Michael Morrissey's blog

The Logical Reconstruction of Reality: A Reply to Time

Time magazine, the flagship corporate-government mouthpiece, has always been good primarily for one thing--to let us know what Big Brother is thinking, and by the same token, to tell us what we should think. (If you have to ask who Big Brother is, see below.)

Before I reached the age of reason, at the age of 42 when I realized that the mainstream media had been lying for at least a quarter of a century, since the murder of JFK, Time and Newsweek were my teddy bears. Read them and before you know it, you're fast asleep in a world that is in control, no matter how bad it seems. The right people are doing the right things.

That was true, of course, only not in the way I thought. I was the one who was under control. Instead of shouting bloody murder from the rooftops, I was dutifully reading myself to sleep, taking my soma every week.

This latest attempt (Time, Sep. 3, 2006 ) to pacify the herd, to anesthetize us with the idea that "conspiracy theories" are defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from the big, bad, complex world, "empowering" us "to make sense of grand events" is striking, even for Time, in its illogic.

Far from "empowering," the notion that the government itself perpetrated 9/11 has the opposite effect on most people. Who wants to believe that our elected leaders are ruthless, mass-murdering demonic pigs? Fear of having to believe this, and subsequent denial of whatever evidence and arguments would lead to this belief, are by far the most common reactions. Lev Grossman, Big Brother's hack in this instance, knows this as well as anyone else with common sense, and the ploy here is to skirt the fear by making the denial easier. It's not the idea that our leaders are monsters that we have to deal with, he is telling us, but the idea that some people (actually, as he says, 36% of the population) need an idea like this to feel as if they are "participating in the great American tradition of self-reliance and nonconformist, antiauthoritarian dissent." A mature thinker, like Grossman himself, knows that "conspiracy theories are part of the process by which Americans deal with traumatic public events like Sept. 11, "an American form of national mourning," and that--here is the overriding wisdom--"the past, even the immediate past, is ultimately unknowable."

What the New Zogby Poll Tells Us about Propaganda, the Media, and Education

The second Zogby poll commissioned by 911truth.org, this one nationwide, allows a number of revealing conclusions, despite its failure to ask the crucial question of complicity that showed in the first (August 2004) poll that 49.3% of New York City dwellers, and 40.9% throughout the state, agreed that “some leaders in the U.S. government knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to take action.”

Nevertheless, the re-wording of the question about WTC 7 in the second poll and the inclusion of a question about media performance, as well as the addition of the category of “educational level” in the statistical breakdown, provide a useful illustration of the relationship between the mainstream press, education, and the propaganda function of both in America today on issues of political importance.

The propaganda function of “the news” is easily demonstrated. People were asked how they would rate “the US media’s performance regarding 9/11.” 42.8% thought the coverage was good or excellent.