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Free Speech: Myth vs Reality

RiazHaq

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http://www.riazhaq.com/2018/05/free-speech-myth-vs-reality.html

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recently acknowledged the practice of hiring journalists vetted by MI5, the UK intelligence agency, to keep out the "subversives".

The CIA is believed to have driven American investigative reporter Gary Webb to suicide after he exposed the agency's use of drug deals to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

American researcher Joseph Overton has described a spectrum from "more free" to "less free", known as the Overton Window, with regard to the US government intervention in the media.

Here's how American philosopher Noam Chomsky has explained the US establishment's media management strategy: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."

It seems that "free speech" in the West is really not so free.



Courtesy David Icke
MI5 Vetting of BBC Staff:

The BBC recently acknowledged its long relationship with the British security establishment that started in 1933. When questions were asked about it, the BBC policy was to "keep head down and stonewall all questions".

Vetting by the MI5 applied to all new BBC staff except "personnel such as charwomen". Since the start of the policy, journalists were always subject to vetting, but a "review in 1983 resulted in about 2,000 posts being removed from the list - including some junior editorial jobs - bringing the total number down to 3,705".

When asked whether any staff are vetted these days, a BBC spokesperson responded:"We do not comment on security issue".

CIA and Media:

In the course of investigating US CIA's support of Contra rebels in Nicaragua, American journalist Gary Webb discovered a drug connection. He found that the CIA was trafficking drugs sold in poor African American neighborhoods to fund Contra rebels war against Nicaragua's Sandinista government in 1980s. Webb published his findings in a 3-part report "The Dark Alliance" carried by his employer San Jose Mercury News.

Webb's report provoked outrage among African Americans for the harm it did by promoting drug addiction in their poor neighborhoods. It became a public relations nightmare for the CIA.

The CIA responded to the crisis by using what Nicholas Dujmovic, a CIA Directorate of Intelligence staffer described as “a ground base of already productive relations with journalists.” The CIA top brass was overjoyed to see the nation's largest newspapers destroy the reputation of Gary Webb that eventually led to his suicide.

Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein, famous for his reporting on Watergate along with Bob Woodward, investigated CIA's use of the American media and wrote a piece describing "How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up". Here's what he said:

"Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were William Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Henry Luce of Time Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the Louisville Courier‑Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), the Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune".

Overton Window:

American researcher Joseph P. Overton said that ideas may range a spectrum from "more free" to "less free" with regard to government intervention. The mainstream media, particularly commercial media, tend to limit the public discourse within the range they define as permissible at any given time. This is done by designing editorial policies.

The Overton window is not static. It is guided by what is seen as vital national interest by the US national security establishment as we saw during the Cold War and subsequently in the "war on terror".

Social Media:

Social media have created new media management challenges for the western security establishment as we saw with Brexit and Trump victory in 2016. It's created an outrage that is likely to result in new social media regulations unless the likes of Facebook and Twitter agree to self-censorship.

There's so much pressure on major social media platforms that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was forced to acknowledge regulation as "inevitable".

"The internet is growing in importance around the world in people's lives and I think that it is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation," said Zuckerberg to a US Congress committee at a recent hearing.

The western security establishment will now make sure that the new social media platforms are tamed to stay within the "Overton Window" just like the legacy electronic and print media.

Summary:

Recent BBC acknowledgement of its staff vetting by British secret service and revelations of CIA's role in American media management have confirmed what American academic Noam Chomsky has been saying for a while: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." There are now moves afoot to tame the new social media platform to stay within the "spectrum of acceptable opinion".

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Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

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http://www.riazhaq.com/2018/05/free-speech-myth-vs-reality.html
 

nang2

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There is no such a thing as complete free speech since nothing in this world is completely free. To what extent we want to make something free depends on how we weigh the cost and the benefit of each increment/decrement, which is different in different social settings.
 

Jaanbaz

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Free speech doesn't exist 100% anywhere, different cultures and countries have a way of either self-censoring or they are censored by the State.

How far does free speech goes? How do you tell the difference between free speech and hate speech? In Pakistan free speech is tolerated at a level, you can call for murder of Non-Muslims and heretics but you cannot question ISI. In Europe you can call all Muslims terrorists but cannot question Holocaust.
 

Hamartia Antidote

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There is no such a thing as complete free speech since nothing in this world is completely free. To what extent we want to make something free depends on how we weigh the cost and the benefit of each increment/decrement, which is different in different social settings.
Plus considering Noam Chomsky has been continuously yapping anti-government stuff publicly since the Vietnam War...I mean how could there be anymore proof of freedom of speech? He can't claim he's being silenced. The guy can't shut up. He's always being interviewed somewhere.
 

RiazHaq

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The New York Times casually acknowledged that it sends major scoops to the US government before publication, to make sure “national security officials” have “no concerns.”
By Ben Norton

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/06/24/new-york-times-media-us-government-approval/

Indeed, the Times report on the escalating American cyber attacks against Russia is attributed to “current and former [US] government officials.” The scoop in fact came from these apparatchiks, not from a leak or the dogged investigation of an intrepid reporter.

‘Real’ journalists get approval from ‘national security’ officials
The neoliberal self-declared “Resistance” jumped on Trump’s reckless accusation of treason (the Democratic Coalition, which boasts, “We help run #TheResistance,” responded by calling Trump “Putin’s puppet”). The rest of the corporate media went wild.

But what was entirely overlooked was the most revealing thing in the New York Times’ statement: The newspaper of record was essentially admitting that it has a symbiotic relationship with the US government.

In fact, some prominent American pundits have gone so far as to insist that this symbiotic relationship is precisely what makes someone a journalist.

In May, neoconservative Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen — a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush — declared that WikiLeaks publisher and political prisoner Julian Assange is “not a journalist”; rather, he is a “spy” who “deserves prison.” (Thiessen also once called Assange “the devil.”)

What was the Post columnist’s rationale for revoking Assange’s journalistic credentials?

Unlike “reputable news organizations, Assange did not give the U.S. government an opportunity to review the classified information WikiLeaks was planning to release so they could raise national security objections,” Thiessen wrote. “So responsible journalists have nothing to fear.”

In other words, this former US government speechwriter turned corporate media pundit insists that collaborating with the government, and censoring your reporting to protect so-called “national security,” is definitionally what makes you a journalist.

This is the express ideology of the American commentariat.

NY Times editors ‘quite willing to cooperate with the government’
The symbiotic relationship between the US corporate media and the government has been known for some time. American intelligence agencies play the press like a musical instrument, using it it to selectively leak information at opportune moments to push US soft power and advance Washington’s interests.

But rarely is this symbiotic relationship so casually and publicly acknowledged.

In 2018, former New York Times reporter James Risen published a 15,000-word article in The Intercept providing further insight into how this unspoken alliance operates.

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Risen detailed how his editors had been “quite willing to cooperate with the government.” In fact, a top CIA official even told Risen that his rule of thumb for approving a covert operation was, “How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?”

There is an “informal arrangement” between the state and the press, Risen explained, where US government officials “regularly engaged in quiet negotiations with the press to try to stop the publication of sensitive national security stories.”

“At the time, I usually went along with these negotiations,” the former New York Times reported said. He recalled an example of a story he was writing on Afghanistan just prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Then-CIA Director George Tenet called Risen personally and asked him to kill the story.
 

nahtanbob

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it is hard to feed the public serious stories on anything when they are busy tracking the Kardashians and Michael Jacksons
life in America is good. that is the real story
 

gambit

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Thers is a fine line between free speech and free lying and rumor mongering.
Wrong. There is no line.

The issue is character, as in character of the individual, of the society, and finally -- of the government.

Each is free to lie and (not or) to tell the truth. For the individual and the society, the next issue is how much government controls are there in speech and that is the essence of free speech. It is 'free' not because of any cost/benefit analyses but free from government controls.

Plus considering Noam Chomsky has been continuously yapping anti-government stuff publicly since the Vietnam War...I mean how could there be anymore proof of freedom of speech? He can't claim he's being silenced. The guy can't shut up. He's always being interviewed somewhere.
Chomsky is a hypocrite of the first degree. The guy used to work for the US military by way of MIT grants. He knew who his true employer were. He became literally a millionaire from his work.
 

khail007

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As there is nothing like 'free lunch' in this world and so is the 'free speech'. 'Free Speech' definition is in this world is same like 'terrorist' definition; both are highly differs and depends upon country to country interest.

its not exist but it whould be man one day . humans will be free
Khan Sahib ... IMO the super powers won't let it happen against their interests. Like animals, human kind will also subject to 'chipping' and it is on the rise. Take an example of smart phone and so called 'social media' apps; which are serving the same purpose to intelligence agencies as like 'chipping'. It is so addictive that you are monitored on your own will, no one else to be blamed.
You can't live in this world without being 'chipped' and you yourself pays for it and present yourself.
 

Itachi

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Thers is a fine line between free speech and free lying and rumor mongering.
That's what a dictatorship says. :D

Everything against the Dictatorship is a lie....and anything going with the grain the truth. :angel:

Chomsky is a hypocrite of the first degree. The guy used to work for the US military by way of MIT grants. He knew who his true employer were. He became literally a millionaire from his work.
Maybe he wanted to speak out then but couldn't? Would you like to be fired just cuz you don't agree with your employers?

Either way, he's doing a fine job as of now. :)
 

gambit

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Maybe he wanted to speak out then but couldn't? Would you like to be fired just cuz you don't agree with your employers?
You should do your research on Chomsky before you post. He was criticizing the Vietnam War while working for the Pentagon.

https://libcom.org/history/when-chomsky-worked-weapons-systems-pentagon-chris-knight
...I too was surprised when I discovered this part of his early career. But perhaps I shouldn’t have been. After all, although he has always been reluctant to discuss why the military were so interested in his linguistics, Chomsky has never hidden the fact that his university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was “about 90% Pentagon funded”. As he says of MIT in the 1960s: “I was in a military lab. If you take a look at my early publications, they all say something about Air Force, Navy, and so on, because I was in a military lab, the Research Lab for Electronics [RLE].”[3]
Yeah...Chomsky "couldn't" speak. :lol:

Either way, he's doing a fine job as of now. :)
Yeah...At continuing fooling people for what he claimed to be.
 

Menthol

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Because the world is in the era of post-tyrant (aka King and Emperor), that is why we valuing freedom so much.

But if we think deeper and wisely, we know that the right thing is balancing.

Its like parenting children.

Too much freedom lead into spoiled children, and somehow it's very dangerous.

Too much restriction, you destroyed the children mental and future.
 

Itachi

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You should do your research on Chomsky before you post. He was criticizing the Vietnam War while working for the Pentagon.
Even better, what's wrong with speaking against injustice while making some $$ out of the govt.?

Gotta eat, sleep and pay rent, right? :D
 

gambit

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Even better, what's wrong with speaking against injustice while making some $$ out of the govt.?
That was exactly Chomsky's attitude. No joke. But what 'injustice' was there? The guy was/is a communist. He was in a mutually beneficial transaction with the government and country that he hated. Whatever 'injustice' there was -- was imaginary. If you think it was about Viet Nam and the people, you are mistaken. The Vietnamese could not care less about Chomsky. To the communists, Chumpsky and his ilk are, in the words of Stalin -- useful idiots.
 

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