And, believe it or not, this is rather good news. I’ll explain.
We all like to know what’s happening in the world, and for good reason… understanding our surroundings is essential to survival. We instinctively seek information… we need information. There is, however, a problem that we face:
No matter how much “news” you consume, you won’t really know what’s going on in the world.
We can’t know, because ‘the news’ is half illusion, provided by government-dependent corporations that are paid to keep you watching and to keep you joined to the status quo.
Granted, they are quite good at providing pictures from disaster areas, but when it comes to explaining why the disaster happened, they mislead almost every time. Yes, some truth makes its way through the news machine, but most of it is wrapped in layers of manipulation. If, for example, you watch the news feeds all day, you’ll find a good deal of truth, but you’ll find it amongst a pile of half-truths. Do you really have enough time to analyze them all?
One Piece of Truth
The truth about public reporting comes out from time to time, but usually well after the fact. So, here’s one piece of truth that’s worth remembering:
For those who don’t recall the 1970s, Daniel Ellsberg was a man who worked as an analyst at the RAND Corp., moved from there to the Pentagon, spent two years in Vietnam working for the State Department, and then went back to RAND. He is the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971. These were the documents that revealed that three US presidential administrations had been plainly, knowingly, and openly lying to the public.
Here’s what Ellsberg thought the New York Times was good for:
… to see what the rubes and the yokels are thinking about and what they think is going on and what they think the policy is….
Later, in 1998, he said this in an interview:
The public is lied to every day by the president, by his spokespeople, by his officers. If you can’t handle the thought that the president lies to the public for all kinds of reasons, you couldn’t stay in the government at that level….
And here’s what Michael Deaver, a top aide to President Ronald Reagan, said about the press:
The media I’ve had a lot to do with is lazy. We fed them and they ate it every day.
That’s the truth about news, my friends. The newspapers are where the yokels get informed, presidents flatly lie, and legislatures are massively corrupt. The TV stations recycle opinions from the leading newspapers. And Internet news sites primarily recycle TV and newspaper stories.
Yes, some truth does slide through, but it looks almost the same as the other stuff. The only places we get anything close to refined truth is on a few Internet sites… and many of them have a particular axe to grind.
And the Internet news sites that really dig through the pile (like Mike Krieger’s) are in jeopardy. The Internet is being funneled into Google, Facebook, and a few other friends of the state. If things continue as they’ve been going, the independents will be cut off soon enough, under the guise of copyright or some such.
Sad to say, we shouldn’t accept the news as true. In my personal experience, I’ve been close enough to a few news stories to know the truth, and the networks got it wrong every time.
This is what William Colby, former director of the CIA, is quoted as saying in Derailing Democracy: The America the Media Don’t Want You to See:
The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.
Now, since people have disputed that quotation, let’s back it up: Please consider Operation Mockingbird.
Beginning in 1948, a CIA agent named Frank Wisner started gathering journalists and broadcasters… and started using them to ‘inform’ the public. The operation soon got so elaborate that other agents called it “Wisner’s Wurlitzer.” (Wurlitzer being the brand of organ that was played in churches.) In other words, Wisner played the media like a musical instrument.
While the real situation is more complex than this short description, rest assured that every major news organization in every major country is manipulated by intelligence groups. Where do you think they get all those “unnamed sources”?
If you were an intel operator, wouldn’t you do precisely that? You’d be considered derelict not to. So, you can rely upon this fact. And see here for a minor example.
I could continue listing facts, but there’s no real point. The crucial thing is to accept the truth:
The news is worked over before it reaches us.
We do know some facts, of course, and a generation from now we may learn nearly the whole truth about some of these events, but only if we wait and then go out of our way to find it.
The good news in all of this comes when we accept the facts and stop running our brains on bad information. Yes, it would be nice to know what’s really going on, but we don’t, and there isn’t much we can do about it. So, it’s time to stop treating the news seriously.
So long as the guv-megacorp-intel structure remains, it will enforce our ignorance. That’s what such organizations do, by their very nature. To expect differently is like expecting a dog to sprout wings and fly.
But once we accept that fact, we stop being spun around by the talking heads and their handlers.
After that, we can find truth in books and in other serious publications.
So, I suggest that you start ignoring the news. Rather, use all that time and energy to start building the kind of world you’d like to live in.
15 thoughts on “We Don’t Really Know What’s Happening”
I hope this column finds an audience outside those of us who already know the MSM is full of S***.
But, Paul, where is this coming from?
If things continue as they’ve been going, the independents will be cut off soon enough, under the guise of copyright or some such.
Unless this sentence has some meaning I’m missing, it’s nonsense. Getting independent voices online is not the problem, and barring major new first-Amendment repealing legislation, is not likely to be any time soon. Getting readers among the general public who WANT the truth is the problem.
“But, Paul, where is this coming from?
If things continue as they’ve been going, the independents will be cut off soon enough, under the guise of copyright or some such.”
Hi JdL. This is based both on needs and some things that I see going on behind the scenes. I’ll try to dedicate a post to it soon.
I’m guessing you’re unaware of the huge mostly behind the scenes war over copyright law. Techdirt and EFF would be good places to start.
For many years when I watched the news I turn off the speakers and just look at the images that are going by. Then and only then can the truth be seen, that was however until computer software got so smart that it to could be manipulated. Sometimes if you look close enough in the corners you can get a glimpse of the truth but sadly they truth does not exist in our world anymore and there is no reason to go looking for it unless you have something very important to prove!
The truth is if you want to live an honest and happy life, turn off the news and run away from anything that looks like the news. Since I stopped watching what we are told is the news I have found real happiness and peace of mind.
Precisely. Bravo! Your happiness is created by you, not by input from others. A truism: No matter what happens to you, only YOU can decide how to FEEL about it.
Excellent post, but you missed a couple of great quotes. First, from Mark Twain, “If you don’t read a newspaper every day, you are uninformed. If you do, you are misinformed.”
The other, I don’t remember who is the speaker, but “Wars start because diplomats lie to reporters, then believe what they read in the newspaper.”
The other key that I try to apply is to ask what doesn’t add up when I see the reporting of any given event. Staged photos and videos are all over the place. For example, CNN ran a headline photo of a supposed Bosnian sniper several years ago, and as I looked at the picture of the rifle the sniper was holding, I realized that it was an air rifle with a scope, because I have an identical one. I got mine out and looked at it, and at the photo – identical!
So my default assumption is that everything I see is either staged or edited heavily, but clues to the truth still leak through, if we can filter out the propaganda chatter.
Your lucid article underlines our libertarian experience,
that the state is a powerful parasite that can provide successful people with privileges
and losers with income redistribution, while we can offer only moral idealism.
If libertarianism has as little effect on the status quo as does voting, then how can we counter the arguments of
the selfish and corrupt? And why should we pay $400 per year for Freeman’s Perspective, (brilliant though
you are!) if there is no return on the investment?
You can’t counter their arguments. To attempt to do it is an exercise in futility. They never change. Nor do the pols and bureaucrats…at ANY level.
As for paying for Paul’s perspective, you just might pick up enough information to make better investments.
Ah, Ross, I only wish I got the number you mentioned. 😉 ” $400 per year for Freeman’s Perspective”
It’s $99. and there’s a half-price introductory subscription:
Paul, I’ve been ignoring the news for decades. And I dispute your early thesis: “We need the news.” I’ve been without “the news” for decades and it has made no difference in my life…other than to relieve me of the burden of negative emotions. Any and all politicians lie. Any and all bureaucrats lie. Any and all news “sources” lie.
So live your life in the best way you can find, don’t bother trying to “straighten them out”, and encourage those whom you know and love to do likewise…if they’ll listen.
I get my news from Zero Hedge and Finite World
They may not always get it right but at least they are making attempts at providing analysis of what is really going on
Terrific article. Well thought out. I’ve been following it the technique fairly closely for a long time, decades actually. I take no newspapers, no “information” magazines, do not watch much telly at all, perhaps an hour per month, if that. (We generally have music on.)
I recall the 9/11 story. I was completely unaware of the incident until I got an email from a friend in Brazil suggesting I turn on the telly. I did. Mentioned it to my wife who kept going back to the “babble box” (as Robert Heinlein described it) to view it over and over. I finally went into the telly room and disconnected it. ( She was actually being hypnotized watching those planes over and over and over.) The telly was not replugged in for over 4 months. And I’ve recently begun disconnecting from many sites on the net. Thanks again for the article.
Great article, Paul. I can relate as I dumped my TV 27 years ago and began letting newspaper and magazine subscriptions run out.
There are now many excellent alternate news sources on-line. It just takes a skeptical perspective to weed out the crap and the longer I do it the easier it gets. The only downside is I feel like a stranger in a strange land when talking with family, friends & colleagues, but that’s their problem, not mine.
One trick I learned is to ask Cui Bono (latin for ‘who benefits’) which is sort of like ‘follow the money’. Once I understand who has the most to gain, the agenda usually becomes clear.
My current mission is trying to understand who benefits from the West’s apologies and enabling of Islam, the death cult. According to Emmet Scott it was Islam, not the barbarians that destroyed the Roman Empire and ushered in the Dark Ages.
Also, why are we taught that Columbus sailed west looking for a shorter route to India. He knew Earth was round otherwise he wouldn’t have sailed west to India that they knew was east. He knew it was a longer trip. The truth is he was looking for a SAFER route because the Mediterranean and the overland route east was overrun with Muslim pirates and bandits. Why have we been told lies to cover up Islam?
Don’t you miss the old days when only conspiracy theorist nutjobs believed such stuff?
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