Media: Reporting or propaganda?

We used to have something called newsmedia, which employed reporters, news anchors, editors…you know, professionals. There were newsmen and newswomen. News itself was reporting of contemporary events. Sometimes, commentators would try to interpret or explain events that preceded or led to what was being reported, in an attempt to educate. Think about the meaning of the words “reporting” and “journalism.” Both describe the activity of conveying facts or descriptions. When did such journalism die?

I was in Quan Loi, Vietnam, in 1970, during one of the biggest and most newsworthy stories of the day, the Cambodian Incursion, which was the first time US and South Vietnamese forces overtly invaded a country that bordered Vietnam. Why did we do that? Previously, Vietcong and NVA could operate supply lines outside of Vietnam with impunity, and could attack our bases near the Cambodian border before retreating back to Cambodia for safety. The Cambodian Incursion was our attacking those enemy supply lines and bases just over the border. I was assigned to the 15th Medical Battalion at the time. We were preparing for massive casualties, including children, because we knew that a favorite tactic of the Vietcong was to drive families into artillery zones, because to them, people were simply fodder for either propaganda or terrorism. The VC knew we would soften up the landing zones with artillery and bombs, so they raided villages and drove many families into those zones at gun point.

There were reporters from the TV networks, National magazines like Time and Newsweek, newspapers like The NY Times all over our base at Quan Loi, like vultures circling a carcass. When the helicopters started returning from the battlefield with the wounded, the first casualties were civilians and enemy soldiers. As I lifted a child into my arms and was about run into the surgery bunker with her, some reporter stuck his microphone in my face, while his cameraman was filming. I turned to him and held out the little girl and said, “this is what our enemy wants Americans back home to see; but remember, this little girl was put in harm’s way deliberately by a ruthless enemy.” That footage never made it to TV. The reporting was all about how our bombs and shelling were killing defenseless civilians, without any mention of the VC driving them into the killing zones. That was my first lesson in media substituting propaganda for reporting. They’ve done nothing but go downhill ever since.

I just had a discussion with 25 year old daughter about the media and Trump. She thinks he’s really dumb and thoughtless for taking them on. She’s never experienced true reporting. All her generation knows is media propaganda…without even knowing it’s propaganda. I pointed out that most of Trump’s supporters know that the media is an enemy of truth, and of our country. I told her that he’s provoking them deliberately to get them to show who they really are. Who they are? Can you trust the “news” media to tell the truth anymore?

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE: According to the data at Mass Shooting Tracker, widely utilized by the media, as of this writing, in 2019, of the 72 mass shooters, perpetrators in shootings that killed or wounded 4 or more people, whose race is known, 21 were white, 37 were black, 8 were Latino, and 6 were members of other groups. 51% of mass shooters in 2019 were black, 29% were white, and 11% were Latino. Three mass shooters were Asian, two were American Indian and one was Arab. There were 297 “mass shootings” (4 or more victims) so far in 2019, and in 72 the race and identity of the shooter is known. So 225 mass shootings that took place in 2019 thus far remain unsolved, but most took place in black areas and claimed black victims. It’s highly probable the shooters were the same race as the victims. If you get your information from the dominant media, you’d be under the impression that most mass shootings are by “white nationalists or supremacists. The truth is very different.

The facts are, whites constitute 61% of the country’s population, followed by Hispanics at 17.8% and blacks at 12.7%. As with all violent crime, most mass shootings are committed by young men. But whether we adjust for age and gender or not, white people are underrepresented among mass shooters. So are Hispanics. Blacks, however, are highly over-represented. Stephan Plainview writes at VDARE: “Brazil has a murder rate comparable to the United States. After Brazil implemented harsh restrictions on gun ownership, their murder rate involving firearms went up and over half of the weapons used were illegally owned.” Maybe the opposite would happen here, but I can prove there is no correlation between legal gun ownership and shootings. “More gun control” is the mantra of the unthinking, for the unthinking.

Yes, white extremism is on the rise and should be countered, just as any other form of extremism should be. And yes, there are certainly horrifying instances of extremist violence motivated by white supremacy. The Tree of Life Synagogue shooter, the Charleston church shooter, and the El Paso Walmart shooter are three prominent examples. However, in the grand scheme of things, these horrific actions represent a tiny fraction of crimes in America, yet seem to get 90 percent of the media coverage. Why is that?

More importantly, what’s the best explanation for the apparent predilection in this country towards homicide by firearms? We might consider the development of our present day climate as an extension of our previous “frontier” society, as portrayed in Westerns, or we might use the Gini Coefficient to how disparities in wealth bring out the worst in people who might otherwise be law abiding. Gun crimes do not occur randomly, nor are they related to gun ownership, and the vast majority involve black victims, and occur in predominantly black neighborhoods. Since the majority of those crimes are unsolved, we have to guess at the race, gender and socioeconomic status of the majority of the perpetrators. Few would argue that most of those offenders are male and poorer than average. While the majority of the perpetrators are not known, what is known is where the majority of gun crimes occur and who the majority of the victims are. How much of a leap of logic is required for the conclusion that most of the perpetrators are the same race as the victims and live in the same neighborhoods? None dare go further.