Despite being the most quoted public intellectual, to find a reference to Noam Chomsky in NYTimes print, you would have to go back to the 1970s. For the next 45 years, NYTimes made no mention of Chomsky until a 2015 interview. But even that interview was only published online, you wouldn’t find his interview in the print version.
That tells you a lot about how the media in the supposedly freest country in the world function. Where state propagandists like Bret Stephens and Tom Friedman are regular columnists and partisan ideologues like Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd can say and predict whatever they want without ever facing accountability for their false prophecies by their publisher, genuine public intellectuals like Noam Chomsky are sidelined.
Inspired by Noam Chomsky, the greatest public intellectual of the last century (inarguably in history), Media Prober joins the ranks of thousands of other alt media outlets. But we differ from that in that we are not a news organization per se.
Our domain lies more along the lines of alt media outlets that specialize in research and analysis of the media coverage. We are not here to cover top political scandals but in analyzing how the mainstream media reports on them.
Media Prober studies the issues reported in the media and then highlights the pertinent facts left out of or given very little attention in the media coverage. If the mainstream media played its’ inherent role rather than joining ranks with the polyarchists that control the affairs today, alt media wouldn’t be as popular as it is today.
There are thousands of hardworking reporters who are honest and hardworking. We value and respect them. Our contention lies with the editors and owners of the media outlets who suppress information that could sway the acceptable public opinion.
We don’t say that media outlets get their marching orders from the government. The hierarchies in mainstream media outlets accept only those into their ranks to whom the suppression of information has become instinctive so that they don’t even have to think about it. They suppress automatically.
In this regard, Glenn Greenwald’s book, No Place to Hide, sheds light on how the media function. While reading the book, you get the feeling that mainstream outlets in the US knew that Snowden files were in the public interest. But for some reason, they seemed reluctant to publish them.
But as I said before, not all of their reporters toe the line. James Risen is one of the best reporters that the New York Times had. He wrote several stories exposing the CIA’s shadow operations but not only the Obama administration came after him over a chapter in his book, State of War, his own newspaper, the New York Times, suppressed his stories.
James Risen book dealt with CIA’s operation under George W. Bush. It had nothing to do with the Obama White House yet the so-called liberal President came after him to reveal his sources.
President Obama gave Bush officials immunity from prosecution for their crimes while he cracked down on James Risen for exposing the crimes. So to Obama, war criminals ought to be protected while reporters who expose those crimes belong in the jail.
James Risen received very little, if any, support from his newspaper. Editors and the people who run these mainstream media outlets are the insiders. Despite all their pretenses, Cenk Uygur exposed MSNBC as the insiders they are.
George Orwell in his essay, The Prevention of Literature, has a couple of sentences that go right to the heart of the issue of the suppression of good journalists at the hands of the mainstream media:
Any writer or journalist who wants to retain his integrity finds himself thwarted by the general drift of society rather than by active persecution. The sort of things that are working against him are the concentration of the press in the hands of a few rich men, the grip of monopoly on radio and the films, the unwillingness of the public to spend money on books…..
Noam Chomsky like most of us was inspired by George Orwell during his teen years. Chomsky dedicated a part of his career to exposing the media hypocrisy and their unholy alliance with the powerful. One of the most famous of Chomsky’s quotes is:
Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.
While giving a talk on his latest and arguably greatest book in the 1980s, Manufacturing Consent, a young audience member asked Chomsky about how did the elites control the media. Chomsky reply was clear and concise:
How do the elites control General Motors? Why isn’t that the question? The elites don’t have to control the media, they own it.
The elite-owned media rather than raise awareness about issues facing the general public, work constantly to limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion that sidelines real solutions to the real problems.
Alternative media has tried to report what the establishment media ignore, censor, and suppress but ever too often, they too are guided by political interests of their side. Breitbart does highlight some important issues that establishment media ignore but they are supported by the Mercer family and thus represent interests of a class within a class.
The Intercept relies on financial contributions from its’ readers but to most of their readers, it is glaringly obvious that their focus lies in helping Progressive candidates all across America regardless of their competence and the understanding of the issues facing the public.
Unlike organizations like Media Matters for America, Media Prober is a non-partisan alternative media group. Rather than directing our efforts to undermine a political group or party, Media Prober holds everyone to the same standard. We realize that there is no such thing as good propaganda and every effort to misconstrue facts and narrative ought to be exposed regardless of who it benefits or harms.
In this regard, alternative media have a crucial role to play. Like most alt media groups, we are low resourced but not low-spirited.
Bringing up issues and uncovering the truth that the establishment media intentionally suppress is the most potent way of keeping the fourth pillar in check.