A Rush of Ditto's
Media Inducted into the Military
Talk Radio has Mellowed
Summer Disturbed by Media Ratings Wars
The Media Inevitably Begins in Earnest
Half the American population no
longer reads newspapers: plainly, they are the clever half.
Medium or the Message ?
The New York Times' Love Affair with Communism by Ronald Radosh
The Hippiecrits and the Press Corps by Eileen M. Ciesla
The NY Times Paper of Record's Memory Hole by Joseph Sobran
D.C. press galleries' history of corruption by Les Kinsolving
Propaganda in a Democratic Society by Aldous Huxley
Once upon a time The Wizard of Oz, was a populist fable, by Peter Dreier
On Propaganda in America by FRANCIS PARKER YOCKEY
A Balancing Activist: Satire, Short and Sweet by Eric Jay
In the freest press on earth, humanity is reported in terms of its usefulness to US power by John Pilger
Facing the Truth about AIDS
BRIT HUME: This year is the 20th anniversary of the onset of the AIDS epidemic, and it comes amid disturbing evidence that
the epidemic is now worsening. This despite the major expenditure of public money on research on the disease and a vast public
awareness campaign that made those little AIDS ribbons the fixture on lapels at countless events. But there is a view that
these very campaigns have not only failed to stem the disease, but actually contributed to its spread. And one who strongly
holds that view is David Horowitz, the onetime leftist radical who is now President of the conservative Center for the Study
of Popular Culture. Welcome sir.
David Horowitz's Guest Appearance on Fox News
Special Report with Brit Hume
Visit the Political GRAPEVINE
There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.
- William James
The Internet and the Death of the News Monopoly
by J. Orlin Grabbe
When the goldsmith Johnann Gutenberg and his financial partner Johann Fust established their printing shop at Mainz around
1448 A.D., one of their first projects was the publication of St. Jerome's translation of the Vulgate Bible. Then a scientific
work, Pliny's Natural History, was printed in Venice in 1469, and by 1500 there were 40,000 book editions on many subjects,
each running to 200 or 300 copies, for a total of about ten million books in Europe.
The printing revolution had
massive social impact. Firstly, the Church had always taken the view that it was the sole interpreter of holy scripture. Hence
it did not hold popular translations of the Bible in high regard. After all, if everyone could read scripture, they would
begin forming their own biblical interpretations, and asking their own questions about the contrast between Church practice
and Western Christianity's supposed intellectual foundations. The Church's interpretive filter, or editorial process, would
be undermined. And the Church's fears were well - founded. One example is Erasmus of Rotterdam's Praise of Folly which appeared
in 1511. He satirized the Church, among other institutions, and then in 1516 published a translation of the Greek text of
the New Testament. The public became aware of a number of short-comings in basic ecclesiastical writings, because they had
direct access to the materials on which those writings were based.
Moreover, the Gutenberg revolution brought
about a democratization in book ownership. Books were no longer the sole province of the rich. Reading was no longer a skill
whose value was limited to those with access to the manuscript library of the Church or that of the local Prince. There was
no guarantee, of course, that popular tastes would run in academically or ecclesiastically approved channels--to texts like
Pliny's Natural History or Jerome's Bible. The early 1500s saw a slew of romances of chivalry, such as Amadis de Gaul by Garci
Ordonez de Montalvo. But neither were these works without consequence: Visions of adventure drove the conquistadors on their
knight's errands to look for El Dorado and the Amazons. "California" is the name of an island in Sergas de Esplandian,
a book sequel to Amadis de Gaul. The New World is littered with names from the literature of chivalry.
revolution similar to Gutenberg's is taking place today in the transmission and presentation of news. The Internet, in general,
and the published pages of the World-Wide Web, in particular, undermine the authority of the priestly caste of editors presiding
over the New York Times. The Internet's information transmission mechanisms bypass and make a mockery of the highly selective
news filters imposed at CNN. Original news, research, and opinion--both the good and the bad--often goes from producer to
consumer unadulterated. On the Internet one can construct one's own daily newspaper by linking to a selection of web pages,
subscribing to chosen mailing lists, and accessing preferred newsgroups. One can also compete with the established media on
specialized topics by publishing ones own web page.
Traditional media senses the competition, and would like to
eliminate it if it could. But such is no longer possible. The Church had been able to kill the heretics called Albigensians,
and to put a temporary stop to that nonsense. But because of the revolution in publishing, it was never able to stamp out
the heresy of Lutheranism of people who read the source materials, made their own interpretation, and agreed with Luther.
(Never mind if Luther was right or wrong.) Similarly, the New York Times would like to kill all the heretics it calls "conspiracy
theorists," but this is not possible. So it is relegated to preaching to the choir, and intoning sadly to any portion
of its audience actually paying attention-- shaking its head at the devil worshipers
who live somewhere south of Fourteenth
Street or west of Riverside Drive. But this cannot change the fact that it is no longer required that one kiss the ring of
Abe Rosenthal or his successors in order to be heard.
Of course, with democratization and freedom comes responsibility
and uncertainty. The road to heaven is no longer a confident matter of following someone else's instruction. Truth relies
upon the reader's discrimination. The burden is shifted from the editor-priest-intermediator and transferred to the news consumer-layperson.
There was no guarantee that someone who was not a Greek scholar might not read in the New Testament about the miracle at Cana,
and interpret the Greek word oinos as "grape juice". That is, they might say, Jesus didn't turn water into wine;
he turned water into grape juice. There is no necessary guarantee of truth under democracy, any more than there is hope of
truth under tyranny.
So on the Internet you may have non-pilots and non-engineers discussing the downing of TWA
800. You have auto mechanics asking questions about the Federal Reserve, and housewives concerned with cryptology policy and
other privacy issues. There are non-journalism majors writing their own newsletters, and non-forensic experts meticulously
combing the evidence relating to the death of Vince Foster. So what? While there is no guarantee the truth will necessarily
emerge in this process, there is a greater probability that some of the truth will emerge some of the time than when the editors
of the New York Times, sure of their pipeline to heaven, present us with the sanctified Fiske report, and declare it a revelation
of God, or good government, or whatever.
Walter Lippmann said that the only way an editor could deal with the
day's deluge of information was to hold pre - existing mental categories called "stereotypes," and to file away
each event accordingly. Much of the traditional media has divided the ebb and flow of daily events into some equivalent of
the ancient Greek separation of the material world into the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. But the Internet
has potentially fragmented Lippmann's limited stereotypes into 20 million diverse web pages.
The World-Wide Web
has not yet evolved into a Periodic Table of Elements, where news is concerned. But it has that potential. And that's why
Who Owns What