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Ignoring the most pertinent issues of the day, Yahoo! News and the AP continue to distort reality in favor of promoting the fictional corporatist narrative. Witness today’s headlines:
As I’ve noted previously, the format of the headlines is such that most people accept the authoritativeness of the source implicitly. While the majority ordinary Americans complain incessantly of inherent media bias, most people fail to perceive the subtle coercive effects embedded in the very stories selected for coverage, as well as the cleverly scripted language employed in ever mainstream media news story. The corporate agenda is stealthily advanced through an almost imperceptible framing of carefully selected stories, utilizing pseudo-professional language and intentionally inaccurate phrases which distort any given issues and steers the national dialogue into a predesignated, rightward leaning conduit.
So let us dissect this latest monstrosity of “professional” journalism, beginning with the headline: “WH warns tax defeat could trigger new recession.” The greatest deception here is the implication that the recession has somehow ended, and we now stand in danger of entering a new one. It is hard to understand how anyone could believe the recession has ended, given that the unemployment rate is still hovering near 10%, hundreds of thousands of families have had their homes repossessed, and millions remain dependent on welfare. The recession has not ended for ordinary Americans, but perhaps the AP is referencing the fact that corporate America has recorded its highest profits ever.
Now let us examine the lead sentence:
Raising the direst alarm yet, the Obama administration warned fellow Democrats on Wednesday that if they defeat the big tax-cut compromise detested by many liberals, they could jolt the nation back into recession.
First, it’s worth noting that the recession-has-ended lie is repeated, thereby reinforcing its perceived veracity. After all, the golden rule of today’s media, as aptly demonstrated during the Bush era, is that endless repetition equates to authenticity. But the larger distortion here has to do with the fictional divide between Democrats and Republicans and, more importantly, the absurd doublespeak definitions of “liberal” and “conservative.”
The story here is framed in such a way as to reinforce the corporate narrative of “left” versus “right,” Democrats versus Republicans. Therefore, a nonexistent struggle is ginned up between these supposedly starkly contrasting forces, but it is clear that the language here favors the (ultra) Right. The national mood today is one of anti-government sentiment, which to the uneducated masses generally means “lower taxes.” So when the AP describes the issue in terms of Democrats opposing “the big tax-cut… detested by many liberals,” the effect is clearly detrimental to the Democrats’ standing.
The average uninformed yokel would generally glance at the headline and conclude the following: (a) the Republicans are trying to give us a “big tax cut”; (b) the Democrats are opposing this “big tax cut”; (c) liberals “detest” “tax cuts” ; therefore (d) liberals are elitist snobs; and (e) Republicans are the populist solution to liberal, elitist Democrats who wish to “jolt the nation back into recession.” This entire phantasmagorical version of reality is deftly embedded within a single AP/Yahoo! News sentence, and, sadly, its ability to influence public opinion and debate is shockingly effective.
Intriguingly, there is one sliver of truth to be found in this tour de force of propagandistic prowess: Obama is portrayed as being in solidarity with the Republicans, forsaking his detested “liberal” base in favor of righteous “conservatism.” For once, the mainstream media got it completely right.