A Freely Censored Press

We don’t need a censorship of the press. We have a censorship by the press. G. K. Chesterton, 1908

So, as you can see, it has been going on a rather long time – meaning, this process whereby what is happening isn’t actually revealed in a timely manner by the press.

I was thinking about this the other day when I came across something I hadn’t thought of before – I was looking a bit into World War Two’s “Battle of the Atlantic“; the war-long conflict where the Germans were trying to strangle Britain via sinking merchant ships. I think anyone with a cursory knowledge of World War Two is aware of the phrase “loose lips sink ships”. This was a propaganda effort ostensibly to ensure that Americans on the home front didn’t discuss ships movements – lest the Germans get wind of them and thus massacre our poor merchant ships. It seemed to make sense; and it always did to me until I saw a comment which noted that this might have been more an effort to prevent the American people from discussing the fact that merchant ships were being massacred right off the coast of the United States. The Nazi submariners called this “the second happy time“. The first happy time for them was right after the Germans got control of France’s Atlantic ports, thus massively increasing the effectiveness of German U-Boats against British targets. But the second happy time was a real good time for the Germans – about 1/4 of all merchant ships sunk by U-Boats occurred during this 7 month period. It was really bad – and the response by the U.S. Navy and the American government was less than pathetic. To be sure, there were circumstances which could not be swiftly corrected (most notably the shortage of suitable Naval escort vessels for merchant convoys) but, still, it was just a terrible Naval defeat for the United States. One wonders: maybe “loose lips sinks ships” really reflected a concern that the Germans were learning of ships movements via careless talk but, then again, maybe it was just a means of suppressing news of what was happening? And, after all, it isn’t like the Germans during this time needed to get top secret information – all they had to do was lay off American harbors and wait for the targets to conveniently present themselves in succession (it really was that easy for them – hence, “happy time”…nothing a submariner likes better than easy targets). Now, just where was the vaunted free press of the United States? It was a rather sensational story, wasn’t it? Ships being destroyed in sight of America’s greatest cities. Heroic efforts to rescue people from the briny deep. Widows and orphans of the dead to be interviewed. Questions to be asked about why the Navy was so unprepared – and what steps they were taking to combat the crisis. But, from all appearances, the MSM of the day was going along with the official line.

I wrote a bit ago about the really terrible way World War Two was conducted on our side at the highest levels. Some really bone headed mistakes were made, and all through the war. To be sure, Admiral Kimmel and General Short were cashiered after Pearl Harbor, but not many officers of senior rank felt the heat (and Kimmel and Short both did have some valid extenuating circumstances – but as an old sailor, I still fault Kimmel – the Navy’s job is to be instantly ready for war; regardless of what else was going on, Kimmel should have had his ships in a state to immediately repel an attack from any quarter, 24/7). Let’s take a look at Eisenhower, for instance. In charge of Operation Torch, which was intended to get to Tunisia before the Axis powers could occupy it, he allowed his massively strong forces to be checked by a handful of Germans flown into Tunisia with nearly no heavy weapons. In charge of Overlord, he got his forces hung up in grinding, attrition warfare and when the enemy finally cracked, he failed to close the ring on them, allowing many to escape to fight another day. In charge of the drive towards Germany, he got to the gates of Germany at a time when there were, at most, the combat strength of 10 German divisions to cover hundreds of miles of front, and then paused just long enough for the Germans to scrape up troops to defend against attacks, thus extending the war by months and countless dead. After that, caught completely flat-footed by the Germans in the “Battle of the Bulge“. None of these mistakes, all of them costly in blood and treasure, resulted in a rebuke for Eisenhower – indeed, he was lauded as the great hero and got to be President of the United States for eight years. One wonders if we had in World War Two the sort of press we had during the Civil War just how long Eisenhower could have hung on in command (the Army of the Potomac had four commanders tossed out due to mistakes – but no mistakes they made were any worse than the mistakes made by Eisenhower…or a bunch of other senior commanders during World War Two). And that leads to the question: just how much censorship by the press have we been getting?

Conservatives tend to be aware of what is really going on with things like ISIS and what is at stake in Hillary’s private server – but isn’t that because we tend to read conservative media of various types? Are the full stories of these things – as well as many others – even being reported in any significant way to the average American who doesn’t consume conservative media? I doubt it highly – after all, it is just downright bizarre that more people aren’t demanding vigorous action against ISIS; they are doing very nasty things all the time, after all. Doubly bizarre that the Democrat front-runner may very well have committed a whole series of felonies and yet she remains the front-runner. It can only be explained, as far as I’m concerned, by most people being unaware of what is going on.

Do people – average, every day people who don’t seek out alternative news sources – know that Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion provider? Do they know that China is making a bid for Naval supremacy in the western Pacific? Do they know that Japan, India, Australia and South Korea are all building aircraft carriers of various capabilities because of the China threat, and the worry we won’t be there if a war breaks out? Do they know that Iran and Saudi Arabia are coming to military blows over Yemen? Do they know that the Egyptian government is battling Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in the Sinai? Do they know the United States has record natural gas production and our cheap energy means that with a bit of effort, manufacturing can come back to the United States? Do they know we can produce even more if the government will get out of the way? Probably not – none of these stories are any more helpful to the Ruling Class (of which the MSM is a member) than stories of tankers being blown to pieces off Long Island would have been in World War Two. And, so, they aren’t told in a way which would make people sit up and notice…which means repetitive reporting about it for several days in all the MSM outfits (it takes a while to drill a story into the public mind – an in-depth report on page A-28 of the New York Times won’t do it…it has to be on page one of the major dailies for several days while the talking heads on TV are mentioning it again and again and again…proof of this is if we polled how many Americans know who Kim Kardashian is against the number who can even identify Yemen on a map).

It is said that a free press is vital to a free society – and that is true. But what happens when the press refuses to be free? That is, when it refuses to confront people with what is really going on, preferring instead to just repeat what the bosses think the people should hear? Can a people be free when they can only choose between false alternatives presented to them by a press which is venal and in the hip pocket of those in charge?

I really don’t have a solution to this – among the freedoms the press enjoy is the freedom to sell itself entirely to one side in the political debate. If people wish to be puppets on a string, then it is their right to be such. But we do, I believe, need something of national reach which will tell the actual truth – tell what is really happening in our nation and in the world. How to get it escapes me – but I hope that someone out there with the resources will get on it.

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16 thoughts on “A Freely Censored Press

  1. Retired Spook August 30, 2015 / 1:19 pm

    Mark,

    Sadly I think what you desire will not come to pass until after whatever reset we’re about to go through. I don’t think the average American will wake up until his or her world is turned upside down and inside out. I’m not hoping that will happen, but I also don’t see how we avoid it.

    • M. Noonan August 30, 2015 / 10:37 pm

      Oddly enough, the Trump phenomena is indicating a real wake up…the more that man runs his mouth, the more popular he becomes and the larger his support grows. He’s no conservative. He’s not even Republican – but by playing “traitor to his class” and speaking his mind, he’s winning people over. Of course, he’s also collecting some hangers-on who are rather screwy, as well…eventually he’ll have to settle down and get serious and that might be the end of him…but, we’ll see.

  2. Deadman August 30, 2015 / 6:37 pm

    Adding to your just criticism of Eisenhower, FM Alanbrooke thought that Eisenhower (though an excellent administrator) lacked strategic vision and, in his diaries, complains of the same aspects you mentioned. Alanbrooke was Churchill’s first choice to command the invasion in 1944 but the US chiefs of staff asserted agressively that “the American public” would never support a British commander of US troops and Churchill reluctantly agreed with them. The largely uninformed “American public”, perhaps, might not have minded quite so much if Alanbrooke had been in overall command if it were also explained to them that he had much experience of the French conditions, he was experienced in battle, he was Britain’s leading general, he was largely responsible for saving much of the BEF in 1940, and also that it was surely equally valid to say that the British too might rather not have a foreign general in overall command of their troops. Public opinion against a British supreme commander was, in that case, not a real thing but an invented, hypothetical abstraction for the US military and political leaders to use extortionately.

    • M. Noonan August 30, 2015 / 10:35 pm

      Certainly couldn’t have done a worse job – and I’ve often wondered what would have happened if MacArthur had been supreme commander.

  3. tiredoflibbs August 31, 2015 / 5:44 am

    It can’t get any more pathetic than this….

    On Friday in New Orleans after a speech marking the 10th anniversary of Katrina, Obame was mingling with some of the “folks”. He talked to a woman.

    Obame: “What’s your name?”
    Woman: “Weezy”
    Obame: “oh, like Sanford & Son.”
    Woman: “No, like the Jeffersons.”
    Obame: “oh…. You are sure it is not Sanford & Son?”
    Weezy: “No, it is the Jeffersons.”
    Obame: “you are talking about…(singing) Well we’re moving on up…to the top……to a deluxe apartment in the sky….”

    Now Obame screws up the whole exchange from the start, argues with the woman about her name and the Praetorian Guard press reports: “president demonstrates his pipes”. No mention of his mistakes and argumentative attitude toward a woman about her nickname as they would have with any non-pRegressive.

  4. Cluster August 31, 2015 / 9:29 am

    I think the press has become reactionary to what is trending on twitter and social media. It’s stunning how low brow, superficial, and juvenile the left’s movements have become. Occupy wall street, black lives matter, and the war on women movements display a stunning lack of awareness and intelligence quite frankly, and the press laps it up. It’s all about ratings and appealing to the LIV.

    I also find it remarkable how regressive the progressive movement has become. Their old and tired political leaders advocate old, tired and failed political policies and the minions in the base consider this to be “enlightened”. It’s a very strange phenomena.

  5. Amazona August 31, 2015 / 9:51 am

    Speaking of the Complicit Agenda Media—–do you think Trump would be getting the poll numbers he is getting if he was getting the same media attention as, for example, Cruz? Or any of the others?

    We are being herded by the press, complicit with the rest of the Left, into acting as if Trump is the salvation of the Right. When will we learn? To put it bluntly, what the media want for us is not what is best for us, but is what is best for the Left.

    However, regarding Trump: Remember how Cruz, in particular, was constantly being described as “extreme”? (Note: “extreme” was the big buzzword for the Left in the last two elections, and we can watch for its rise again. Their polling seems to tell them that the squishies will pee down their legs in terror at the idea of anyone else being other than, well, squishy.) Anyway, the best thing about Trump that I can see is that after him, and the fawning over him by the CAM, no one else can really be called “extreme”.

    • Cluster August 31, 2015 / 10:20 am

      Good point. Trump is the Kardashian candidate. All celebrity, little substance, and that is what our media has become. Most of the Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC political pundits consider themselves to be celebrities now. Meghan Kelly is a good example, and like you, I have lost some respect for her over the last few months.

  6. Cluster September 1, 2015 / 9:20 am

    Paul Krugman yesterday:

    And in general the modern GOP is basically anti-rational analysis; it’s at war not just with the welfare state but with the Enlightenment.

    Very revealing statement. and very regressive. The “enlightenment” is the clerisy. A desire to return to the days when societies were comprised of the ruling class and the proletariat. And the unfettered illegal invasion currently supported by the “enlightened” democrats is an effort to create a larger underclass.

  7. Retired Spook September 1, 2015 / 10:27 am

    Sucks to be a lottery winner in Illinois.

    Winning the lottery is typically cause for jubilation. Not so for Danny Chasteen — who, instead of a big payoff, got an IOU from the fiscally strapped state of Illinois

    Chasteen and his girlfriend, Susan Rick, won $250,000 last month in the state lottery but could not claim the prize as legislators had not passed a state budget, according to reports.

    For lottery winnings exceeding $25,000, the state comptroller has to process the check, and, with the budget in limbo, those funds cannot be disbursed, the Chicago Tribune reported.

    “You know what’s funny? If we owed the state money, they’d come take it, and they don’t care whether we have a roof over our head,”

    • Cluster September 1, 2015 / 11:33 am

      And I remember the days when the lotteries first started and how the proceeds would resolve the education funding problems. Strange how that didn’t work out.

      • Retired Spook September 1, 2015 / 12:10 pm

        Well, the Left’s intentions were good//sarc.

      • M. Noonan September 2, 2015 / 12:50 am

        I’m starting to think that their intentions are non-existent…they just don’t want to ever be caught on the “wrong” side…their deep, visceral fear is that one some issue, some day, they might mistakenly say something which has been rejected by the high priests of liberalism.

      • Amazona September 1, 2015 / 7:01 pm

        Just look at all the people who voted for Obama a second time because he meant well, and he tried so hard…………….

  8. Retired Spook September 2, 2015 / 6:59 am

    I always get a chuckle from the financial headlines. Top five from MarketWatch this morning:

    Dow futures jump, as U.S. stocks look set for rebound

    Death cross’ patterns are spreading through stocks

    How to survive a market crash: the lessons from history

    Michael Ashbaugh: The dead-cat bounce has fizzled out

    Why gold now looks more risky than stocks

    • M. Noonan September 2, 2015 / 10:46 am

      The problem is that it is all fake – so pretty much anything you want to say about how stocks will do can be proved correct, at least in the short term. The one thing we all know is that the global Ruling Class fears an economic depression, especially one caused by a stock market crash. They fear it because they know they’ll catch the blame for it..and so they do everything they can to continually paper over the cracks.

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