How Trustworthy Are U.S. & Western ‘News’ Media?

Eric Zuesse

During the days of the Soviet Union, and in all dictatorial countries, the ‘news’ media were and are actually propaganda-media, which filter out information that the aristocracy (the people holding the real power, which in the Soviet Union were the Communist Party bosses) don’t want the public to know. Is the United States like that now?

I first came to the conclusion that the U.S. is a dictatorship in 2002, when I found proof that George W. Bush was lying to claim that he possessed proof that Saddam Hussein was rebuilding his WMD (weapons of mass destruction) stockpiles, and when the U.S. and UK ’news’ media hid this crucial fact that their heads-of-state were lying. Bush and British Prime Minster Tony Blair were arguing in 2002 against sending IAEA inspectors back into Iraq in order to verify whether or not Saddam was rebuilding his WMD stockpiles; they alleged that they (Bush-Blair) already possessed proof that he was accumulating WMD. 

Here is how I found out that they were lying about that: On Saturday 7 September 2002, the White House issued “Remarks by the President and Prime Minister Tony Blair in Photo Opportunity Camp David” (still googlable at here), with the following exchange between a journalist and Bush-Blair:

THE PRESIDENT: AP lady.

Q Mr. President, can you tell us what conclusive evidence of any nuclear — new evidence you have of nuclear weapons capabilities of Saddam Hussein?

THE PRESIDENT: We just heard the Prime Minister talk about the new report. I would remind you that when the inspectors first went into Iraq and were denied — finally denied access, a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they were six months away from developing a weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need.

PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: Absolutely right.

Then, as soon as the weekend was over, on Monday 9 September 2002, was issued by the IAEA the following:

Related Coverage: Director General’s statement on Iraq to the IAEA Board of Governors on 9 September 2002 [this being a republication of their notice three days earlier, on 6 Sep.].

Vienna, 06 September, 2002 – With reference to an article published today in the New York Times [which, as usual, stenographcally reported the Administration’s false allegations, which the IAEA was trying to correct in a way that would minimally offend the NYT and the U.S. President], the International Atomic Energy Agency would like to state that it has no new information on Iraq’s nuclear programme since December 1998 when its inspectors left Iraq [and verified that no WMD remained there at that time]. Only through a resumption of inspections in accordance with Security Council Resolution 687 and other relevant resolutions can the Agency draw any conclusion with regard to Iraq’s compliance with its obligations under the above resolutions relating to its nuclear activities.

Contact: Mark Gwozdecky, Tel: (+43 1) 2600-21270, e-mail: M.Gwozdecky@iaea.org.

It even linked to the following statement from the IAEA Director General amplifying it:

Since December 1998 when our inspectors left Iraq, we have no additional information that can be directly linked without inspection to Iraq’s nuclear activities. I should emphasize that it is only through resumption of inspections that the Agency can draw any conclusion or provide any assurance regarding Iraq’s compliance with its obligations under these resolutions.

So, this was proof of the falsehood of Bush’s and Blair’s reference to the IAEA, in which Bush-Blair were saying that, upon the authority of the IAEA itself, there was “the new report … a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they were six months away from developing a weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need.”

Bush invented “the new report”; it didn’t even exist, at all. And Blair, probably stunned that Bush possessed the gall to concoct things out of thin air that didn’t exist — and Blair also being Bush’s lapdog — confirmed Bush’s brazen lie, which Bush further brazenly alleged came originally from Blair. Bush’s entire brazenness likely shocked Blair. After all: Bush necessarily knew that his attributing his information “about the new report” from the IAEA, to Blair, as if Blair had read such an IAEA report (which was non-existent), was, itself, known by Blair to be false — he’s not so dumb. But Blair didn’t object to that, at all. He didn’t correct Bush; he didn’t even say (which would have been a tactful way to put it) “Well, perhaps I was misunderstood there by the President, but The New York Times does contain a rather alarming article about Iraq, which the President is referring to.”

Unfortunately, the American and British press simply ignored the IAEA’s contradiction of the U.S. President and of the British Prime Minister. (I deal in more detail on that in my 2004 IRAQ WAR: The Truth, pages 39-44.)

So: I knew, from this incident, that the U.S. and UK are dictatorships, and that the American and British publics were being lied into invading Iraq — into slaughtering and being slaughtered on the basis of dictators’ lies and aristocrats’ secret agendas. Though ultimately the inspectors did go back into Iraq, and they weren’t finding anything to indicate that Saddam had any new stockpiles, Bush-Blair alleged themselves to know better, and launched the 20 March 2003 invasion though the inspectors found no evidence to support the two leaders’ accusations.

Here are further documentations that the U.S. (and its lap-dog Britain) is a dictatorship, and that its (their) press is systematically controlled to block the public from knowing things that the aristocracy place their highest priority on keeping the public ignorant of:

“CNN Journalist ‘Governments Pay Us To Fake Stories’, Shocking Exposé”

“CNN News Stories Spoon Fed by the Gov’t”

“US Backs Honduras Death Squads”

“Leading German Journalist Admits CIA ‘Bribed’ Him and Other Leaders of the Western ‘Press’”

“The CIA and Other Government Agencies Have Long Used Propaganda Against the American People”

“How Reliable Is Reuters?”

“Western Media Blackout on the Reality in Ukraine”

“The Propaganda War About Ukraine”

“The Most-Censored News Story of 2014 Was ____(What?)_____.”

“Our ‘Enemies’ in Ukraine Speak”

“Even America’s ‘Media Watchdogs’ Hide U.S.’s Ukrainian Nazification & Ethnic Cleansing”

“NYT, Chrystia Freeland, on Ukraine: ‘This is not a civil war.’”

“Did NBC Cover Up Role of U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army in 2012 Kidnapping of Richard Engel?”

“Massive News-Suppression That’s Become History-Suppression”

And, finally, here is an article that I did for Huffington Post, and which they ‘published’ but buried so that virtually nobody saw it; and the reason why they ‘published’ it but hid it from the public is obvious, when you understand how this country’s dictatorship works:

“Hillary Clinton’s Two Foreign-Policy Catastrophes”

Now that story became ‘old news,’ even though it never had really been reported to the public as being news — and, so, it still actually is news, though it’s about events that occurred in 2009-2012, and so it’s history that is also, tragically, still news (because it’s still hidden).

In conclusion, regarding the title-question here: any purported national-news medium in the United States makes a choice between honestly reporting the news and being and staying small and not getting the major financial backing from the American aristocracy that would enable them to grow large; or else to sell out to the aristocracy.

The present news-article, like all I do, is being submitted free-of-charge to virtually all U.S. & UK national news media, including to CNN, NYT, HuffPo and the others I’ve mentioned here, so that they will be able to indicate now a desire to open up to the public as is done in an authentic democracy, just by their giving the present article prominent position, and so documenting that though the U.S., at present, is not a democracy, they really do want it to become  a democracy.

The American and UK ’news’ media were not held accountable for their having assisted their respective heads-of-state to deceive their public into supporting an invasion that would be based on lies, about Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Here, now, will be an opportunity for these media to turn the corner and choose to cease being ‘news’ (actually propaganda) media for a fascism, and for them to become instead news media for a democracy.

Because there really is a choice to make between fake ‘choices’ between Democratic and Republican politicians (or Labor and Tory politicians), versus real choices between democratic and fascist politicians; but there won’t be any democrat who can even possibly come to lead this country unless the aristocracy’s grip on the ‘news’ media becomes replaced by something else: control by the public. Because a government that’s answerable to the owners  of the ‘news’ media, instead of to the public, might as well itself own all the ‘news’ media (especially in our post Citizens United world, where the Government is controlled by the aristocracy). It’s not an authentic democracy, at all. And neither control by the aristocracy who control the government, nor control by the government itself, will allow a democracy to exist. The third option — direct control of the news-media by  the public, non-profit in a way that depends neither upon the aristocracy nor upon the government that the aristocrats control — is fundamental to the existence of any authentic democracy. How this can best be done is, of course, subject to debate. But that it must be done is a given for anyone who supports authentic democracy, because it’s essential to democracy, especially in a post-Citizens-United world.

And here is the bottom line on the current reality, to show that the United States, in particular, is, indeed, a dictatorship: “US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study.” So, if anyone tells you that the U.S. is a democracy, then just ask him or her to explain those findings. Because, now, you can  explain them. Those findings have been explained, right here. All of the explanation is empirical; none of it is imaginary, at all. Everything does  make sense. But it’s not necessarily the sense that has been publicized. On some matters, only the nonsense is being publicized. Because that’s far more profitable, to the people who hold the real power, in a dictatorship.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

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  • Carl_Herman

    Nice, Eric; thank you.

    Yeah, it was so many lies about those wars coming so fast that I couldn’t remember them all that drove me to writing. I was teaching US Government, and thought I’d write a brief for Congress (I had experience doing this with poverty issues) that would also serve as a background paper for my classes.

    All the lies that I had in 2005 turned into a 42 page brief: http://warisacrime.org/node/41708

    People like Eric make the choice to the public as clear as can be. We can only do so much in providing choice, in good-faith effort, and ongoing invitation for people to act as they see best 🙂

    • kimyo

      eric has frequently stated that ‘all republicans are fascists’. he implies so above when he says:

      versus real choices between democratic and fascist politicians

      is this a belief you hold as well? if not, don’t you find this kind of stereotyping to be a problem for washington’s blog? wouldn’t it be more effective to be as inclusive as possible, aiming to find the things that all americans agree upon?

      • cettel

        Kimyo, why didn’t you notice that the “democratic” there was all-lower-case (indicating the ideology, no Party at all)? I suppose that you’ve simply failed to notice that I’m very careful with my terminology, and that I always indicate an ideology with all-lower-case (such as “progressive,” or “fascist,” or “nazi,” or “conservative,” or “democratic”) and a Party with initial-cap (such as “Progressive,” or “Fascist,” or “Nazi,” etc.). It’s the correct way to deal with that distinction, between ideology, versus party. Careful thinkers make the distinction. I am careful.

        • kimyo

          these are your words, from our ‘conversation‘ 10 days ago:

          kimyo,” why do you ignore that whereas some Democrats are fascists, all Republicans are?

          notice, if you will, the careful use of initial-caps.

          • cettel

            Your question didn’t relate to Republicans. Your question objected instead to my phrase, “versus real choices between democratic and fascist politicians”, and I was responding to that. Don’t try to deceive readers about what your allegation was that I was responding to. You know what it was.

          • kimyo

            i have no intention of deceiving readers. so that they can judge for themselves, here is our exchange in full:
            kimyo says:

            i have no problem describing hillary or romney as fascists, they’ve earned the title in spades.

            i do have a problem calling my republican neighbor a nazi, though.

            zuesse replies:

            “kimyo,” why do you ignore that whereas some Democrats are fascists, all Republicans are? Don’t you know the difference between “some” versus “all”?
            Notice: I didn’t say that all Republicans are “nazis.” That would imply that in addition to being fascists, they’re racists, which some of them aren’t. But, likewise, whereas some conservative Democrats are also racists, and are therefore nazis, others are merely conservatives, or “fascists.”
            It doesn’t make any difference what your Party-affiliation is: Obama is a nazi Democrat. Do you deny that?

          • cettel

            Of course not — that’s the theme of most of my articles.

            Furthermore, I have also said in some of my articles that all Republicans are fascists and the leading Democratic contenders for the Presidency tend to be fascists too. America’s aristocracy have recently been extremely successful at blocking from any serious contention in Democratic Presidential primaries all individuals who fail to pass muster with them. Moreover, now, even winning a Democratic primary for seats in the U.S. Senate and House is almost impossible for non-fascists. Non-fascists now are almost as excluded from national Democratic politics as from national Republican politics.

          • kimyo

            if you had said ‘all republican candidates are fascists’, you wouldn’t have heard a peep from me. i also agree that the vast majority of democratic candidates are fascists.

            perhaps we can build a consensus from the things we agree on.

            can we further agree that there are some republican voters who are not fascists? if so, shouldn’t they be welcomed here, with open arms, to help build a majority of citizens who favor the trial of bush/cheney/blair/obama et al for war crimes?

          • cettel

            Yes!!!

            However, given that almost always the Republican nominee is even more right-wing than the Democratic nominee, the percentage of cases where a Republican voter is not a fascist is vanishingly small. Practically speaking, America’s Republican Party is a fascist party; however, Obama is himself an anti-Russian racist fascist, a nazi who despises Russians (except ones that toe his line, for America’s aristocracy; so, he’s not ideologically consistent — he is perhaps more accurately called a psychopath than an authentically committed racist-fascist).

          • Not sure what definition of fascism you are using. The general one points to the government paving the way for corporate interests. Neoliberals, aka, liberal internationalists(New Democrats,) aspire to usher in global fascism…

          • kimyo

            in terms of the most fascist (and destructive) acts by a u.s. president, i suggest that bill clinton’s revocation of glass-steagall ranks among the top three.

            in 2010, gallup pegged his approval rating among democrats at 89%.

            aren’t these people as worthy as any bush-loving republican of your scorn and vitriol?

            it may seem like i’m trying to pick a fight. that’s not the case, i’m trying to find our common ground. with only 11% of democrats and xx% (probably 11 as well) of republicans on ‘our’ side (ie: for prosecution of both r’s and d’s for war crimes) we face a significant challenge.

            as the old saw goes, you catch more bees with honey. i believe that we should be kind to and accepting of those who formerly identified as red or blue, and those who are beginning to feel doubt. let’s make them welcome here. alternately, if you must, at least be fair when you attack fascists and give equal time to those from team blue and those who unquestioningly support them.

      • oooorgle

        I agree, all politicians should done away with.

      • Carl_Herman

        kimyo: you place your words and energies to find fault in those working most to reveal the lies of media and political “leaders” that annually kill millions, harm billions, and loot trillions.

        Careful, pal. You’ll receive what you work to promote.

        That said, I appreciate the opportunity you provide for readers to choose whether to follow your path to nitpick, or to stand with those Americans demanding truth from media and government. Only truth will end these lie-began unlawful Wars of Aggression.

        Choose wisely for the future you want most.

        • kimyo

          your argument sounds a lot like ‘you’re with us or you’re against us’.

          i also dispute your assertation the zuesse is among those ‘working most to reveal the lies’. instead, his adherence to a red v blue worldview is blocking the way forward.

          but, please do answer the question: is zuesse correct when he states ‘all Republicans are fascists?’ you can see for yourself, clearly stated by him, with proper punctuation here

          • Axel

            I do not think there is an Ws’blog allocation for me to post directly below your above comment and so I do not interrupt or intrude upon your comments and/or communications within this Article.

            Impromptu, I just noticed your recent reply from the right column link and I noticed the word ‘us’. (I was saddened). (I expect I will vaguely try to explain further in this comment reply). I then clocked on your comment that lead me to this Article. I was considering to reply. I then clicked on your ‘here’ link and I noticed I had posted an important link and comment on that Article.

            I have not read this Article and many or most all of the comments. In my brief reading and with the word ‘us’ in mind, I generally agree.

            The reasonable truths and all the reasonable well and sufficient truths have been well known and for many, many decades and especially in this new Public media, Internet Media and other Informational accommodations, such as this and many other similar Internet Media Websites.
            (I have to presume and it is seemingly well known that many people who provide these Websites, Articles and comments have other and/or alternate objectives and that are susceptible to the accommodations of Money, Power, Fame and/or more sinister…….. and/or objectives……………..).

            The and/or my sadness is that I am correct within my recent comments on this website, in and within my concerns, advice and/or suggestions.

            In closing and as I have commented directly within your comment, please allow me to thank you for your consideration and within any gracious and kind considerations that you have previously extended within my efforts and endeavors and/or on my behalf.
            I wrote impromptu, hurriedly and I have not yet re-read my comment here, so please allow me any corrections, modifications and/or explanations.

          • Carl_Herman

            go argue with yourself, kimyo. This is an article about the lies from corporate media, including the game-changer (among soooo many) of Bush and Blair openly lying through corporate media for unlawful wars.

            This should have your response of full support for the arrests of these liars, ending those crimes (again, among soooo many), and finally the freedom for truthful engagement of how we can build a brighter future.

            That topic doesn’t seem to be of interest for you. So be it.

          • kimyo

            i am really disappointed by your response here. contrary to your position, it is indeed possible to agree with mr. zuesse’s goals without agreeing with his methods.

            it serves no purpose to turn away readers with inflammatory statements like ‘all republicans are fascists’. we need every able-minded citizen on board, regardless of their history of affiliation with fascists or nazis or democrats or republicans.

            at no point have i ever argued against the arrest of bush/cheney/blair/obama. your contention implying same is a classic straw man and is quite beneath you.

          • “”it serves no purpose to turn away readers with inflammatory statements like ‘all republicans are fascists’.””

            They aren’t???????

          • kimyo

            this is exactly what i’m talking about. i have a client who is a republican. he’s got a kid at school on the west coast, right dead center in the path of the radiation from fukushima for the last 3 years.

            he’s a bit thin skinned, i admit. if i send him here for fukushima info, and he sees ‘all republicans are fascists’, he’s gone, never to return.

            don’t we want to be inclusive and welcome alien mindsets rather than to send them packing?

            again, absolutely, preston, dubya, fascists. my republican client? no. he is a decent person, trying to navigate this mess just as you or i do.

          • Luca

            No we are not!

  • Eric Carson

    LOL !

  • Derek

    It’s just filler between commercials.

  • Southernfink

    Brilliant article~!

    Bookmarked !

  • Harlan County

    If you thought Brian Williams was a fraud, just read about Mr. fluent in Arabic Richard Engel: http://www.democracynow.org/2015/4/17/did_nbc_cover_up_role_of

    • cettel

      Harlan County, thank you! Your having pointed me to that news report on NBC’s lying ‘news’ reports from and about Richard Engel has caused me to update this article both here and at rinf, both of the news-sites where I directly post my articles. I added that Democracy Now link to the list of reports of press-scandals, because it’s one of the best such reports and so belongs on that list.

      • Harlan County

        You know you go for days on end wondering if what you say and do makes a hill of beans, but when someone responds in the way you have it makes all the difference in the world.

        • cettel

          Well, I appreciate it when someone calls to my attention something good enough for me to cite it as an example. And you did that. Richard Engel’s shaping his accusation so that the accused party is what the aristocracy wants it to be (Iran and Shiites), instead of the people who actually seized him (Sunnis allied with America’s partners-in-crime the Sauds), is shocking, an extreme example of the aristocracy’s control over successful national-and-international-news journalists.

          • Harlan County

            It makes me wonder was he kidnapped at all or was it all a setup. Was Richard really kicking back at Sharm el-Sheikh? I mean it opens the door, much like the dirty detective in NYC that had so many convictions who was found to have falsified evidence. So what else did Engel misrepresent all the Iraq war garbage? This little bastard was all over the middle east reporting on everything.
            This is not going to get the same amount of press that Brian Williams got, but out of the two I ask witch one is worse, I would have to say Engel.

          • Gina

            There seems to be a sport “who lies the best”, & I guess they applaude themselves.

            Btw we lose a lot of time to get through to the truth without being paid researchers’ fee.

          • Harlan County

            Right to untangle the webs they spin, is like a full time occupation, no wonder most just go along blissfully. Path of least resistance just like water there is an ounce of wisdom in it.
            But those that go along, I don’t want to hear any stupid opinions that they may concoct.

          • Gina

            Yup. I’m really convinced that we can’t bring about real change, because it has gone too far. Nonetheless to know the truth & to understand is fundamental. I think real change can only come from outside, i.e. by the counterweight from Russia, Iran & others. By being informed one isn’t subject to fearmongering.

  • K. Chris C.

    How Trustworthy Are U.S. & Western ‘News’ Media?

    At some point they become complicit, and it is no longer propaganda, but complicity.
    The complicit-media.

    The banksters need to repay us.

  • oooorgle

    If you call yourself “media”, you can eat poop. I find all the news and information I want from those who do not identify themselves as “media”. I find only lies and manipulation is everything that is called “media”. We don’t need it and those that cry we do incomes depend on us eating it. Kill your television!

  • J.L.W

    George Bush when he visited the Queen of England called the IAEA the EIEIO. (Apparently).

    Good article.

    I think a part of how the UK media is controlled is through the European Union. (Only small bits of evidence for that though.)

    I also think that some of the news readers within these power structures know the score and do their best, even though they know there are a lot of lies about. I find it revealing that the comment section in the news as of late usually tells the truth of the matter. Whereas, they could moderate out the troublesome comments. As has happened to me before whenever I mentioned Tony Blair in relation to Israel. (Middle East Peace Envoy indeed.)

    The first article you had there did mention the Guardian positively. So that kind of undermines the idea a little bit.

  • warforbankers

    I hope the christian “rapture” zionists (and their neo-con handlers) are happy for dragging the “west” into a war for Israels safety. I know I’m not.

    “….Condoleezza Rice has admitted this truth….Anthony Zinni has admitted it, as has long-time South Carolina Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings,…Philip Zelikow has arrogantly but nevertheless tellingly admitted it….Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, the former Chief of Staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, has vociferously admitted it..even the “butcher of Yugoslavia,” four-star US General and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark, has ….confirmed it too..”

    http://www.maskofzion.com/2012/04/jewish-at-root-iraqs-destruction-hell.html

  • Jana Rookard

    I think official media in all the countries is far from being 100% trustworthy. It hard to be independed when there is so much pressure from all the political forces. It is people’s task to leart to take the information critically and not to trust something even if it is said by seemingly trustworthy resourse. Jana from uk dissertation help

  • How come 20 year old guy who shot himself at the capitol received practically no coverage, they didn’t tell us his name, or what was on his sign……..but at about the same time the guy who flew the gyro-copter is all over the “news”? Why is that/

  • MC

    Authoritarianism is the most important instrument in both the (L)liberal and (C)conservative tool boxes, used as a last resort to hammer ideologically square pegs into round holes,, just as much among their own kind as with outsiders. Both groups and racism/bigotry/divisiveness are tools of Nazis and Fascists.

  • berger friedrich-wolfgang

    This Theme sounds like being a Question ; but it’s rather more an Insult on people , not falling for “Awaited Emotional REACTION” ! To characterize / designate “PROPAGANDA – OUTLETS” as “MEDIA” clearly plays into the Hands of Corporate ELITISTS !

  • Ask

    Simply put they are not trustworthy. They are paid for by the highest bidder.