Wednesday, September 4, 2013

US media coverage of war: Propaganda and freedom?

As a student of the media, I have been struck by the Hypocrisy of the media freedom narrative that have over the last six decades been a key instrument of American global control.

The US uses this narrative as a bully pulpit, as an instrument of global dominance, articulating the narrative of freedom to invade, colonize, kill, and rage war.

This is the Hypocrisy of the contemporary face of US hegemony, one that has material consequences experienced in the forms of economic exploitation, subjugation of people, mass killings, rapes, and destruction of civilizations. That the notion of free media that seeks out objective, value-free grounds of truth is a farce became evident during the timeframe building into the Iraq war.

Working with colleagues and graduate students on a series of content analyses of mass media coverage, I had demonstrated how media frames continued to sing the freedom song of America, at the same time reiterating the unfounded narrative of "weapons of mass destruction" without interrogating the narrative.

The absence of critical questions that actually sought out evidence was noteworthy. The media played a leading role in beating the war drums of the American empire, justifying the invasion of Iraq.

Almost a decade later, as the US prepares to launch an attack on Syria, the US media resort back to the war-mongering role that they have historically played for the US.

The propaganda has started.

Experts are pre-selected to continue narrativizing the chemical weapons story. The depiction of Assad as a monster are intrinsically tied to the propaganda function of the mainstream media.

The 24-hour news cycle have started recycling the propaganda story. Through experts, pundits, and news anchors, we have once again started being fed the story of a dangerous regime. Media freedom, once again, is constituted amid US agendas of global control, geostrategy, dominance on oil resources, and continued imperialism.

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