Dr. Woody'z Maxim of Mass Comm, #1: It is NOT necessary to exert influence to overtly constrain what the People think if you can quietly influence what they think ABOUT and the language or vocabularies they use to frame their thoughts.
Counterpunch has a story up about the discomfiture of the "Press" under the scrutiny of Prez. Shamwow F. LowBar's unprecedented whistle-blower investigations, and the fact that, apparently, the people are pretty blase about it all.
This leads me to more salient matters. While my local press corps was babbling about some ancient history-Michael Jackson-related minutia bullshit, another media storm was brewing. Apparently the Associated Press and Fox News recently found themselves on the business end of the Obama Administration’s hostility toward journalists. The AP learned the Justice Department searched troves of their phone records. Meantime, Fox News’ James Rosen had his personal email account scoured by the DOJ and he’s being called an “aider and abettor” and “co-conspirator” in a criminal case regarding classified document leaks.Oh, the twisting of pearls is nearly audible.
Woody'd say that the discrediting of the Press--it's reduction from a constitutionally protected source of civil/civic power and trasnsformation into a medium of trivia, titillation, and distraction--is not an accident.
The "Press," along with ALL the popular institutions which once vouchsafed the sovereignty of the PEOPLE, have been under relentless, endless, ferocious attack by the Grasping Oligarchs and Plutocrats since 1971, at least. See, e.g., the Powell memorandum, in which (soon-to-be) Associate SCROTUS Justice Lewis Powell laid out the plan by which the CorpoRats could usurp "popular" sentiment and secure endless corpoRat hegemony (Note: It worked.)
The press has been reduced to its current state of limitless meretriciousness by the industry-wide program of CorpoRat consolidation under the guise of which nearly 95% of ALL domestic "media" have been captured by five (or possibly six, depending) gigantic corporate entities which always exert subtle (and sometimes direct) control over what counts as "news" and over what shall be recognized and discussed in Public Discourse. You don't have to control peoples' thoughts if you can control what they think about and the vocabulary in which they frame their thoughts.
There's no use complaining. The deed's done. The sales are complete, and the people who still contribute to the enterprizes are resigned to their fates.
Paraphrasing Upton Sinclair, under similar circumstances, almost 100 years ago:
"It is hard to get a man to see what his paycheck depends on his ignoring."