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On the afternoon of March 27, as Wall Street, despite its ``circuit breakers'' being put into effect, appeared in free fall, there were reports of the beginning of panic selling, of the type that could produce an even greater disaster.
The Anglo-American establishment now brought into play a propaganda machine that would have aroused the envy of Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels. It had completely censored LaRouche's forecast and warnings, playing up instead the myth of the ``great bull market.'' Now, as that market collapsed, it pumped out through its various media sewers the ``Big Lie'' that the markets were undergoing an expected and prediscounted correction, caused in part by a long-expected Federal Reserve hike in interest rates; the economy was ``fundamentally sound,'' and there was no reason to dump stocks, bonds and other paper. That such reporting was known to be a lie by those orchestrating it, can be seen from reports in the London press over the last month, that indicated the probable near-term meltdown of the financial system.
Americans, whose life savings were heavily invested in the markets through pension funds, mutual funds, and other indexed ``investments,'' were now presented with a lie, intended to reinforce their support for a possible later rescue attempt of the already-collapsing system, while keeping them ``in'' the market.
Each of the three leading television networks, on their widely-watched evening news shows, had several minute reports on the market events, featuring commentators spouting the ``don't panic'' line; so did public television's ``The News Hour,'' as did the various cable news channels, followed by the local television outlets, on their evening news broadcasts. This was followed up by near-uniform reporting of the events, cast in the above editorial light, in the print media, often quoting the same ``experts'' seen blabbering on television; these reports filtered down through the media sewer lines to even small ``Hometown, USA'' press, radio, and television outlets through the wire services, such as Associated Press and Reuters.
When the markets opened after Easter weekend, stocks continued their downward slide. But, poll results showed that the average citizen had decided to stay in the markets--at least for the time being. The ``Big Lie'' machine had done its job.
Nor should one pay too much attention to the various internecine squabbles among the media moguls, such as the ongoing battle between Time-Warner-Turner's Ted Turner and News Corporation-FOX-TV's Rupert Murdoch. Such a battle might mean billions for one or the other combattant, depending on the outcome, but that outcome will leave the overall cartel-control of media, intact.
There is a dawning recognition in some quarters that information is being managed. For example, early this year, the White House released a study it had done in 1995 of what it accurately called the ``media food chain'' that was circulating scurrilous attacks on President Clinton. While correctly pointing to the British origin of some of the key attacks, and then describing how they were circulated through such ``conservative'' or ``right wing'' media outlets, including the Washington Times and the American Spectator, it avoided dealing with the insidious role of such ``liberal'' papers as the Washington Post and New York Times in the same operation.
Similarly, it is common to hear conservatives rail against the ills of the ``liberal'' media, while avoiding the role of the ``conservative'' media in circulating and promoting treasonous causes.
As the EIR report demonstrates, the labels ``liberal media'' or ``right-wing media'' are too imprecise, and are often used to inflame the passions of those at whom they are directed. In that way, such labels help to conceal the true nature of the problem: The ``left'' or ``liberal'' media, and its ``right'' or ``conservative'' counterparts, are all part of a single media brainwashing operation, whose elements are tailored to give the appearance of difference, for the purpose of snaring in their traps, the largest number of our duped citizens.
But even those citizens who complain about ``media manipulation,'' continue to consume media output in record amounts. It is not uncommon for a person to subscribe to several newspapers and magazines, including some from the so-called ``alternative media,'' as well as nearly one hundred cable channels. The 1995 Statistical Abstract of the United States, includes charts (pages 564 and 568), whose information we publish with this feature showing that the average American spends more than 1,600 hours a year, either watching television (network or cable), or reading newspapers and magazines. That translates to 66 full days--or more than one quarter of all waking hours--more time than is even spent on the job. And, these figures do not include time spent watching rented videos, or in ``surfing'' on the Internet.
But instead of bringing us closer to the truth, this increased volume of manipulated information and ``facts'' produces a schwärmerei. There is no real knowledge here, only confusion. Ultimately, that confusion leads towards increasing passivity, and with it, the destruction of the will to seek truth.
Some years ago, an audio tape manufacturer ran a clever advertizing campaign, comparing the quality of a performance recorded on its tape and the live perfomance. ``Is it live, or is it Memorex?'' the announcer asked, making the point that there appeared to be no difference. However, in the reporting of current history there is a very big difference between reality, between events located in their proper historical context, and in the ``virtual reality'' created by the reportage of ``the news'' by the media cartel.
Reflect for a moment on the question of the existence of the economic collapse. Why did a majority of our citizens apparently choose to ignore reality, and to accept the ``virtual reality'' that the crisis could be managed? As those who run the ``Big Lie Machine'' understand, people would rather cling to assumptions that are comforting, even if false, than to discard such assumptions and venture into what is new and unknown. The ``virtual reality'' created by the media, tells citizens what they would prefer to hear -- even though their preference for unreality will ultimately lead to the destruction of our nation.
Thus, when dealing with the media cartel, one should rephrase the ``Memorex'' challenge: Is what is being reported real or is it ``virtual reality?'' To the extent that our citizens remain passive spectators to a self-serving ``virtual reality'' created by media cartel, the destruction of our nation is assured.
Below we present edited sections of the EIR report, ``The Media Cartel That Controls What You Think,'' printed in its Jan. 17, 1997 issue.
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EIR Issue: Who Controls the Media?, $10.00.