Another Step Towards The Sovietization Of American Media

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

This week the US Department of Justice Criminal Division forced the Russian-funded television network RT (formerly Russia Today) to register as a “foreign agent” under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Failure to comply would have risked arrest of RT’s management and seizure of its assets. The move comes on the heels of Senators’ recent demands that terrified tech giants Twitter, Facebook, and Google act as ideological filters.

With no discernable defenders among America’s media establishment, RT rightly denounced the selective FARA mandate as an attack on media freedom – which it is. But more ominous is what the move against RT says about America’s rulers’ further intention to limit the sources of information available to its subjects.

As Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute writes:

“RT America is a news organization operating in the United States that is funded at least partly by a foreign government. So is the BBC. So is Deutsche Welle, France24, Al-Jazeera, and numerous other foreign media organizations. It is assumed that they all to a degree reflect the editorial interests of those who pay the bills.


“The same is true with other, non-state funded media outlets, of course. It’s up to us to factor these things in when we consume media. That’s what it means to be a free people.


“A core value in a free society is that our own government has zero power over what we read, what we watch, how we think, how we come to interpret current events, the conclusions we draw based on these inputs, and so on. These are private matters over which any government that is not tyrannical should have no sway.


“The real insidiousness of tyrannical systems is that the government most lasciviously seeks control over most private spaces — including the most private space called our brain, our intellect, our conscience. We must be free to follow our interests down whatever path they may lead us so that we may reach our own conclusions and then perhaps test them ourselves in the marketplace of ideas.”

The attack on RT (and another Russian network, Sputnik, which evidently has not yet been given a deadline for registration) is a milestone in the degeneration of the American official (call them what you want – corporate, legacy, mainstream) media into PR agencies for the governing establishment and its ideological imperatives. We’ve been moving along this path for a while now, and it’s going to get worse.

Long gone are those halcyon days of yore when Americans could just sit back and watch CBS’s Walter Cronkite with total confidence they were getting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (For youngsters who have no idea who the hell Cronkite was, just Google “most trusted man in America.”) Back in the naïve infancy of the TV age, from about the 1950s until the beginning of the 1990s, there was a common national media culture that reflected the established, generally liberal, mainly Democratic tilt of the American inteligentsiya that was almost uniform among the (then only) three networks and a handful of major newspapers and magazines. To be sure, that was also a ruling class media of a sort, but it reflected a broad and deep social consensus.

Those days are no more. Perhaps the unraveling of media trust and social consensus alike started in earnest with Vietnam. But still, for decades afterwards there still seemed to be plenty of empty cranial receptacles for government and corporate propaganda of the first Gulf War under Bush 41, Bill Clinton’s phony humanitarian wars in the Balkans, Bush 43’s Iraq War, and Obama’s Libyan and Syrian imbroglios. Sadly, there are many such cranial receptacles even today.

By its attack on RT, the US government is officially telling us that only the mainstream media (MSM) can be regarded as are purveyors of Truth (with a capital T) and that anybody not on the approved list is fake. How do we know? Why, the MSM themselves tell us! The Washington Post’s “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” CNN’s “Facts First.” The New York Times’ “The Truth is Hard.” (The fact that certifiably authoritative and truthful media are militantly hostile to Russia, not to mention to Donald Trump, is purely coincidental.)

A lot of Americans don’t buy it anymore, though. Some of the skepticism falls along purely partisan lines reflecting increasing moral and political polarization: our media (which I exclusively consult) tells the truth, but your media (which I don’t consult) are liars. About one-third of Americans get their talking points from, say, Michael Moore, and from Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, with their related internet echoes, while another third gets theirs from Rush Limbaugh, and from Sean Hannity on Fox News, and their internet echo chambers. Increasingly, there is nothing like a national dialogue on anything, but rather two entirely separate, diametrically opposed ideological cultures – and alternate realities – each demonizing “them.” This is why when after Barack Obama’s election the Tea Party appeared, the GOP fell over itself trying to co-opt them, while the Democrats denounced them as a mob of racists and subversives. When later the “Occupy” and Black Lives Matter movements broke out on the Left, the Democrats tried to figure out how to channel it while top Republicans denounced it as gang of commie anarchists and losers.

With the election of Donald Trump the divide intensified further to one of latent civil war.

At some point the false picture of pseudo-reality (as Alain Besançon called it in the late Soviet propaganda context) diverges so far from real reality that the official media narrative becomes useless and even counterproductive. While a majority of Americans probably are still glued to the partisan outlets of “their” side of the political divide, there is a growing sense across the spectrum that not only the MSM but even partisan media like Fox News and MSNBC are untrustworthy.

In the past, notably in the totalitarian societies of the 20th century, maintaining the credibility of official media required the physical repression of alternatives. Today, such a crude approach is unnecessary and almost technologically unfeasible, even for such undemocratic countries as Iran, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia (though North Korea may be successful through the sheer unavailability of modern communications technology to most of the population). Instead of suppressing dissent, is it sufficient to maintain major media’s role as gatekeeper and certifier of reliability.

Which brings us back to the impact of foreign media like RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation, Al-Jazeera, CGTN, Press TV, often in parallel with alternative media like Zero Hedge, Lew Rockwell,, Ron Paul Institute, and others, to break through the information firewall but arguably then being influenced by the agenda of the sponsoring foreign governments. In any case, a growing segment of the American public is discovering a skill once well-honed by the citizens of the former communist countries: reading between the lines of the official media (which is assumed to be full of lies) and making informed comparisons to samizdat alternative media, foreign sources, and the rumor-mill to guess what the truth might be.

Make no mistake – what has started with RT won’t end with RT. Our betters have decided they need to protect our minds from “propaganda” penetration that might cause us to doubt the truth of what CNN and the Washington Post tell us.

Citizens! Be grateful for such wise leaders and dedicated information workers! Smash the enemy voices that seek to undermine our democracy as we march boldly into the radiant future!


Escrava Isaura besnook Sat, 11/18/2017 - 17:10 Permalink

The title is completely wrong. America media, religion, and education are the ultimate propaganda machines and indoctrination centers. Second, Soviet Union is over. And Soviets had nothing that Americans didn’t have it. So, why use it? Third, Soviets that believed their media was on the single digits. In America, over 80% believed the mass media. Professor Chomsky has these numbers in one of his books. Soviet mass media was a total failure.   And, the most important point of all: We all lie. Humans are hardwired to lie as we age. A study published in “Developmental Psychology” asked a set of 65 kids not to peek at a hidden toy. When the examiner turned away, 50 percent of 3-year-olds and 80 percent of 8-year-olds snuck a look. When asked whether they peeked, most of the set had lied.   

In reply to by besnook

Future Jim Escrava Isaura Sat, 11/18/2017 - 17:35 Permalink

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities"—VoltaireJust about every week, the American media work the American left into a virtue signaling frenzy (Do you remember Statue Derangement Syndrome?), but one of the goals of such manipulations is to waste the time of independent minded people, so one should usually ignore such absurdities.This third week of November 2017, it is Roy Derangement Syndrome. Hillary supporters around the nation are threatening to end relations with any family and friends who support a previously obscure (and typical) candidate (Roy Moore) for the US Senate!—in another state!—Hillary supporters!Such cognitive dissonance is extreme, but more importantly, that's just so ... douchy ... Right? Who does that? OK, cult members do that, and communists and fascists do that, but otherwise, who does that? It's creepy.Although 100% of typical politicians are bad, Hillary is not a typical politician. Hillary is probably the worst. So her supporters are not motivated by principle when they sacrifice their friends and family. The ugly reality is that Hillary supporters are the kind of addicts so desperate to score just one more hit of virtue signaling that they would sacrifice any of their friends and family who don't conform . Of course, we already knew they had that fascist streak. That's how it was possible for the players to manipulate them into being Hillary supporters in the first place.Let's compare what has Hillary supporters so worked up about Roy Moore ... to the crimes of Hillary.Hillary supporters accuse Roy Moore of trying to date girls who looked 18 when he was 20-32 ... and of having no game ... in Alabama ... in the 1970's ... I'm not kidding ...The worst is that on the last of a couple of meetings, one of them admitted she was 14 and Roy was still interested, and although the Washington Post writer and the four accusers are not credible, I suspect the gist of their accusations are true—at least with some girls if not these. Nevertheless, that alone would make him no worse than 90% of Congress, which is still pretty bad. I wouldn't vote for any of them.Now let's look at some of the crimes of Hillary: 1) Hillary sold classified information to foreign agents. 2) Hillary befriends/defends rapists and pedophiles, and destroys the women and girls who accuse them—and laughs ?about it. 3) Hillary has had over 100 people killed who had dirt on her. 4) Hillary has eagerly traded favors for bribes from criminals and foreign agents. 5) Hillary has eagerly used the CIA and US military to kill or harm millions—and laughs about it. 6) Hillary cheated and colluded with the media, the Democratic Party, the Internet gatekeepers, and other big corporations ... to defeat Bernie Sanders (and others).Anyone who is suddenly enraged about some nobody politician who has a level of character typical among politicians—when America is inundated with existential crises—has clearly been played by those who manufactured the crises. Of course, anyone who would vote for someone as evil as Hillary has clearly been played too.Many in the American left were suddenly enraged a few weeks ago by some old statues, and the week before that by a timid comment posted several months earlier to a company's internal employee suggestion box. However, th?at international incident had actually begun to peel back the illusion of legitimacy, without which, the players would be finished—like how we all helped to make Hillary an irredeemable threat to the illusion of legitimacy by the time the election was near, thus forcing the players to go with their plan B.The enraged are helping the players to realize their agenda, which is actually very harmful to the enraged themselves, who are thus working against their own best interests. The players refer to such people as ... "useful idiots." The strategy of the players is to create an army of useful idiots who will neutralize the players' opponents by making frequent frivolous accusations (e.g. racist) against anyone who doesn't conform.The goal is also to incite conflict because all conflict can be used as a pretext to justify more of a police state.

In reply to by Escrava Isaura

Escrava Isaura Future Jim Sat, 11/18/2017 - 18:09 Permalink

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Wrong. The left doesn’t want conflict. Why would they? They’re the winners. The right is the ones that want conflict, because they were left behind. Disenfranchised in their own land. The left is just getting ready for conflict, because they can’t generate the necessary jobs to re-enfranchise those Americans that were left behind. The Republicans are even worse. The left cannot even get elected anymore. Most state and federal politicians are Republicans. The problem is that the conservatives buy into the Republican BS such as in religion and moral values while being kicked in the face. The republican idea of leaving to the states to fix these problems is nonsense. And, if the new tax is approved, these states will be even more broken. We need debt free investments now. All other solutions are idle and futile.    

In reply to by Future Jim

verumcuibono Future Jim Sun, 11/19/2017 - 01:01 Permalink

You're right about useful idiots and inciting conflict by whatever means has been the goal for decades. But the targets are the conservatives and the liberals and forcing everyone inbetween to choose a side.Your comparison between Roy and Hillary is irrelevant as is every single post on this site blathering about how evil hillary is and how much trump is gonna drain things. That's exactly what TPTB want you to do because you're repeating the bullshit the MSM has sold you about two fictional factions and the suggestion that one is more righteous than the other, more patriotic, more solution-orient, fairer, etc.The truth is they own both sides of the argument. That's the whole point. Getting into details perpetuates the propaganda, diverts attention from the real news, keeps the emotion in the conversation, and digs the hole deeper.I challenge the author's suggestion that partisan and mainstream media are not the same. If the fact that 96% of the media is owned by only 5 entities with ties to the same 3 people don't prove that there is one overlord with one agenda, I don't know what will.The author's other huge miss is the fact that there is overwhelming evidence that the CIA and intelligence agencies infiltrated MSM decades ago. What the MIIC has also done is infiltrate social movements, instigate them, trigger extremists and psychologically dangerous catalysts, financed and guided events.Find me a "social movement" that makes it into headlines, I GUARANTEE you'll find at least a dozen people on the CIA payroll. Just another benefit of massive intelligence surveillance - they know where to find the crazies and the know what makes them tick. But mostly, it's a coordinated event.As a result, we see the crazy shit happen on the street that the MSM uses to underpin their spin and propaganda that merges actual events and staged school plays, which all serves to incite rage and indignance and intolerance on BOTH sides. That's the whole point -the ongoing decomposition of a democratic system, any means to accurately inform the pubic, and overwhelming disillusionment of the public to see it, understand it or give a shit.Unfortunately, sites like ZH, while "on the list" still talk all around the truth, as do the comments. Rarely is the actual flow of money, the missing trillions, the architects of our false flag culture discussed. It's still all about the Rs or the Ds or the jews or hollywood evils.NO WAY do I agree with the author that 1/3 of the public questions MSM. I have no idea how one would qualify that, anyway. I'm surrounded by just about every type of demographic there is and maybe 5% is enlightened. Most of you ZHers found your way out of the zombie maze but most of you are stuck in the fog of noise. And the real idiots posting are probbaly on someone's payroll, if not still earning an allowance from mom (yes, summa you 4chanfuckers). Only when you disengage from the R vs L noise will you be able to see truth and truly educate those around you.Without THAT, without turning a lot more of the masses we know exactly how this ends. 

In reply to by Future Jim

Future Jim verumcuibono Sun, 11/19/2017 - 09:14 Permalink

You're about 95% right. I reread my article, but I see that at least five times I said that both sides were bad, and I also said that Trump and Hillary work for the same people (although you have to follow the link for that to be clear).I'm still trying to figure out where I distinguished between partisan news and MSM. Not only are they the same, but as you suggest, pretty much all opposition of any size is controlled opposition.Where you are wrong is that although the leadership on all sides are themselves on the same side, the ordinary people on each side are fundamentally different because different strategies work on different kinds of people. For example, if you were the kind of person whose fears compel him to conform and who insists that others conform, then you would naturally be on the side where the government and the media have your back, and that's the so-called left. Whereas, the right has been played with more common-sense fears, such as criminals, freeloaders, drug addicts, foreign enemies, and terrorists. The so-called right has to be played with exagerated real threats and false flags because they are not so vulnerable to peer pressure and not so quick to write off anyone who disagrees. That has begun to change with Trump. we now see some zealotry about Trump, but that is the result of massive manipulation starting in 2016, and it still mostly petered out. The controlled opposition is suddenly inciting the so-called right primarily by presenting them with very real atrocities against them and their country that have been happening for 50 years--but presenting these as if they were something new. They waited until it was too late to do anything to start exposing such atrocities, and they are presenting mostly ineffective and demoralizing counter-arguments and solutions.

In reply to by verumcuibono

verumcuibono Future Jim Sun, 11/19/2017 - 16:37 Permalink

For starters, it's nice to meet the author.My statement about all mainstream media responds to this sentence:"At some point the false picture of pseudo-reality...  there is a growing sense across the spectrum that not only the MSM but even partisan media like Fox News and MSNBC are untrustworthy."TL;dr version of my response: Your "differences between Right- and Left-stream narratives" are still based on reactions to current memes in the public theater and cycle of coordinated noise and programmed response. Truth behind modern "news" and "politics" can be understood only within the context of the previous several decades--swinging pendulums are poor barometers for truth.For decades, MSM has capitalized on the 8-yr swings of the political climate - not because a whole lot of quantifiable change actually occurs that affects the average citizen - but because of the perception that it does. Emotionally-charged noise ensues and TPTB marches onward. The deeper the perception of political offenses, the more cover is provided for the real threats: transfer of wealth, civil liberties, and information sources are the best examples of the expert psyops that has left the majority of this country, regardless of their party persuasion, completely disinformed and disillusioned.With all due respect to the fairly intelligent people who have been forced underground for information, there is still SO much baffling and inexcusable partisan noise. If you're even mentioning L this or R that, you're part of the problem.In response to an anecdote shared about a Russian plummer who suggests the only difference between US and Russia is that Russians know their media is controlled, a member suggested the Ruskies have had decades to learn this--"we're just finding it out." It's true, even the intelligent and 'aware' have been recently awakened but those who stepped away from the political and MSM noise decades ago have been sharing truths for decades. The psyops is powerful but mostly people are just lazy. The lack of enlightenment through all these years has allowed TPTB to continue ratcheting up the stakes.After decades spanning three generations of sutble, potent and neuron-level brainwashing, the masses won't be turned quickly or easily. Writing for ZH affords you a precious platform and every article that even mentions fake politics is a missed opportunity. Consider how quickly these conservative AND liberal social movements have been coming and how many false flags we're now seeing and close we are to losing net neutrality. Many suggest we've passed the point of no return.And for the rest of us, if we're not "working on" turning at least one American MSM zombie during the average week, we've also failed. Bantering bullshit in the comments section is fun-n-stuff but get out there and get the real work done. Or you're also part of the problem. 

In reply to by Future Jim

besnook Sat, 11/18/2017 - 16:43 Permalink

the problem is most people have trouble putting their socks on the right foot in the morning so they are easily swayed by an authoritarian figure claiming to know more than them so they can claim to have the same smarts when they repeat what they have been told. trying to break through that wall of ignorance is nearly impossible. look at mugabe. the people lived under his authority for 30 years and are euphoric now that he is gone but no one took the time and effort to whack him until now. the same thing has repeated itself a thousand times throughout history. how long will it take in the usa?

JohnG besnook Sat, 11/18/2017 - 17:52 Permalink

All my entire life I never knew, and here I am just now learning that the socks have a particular foot they are for?None of mine are labeled (I looked).  How the fuck am I supposed to tell them apart?Is there a fine for getting it wrong?  Am I going to be arrested by the fashion police?

In reply to by besnook

nmewn Sat, 11/18/2017 - 16:44 Permalink

Look how effortlessly CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, NYT's, WaPo (really, an almost endless list) fell into line on the "Trump-Russian collusion" non-story.One of the most blatant examples of journalistic malpractice and party-line propaganda dissemination I have ever seen.But nmewn...what about the peeing Russian prostitutes?!

MuffDiver69 Sat, 11/18/2017 - 17:04 Permalink

FAUX News has some clowns that have been around forever in the evenings, but their ”news” is not even remotely conservative or right wing. Chris Wallace,Brett Baier and the rest are uniparty hacks that in no way support Trump...The left wing media is literally the Democratic Party...People aren’t fooled unless they want to be..I’m enjoying the lefts pain personally...The exposure of all of this is good..The censorship will be worked around soon enough..Give it time..

Scornd Sat, 11/18/2017 - 17:05 Permalink

russian americans are about the toughest meaniest anti jew anti govt anti NWO people i know of dont believe this crap. yeah they alittle rowdy but thats who you want in your foxhole

Mena Arkansas Sat, 11/18/2017 - 17:06 Permalink

Durbin Introduces Domestic Terrorism Prevention ActU.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced new legislation to address the growing threat of white supremacist groups and other violent domestic extremists. The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would enhance the federal government’s efforts to prevent domestic terrorism by requiring federal law enforcement agencies to regularly assess those threats and provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing these threats.According to a May 2017 intelligence bulletin by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), white supremacist extremism poses a persistent threat of lethal violence, and white supremacists were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016—more than any other domestic extremist movement. “Violent white supremacist groups and other right-wing extremists are the most significant domestic terror threat facing the United States today,” said Durbin. “But too often when violent tragedy strikes our people, the conversation only shifts to terrorism if the perpetrator is from another country. Our own federal law enforcement agencies recognize that terrorism is on the rise in our own backyard, and it’s time that Congress take steps to address it.” The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act has been endorsed by leading civil rights organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the Arab American Institute, Muslim Advocates, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patty Murray (D-WA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).…That's right, goy. You - the last remaining white male - are the most significant terror threat in the us. The jews told me so.Expect hate speech laws (aka anti-semite laws) with jail time in 3 ... 2 ... 1.

redmudhooch Mena Arkansas Sat, 11/18/2017 - 19:53 Permalink

Good find. Yep, its happening, you can see the signs everywhere.Won't be long they'll be droning anyone that dares question the lies.Expect more Las Vegas, and Texas Church flase flag shootings, they're trying to send us a message.Sad that we've let it get this bad. WTF happened to America?As far as the hate speech crap, its far too late, too many already know, even grandpappy that doesn't know how to turn on a computer knows (((who))) is responsible for all the misery now.They have 1 foot in the grave and they know it. 

In reply to by Mena Arkansas

mc888 Sat, 11/18/2017 - 18:31 Permalink

Our betters have decided they need to protect our minds from “propaganda” penetration that might cause us to doubt the truth of what CNN and the Washington Post tell us.

Then why don't they reinstate the Smith-Mundt propaganda ban that Obamunist repealed?

redmudhooch Sat, 11/18/2017 - 20:05 Permalink

Everyone should read this, spread the truth, talk to everyone you know.Wall Street and the Boshevik Revolution By Antony C. Sutton… find there was a link between some New York international bankers and many revolutionaries, including Bolsheviks. These banking gentlemen — who are here identified — had a financial stake in, and were rooting for, the success of the Bolshevik Revolution. One barrier to mature understanding of recent history is the notion that all capitalists are the bitter and unswerving enemies of all Marxists and socialists. This erroneous idea originated with Karl Marx and was undoubtedly useful to his purposes. In fact, the idea is nonsense. There has been a continuing, albeit concealed, alliance between international political capitalists and international revolutionary socialists — to their mutual benefit. This alliance has gone unobserved largely because historians — with a few notable exceptions — havean unconscious Marxian bias and are thus locked into the impossibility of any such alliance existing.