dissent, reports Robert Parry.
The Establishment cannot maintain control of the narrative without control over the media.
"… what [Richard] Stengel [State Department Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, the principal arm of U.S. government propaganda] and various mainstream media outlets appear to be arguing for is the creation of a “Ministry of Truth” managed by mainstream U.S. media outlets and enforced by Google, Facebook and other technology platforms.
In other words, once these supposedly responsible outlets decide what the “truth” is, then questioning that narrative will earn you “virtual” expulsion from the marketplace of ideas, possibly eliminated via algorithms of major search engines or marked with a special app to warn readers not to believe what you say, a sort of yellow Star of David for the Internet age.
And then there’s the possibility of more direct (and old-fashioned) government enforcement by launching FBI investigations into media outlets that won’t toe the official line. (All of these “solutions” have been advocated in recent weeks.)
On the other hand, if you do toe the official line that comes from Stengel’s public diplomacy shop, you stand to get rewarded with government financial support. Stengel disclosed in his interview with [Washington Post columnist David] Ignatius that his office funds “investigative” journalism projects.
“How should citizens who want a fact-based world combat this assault on truth?” Ignatius asks, adding: “Stengel has approved State Department programs that teach investigative reporting and empower truth-tellers." ...

Of course, this is nothing new. Repressive governments have always tried to control the narrative. Karl Marx, who made his living as a reporter and what we could call a columnist today, was driven out of Europe and found refuge in the more liberal England. In the USSR, underground alternative news was communicated surreptitiously through the use of mimeograph machine and sub rosa networks. In the Sixties, the anti-war and countercultural activists used alternative newspaper that were distributed free. Like other attempts to control the truth, this will also fail.

Consortium News
The Orwellian War on Skepticism
Robert Parry

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