Saturday, January 14, 2006

Journalists or Wage Slaves?

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” Upton Sinclair

I have set up a Cryptoquote web site that requires me to periodically compile lists of quotations. While engaged in this search I came upon the quote above and it suddenly occurred to me as the reason why my two journalist brothers-in-law in particular, and the news media in general, do not understand a lot of things that are very obvious to other Americans with similar educations and backgrounds.
It apparently would be difficult to continue working for the corporate media if you saw that invading Iraq was not a legitimate and legal response to 9/11 or that the results of the invasion and occupation of Iraq are not likely to be worth the costs, either for Americans or for Iraqis. It also must be a job requirement not to be able to entertain the possibility that if a people in a foreign country do not see American investment in their country as desirable it might be because they understand better what is in their interests than we do. They must also have to banish from their thoughts the idea that if hundreds of thousands of people are demonstrating against free trade and the World Bank they might not all be people just looking to smash shop windows and fight the police.
People working for the corporate media must not be able to see irony. They must not see it as strange that while the Bush Administration claims to be promoting democracy they bitterly criticized the governments of Turkey and Spain (where more than 90% of the public opposed invading Iraq) for listening to their own people rather than to Washington.
And, of course, to work for the corporate media they must not see the contradiction between their idealistic ideas of themselves as performing a journalistic public service and the reality that they are wage slaves dancing to the tune of international corporations whose interests are almost diametrically opposed to those of most working Americans.

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