March 30, 2011

William Schaap

Self-censored in the psychological make-up

07/13'98 William Schaap and Louis Wolff with Harold Channing

@ 36 min – William) The words are astonishing.
The thing is that the government directly and indirectly through the establishment press had been spinning the news for centuries, I suppose. Probably forever. I mean to a certain extent the ancient governments tried to do the same thing. You know, I mean the victors carved the monuments and put their inscriptions on so it would say who was great. But it's become so pervasive now that the media ... an awful lot of it has become self-propelled, and through self-censorship more than anything else. I mean the CIA doesn't need – although they have them all over there – it doesn't need an actual employed case officer or agent inside the newsroom of every major publication around the world. Now I remind you it still has them in a lot of places but it doesn't need it as much now, because if it can manipulate the government thinking and that's relation to the corporate thinking, the publishers of the establishment press are gonna say what they want them to say. Now, they have the fallback, they have now got those computers that will take out the bad words, but they almost don't have to do that very much.

Without stopping to think what it means

The other thing is it shouldn't be that surprising. People in this country will use an expression like "the establishment press" or "the establishment media" without stopping to think what that means.
I mean if they said the Communist Press they know that means the press that takes the view of the Communist Party, if they said the Social-Democratic Press or the Christian Democrat Press and so on, and people in Europe know, because in Europe they're much more honest about it. You go to a news stand that has six papers and everybody knows: that's the Communist paper, that's the Christian Democrat paper, that's the Social Democrat paper, that's the whatever paper – you know that. But in this country you think they're all objective, except for the fact that there's the establishment press, which means there's a paper that represent, and promote, and push, and insist on the view of the establishment.

Harold) Well, I think what they say is the establishment is a very big umbrella, a very big tent, and there is all kinds of thought and belief and so forth that fits under this big umbrella of democracy and so forth and that there's room for all kinds of things.

William) It was the establishment that got rid of Nixon.

Louis) There is an institution right now, run out of the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), it's a sort of a new-fangled version of what Bill is talking about and it's called "World Net", where they have completely, I think, state-managed press conferences – they call it "press conferences" – where Madeleine Albright, for example, and other officials will sit in a studio and she will take questions from journalists in particular countries. And it's real, it's live, it happens live. The problem is that the people who are allowed to ask those questions are hand-picked, and they have to submit questions in writing before they come in to ask them. The whole thing is completely fraudulent. And yet this is part of the whole media manipulation that we conducted. It's only a small part, but it's pretty blatant.

Harold) We want to talk about media analysis and what they say to foreign reporters is something that the thing they're going to filter out are reporters who come in who simply are not informed. They do not understand the nuances of the language, they do not understand the nuances of the policy, they are not well enough informed and likely they just will ask naive questions, they just don't understand the realities. And they want people who really do understand so that they won't lose time with a lot of, you know, the riff-raff asking naive questions from alternative views, rather than it being some sort of a thing that is gonna seriously question the way the system works. They just don't want people who aren't informed. So they want those qualified people to be having internalized and actually learned the realities by the way in which this world works so we would get real news reporting out and not waste their time, you know, with popular ().

It's gnosis what they exclude (the Gnostic Media so to speak)

William) Well, that's what they say. I mean, now that you said it I'll probably take that down and use it next time. But we know perfectly well that what they do is exclude people who are gonna ask questions they don't want to be asked. And that has nothing to do with ... Harold, in fact, most of the people they're excluding are probably considerably more well informed than the people they include, because the people they include have simply be able to write. You don't have that much to know what kind of a question the official would like to get asked, but you do have to know something to know what kind of a question the official would not like to get asked.

Harold) And the people in the media world – and very often, it might be in a certain sense: if you sit down at a dinner – they will have just self-censored in a certain sense or internalized those values in their psychological make-up. They are not doing it perhaps in a way that is nefarious in their own or, you know, some sort of a thing like, they just internalize those values and then they begin to recognize and get rewards etc.

William) Yeah, most of them, most of the major news people are not part of some monstrous overt conspiracy where they sit down and say, well, we're not gonna talk about that strike in that city because this big corporation doesn't really want that to be talked about. They sort of know in general that, you know, it is not the working people of the country that own their corporation, it's their bosses ... I mean sometimes it's more direct.
In this country, and particularly what is happening all around the world, almost all major media organizations are no longer independent companies, they are now small parts of giant conglomerates whose major business is no longer the news. Every major network and most major newspapers are owned by companies whose major industry is not that.
We all know GE [...] the TV station is a small part of it. Even the New York Times Company has more other other businesses than the newspaper. By far! They're one of the biggest paper manufacturing companies in the world and wood pulp and that kind of stuff, The Times itself is a small part of it. Every single major media operation is now being run by people who are business men with stockholders on the bottom line and not a company whose main business is news. So they will end up having people working for them who understand that. They will also have people working for them who realize that you do not bite the hand that feeds you. None of these major corporations ever – unless it happens by accident and then people: where the axe will fall – never runs stories exposing some other branch of that multinational enterprise.