Memoryholeblog Focus of Scholarly Study

The corporate news media’s attack of James Tracy in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre’s press coverage is examined in a recent scholarly article, “Media errors and the ‘nutty professor’: Riding the journalistic boundaries of the Sandy Hook shootings,” by Dan Berkowitz and Zhengjia Michelle Liu of The University of Iowa.* The paper was home_coverpublished in Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism in late 2014.

“The point of this article is that when faced with a fast-breaking crisis or disaster, journalists quickly fall back on what-a-story news routines and memory of similar events of the past,” the introduction reads.

Competition among news organizations and audience expectations for immediacy have increased reliance on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. With less time for verification in this sped-up reporting process, errors often result. Before the appearance of social media, newspapers and broadcast media were able to quickly bury these kinds of errors. With social media, though, come increased media errors that threaten the boundaries of appropriate professional journalistic practice, which are then addressed by both mainstream and social media in an effort to rebalance the professional terrain.

The essay proceeds to address how major news media dealt with Tracy’s Sandy Hook massacre analyses, arguing that because Tracy was a tenured professor yet was also publicly suggesting that a conspiracy probably existed between the government and media in the presentation of the event, such media acted defensively to initiate what media sociologists term “boundary work” and “paradigm repair” toward “the renegotiation of journalistic authority.”

In other words, because Tracy’s unorthodox perspectives do not sit easily alongside his occupation of a professional “expert” position–one that journalists often defer to fortify their own professional authority–such journalistic outlets were forced to discredit him through attacks suggesting that he is an anomaly on the academic landscape–a “nutty professor” who should be dismissed by thoughtful and responsible observers.

“The discussion of this case here is not about Professor Tracy, per se,” Berkowitz and Liu argue,

but instead offers a conceptual example of what happens when news media are criticized as complicit in purveying false information. This was not just an attack on Tracy’s authority, but a way of renegotiating the professional authority of the media – had Tracy not been a media educator, his claims would have been easily dismissed as yet another conspiracy theorist.

Three themes emerged from analysis of news and opinion pieces about this ‘nutty professor’. First, Tracy’s authority as a communication professor was questioned. Second, the Nutty Professor was categorized as an online phenomenon, not within the professional media boundary. Third, Tracy’s theory on media errors was rejected by normalizing ‘honest mistakes’.

The authors continue to explain “how the media responded to accusations of cooperating in a government conspiracy … ”

First, the authority of a normally credible information source – a college professor – was brought into question. Rather than allowing a communication professor to serve as an authority on media behavior, media lumped him together with other conspiracy theorists, even labeling him a ‘conspiracy flake’ (Hiaasen, 2013). This, in essence, was yet another form of boundary work. A second element also involved boundary work, where the ——- ——– professor’s medium of choice – a blog – was set outside the realm of professional media. Again, the Nutty Professor’s credibility was challenged. Finally, a third element involved normalizing the professor’s conspiracy theory to represent nothing more than ‘honest mistakes’ made in the heat of battle. In essence, rather than arguing about the conspiracy accusations, the media chose instead to redefine the boundaries of credible authority.

In all, the three themes comprised a storyline to defend the news media from Professor Tracy’s attack on its authority: First, Tracy was discredited as a professor, labeled instead as a conspiracy theorist trying to grab online attention by speaking against the mainstream media. Second, media errors in the Sandy Hook reporting were not part of a conspiracy but instead honest mistakes by public officials. Third, Tracy’s theories, just like other conspiracies, did not represent reality and should be ignored.

The article goes on to explain (quite astutely in this author’s view) how Tracy’s oft-cited blog post, “The Sandy Hook Massacre: Unanswered Questions and Missing Information,” was (perhaps intentionally) misquoted and certain of its assertions highlighted while the rationale for such remarks was downplayed.

Reporting of the Sandy Hook shootings passed beyond the what-a-story news level when James Tracy’s theory of media’s ‘real role’ was brought into the public attention. One of his early blog posts (24 December 2012) was repeatedly quoted in media coverage: While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place – at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s media have described. (Cortes, 2013; Hiaasen, 2013; Jaccarino, 2013; Khazem, 2013)

Tracy’s rationale for this assertion was less quoted, however, as he referred to W. Lance Bennett’s (2012) concept of ‘authority-disorder bias’. Put into this context, Tracy (2012) argued, “Outside of a handful of citizen journalists and alternative media commentators Sandy Hook’s dramatically shifting factual and circumstantial terrain has escaped serious critique because it is presented through major media’s carefully constructed prism of select sound bits alongside a widespread and longstanding cultural impulse to accept the pronouncements of experts …” (24 December)

MHB is excited that the unpleasant affair provided the basis for such a study. Along these lines, Tracy recently wrote an essay, tentatively titled, “Confessions of a Conspiracy Theory Professor,” slated to appear in a forthcoming edited volume addressing various social and political implications of “conspiracy theories.” The essay documents Tracy’s personal encounters with news media and the confusion and mistreatment of university administrators following public statements on the Sandy Hook and Boston mediated events.

*Disclosure: Dan Berkowitz was on faculty at Iowa’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication when James Tracy was a doctoral student there. Berkowitz was faculty advisor to the Journal of Communication Inquiry when Tracy was the publication’s book reviews editor in 2001-02. Berkowitz did not serve on Tracy’s dissertation committee and there was no consultation between Berkowitz and Tracy during the article’s development.

85 thoughts on “Memoryholeblog Focus of Scholarly Study”

  1. Very interesting. I clicked through to read the whole thing, expecting it to be the typical hit piece, but declined to pay for it. I’m glad it is, in James’ view, a fair analysis if a real problem.

    Part of the problem, as I understand it, is the idea the “journalism” is a profession. It’s not–or shouldn’t be. It’s a TRADE, better called “reporting.” Professionalizing it has stolen the heads of people who once proudly called themselves “ink-stained wretches.” The Columbia School of Journalism is culpable, as its pernicious paradigm spread across the continent, poisoning the whole business.

    Here’s how it used to be:

    Mencken was a newspaperman in those days. We ain’t got no Menckens at big city papers no more. And that guy Danny grabs by the collar before remembering that there’s cameras looking no doubt had a bottle of whiskey in the lower drawer of his desk in the City Room. They don’t allow that any more. Hell, the poor bastards can’t even smoke at their desks any more.

    These people all want to go on television, these days, and be invited to Georgetown, or Upper West Side, cocktail parties, as if they are in the same club as the stinking politicians they are supposed to be plotting the destruction of, day after day.

    It makes me sick. (Which, incidentally, is why it’s so fantastic that Trump declared war on the Fox News Channel–he’s nobody’s lap dog.)

    The real problem the press had with Tracy was not any “theories” he proposed–because he didn’t propose any. It was that he pointed out that no real reporting was going on. The press had become nothing but readers and transcribers of government propaganda. Why, he asked, is no one questioning the contradictions, probing, digging? Reporting.

    That made him a conspiracy wacko.

    In a recent thread, here at MHB, the discussion turned to the lying liars involved in keeping the public believing the lies. Fortuitously, I stumbled upon this, just this morning:


    I hope the puke did not ruin your keyboard (it’s always handy to have a bucket and a roll of paper towels handy when viewing such material).

    Here we have the press conspiring with actors to maintain a fiction for the government’s benefit.

    Also, on a recent thread, we have been discussing the proof that it is the CIA that is behind trolling and disrupting internet conversations about topics like Sandy Hook. James Tracy provides a forum for the meta-analysis of all this troubling stuff. I’m glad this article recognizes the goodness of what he’s doing.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree with you, Patrick, about pernicious result of the professionalization of the media, and of the schools, universities, and other learned bureaucracies as well. What it has done has created an Elite truth consensus where the members serve as a truth police for the powerful, and especially for the protection of the truth Elite. They have become a professional, mercenary army conducting a truth war of power against the people.

      1. We understand each other on this, and it does not surprise me.

        Many times, people who disagree vociferously, in the end are quite close where it counts.

        My comment, in response to you, currently in moderation, will be of interest to all who follow our exchanges.

        Blessings to you, brother.

    2. Patrick here is how it used to be 🙂

      John Swinton on the Free Press

      One night, probably in 1880, John Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:

      “There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

      There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with.

      Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

      The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

      We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

        1. Quigley says that the Council of Foreign relations was a later offshoot of what he calls, among other things, the Round Table. It was begun by Rhodes, Milner, etc before 1900. I seem to remember one of the oligarchs buying up the American press in 1915. This was in any case during ww1, and, as you know, the first casualty of war is truth.

          However this might be connected to the Palmer raids on socialists, arnarchists, and various anti-war groups, including the deporting of radicals, and citizens not born in this country. It’s difficult to connect the media perversion with authorized and unauthorized violence occurring at the time. But they all provide precedent for Terrorwar America.

        2. We know there was media complicity in state violence at the turn of the century, as the birth of American imperialism was trumpeted in newspapers. Remember that Hearst famously said,”Give me the photos, I’ll provide the war.”

          Concerning the Council on Foreign Relations, Number 22 of Professor Tracy’s Blogpost, “The CIA and the News Media: 50 Historical Facts The World Needs To Know,” mentions Wilson recruiting Lippman for a secret organization which was a prototype for the CIA, and whose members went on to inhabit the CFR.

          In the wake of World War One the Woodrow Wilson administration placed journalist and author Walter Lippmann in charge of recruiting agents for the Inquiry, a first-of-its-kind ultra-secret civilian intelligence organization whose role involved ascertaining information to prepare Wilson for the peace negotiations, as well as identify foreign natural resources for Wall Street speculators and oil companies. The activities of this organization served as a prototype for the function eventually performed by the CIA, namely “planning, collecting, digesting, and editing the raw data,” notes historian Servando Gonzalez. “This roughly corresponds to the CIA’s intelligence cycle: planning and direction, collection, processing, production and analysis, and dissemination.” Most Inquiry members would later become members of the Council on Foreign Relations. Lippmann would go on to become the Washington Post’s best known columnists. Servando Gonzalez, Psychological Warfare and the New World Order: The Secret War Against the American People, Oakland, CA: Spooks Books, 2010, 50.

        3. The purpose of the press has always been to help the elite keep the populace one step from revolt.

          The reason being that it is the goal of whoever rules to do so. Ploys change, memes change, but the dance goes on.

          What’s “new” is the internet. It’s great. Before it there was no way to instantly share information and ideas. The filter is gone.

          We, just like those who came before us, live in a jungle. We are surrounded by predators and parasites. Decent people want to make meaningful lives for themselves and to care for their families.

          Those who claw their way to power are obsessed with controlling others. The CFR, quite rightly, was spawned from the “Roundtable”. In itself it is a mechanism for advancing self-absorbed parasites into positions that provide access to a greater number of hosts.

          Members are introduced to larger, more lucrative, scams and rewarded in other ways for their cooperation in controlling the populace. Like Bilderberg, it is a chance to rub elbows with other tools at the same level of the Big Plan.

          Progress is assessed, corrections are designed and assignments are given for the next period in the schedule.

          It’s actually amusing to me that they are so brazen. They publish their goals and agendas. Most never read them, therefore they are surprised. Their assumption is that they are entitled to make these decisions.

          When you see your designated parasite kneeling at the CFR altar, remember that their agenda is incompatible with ours. They fully intend to implement theirs. To me that makes “your” politician not your friend.

  2. “…but instead offers a conceptual example of what happens when news media are criticized as complicit in purveying false information.”

    Aren’t these news organizations expected to be in competition? If so, then why wasn’t the response to re-analyze the facts, and then address the merits of Tracy’s argument? If these two academics want to seriously address the issue, then why don’t they look at the extensive media blackouts that have been enforced by the media in the past through a process of self-censorship. A good starting point would be the multi-generational ban on information related to the generational victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and, the almost total blackout of the effects of depleted uranium on both civilians and troops in the Gulf Wars.

    1. A good book on what you’re addressing would be by William Thomas Stead(mentor to William Randolph Hearst): “Government By Journalism”. The basic thesis was Journalists’ job was to tell you what you ought know & what you ought not know. It was expanded by Walter Lippmann’s(Creel Commitee with Edward Bernays) theory of “Manufacturing Consent”, which was the goal of “Objective Journalism”.

      1. Stead was in what Carroll Quigley called the Round Table group, a secret society that was at least part of the ruling group. As was Lippmann. It’s important, Rico, that Stead mentored Hearst, which I don’t recall Quigley saying; but TRAGEDY AND HOPE is over thirteen hundred pages and I could have missed it. Your comment ties together finance and journalism.

    2. One other point regarding your comments, as this is something I’ve been wrestling with: what do you get when “free speech” is licensed? You no longer have free speech, so should it really be surprising(when properly thought out) that “Media” isn’t the bastion of “freedom” we’ve been indoctrinated to believe? What they’ve done with media is what they plan to achieve with the Internet.

      1. Unlike the the MSM, the internet is decentralized and allows for greater anonymity. The whole Cass Sunstein paper on taxing conspiracy theories, cognitive infiltration, etc., was because the internet can’t be muted in the way the MSM can. Even with an army of cyber-trolls, the government can not control the flow of information, or limit the parameters of acceptable speech/debate (an Orwellian idea since counter-speech is the only way to deal with “bad ideas” in a democratic paradigm). They can do cyber-cointelpro, but that only mitigates the threat. At some point, given the crimes that are being documented only on the internet, the official opposition to a free internet may be a battleground like the gun control agenda. First they will go for the guns, then they will make a fully concerted effort to make the first amendment nugatory through licensing journalists, and fining and even jailing “conspiracy theorists”.

        1. Yes, and it makes them crazy. The whole point of going to an “authority” is so they can define your options for you. They will decide what the “acceptable” range of discussion and belief is.

          Just like the political circus defines two parties, “pick one from column ‘A” or one from column ‘B’, no substitutions”, every action they take is defined as an either/or decision.

          They are not presenting these “options” as real choices. They are presenting them to explain their actions that they already took or are planning to take.

          When we fall into the trap of discussing issues and events on their terms we reinforce the hegemony of the elite over our thoughts.

          The internet does drive them crazy. They want to control every aspect and detail of the eater’s lives. It would be impossible for them to control us if we simply stopped listening to them.

  3. Oh, great! It’s what I’ve always said, the academy is not completely cowardly and corrupt, just ALMOST completely cowardly and corrupt. Maybe this will make it respectable to tell the reality-based truth even when it subverts the mainstream narrative. There is still a pulse in the dying truth corpse, assuming they let the paper actually be published.

    I hope they discuss the attack on James in the Columbia Journalism Review, the most vicious and unprincipled piece of truthdreck that I’ve seen. But it must be understood that American power CANNOT allow the truth about 9/11-anthrax to gain currency in the consciousness of the American people. It de-legitimates the American state power system and the truth Elite embedded in its truth institutions.

    Nevertheless, it gladdens the heart to watch American oppression crumble, and at least some attempt made to support honest and courageous truthers.

      1. Yes, but how many Americans know that, PeaceFrog. And that was 14 years ago. Is that not NEWS, that the Administration knew of the anthrax attacks ahead of time. A book was written about these attacks within the last few years, and the initial sentences were so difficult to understand I stopped reading it. Reporting news in a way that the people can’t understand, or are downplayed or buried, doesn’t harm the power structure.

        1. Don’t forget the O’ administration did their own Anthrax scare because it was so effective during the Bush Admin.

          They keep repeating the same ole Shit because it works. But why does it work?

          They own the entire media. The 4th Estate is gone. This is how they are winning, not some super mind control powers. These are mere Men who potty just like you.

          They OWN the Media and Never get called out.

          Can you imagine if the media treated O’ like Bush?

          And just for the record, in 2004 when Bush won, is the day the media died. Can’t blame O’, he’s just running with it.

          I was singing, Bye Bye Miss American Pie…..

        2. This is kind of off-topic, but FWIW:

          OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

          Another interesting tidbit is this: “Oprah” is, as we all probably know, is “Harpo” backwards. Like “Harpo Marx”. “That’s a weird name,” I thought. “I wonder what it means?”

          Harpocrates, the Roman god of silence, transformed from the Egyptian god, Horus. Statues of Harpocrates show a figure with its index finger over its lips. Could it also have signified a secret?

          I don’t know if Oprah was actually born with her name or if she chose it. Apropos, either way, don’t you think?

    1. I’m not saying that I like the American state power system (I don’t think the “power system” is necessarily “American”, but either way, I don’t like it a bit), but is there any power system you DO like? What is your ideal social environment?

        1. Wow, I didn’t just go to Mod. I was sucked down the entire Mem. Hole. Some here have described that before. This is my first slam dunk to the netherworld..

          All I see is Zeros and Ones 0000111000010001000010

        2. I’ll try again. This Adim, that is the best ever..wink wink. Has used that “stuff” your talking about up there just like the last great Admin. too as a scare tactic. But I love both of them from my heart.

          How’s that wordpress?

        3. Conceptual innovations in American social science, Toni, allow us, should we wish, to begin a revolution in political and social theory conceptually similar to the scientific revolutions in the history of the natural sciences, but much more transgressive and insulting. These revolutions transformed our world-views of reality, as Thomas Kuhn illustrated in his influential essay THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS. A revolution in social or people theory in the 21st century would transform the way we think about and perceive people.

        4. Yes, but what is “reality-based truth?” It’s a phrase of which you are fond.

          Or define “truth not based on reality,” if you prefer.

      1. Is there any power system I like? no. But the Chinese power system serves the Chinese people better than the American power system serves the American people. In a few decades, it pulled over a 5 hundred million people out of crushing poverty.

        My ideal social environment is people being told and taught the truth about political and social reality, and developing a respect for other people. And then deciding how they will be ruled. I am simply a democrat. But so was Karl Marx. But I think marxism must be generalized to be useful in the 21st century, to change our political culture. So I am not a socialist; I am a culturalist.

        1. folktruther says, “marxism must be generalized to be useful in the 21st century, to change our political culture,” meaning it must be suffused throughout society before it can become our political culture. folktruther is saying he is a Cultural Marxist.

          Cultural Marxism is marxism which has escaped economics to run rampant throughout the rest of human endeavor. It has given us political correctness, multiculturalism and “anti-racism.”

          It believes all human behavior is the result of culture and therefore, malleable. Gender has no biological reality; it’s socially determined. Race is also a social construct, although, contrarily, race-based identity politics are supported, as long as they are non-white.

          We can thank cultural marxists for speech codes and censorship, diversity training and massive immigration into Western countries. They are intent on equal outcomes for everyone everywhere, and they will use government to get it. They must erode the status quo, which in their racist thinking means white. And then they project their racism away from themselves, and denounce white people as the racists.

          What I want to know is, how does this differ from “Freedom Fascism?”

        2. I thought Cultural Marxism was a tool, not a goal. I thought C.M. was/is generally used to bring about totalitarianism (even if under the guise of “democracy”).

          The kind of democracy Folk wants, it seems to me, is mob rule…two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner.

        3. You’re right in your formulation of Cultural Marxism, Recynd.

          I guess the Folkster is not going to comment on my description, so I’ll just add a couple things that you may already know.

          First, just a brief description of the origin of the Franklin School, from which all cultural Marxism flows, from Navy Commander, Dr. Gerald L. Atkinson CDR USN (Ret.):

          QUOTE ‘Cultural Marxism’ and ‘critical theory’ are concepts developed by a group of German intellectuals, who, in 1923 in Germany, founded the Institute of Social Research at Frankfurt University. The Institute, modeled after the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow, became known as the Frankfurt School [3]. In 1933, when the Nazis came to power in Germany, the members of the Frankfurt School fled to the United States. While here, they migrated to major U.S. universities (Columbia, Princeton, Brandeis, and California at Berkeley). These intellectual Marxists included Herbert Marcuse, who coined the phrase, ‘make love, not war,’ during the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations. UNQUOTE

          He characterizes Critical Theory as:
          QUOTE …reject(ing) the ideal of Western Civilization in the age of modern science, that is, the verification or falsifying of theory by experimental evidence. Only the superior mind was able to fashion the ‘truths’ from observation of the evidence. There would be no need to test these hypotheses against everyday experience. UNQUOTE

          By discounting experiential evidence, the Marxist social manipulators hope to out-flank criticism of the progressive “utopia” which they envision imposing on the entire world.

          Why is it Cultural Marxists and billionaires always think they know best for everybody else? The arrogance is galling.

        4. The American people, Toni, have been ideologically deranged by American power historically to make us easer to rule. We have been miseducated, misinformed, and misentertained to identify with the power delusions that legitimate American power. We are systematically miseducated by the schools as children to learn the ideological misconceptions that enable the mass media to systematically misinform us as adults. What we take to be political and cultural reality is ideological fantasy.

          The unreality that we take to be true is part of the fantasy of the Western tradition. It is coming to an end, marked, as Patrick says, by the 9/11 homicides. We are living at a time in history when it is possible to rearrange our inherited conceptions and preconceptions of reality, beginning a truth revolution that legitimates the holistic truth from the perspective of people rather than delusive power. This conceptual inversion would reveal the reality-based truth, rather than the ideological fantasy of our Western political culture.

        5. “reality-based truth, rather than the ideological fantasy”

          Ok, so it just means truth then. Truth as opposed to fantasy.

    2. “Nevertheless, it gladdens the heart to watch American oppression crumble, and at least some attempt made to support honest and courageous truthers.”

      It would Gladden MY heart too….I just don’t know. When you control the media, it seems you control everything nowadays.

      And they got that in the ’60’s

      1. Members of the Frankfort school, Toni, also founded the New School in NY, where Michael Hudson taught for a while. His views were subjected to the marxist straightjacket of worker exploitation when he conceived the major economic problem in a broader scheme of creditors vs debtors, including worker exploitation.

        The Frankfort school did not conceive racial oppression in the same conceptual scheme as class oppression, even though historically it had been greater and more brutal. So they were not culturalists in the sense I mean, and Hudson, as he says, also had to be ‘rescued from academia.’

        To change political culture, it is necessary to conceive the basic dialectic of people vs power, rather than employers vs workers. Since you support fascism, you are naturally on the side of power, so you would oppose any kind of general people values.

        1. I told you I couldn’t find your reference for Michael Hudson and the revolutionary theory. As is your custom, you did not respond to my comment.

          As for my not having “any kind of general people values,” you’re the one who wants to jail people for having a blog you don’t like.

    1. Well, I’m so frustrated. I’ve searched everywhere for this article and cannot find the journal itself even in my local city and university libraries. It’s only available behind the $30 paywall at “Sage” publications.

      I guess Sage figures it’s not much of a financial barrier, and would prefer that their articles go unread, rather than provide an avenue for those unable to pay.

      Someone should start a black market for scholarly articles.

      1. Someone did. His name was Aaron Swartz, & we know what happened to him. Of course, it’s not really a “Black Market”; if these individuals receive government grants, then, allegedly the articles belong to us…allegedly.

        1. I suspect Mr Schwartz may have been suicided for having obtained evidence of horrible child abuse being stored on MIT servers. The charges for theft of scholarly articles was maybe just a pretence for their efforts to stop him. Why he wasn’t suicided earlier may have related to the evidence being shared with unknown parties. Maybe the threat of others possessing the evidence was reconciled and he was snuffed out, given the trumped up legal attack angle ended up toothless. Not to mention his responsibility for delaying SOPA a year and disloyally to his clan.

      2. Some of the journals, Toni, also charge scholars to publish in them. That way that can restrict truth coming and going.

  4. They are very professional. That’s their job. Lying for their masters. Continuously analyzing stuff like this is like constantly rehashing 9-11 clues as if we didn’t already know its a hoax.

    Does anyone truly believe that the MSM is not corrupt? Does anyone really question their motives? Do people think that the newsbimbos actually write their material?

    “Reporting” in this country is every bit as propagandistic as the former U.S.S.R used to be. When we act as if they “make mistakes” it implies that their motives are pure. They’re not.

    A democracy requires a free and inquisitive press. If we had one of those this would be even more worrying. Since our politicians do not care what we think and surely don’t work for us, whatever decisions we may form based on the propaganda is meaningless.

    These guys are doing exactly what they were hired to do. They read the copy they’re handed and try to deliver it convincingly. They avoid any topic that isn’t cleared. In short, they pretend to be journalists.

    Spingola had the same take, hmmmm? I wonder why? Pretending that we are informed by TEE VEE is absolutely ludicrous. Newspapers are the same.

    Going to the MSM for truth is like going to court for justice. This is especially true when the judge was appointed by the perpetrators of the complaint.

    They attacked Dr. Tracy because they were told to. They are given orders to control the dialog. A real press wouldn’t care what anyone thought. They would simply report it.

    Nobody made any mistakes here. It was all in the plan.

    1. Are you talking about the authors of the study, Dan Berkowitz and Zhengjia Michelle Liu of The University of Iowa? If so, I think you might be mistaken. They’re scholars, not journalists. They used James and the MemoryHoleBlog as a case study.

      In fact, James writes,”MHB is excited that the unpleasant affair provided the basis for such a study. Along these lines, Tracy recently wrote an essay, tentatively titled, “Confessions of a Conspiracy Theory Professor,”…”

      1. I’m not talking about the authors of the study. I’m talking about the premise. I understand the article.

        THEIR premise is, quite conventionally, that “journalism” exists as advertised. It may exist in “alternative” forms, meaning non-commercial, non-compromised forms.

        Part of the analysis is the suggestion that the “news” makes “mistakes” because of haste, etc.. I say they don’t do anything but read the copy provided by the government employees of the controllers.

        I see no reason to give the MSM any more credence than that. That’s my point. They are unworthy of serious study.

        1. So, “unworthy of serious study” then.

          And concepts like “boundary work” and “paradigm repair” and “the renegotiation of journalistic authority” are of no use either?

        2. If you need an “authority” to help tell you what your options in life are, I suppose it would be a good thing to have one with a passing familiarity with truth.

          Just like political/ideological discussions are not really limited to “Marxism” or “Capitalism”, unless one wants it that way, there just may be other options.

          If an “institution” fails at its advertised function, we can either rebuild it or accept the fact that the advertised product is not as stated and quit it like a bad habit.

          So, one can continue to watch TEE VEE and listen to newsbimbos talk about the official version of “The 9-11 Movie”, for example, or go on the internet and discuss it with others who know better.

          I suppose it comes down to either insisting that TEE VEE reform itself and become something that it never was, because we NEED authority and that’s it, or we learn to recognize something bogus and ignore it.

          I don’t have to understand what makes people do what they do. Sometimes I think I understand, other times not so much. It doesn’t matter to me.

          I don’t have a compulsion to make others agree with me. I have my opinions and they are not dependent on acceptance. I like affirmation as much as anyone but I can live without it.

          Paying attention to “the media” is like playing a card game with someone you know to be a cheat. You keep coming back, getting fleeced, and complaining that they should reinvent themselves. Or, you could cut your losses and give up gambling.

          I don’t like the fact that “the press” is not what I was taught to believe it to be. No matter how much I wring my hands or gnash my teeth they continue to be what they are.

          If you want something better the way to accomplish that is to do it yourself. Don’t ask the thieves to do it for you. It amuses the thieves and encourages them.

          None of us need permission to “do something”. If the urge is strong, just do it. I have a very long list of things I’ve had to relearn. Those old beliefs are comforting, but if they aren’t true, they are just illusions.

          It does no good to get angry about a fact that I had nothing to do with. I didn’t make the “press” whores. They did that themselves. I’m just pointing at all the red lipstick and saying “hey, you guys are whores”. I have no intention of saying “why, don’t you look sweet. You remind me of Mom”.

        3. I’m not sure what all that means in your comment, but I think your mistake is insisting that media, however false and compromised, is unworthy of study.

          One might argue that media is worth studying BECAUSE it is false and compromised.

    2. If you saw that the population was stoopid, would you not realize then that they can be had and easily, too? So many people take MSM diktat and consider it the truth of truths. People form pathological attractions to the media verbiage and personalities and use these cutouts as their bases of truth. I participate in a group discussion daily and have gotten into verbal gun battles with people who insist all these false flags are totally legit. Intelligent people, too, yet they fixate and fasten to these cunning sources of disinfo and cling to them in a death grip. It occurs coast to coast, Bernays and Goebbels knew what they were talking about.

      Is it not clear, then, that destruction of the First Amendment is the order of the day now? And, it’s easier to destroy it when you destroy the people who believe in it and abide by it.

      Looking back, this all could have gone down far earlier that it did, but now the pace is speeding up measurably. Civil war is encouraged by this administration, is that our ultimate fate?

      1. When a person’s assumptions are challenged, it causes a further digging in to defend the belief. Letting go is scary…

      2. The American people are not stupid, Gil, we’re crazy. Rather, we are stupid BECAUSE we are crazy. We have been conditioned by American political culture and indoctrinated by the truth institutions to identify with American power against the people ruled by power, most of the American and world’s people. Americans identify with media untruth because that is the Word of power. To deny it would amount to denying the society they live in, and no one wants to be isolated and considered an Outsider from their community.

        So we identify with the authorized untruth of authorized power. The American oligarchy owns the corporations that own the media, and they are financed by other corporations and businesses. This ideologically is Proclaimed to be the Free Press of a Democratic society, where the American people rule themselves It is an ideological fraud from beginning to end. The American people are deluded from childhood so we can later be swindled by power when we are adults.

        But it is ideologically illegitimate to say so in the mainstream or learned media in a Simple way. The very style or method of telling the learned or popular truth ideologically represses the perspective formulate from a people’s perspective rather than a power perspective. So all Americans know is the power perspective and that is one that Americans identify with, because they are not presented with an alternative. It has deranged our consciousness, so we identify with the violent racist imperialism of the American state power system.

        1. Yep! When you add “willful ignorance” to that mix, it isn’t likely to produce pearls.

          The distinction, however, is that the MSM isn’t doing what they’re doing to cater to the unwashed. They are doing what they’re doing because it is their job. Their job is to sell government-produced B.S..

          If there were no sponsors, audience or interest, they’d still be there hawking the B.S. until their employers let them go.

      3. I’ve found in my own study inescapable facts: all Wars are first and foremost, ideological. They are always against DISSENT(that’s your 1st Amendment), and your ability to resist imposition of their “Big Idea(2nd Amendment)”. Independent thought and self/common defense can’t be tolerated by psychopaths & control-freaks who love predictability(Feudalism) & Economic/Cultural Domination(Poverty).

  5. Toni, who is highly intelligent, has argued against cultural Marxism. She has done so in the usual way, by setting up straw men that no one advocates, and demolishing them. I shall consider three of her points.

    “It believes all human behavior is the result of culture, and is therefore malleable. Gender has no biological reality….”

    That’s ridiculous, of course biological reality is inherited by people. But it is intermixed with cultural reality, and the two are conflated. This is the kind of truthdreck that the media repeats over and over to the American people, to stigmatize the reality-based truth.

    Culturalists favor equality and will use the government to get it.

    True. But what we favor is POWER EQUALITY, to the extent possible, to eliminate the enslavement and exploitation of people by ruling power. It is POWER that is central to cultural concerns, not FREEDOM. Most people don’t want to be free, they just want to continue to do what they have been doing. As the song says:

    “Freedom, O Freedom. that’s just some people talkin.”

    If people have cultural power, they can attain their own freedom, if they wish it. Most don’t. This must be distributed through the cultural institutions, including government.

    But Americans have been taught to oppose government, rather than the oligarchy that has bought the government, because government is the chief danger to the rich and powerful, the ruling gang, and have used the media and truth institutions to defame it in the consciousness of Americans

    The obvious solution of taking power away from the banksters and financial oligarchy is nationalizing the banks, as Ellen Brown has been advocating for years. This can be done at the state and local level, but done by GOVERNMENT controlled by the people.

    It is not Whites that are racist, it is the anti-racists attacking Whites.

    This is the kind of preposterous bullshit engrained in the American people. I am using the American concept of ‘bullshit’ here in a philosophical sense, guided by the learned droppings of professor H. G. Frankfort in his trenchant philosophical treatise ON BULLSHIT. As American White power imprisons millions of non-Whites along with Whites, as White cops shoot unarmed non-Whites routinely, as the American military kills hundreds of thousands of dark-skinned Muslims, primitive American bigots yell that attacking White racism is “race-baiting.”

    The historical fact is that the US polity was founded on geo-racist violence, covered up as much as possible in the truth institutions, and the War on Terrorism is largely motivated by it. Racist oppression historically has been much more brutal than class oppression, which is why marxist class analysis must be generalized to include racial struggle. And economic socialism expanded to include international culturalism, as the nationalism of capitalism slides down the razorblade of history.

      1. folktruther, I thought you were just looking for a fight when I saw this published today. But since you actually answered my earlier post, I will respond.

      1. No, Toni, it’s gone. This has been happening more and more lately, most likely occurring in all the oppositional blogs. I think it inevitable as US-America descends further into despotism. Economic exploitation can only be maintained by political brutality, and both can only be legitimated by ideological repression and untruth. Exploitation, brutality, and untruth, the Trinity of Terrorwar America. But the greatest of these is untruth.

        1. I’ve never lost a comment that way, though most times I write in a word processor and then paste it in the MHB comment box. Just remember that any formatting you do will not hold after posting, even if it looks like it will in the comment box.

  6. At the end of these comments, Dublinmick provides a wonderful quote by a journalist from over a century ago about the independence and honesty of the Free Press. In a wider context, which includes the learned tradition, Alexis de Tocqueville also comments, from nearly two centuries ago, in1835. He came over from France to help make Democracy safe for aristocracy, and wrote a famous two volume work DEMOCACY IN AMERICA. He says of America:

    “I know of no country in which there is as little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as America. The majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them.”

    It is this historical restriction on truth, referred to in Orwellian ideological discourse as Freedom of Expression, that has shaped, limited, and deluded the consciousness of the American people.

  7. The quote by Dublinmick of the journalist John Swinton in 1880 bears directly on the ideological derangement of the American people. Here’s a quote from a column of George Orwell in 1946:

     "...we shall get nowhere unless we start by recognizing that political behaviour is largely non-rational, that the world is suffering from some kind of mental disease which must be diagnosed before it is cured.  ...The desire for pure power seems to be much more dominant than the desire for wealth."

    The ideological disease is caused by the power delusions conveyed by the truth institutions of power, the corporate media or Free Press; the schools, universities, and other learned bureaucracies; the churches; the Entertainment venues; political and social science; and other truth organs. We are miseducated, misinformed, and misentertained from childhood to identify with power against the people ruled by power: against ourselves

    We are systematically miseducated by the schools as children to learn the ideological misconceptions that enable the mass media to systematically misinform us as adults. That is why we tend to identify with our own oppression, and with the oppression of other people.

    American power systematically deranges the consciousness of the American people to make us easier to rule. So, in crucial ways, we are ideologically insane.

    1. John Taylor Gatto’s seminal work, Underground History of American Education speaks directly to what you’ve pointed out regarding Mass Indoctrination(which as Gatto points out was precisely the intention of “Schooling”). Some states in The US literally were forced under threat of State violence, even Military assault, to give up their children to the State(directly correlates with why Truancy Police exist). This mindset is where you get your Bellamy Brothers and their “Military National Socialism”, as well as The US Pledge of Allegiance. What a joke. What we in America call “History” is in fact Spin.

  8. the Orwell quote, which was chopped off, goes:

    “…we shall get nowhere unless we stare by recognizing that political behaviour is largely non-rational, they the world is suffering from some kind of mental disease which must be diagnosed before it is cured…. The desire of pure power seems to be much more dominant than the desire for wealth.”

    My (revolutionary) contention is that this ideological derangement is the consequence of our being conditioned and indoctrinated to identify with power rather than the people ruled by power, the vast majority.

  9. Congratulations, it is quite an achievement to of penned a blog worthy of a professional study depicting the current state of the propaganda machine.

    It seems we have factions competing with each other on who can make the most ridiculous stories fly lately. The homemade clock in a suitcase that looked like a bomb and got the brilliant teenager suspended was a big dud, but he did get a trip to big dc!

    Think we should have a vote on the most unbelievable stories of the week. The Professor has linked us to this government worker Mr Friend! fired for his unfreedom of speech.

    1. Pedanticskirt, did you read the comments at the San Diego Union Tribune? Nearly uniform in defending John Friend’s right to keep his job.

      A few commenters thought employment at a municipal job should definitely be subject to a person’s beliefs; even fewer goofed on him for working as a loser “secretary” in a clerical job anyway, and one confused person thought others were saying that the Poway, CA City Council was full of Jews who got Friend fired, to which she scoffed, there’s no Jews in Poway!

      All in all, an encouraging and amusing survey.

      I hope John Friend finds another revenue stream soon.

      1. I’m surprised that you support American Nazis like John Friend, Toni. He believes in the Founding Fathers and Christian patriots like Hitler and Goebbels. Is that the kind of Freedom that you believe in?

        1. I believe in the right of a person to hold that opinion and express it, and would not want to see anyone lose their livelihood because of it.

          Do you think John Friend should have lost his job?

        2. fascists use the democratic rights of liberal democracies to create a fascist state to kill, torture, and brutalize those who oppose them democratically. This is what was done in Germany and Italy, and is now being done in Ukraine. It is also being done in the USA in the White power movement.

          I think he not only should have lost his job, he should be legally put on trial for materially supporting a fascist state, and if convicted, imprisoned.
          Just as someone should be if he materially expressed the aim of killing a bunch of people in order to start a race war.

  10. The Western tradition is reaching its historical end, and a new truth tradition is currently being formed. In the 21st century it will transform our political culture and ideological consciousness. A good introduction to this change is an article by the great Michael Hudson posted on Counterpunch, an slice from his last book KILLING THE HOST.

    Hudson was a few years behind me at the U of Chicago, not interested in economics at the time. We corresponded when we were opposing the creation of a building devoted to Milton Freedman, along with other faculty, but I forget what he was said he was interested in at the time. But in general he is a cultural economist, including the economy of the ancient temples of Mesopotamia and even earlier. He is a very smart man, but he writes simply, given the subject matter.

    He has created an alternative to conventional marxism that, in my opinion, will help change the world. Revolutionary theory is a little different from conventional theory, but I think some of the commenters here can understand it. You’ll never get a simpler introduction.

    1. Can’t find the Michael Hudson article to which you refer. Nor any mention of Revolutionary Theory an alternative to conventional marxism.

  11. Toni, Ray, and Rico (and James) have established a connection between Carroll Quigley’s secret Round Table group and:

    the American media
    the CIA

    Rico established a connection between Stead of the Group and Hearst, and Toni elaborated it and connected the secret media group established by Wilson during ww 1 to the later CIA. It was formed through ww 2’s OSS.

    I looked through Quigley’s TRAGEDY AND HOPE, published in 1966, and he does not mention the CIA. This after the Cuba invasion of 1961. There is no entry for it in the index. I find that provocative, like Sherlock Holmes’ dog that didn’t bark in the night. Given the depth of his history, he certainly was aware of the use of intelligence agencies, but he most likely thought it was demeaning the American power system in the midst of its struggle of the Cold War.

    The connection between the CIA and what became the American oligarchy during the War on Terror explains a lot, especially the degeneration of the American media into flat out propaganda outlets. It also explains how it got to be so powerful, and is not merely a tool of the president, but has its own policy.

  12. 9/11-anthrax must have occurred partially as a result of a power shift in the oligarchy. According to Gore Vidal, channeling the sociologist Domhoff, “An uneasy alliance of Jewish bankers and Texas oilmen has financed most of the Democratic party.” The oligarchy, according to Domhoff, being 80% to 90% Republican. (Domhoff was on the thesis committee of Peter Phillips, long time head of PROJECT CENSORED.)

    The increase in power of the Zionists, oilmen, and Mafia (whose power is exaggerated in the comic novels of Richard Condon) must have overwhelmed the more discreet policies of Rockefeller, etc. Zionism and oil covered most of the signers of CNAP. They are currently transforming the American power system through their money, CIA, and the media, installing Freedom fascism.

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