Thursday, March 16, 2017

A must-read primer on media 'deep state' complicity

Lawyer and commentator Robert Barnes absolutely nails it in describing the full complicity of certain major media outlets in advancing the so-called "deep state" -- the bureaucratic/corporate system that many believe actually wields power in America and will resist reforms at any cost.

At Breitbart News, Barnes writes:
Whenever the media loses control over a powerful term, be it “fake news” or “deep state,” they react with infantile rage, and immediately demand cessation of the term in its “unapproved” use.

As part of that process, they attempt to restrict its historical application to some definition that delimits its use against their ideological interest. Their attempt to rescript the meaning of words gives new meaning to Orwellian for the media’s would-be Ministry of Information.
We've seen this in our Facebook news feeds, haven't we? He continues:
Maybe CNN will set up a lexicon where we can go and see which words we are allowed to use to ascribe their own activities, much as Chris Cuomo insinuated it was illegal for anyone to look at Wikileaks information, except exclusively at CNN. What this all really covers up in this context is that the media has long been an enabler of the deep state against the democratic demands of the public. No, CNN, the idea of the deep state didn’t start in Turkey, and no, New York Times, pretending the deep state doesn’t exist doesn’t clothe the naked emperor.

The legal and historic idea of the deep state originated in America in a trilogy of studies by a trio of political scholars. The originalist behind the idea was German emigre Ernst Fraenkel who identified Nazi Germany’s path to dictatorship as rooted in the “dual state” where an anti-democratic “prerogative state” often controls much of a government’s policy without regard to, or respect of, legal and democratic constraints.
Barnes explains the concept of a "dual state" or "deep state" has gained traction in various studies and in various intellectual circles over the decades, culminating in longtime Republican insider Mike Lofgren's popular political text, The Deep State. The "en-bubbled media missed it all," Barnes writes.
Instead, CNN, The New York Times, and The Economist would have us believe the “deep state” only refers to some odd, foreign country, like Turkey, and can never be honestly applied here. This is especially ironic for The Economist because it was one of their original editors in chief, Walter Bagehot, from the 1860’s who first circulated the idea of a “double government.”

As leftist reporter Glenn Greenwald has reported, and liberal newscaster Ed Schultz continues to emphasize, the establishment media’s over-use of anonymous sourcing allows deep state members to smear a disfavored political persona, like Trump or Michael Flynn (under constant assault in media reports long after he left the White House), and others. As both journalists warn, when the media “reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials,” it dis-serves its First Amendment role as a check on power and, instead, becomes an enabler of that anti-democratic power.

The rise of Wikileaks, and its increasing popularity across the left and right ends of the populist political spectrum, reflects an increasingly common view that the media is the corrupted power brokers, not a check on those corrupted power brokers. As Greenwald aptly summarizes: “cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive.” Trump’s tweets last week directed attention to precisely that issue: illegal intercepts and illicit leaks of those intercepts should be the scandal, not incredulous reports of collusion unsupported by the legally innocent conversations found on those intercepts.
For any truly discerning news consumer, the entire article is well worth the read. Barnes says the "marriage" between the media and the deep state "has long called for a needed divorce." That divorce can only be forced by consumers. The major media is supported by millions of consumers, and their advertisers are supported by millions of consumers. That's why it's important for each of us as consumers to take a good, hard look at the media that we fund. Each of us has an impact.

And there are plenty of us still working in journalism who aren't part of this unholy system and don't have a problem exposing it where it exists.

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