The Freedom Of The Press: George Orwell On The Media's Toxic Self-Censorship

Authored by Maria Popova via BrainPickings.org,

“The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment.”

In 1937, George Orwell got the idea for his now-classic dystopian allegory exploring the ferocious dictatorship of Soviet Russia in a satirical tale eviscerating Stalin’s regime. In his 1946 essay Why I Write, Orwell remarked that this was his first conscious effort “to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole.” But by the time he finished it six years later, in the middle of World War II and shortly before the start of the Cold War, the book’s decidedly anti-Soviet message presented an obvious challenge in politically cautious Britain. The manuscript was rejected by four major houses, including Orwell’s publisher of record, Gollancz, and T.S. Eliot himself at Faber and Faber.

Perhaps even more interesting than the story of the book, however, is the prescient essay titled “The Freedom of the Press,” which Orwell intended as a preface to the book. Included in Penguin’s 2000 edition of Animal Farm (public library) as “Orwell’s Proposed Preface to Animal Farm,” the essay — penned more than seven decades after Mark Twain bewailed that “there are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press" - tackles issues all the more timely today in the midst of global media scandals, vicious censorship, and near-ubiquitous government-level political surveillance.

Orwell begins by excerpting a letter from a publisher who had originally agreed to publish the book but later, under the Ministry of Information’s admonition, recanted:

I mentioned the reaction I had had from an important official in the Ministry of Information with regard to Animal Farm. I must confess that this expression of opinion has given me seriously to think … I can see now that it might be regarded as something which it was highly ill-advised to publish at the present time. If the fable were addressed generally to dictators and dictatorships at large then publication would be all right, but the fable does follow, as I see now, so completely the progress of the Russian Soviets and their two dictators, that it can apply only to Russia, to the exclusion of the other dictatorships. Another thing: it would be less offensive if the predominant caste in the fable were not pigs. I think the choice of pigs as the ruling caste will no doubt give offense to many people, and particularly to anyone who is a bit touchy, as undoubtedly the Russians are.

Noting the general menace of such governmental meddling in the private sector of publishing and the resulting censorship, Orwell bemoans the broader peril at play:

The chief danger to freedom of thought and speech at this moment is not the direct interference of … any official body. If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion. In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face. … The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary.

(Exactly thirty years later, E. B. White would come to redirect this critique at commercial rather than governmental pressures.)

The picture he paints of the press and its relationship with dissent and public opinion is ominously similar to what Galileo faced with the Catholic church nearly half a millennium earlier:

Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news — things which on their own merits would get the big headlines — being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that “it wouldn’t do” to mention that particular fact. So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralized, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is “not done” to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was “not done” to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.

Orwell critiques the groupthink of the intelligentsia and the odd flip-flopping of moral absolutism and moral relativism they employ when confronted with the question of whether Animal Farm should be published:

The reaction towards it of most English intellectuals will be quite simple: “It oughtn’t to have been published.” Naturally, those reviewers who understand the art of denigration will not attack it on political grounds but on literary ones. They will say that it is a dull, silly book and a disgraceful waste of paper. This may well be true, but it is obviously not the whole of the story. One does not say that a book “ought not to have been published” merely because it is a bad book. After all, acres of rubbish are printed daily and no one bothers. The English intelligentsia, or most of them, will object to this book because it traduces their Leader and (as they see it) does harm to the cause of progress. If it did the opposite they would have nothing to say against it, even if its literary faults were ten times as glaring as they are.

At the heart of the question is an ethical dilemma manifest all the more viscerally today, when opinions can be — and are, prolifically — expressed on more platforms than Orwell could have possibly imagined:

The issue involved here is quite a simple one: Is every opinion, however unpopular — however foolish, even — entitled to a hearing? Put it in that form and nearly any English intellectual will feel that he ought to say “Yes.” But give it a concrete shape, and ask, “How about an attack on Stalin? Is that entitled to a hearing?” and the answer more often than not will be “No.” In that case the current orthodoxy happens to be challenged, and so the principle of free speech lapses. If one loves democracy, the argument runs, one must crush its enemies by no matter what means. And who are its enemies? It always appears that they are not only those who attack it openly and consciously, but those who ‘objectively’ endanger it by spreading mistaken doctrines. In other words, defending democracy involves destroying all independence of thought. These people don’t see that if you encourage totalitarian methods, the time may come when they will be used against you instead of for you.

But his most prescient point is his concluding one:

To exchange one orthodoxy for another is not necessarily an advance. The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment.

On August 17, 1945, Animal Farm was at last published. It went on to sell millions of copies and has been translated into more than seventy languages.

Complement Orwell’s essay with E. B. White on the free presscultural icons on censorship and Rudyard Kipling’s satirical poem poking fun at the press.

*  *  *

The Freedom Of The Press

Authored by George Orwell,

This material remains under copyright and is reproduced by kind permission of the Orwell Estate and Penguin Books.

This book was first thought of, so far as the central idea goes, in 1937, but was not written down until about the end of 1943. By the time when it came to be written it was obvious that there would be great difficulty in getting it published (in spite of the present book shortage which ensures that anything describable as a book will ‘sell’), and in the event it was refused by four publishers. Only one of these had any ideological motive. Two had been publishing anti-Russian books for years, and the other had no noticeable political colour. One publisher actually started by accepting the book, but after making the preliminary arrangements he decided to consult the Ministry of Information, who appear to have warned him, or at any rate strongly advised him, against publishing it. Here is an extract from his letter:

I mentioned the reaction I had had from an important official in the Ministry of Information with regard to Animal Farm. I must confess that this expression of opinion has given me seriously to think… I can see now that it might be regarded as something which it was highly ill-advised to publish at the present time. If the fable were addressed generally to dictators and dictatorships at large then publication would be all right, but the fable does follow, as I see now, so completely the progress of the Russian Soviets and their two dictators, that it can apply only to Russia, to the exclusion of the other dictatorships. Another thing: it would be less offensive if the predominant caste in the fable were not pigs. I think the choice of pigs as the ruling caste will no doubt give offence to many people, and particularly to anyone who is a bit touchy, as undoubtedly the Russians are.

This kind of thing is not a good symptom. Obviously it is not desirable that a government department should have any power of censorship (except security censorship, which no one objects to in war time) over books which are not officially sponsored. But the chief danger to freedom of thought and speech at this moment is not the direct interference of the MOI or any official body. If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion. In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves.

Any fairminded person with journalistic experience will admit that during this war official censorship has not been particularly irksome. We have not been subjected to the kind of totalitarian ‘co-ordination’ that it might have been reasonable to expect. The press has some justified grievances, but on the whole the Government has behaved well and has been surprisingly tolerant of minority opinions. The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary.

Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news - things which on their own merits would get the big headlines - being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that ‘it wouldn’t do’ to mention that particular fact. So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralised, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was ‘not done’ to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.

At this moment what is demanded by the prevailing orthodoxy is an uncritical admiration of Soviet Russia. Everyone knows this, nearly everyone acts on it. Any serious criticism of the Soviet régime, any disclosure of facts which the Soviet government would prefer to keep hidden, is next door to unprintable. And this nation-wide conspiracy to flatter our ally takes place, curiously enough, against a background of genuine intellectual tolerance. For though you are not allowed to criticise the Soviet government, at least you are reasonably free to criticise our own. Hardly anyone will print an attack on Stalin, but it is quite safe to attack Churchill, at any rate in books and periodicals. And throughout five years of war, during two or three of which we were fighting for national survival, countless books, pamphlets and articles advocating a compromise peace have been published without interference. More, they have been published without exciting much disapproval. So long as the prestige of the USSR is not involved, the principle of free speech has been reasonably well upheld. There are other forbidden topics, and I shall mention some of them presently, but the prevailing attitude towards the USSR is much the most serious symptom. It is, as it were, spontaneous, and is not due to the action of any pressure group.

The servility with which the greater part of the English intelligentsia have swallowed and repeated Russian propaganda from 1941 onwards would be quite astounding if it were not that they have behaved similarly on several earlier occasions. On one controversial issue after another the Russian viewpoint has been accepted without examination and then publicised with complete disregard to historical truth or intellectual decency. To name only one instance, the BBC celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Red Army without mentioning Trotsky. This was about as accurate as commemorating the battle of Trafalgar without mentioning Nelson, but it evoked no protest from the English intelligentsia. In the internal struggles in the various occupied countries, the British press has in almost all cases sided with the faction favoured by the Russians and libelled the opposing faction, sometimes suppressing material evidence in order to do so. A particularly glaring case was that of Colonel Mihailovich, the Jugoslav Chetnik leader. The Russians, who had their own Jugoslav protege in Marshal Tito, accused Mihailovich of collaborating with the Germans. This accusation was promptly taken up by the British press: Mihailovich’s supporters were given no chance of answering it, and facts contradicting it were simply kept out of print. In July of 1943 the Germans offered a reward of 100,000 gold crowns for the capture of Tito, and a similar reward for the capture of Mihailovich. The British press ‘splashed’ the reward for Tito, but only one paper mentioned (in small print) the reward for Mihailovich: and the charges of collaborating with the Germans continued. Very similar things happened during the Spanish civil war. Then, too, the factions on the Republican side which the Russians were determined to crush were recklessly libelled in the English leftwing press, and any statement in their defence even in letter form, was refused publication. At present, not only is serious criticism of the USSR considered reprehensible, but even the fact of the existence of such criticism is kept secret in some cases. For example, shortly before his death Trotsky had written a biography of Stalin. One may assume that it was not an altogether unbiased book, but obviously it was saleable. An American publisher had arranged to issue it and the book was in print — I believe the review copies had been sent out — when the USSR entered the war. The book was immediately withdrawn. Not a word about this has ever appeared in the British press, though clearly the existence of such a book, and its suppression, was a news item worth a few paragraphs.

It is important to distinguish between the kind of censorship that the English literary intelligentsia voluntarily impose upon themselves, and the censorship that can sometimes be enforced by pressure groups. Notoriously, certain topics cannot be discussed because of ‘vested interests’. The best-known case is the patent medicine racket. Again, the Catholic Church has considerable influence in the press and can silence criticism of itself to some extent. A scandal involving a Catholic priest is almost never given publicity, whereas an Anglican priest who gets into trouble (e.g. the Rector of Stiffkey) is headline news. It is very rare for anything of an anti-Catholic tendency to appear on the stage or in a film. Any actor can tell you that a play or film which attacks or makes fun of the Catholic Church is liable to be boycotted in the press and will probably be a failure. But this kind of thing is harmless, or at least it is understandable. Any large organisation will look after its own interests as best it can, and overt propaganda is not a thing to object to. One would no more expect the Daily Worker to publicise unfavourable facts about the USSR than one would expect the Catholic Herald to denounce the Pope. But then every thinking person knows the Daily Worker and the Catholic Herald for what they are. What is disquieting is that where the USSR and its policies are concerned one cannot expect intelligent criticism or even, in many cases, plain honesty from Liberal writers and journalists who are under no direct pressure to falsify their opinions. Stalin is sacrosanct and certain aspects of his policy must not be seriously discussed. This rule has been almost universally observed since 1941, but it had operated, to a greater extent than is sometimes realised, for ten years earlier than that. Throughout that time, criticism of the Soviet régime from the left could only obtain a hearing with difficulty. There was a huge output of anti-Russian literature, but nearly all of it was from the Conservative angle and manifestly dishonest, out of date and actuated by sordid motives. On the other side there was an equally huge and almost equally dishonest stream of pro-Russian propaganda, and what amounted to a boycott on anyone who tried to discuss all-important questions in a grown-up manner. You could, indeed, publish anti-Russian books, but to do so was to make sure of being ignored or misrepresented by nearly the whole of the highbrow press. Both publicly and privately you were warned that it was ‘not done’. What you said might possibly be true, but it was ‘inopportune’ and played into the hands of this or that reactionary interest. This attitude was usually defended on the ground that the international situation, and the urgent need for an Anglo-Russian alliance, demanded it; but it was clear that this was a rationalisation. The English intelligentsia, or a great part of it, had developed a nationalistic loyalty towards the USSR, and in their hearts they felt that to cast any doubt on the wisdom of Stalin was a kind of blasphemy. Events in Russia and events elsewhere were to be judged by different standards. The endless executions in the purges of 1936-8 were applauded by life-long opponents of capital punishment, and it was considered equally proper to publicise famines when they happened in India and to conceal them when they happened in the Ukraine. And if this was true before the war, the intellectual atmosphere is certainly no better now.

But now to come back to this book of mine. The reaction towards it of most English intellectuals will be quite simple: ‘It oughtn’t to have been published.’ Naturally, those reviewers who understand the art of denigration will not attack it on political grounds but on literary ones. They will say that it is a dull, silly book and a disgraceful waste of paper. This may well be true, but it is obviously not the whole of the story. One does not say that a book ‘ought not to have been published’ merely because it is a bad book. After all, acres of rubbish are printed daily and no one bothers. The English intelligentsia, or most of them, will object to this book because it traduces their Leader and (as they see it) does harm to the cause of progress. If it did the opposite they would have nothing to say against it, even if its literary faults were ten times as glaring as they are. The success of, for instance, the Left Book Club over a period of four or five years shows how willing they are to tolerate both scurrility and slipshod writing, provided that it tells them what they want to hear.

The issue involved here is quite a simple one: Is every opinion, however unpopular — however foolish, even — entitled to a hearing? Put it in that form and nearly any English intellectual will feel that he ought to say ‘Yes’. But give it a concrete shape, and ask, ‘How about an attack on Stalin? Is that entitled to a hearing?’, and the answer more often than not will be ‘No’. In that case the current orthodoxy happens to be challenged, and so the principle of free speech lapses. Now, when one demands liberty of speech and of the press, one is not demanding absolute liberty. There always must be, or at any rate there always will be, some degree of censorship, so long as organised societies endure. But freedom, as Rosa Luxembourg [sic] said, is ‘freedom for the other fellow’. The same principle is contained in the famous words of Voltaire: ‘I detest what you say; I will defend to the death your right to say it.’ If the intellectual liberty which without a doubt has been one of the distinguishing marks of western civilisation means anything at all, it means that everyone shall have the right to say and to print what he believes to be the truth, provided only that it does not harm the rest of the community in some quite unmistakable way. Both capitalist democracy and the western versions of Socialism have till recently taken that principle for granted. Our Government, as I have already pointed out, still makes some show of respecting it. The ordinary people in the street – partly, perhaps, because they are not sufficiently interested in ideas to be intolerant about them – still vaguely hold that ‘I suppose everyone’s got a right to their own opinion.’ It is only, or at any rate it is chiefly, the literary and scientific intelligentsia, the very people who ought to be the guardians of liberty, who are beginning to despise it, in theory as well as in practice.

One of the peculiar phenomena of our time is the renegade Liberal. Over and above the familiar Marxist claim that ‘bourgeois liberty’ is an illusion, there is now a widespread tendency to argue that one can only defend democracy by totalitarian methods. If one loves democracy, the argument runs, one must crush its enemies by no matter what means. And who are its enemies? It always appears that they are not only those who attack it openly and consciously, but those who ‘objectively’ endanger it by spreading mistaken doctrines. In other words, defending democracy involves destroying all independence of thought. This argument was used, for instance, to justify the Russian purges. The most ardent Russophile hardly believed that all of the victims were guilty of all the things they were accused of: but by holding heretical opinions they ‘objectively’ harmed the régime, and therefore it was quite right not only to massacre them but to discredit them by false accusations. The same argument was used to justify the quite conscious lying that went on in the leftwing press about the Trotskyists and other Republican minorities in the Spanish civil war. And it was used again as a reason for yelping against habeas corpus when Mosley was released in 1943.

These people don’t see that if you encourage totalitarian methods, the time may come when they will be used against you instead of for you. Make a habit of imprisoning Fascists without trial, and perhaps the process won’t stop at Fascists. Soon after the suppressed Daily Worker had been reinstated, I was lecturing to a workingmen’s college in South London. The audience were working-class and lower-middle class intellectuals — the same sort of audience that one used to meet at Left Book Club branches. The lecture had touched on the freedom of the press, and at the end, to my astonishment, several questioners stood up and asked me: Did I not think that the lifting of the ban on the Daily Worker was a great mistake? When asked why, they said that it was a paper of doubtful loyalty and ought not to be tolerated in war time. I found myself defending the Daily Worker, which has gone out of its way to libel me more than once. But where had these people learned this essentially totalitarian outlook? Pretty certainly they had learned it from the Communists themselves! Tolerance and decency are deeply rooted in England, but they are not indestructible, and they have to be kept alive partly by conscious effort. The result of preaching totalitarian doctrines is to weaken the instinct by means of which free peoples know what is or is not dangerous. The case of Mosley illustrates this. In 1940 it was perfectly right to intern Mosley, whether or not he had committed any technical crime. We were fighting for our lives and could not allow a possible quisling to go free. To keep him shut up, without trial, in 1943 was an outrage. The general failure to see this was a bad symptom, though it is true that the agitation against Mosley’s release was partly factitious and partly a rationalisation of other discontents. But how much of the present slide towards Fascist ways of thought is traceable to the ‘anti-Fascism’ of the past ten years and the unscrupulousness it has entailed?

It is important to realise that the current Russomania is only a symptom of the general weakening of the western liberal tradition. Had the MOI chipped in and definitely vetoed the publication of this book, the bulk of the English intelligentsia would have seen nothing disquieting in this. Uncritical loyalty to the USSR happens to be the current orthodoxy, and where the supposed interests of the USSR are involved they are willing to tolerate not only censorship but the deliberate falsification of history. To name one instance. At the death of John Reed, the author of Ten Days that Shook the World — first-hand account of the early days of the Russian Revolution — the copyright of the book passed into the hands of the British Communist Party, to whom I believe Reed had bequeathed it. Some years later the British Communists, having destroyed the original edition of the book as completely as they could, issued a garbled version from which they had eliminated mentions of Trotsky and also omitted the introduction written by Lenin. If a radical intelligentsia had still existed in Britain, this act of forgery would have been exposed and denounced in every literary paper in the country. As it was there was little or no protest. To many English intellectuals it seemed quite a natural thing to do. And this tolerance or plain dishonesty means much more than that admiration for Russia happens to be fashionable at this moment. Quite possibly that particular fashion will not last. For all I know, by the time this book is published my view of the Soviet régime may be the generally-accepted one. But what use would that be in itself? To exchange one orthodoxy for another is not necessarily an advance. The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment.

I am well acquainted with all the arguments against freedom of thought and speech — the arguments which claim that it cannot exist, and the arguments which claim that it ought not to. I answer simply that they don’t convince me and that our civilisation over a period of four hundred years has been founded on the opposite notice. For quite a decade past I have believed that the existing Russian régime is a mainly evil thing, and I claim the right to say so, in spite of the fact that we are allies with the USSR in a war which I want to see won. If I had to choose a text to justify myself, I should choose the line from Milton:

By the known rules of ancient liberty.

The word ancient emphasises the fact that intellectual freedom is a deep-rooted tradition without which our characteristic western culture could only doubtfully exist. From that tradition many of our intellectuals are visibly turning away. They have accepted the principle that a book should be published or suppressed, praised or damned, not on its merits but according to political expediency. And others who do not actually hold this view assent to it from sheer cowardice. An example of this is the failure of the numerous and vocal English pacifists to raise their voices against the prevalent worship of Russian militarism. According to those pacifists, all violence is evil, and they have urged us at every stage of the war to give in or at least to make a compromise peace. But how many of them have ever suggested that war is also evil when it is waged by the Red Army? Apparently the Russians have a right to defend themselves, whereas for us to do [so] is a deadly sin. One can only explain this contradiction in one way: that is, by a cowardly desire to keep in with the bulk of the intelligentsia, whose patriotism is directed towards the USSR rather than towards Britain. I know that the English intelligentsia have plenty of reason for their timidity and dishonesty, indeed I know by heart the arguments by which they justify themselves. But at least let us have no more nonsense about defending liberty against Fascism. If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. The common people still vaguely subscribe to that doctrine and act on it. In our country — it is not the same in all countries: it was not so in republican France, and it is not so in the USA today — it is the liberals who fear liberty and the intellectuals who want to do dirt on the intellect: it is to draw attention to that fact that I have written this preface.

Proposed preface to Animal Farm, first published in the Times Literary Supplement on 15 September 1972 with an introduction by Sir Bernard Crick. Ian Angus found the original manuscript in 1972.

Comments

philipat TeamDepends Fri, 08/10/2018 - 20:57 Permalink

Yes, censorship is of two types, one of which is choosing what to print and what not to print as so well practiced by the "progressive" MSM. 

But what of journalim and jounalists? It seems that there is no longer any such thing as professional pride or integrity. This is, of course, in part a reflection of the concentration of ownership of the media and the vested interests and agenda of such a narrow ownership (often coinciding with those of The Deep State and a/k/a "Fascism") being forced on "employees", but also in part a reflection of the willingness of those involved to so willingly accept it.

Several particularly egregious examples can be used to illustrate this. Alisyn Cammerota previously sat on "the curvy couch" at Fox as a presenter of "Fox and Friends". In this role she sat and poured vitriol and all liberals and liberal causes whilst defending the establishment. She then moved to CNN and, behold!, she was either given a brain transplant or, miraculously, overnight her values changed and she now pours vitriol on all conservatives and conservative causes whilst defending "progressive" values.

This seems the perfect illustration of all of the above. Despite the fact that MSM consumption in the West is in decline (it deserves to be in a death spiral?) still a frighteningly large part of the general population still gets its "information" from MSM and is "informed" accordingly. Which is, of course the entire point.

In reply to by TeamDepends

philipat Giant Meteor Fri, 08/10/2018 - 23:54 Permalink

Indeed, but along with the corruption and general decline in morality in the US, this was not always the case and, in fact, the two have emerged jointly most obviously only over the last 30 years. And it is notable that the very few who have any principles, Assange, Fisk, Pilger, Escobar, PCR, Craig Roberts for example, are not serving any tune-seeker in large Corporate Organizations. In fact, they were in part forced to leave such Organisations to publish the truth because it was the only way to maintain any self-respect and integrity. Which takes courage and a balanced view of the value of life and society. Perhaps it's time to develop a new definition of "journalism" to reflect the times in which we live. In that we at least we could avoid some of the hypocrisy.

In reply to by Giant Meteor

Endgame Napoleon philipat Fri, 08/10/2018 - 21:47 Permalink

Job Postings: 

Seeking gramophone mind for a 7-figure position with a diversity-focused global media company. 

  • Must be able to keep a straight face, feigning sincerity while passionately repeating the same information, over and over, day after day. 
  • Must be audience-driven, ready to deliver tested messages to the target market. 
  • Must be able to sit for extended periods of time, with occasional lifting of boxes heavier than the content you will deliver. 

In reply to by philipat

Baron von Bud Usura Fri, 08/10/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

The media has created a world of craziness in its never ending quest to promote nutty as normal. For example, I was reading about Omarosa saying there's an apprentice show stage tape where Trump utters the "N-word". Why have the media and the lowest capable educators adopted linguistic barriers. There's nothing wrong with saying the word nigger in a news article if for information and not some hostile intent. We've all been brainwashed listening to these fools.

In reply to by Usura

Midas Seasmoke Fri, 08/10/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

Forever.

George Orwell is my favorite writer.  I have the complete works and don't get to read much else, because I am usually re-reading Orwell.  My favorite things about him are his economy with words and brutal honesty.  He is a hero of the right, but I think he considered himself more on the left politically.  A leftist who writes damning critiques of communism and also decides to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War.  Not as a journalist, as a soldier.

The first item of his I ever read was "Shooting an Elephant."  About 20 pages long if you have the time.  He describes how he disliked being part of the British Empire in Asia and felt for the natives there who he felt were mistreated.  He also mentions how much he would like to have beat them when they mistreated him.  The honesty I was talking about...

So do we have any journalists today of a leftist bent who are willing to honestly critique central planning disasters and care enough about any cause to actually shoulder a rifle?  It seems like they are more likely to avoid mentioning Venezuela anymore and attend an awards ceremony where they can give each other awards and make fun of Orange Julius.

In reply to by Seasmoke

dlweld TMac2000 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 10:50 Permalink

"As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents." - and as with liberalism - check out Rachel Maddow - she's a baad advertisement for liberalism.

During the election, I suspect Rachel's harping on Hillary’s lead kept Hillary voters away – (no need to vote for a shoe-in)  and her highly objectional smug, patronizing manner when discussing “laughable” Trump, got the Trump voters out. She very possibly flipped things for Trump. Seriously. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVogLdbfOfQ

In reply to by TMac2000

Midas Seasmoke Fri, 08/10/2018 - 20:31 Permalink

One other thing:  My copy of "1984" has this on the back cover:

"I do not believe that the kind of society I describe in 1984 necessarily WILL arrive, but I believe that something resembling it COULD arrive.  I believe also that totalitarian ideas have taken root in the minds of intellectuals everywhere."

--George Orwell

In reply to by Seasmoke

Slaytheist New_Meat Fri, 08/10/2018 - 21:55 Permalink

I disagree.  The Internet died when they tapped each switch, and shunted a copy of all bits to Big Brother.  This is the just us corpse fucking it into the ground.  Yeah, it's still trashing back like it is alive, but it's heart has stopped, and the soul has left the body.  

In reply to by New_Meat

Giant Meteor Fri, 08/10/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

In short, there is no censorship quite as effective as self censorship, and that is primal in its nature of following the herd.

In example following the official  911 narrative, any questioning of either the event as stated, or the response being held to immediate ridicule, or worse, and of course being branded as unpatriotic.

meanwhile, seventeen years later ...

Yen Cross Fri, 08/10/2018 - 20:28 Permalink

   Freedom of speech and Libtardism are the antithesis of each other.

   That's why we see so many once beautiful and historic cities across the United States in virtual ruins.

  Once all the money, capital investment exits,  then the third worlders move in, and destroy every single part of what made this country what our designers intended.

 Libtards couldn't care less about their constituents. They want votes, and control over the the very people they hand crumbs of food to.

 Libtards  want their constituents dependent, not unlike any other cult.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Fri, 08/10/2018 - 20:30 Permalink

Excellent guest, right now, on the Hagmann Report. Guy was raised by atheists in NY in a liberal family in the 60s and 70s. A very erudite speaker. He isn't going easy on the modern left.

Paul McGuire, author of the book, "Mass Awakening" is saying that the monster they have created will turn on the progressives and eat them alive but due to stupidity they are creating totalitarian machinery that will result in a nightmare world with a media that repeats only slogans. Wow!

www.paulmcquire.us

www.hagmannreport.com

not so fast Fri, 08/10/2018 - 21:49 Permalink

Censorship is a bad idea.  The problem isn't liberal or conservative beliefs.  The problem is that too many people are reactionaries without thinking things through.  Look at a tree.  Go fishing.  Calm down and accept your neighbors with different opinions.

William Dorritt Fri, 08/10/2018 - 22:38 Permalink

The battle of the narrative only works when you have 100% control of the tools of communications.

Author unknown

INFORMATION WARFARE: BATTLE OF THE NARRATIVE

......all that matters is what people believe

The real legacy of Obama is it proved once and for all that the concept of “governing by narrative” is a total failure. Obama's terms can be describe as a "battle of the narrative" vs reality.

The battle of the narrative is a military concept and can be explained thus:

"Emerging U.K. and U.S. military doctrine posits that conflicts of the future are likely to be defined equally, if not more, by the centrality of influence.

Adversaries have recognized the strategic benefits of influencing perceptions; and will continue to exploit information and communications technology advances to this end.

In a competition of contesting narratives, information will flash around the world in near real time, challenging the abilities of governments and established news networks to react in a timely fashion.

Near global transparency increases the risk of inconsequential military incidents being turned into strategic events with adverse connotations. To win the battle of the narratives, the U.K.’s security apparatus must be able to wield influence at all levels, across multiple media, within joint, multinational and inter-agency environments at a much higher tempo than present"

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/aw...

 

In other words the facts on the ground doesn't really matter; all that matters is what people believe. The Tet offensive is a good example. Where the US crushed the offensive militarily but lost the narrative battle and it was considered a defeat in the minds of the public.

The battle of the narrative only works when you have 100% control of the tools of communications. The Obama and Clinton teams made sure they had 100% control over the legacy press media and therefore thought they could control the narrative battle-space. The rise of an equal and powerful social media (Drudge, ZH, Breitbart, InfoWars etc) to fight the left's narrative caught them by surprise.

The social media before Nov 8th 2016 was thought to be "fringe" and not powerful enough to beat the powerful (6 company 85% share) media.

In effect what happened during Obama's admin and Clinton campaign was the same thing that happened to the British troops during the revolutionary war.

The war is not won yet but as long as there is Freedom of speech and the tools to spread the truth the governing by "narrative" as opposed to reality will always be a failure.

 

USAF White Paper

“One of the four major trends seen by Air University in “Air Force 2025” is that “influence increasingly will be exerted by information more than by bombs.” In “Joint Vision 2010,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff specify the central operational concept of the future—the one from which the others will flow—to be information superiority”

—John T. Correll “Warfare in the Information Age”

Air Force Magazine

www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/acsc/97-0604c.pdf

 

Note: Substitute American People for Enemy and you will understand

DIRECTIVE NUMBER 0-3600.01 August 14, 2006 USD(I) SUBJECT: Information Operations (10) References: (a) DOD Directive S-3600.1, "Information Operations (U)," December 9, 1996 (hereby canceled) (b) Section 165 of title 10, United States Code 1. REISSUANCEANP PURPOSE This Directive: I. 1.

https://fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/info_ops.pdf

 

UK site with lots of the PDFs for downloads

“The term Information warfare refers to the use of information, and attacks on information, as a tool of warfare. Information warfare is comprised of giving the enemy propaganda to convince them to give up and denying them information that might lead to their resistance. “

http://www.iwar.org.uk/iwar/

 

NSA White Paper by Satanist Employee of NSA

https://archive.org/stream/pdfy-Mv-q4qGq8_TBPcwL/Michael+Aquino+%28US+Satanist%29+-+From+PSYOP+to+MindWar+-+The+Psychology+of+Victory+%281980%29_djvu.txt

Southern_Boy Fri, 08/10/2018 - 23:06 Permalink

Mr. George Orwell (really Eric Arthur Blair) was prescient and correct, as expected.

The American Sheep are getting prepared for the slaughter and intellectual privation of the "Animal Farm" by Big Brother and the press propagandist drones.

toadhall Sat, 08/11/2018 - 03:36 Permalink

Orwell cared deeply for the poor and this was why he was a self-proclaimed a socialist, but all of his political life, he spent attacking totaletarian regimes (soviets and national socialists aka nazis). He held particular contempt for western socialist interlectuals who supported these regimes.

He actually lived as a tramp (bum) in both paris and london so he could know what abject poverty was truly like. (read Down and out in london and paris).

His only interlectual mistake was assuming socialism and caring for one's fellow man were linked.

By keeping the libertarian flame alive, I believe his writings delayed the envitable state control we see today by some 50 years

A true colossus.

 

vladiki Sat, 08/11/2018 - 06:06 Permalink

What a terrific guy.  Clear-thinking.  Fair.  No pomposity.  And everything he said relevant today, of course.  Many thanks for printing this.

numapepi Sat, 08/11/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

This article shows why the gatekeepers are so adamant about silencing the Internet. 
 

The new class gatekeepers had a monopoly on information, to progress society in a Marxist direction, but now that monopoly has been broken up by the anti trust of the free flow of information, and so they seek to renew their monopoly... by any means necessary.

dlweld Sat, 08/11/2018 - 11:09 Permalink

The pro-Stalin propaganda worked well in the UK – after the war Stalin asked the UK for some advanced Meteor jets and was absolutely stunned when the UK Government said “yes” – these were then reverse engineered and formed the basis of the Mig fighters used in Korea. Around the same time, British scientist Klas Fuchs leaked key atomic secrets to "Uncle Joe". Klaus thought it only right that a kind, progressive regime like Stalin’s should have atomic bombs too. Obviously Klas was working here outside his area of expertise – and had fallen for the “narrative”.

Obamanism666 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 11:46 Permalink

The libtards and Deep state are hoping that "The Truth with die in the Darkness" and their Lies beget lies will be accepted as the alt-truth. Orwell said the Gramaphone mind was bad today it will be translated into the Smartphone mind.

The famous words of Voltaire: ‘I detest what you say; I will defend to the death your right to say it. " will be replace with Michael Moore's/Maxine waters  ‘I detest what you say; I will fight you to the death because you said it. "

LightBulb18 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 22:26 Permalink

Cnn, abc, cbs and nbc have not covered up the fact that the british government covered up the rape of thousands of preteen british white girls by muslim gangs. A major breach of the trust in the british government, which implies A conspiracy reaching the highest echelons of power. Including the media, the courts, the politicians on both sides of the isle and the police of course. I don’t think fox news gave it any or much coverage either. There is also the implication that if this type of behavior is common among muslims, then this same situation is being covered up in the rest of Europe which have also received millions of muslim migrants in the past decade or two. Even more outrageously are claims by Collin Flaherty that the reason the American media and establishment is not covering this major breach of trust in the government, is because the American government and establishment themselves are covering up massive numbers of rapes committed by black americans by refusing to test rape kits with dna samples that would confirm if accused rapists did in fact have sex with their accusers. In G-d I trust.