Stephen Kinzer on How the Press Gets Seduced By War

From WNYC Radio:

Last week, President Trump ordered the firing of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria in retaliation against the chemical attack allegedly committed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against his own people. The coverage of the strikes appeared to present a stark choice between good and evil, rather than a Gordian knot of geopolitics, regional politics, domestic politics, and the proliferation of terror. But is it really that easy?

Bob Garfield speaks with Stephen Kinzer, Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and a columnist at the Boston Globe, who argues that the public is being presented with a deceptively simple version of reality because the media aren’t asking the right questions.

  • Don

    It’s not complicated in the least. It’s just a matter of causing enough Americans to break through the propaganda indoctrination they have received in time.

    But as they wave their flags with their feelings of invincibility, why should they bother?

  • John_Smith001

    “if it bleeds, it leads.”

  • polistra24

    I don’t think there’s any cure for this. It’s just the nature of the “profession” at all levels. Conflict and fakery have ALWAYS been the way to make money from story-telling. All we can do is ignore the monsters and try to avoid paying them.

    The real problem is that too many of our “opinion leaders” are outside of normal economics, funded by billionaires who don’t need the added revenue of advertising and subscriptions. We can’t shape their response by avoidance.

  • meetthenewboss

    The evil of the whole is yet accumulating. Once a sufficiently obvious quantity has coalesced the reluctance induced by vagaries will be removed for all but the possessed. Rigging votes of the popular heart will not be possible then. That is the time the conscientious will learn if they’ve done enough or been effective at all.

  • Mark Shinnick

    Its ironic that the very California population centers which are liberal anti-war biased don’t seem to comprehend the actual capacity of North Korea to wipe them out. The speek of these groups would rather distrust America against NK.

    • BrotherJonah

      It’s because the U.S. government have lied to Americans consistently and often. Far more often than North Korea or any of “our” supposed enemies of the past 50 years have. When one person or One Government gets caught lying often enough that person or government is not trusted to tell the truth about anything.

      • Mark Shinnick

        Yeah…well, lets get over the idealism…how to enforce that?; nothing is EZ but if you can figure out a better system be sure to let everyone know. Nukes have, so far, been more or less controlled by “adults” who know they are not good for anyone’s business. Personally, I’m very happy that kid is in China’s backyard.

        • BrotherJonah

          Oh, and than you for endorsing the U.S. military use of nukes, even though they were only atomic, the U.S. being the only nation to actually use them in war, MacArthur advocated using nukes in China and Korea too, and the only use of them the U.S. did with them was deploy them against CIVILIANS. Using the same crap propaganda you just put out. Those the “adults” you felt comfortable about them having weapons of mass murder.
          I, sir, say you LIE. Do with that what you wish.

    • MvGuy

      NK..????? “The speek of these groups would rather distrust America against NK.”

      Easy to see you are NO English speaker… Where sre you from and what is your first language…?

      Maybe if you had lived here in America long enough to get the spelling and grammar nearly half right, you would have seen all the wars built on lies our leaders start, and see all the poor powerless people that we murder.. worldwide, for their land, resources and money…

      • Mark Shinnick

        Looks like you’ve made my point. I don’t see any mention that NK is a suppressive dictatorship imprisoning to its population; but here you berate America as though its actually deserving of a violent retribution.

        • BrotherJonah

          Let’s see, the U.S. has murdered many millions across the world, in my lifetime, and North Korea hasn’t. That’s very simple. When you speak of a nuclear armed crazy childlike dictator, that’s Trump and most of the American government from our entire history. The only American president who acknowledged the massacre at Nogun Ri, was Bill Clinton. And he gently denied it as deliberate by calling it an unfortunate part of war. Washington never acknowledged the use of Biological Warfare againsnt Pontiac and his tribe. Americans. There’s a long history of “our leaders” lying their collective Arse off about everything they did wrong. They don’t confess and don’t apologize. And the vast majority never killed anybody. And the ones who killed for the “leaders” were mostly conscripts.

          How much has Trump given to “charity” compared to the billions he’s stolen, not directly but by the actions of low paid employees, including the Military. Since he ordered the violence and robbery by which his fortune was made, he’s guilty. Especially those crimes which involved killing, that makes him an accessory to Murder. Many times over. And the “charity” from the richest, does it equal the amount taken from those same countries, at gunpoint and always with killing? Would the Koch Brothers ever pay off in full the people they have had their minions killed for their fortune? If it was your child or your brother or even your mom, according to you it’s OK as long as there’s a reward in it for you. So, how much would I have to pay you to be allowed to randomly kill members of your family? They have obviously no emotional value, just money.

  • BrotherJonah

    The Colorado Springs Gazette, a far-right extremist rag which is also the only daily paper in town, had a picture of a Blackhawk helicopter (like the one which was knocked down in Somalia by a barefoot soldier with a grenade launcher… and there’s a movie that makes the argument that being shot down is somehow heroism) taking flight. On the top of the front page. Definitely NOT a man-bites-dog journalistic coup. It’s so routine they could have a stock picture of such a liftoff or for that matter show a city bus pulling away from the curb.