Lies, Damned Lies!

‘Truth is the first casualty of war’ – so the old saying goes.

All Americans, regardless of political leaning, should be very concerned about the mainstream media’s disregard for honest reporting.  It’s not merely dishonest, it’s dangerous.

I’ve written before about the corporate media’s blatant contempt for honest reporting.

I can’t count how many articles I’ve read asking the question “How did the Nazis get so many Germans to go along with them?”  The oversimplified answer is brute force and propaganda.

Nazi state-run media broadcast nothing but propaganda.  The real agenda of the party was not revealed, there was no reporting of death camps.  The people were fed the lie that Germany had been “stabbed in the back” and this was why they lost the first world war.  Nonsense, of course, they lost fair and square.

There were no dissenting voices to question the wisdom of a military build-up, attacking Poland, the Soviet Union, or France.  News of setbacks or failures was suppressed. 

Ryan at Living With Liberty Podcast did a show recently on the parallels between the run-up to the Civil War and today.  As an amateur Civil War history buff, I found the show very interesting.  One aspect Ryan pointed out was the censorship in the south of newspapers that were anti-slavery, which is something I hadn’t read much on previously.

The soldiers that fought and died on both sides were told they were fighting “to preserve the Union” or to “preserve our way of life” (depending on the side).  They weren’t told about power struggles in D.C., the disproportionate representation the south had because of the 3/5th clause, or northern politicians’ desire to reduce southern power.

In 1836 The House of Representatives adopted a “gag” rule – effectively eliminating discussion of slavery.  It was in effect for the better part of a decade.  Talk about censorship!  It is the very job of congress to debate such important issues.  This not only failed to prevent war, it did the opposite.

Was the Civil War avoidable?  I rather doubt it.  But if there was an avenue to avoid it, that avenue was almost destroyed by propaganda and censorship in the pursuit of political power.  Was the north somewhat less guilty?  Yes.  Did the north hold the moral high ground?  Yes, certainly.  But both sides made use of propaganda to try to achieve their ends.  Newspapers took sides, churches took sides.

The point, in all cases, is to avoid talking honestly about the real issues, or the real agenda.

I believe most people have a good sense of right and wrong.  That sense comes from multiple sources such as religious faith, upbringing, education, philosophy, and history.  It should have been easy to convince southerners that slavery was wrong and it should have been easy to convince Germans that the Nazis were evil.  It might have been if people were told the truth.

The dangers of propaganda are that some will believe the lies, and no one hears the truth.  Our mainstream press is actively charging down this path and has been for years.  Wars have started this way.


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