May 29 – The proliferation of hawkish propaganda disseminated through the bourgeois media aiming to instill the public on a war-footing towards hostile military action against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has once again demonstrated the subordination of honest, quality journalism to bourgeois jingoist ideology and capitalist ambitions. The latest inflammatory coverage of events the DPRK has been especially concentrated through the 24-hour cable news outlets, such as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc.
These so-called “news” organizations have the [dis]honor of serving as the privately-owned spokespersons for the White House and the interests of the ruling class. In reference to the generally bad journalism that takes place on American broadcast news stations – quality information is substituted wholesale for cheap mass-reproduction of government talking points, progressively infused “infotainment” and yellow journalism in its most disgusting form.
Mainstream network television news has traditionally been one of the most popular forms of information dissemination in the United States. But statistics show a downward trend in viewers attributed to the rise and success of the 24-hour cable news channel (CNN, Fox News), which can rapidly respond in a moment’s notice to the modern daily news cycle. If you recall immediately during and after the events of September 11, 2001 – American television news viewers were glued to the screens of their television, and channels like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC reported their highest audience ratings to date.
This phenomenon continued during the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq. The owners, CEOs and boards of directors responsible for the programming, editorial decision-making and directorship of these channels certainly understood that conflict, war and crisis spells exponentially increased viewers – in turn fueling increased advertisement sponsorship in a never-ending quest for the accumulation of higher profits.
Like any commercial institution in bourgeois society, news organizations don’t provide a service or product for its own (or the public’s) sake; there is always a profit motive working behind the scenes that enables that particular organization or industry to sustain itself and grow. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC – unlike their network counterparts such as ABC, CBS and NBC – have huge vested interests in relying on dramatic news to generate increased audiences in hopes of accumulating higher profits. When profits are the primary focus of an organization’s mere existence, then it goes without question that other elements of the operation (integrity) take lesser precedence. Unlike CBS or the other networks, the cable news channels don’t rely on explicitly entertainment content, such as sitcoms, reality TV shows, etc. And while concentration of the news-media industry has left a monopoly of control over the means of mass communication, in order for these outlets to prove profitable extensions of their parent companies, they require dramatic events that captivate an audience in order to push back on potential advertisers for higher ad rates.
Thus, the profit motive is playing an undeniably crucial role in the drumming for military aggression towards, and the defamation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The privately-owned 24-7 cable news media wants nothing more than for the US and its lackeys in “south” Korea and Japan to initiate war against the peace-loving nation of the DPRK. From the rationale of capitalism, it makes perfect sense.
The drumming up for war against the DPRK has always had its boisterous support among the bourgeois news-media, overly dramatizing events on the Korean peninsula that have an innate ability to increase anxiety and tension in audiences. In short, the build-up to war is an essential part of the psychological manipulation that’s consistently seen in advertising. In short, this is nothing more than attempt to manipulate public thought in anticipation of mobilization and escalation to armed conflict. If, or when, the imperialists take their threats to action, the need for information consumption by the public will then be satiated by the producer all-too happy and willing to satiate.
What’s most disgusting though, is that so-called “progressives” champion these calls by employing the same outlandish rhetoric against the DPRK. Take, for example, the recent editorial by the ©PUSA, which condemned the DPRK in language nearly identical to that used by the official White House mouthpiece Robert Gibbs. These pitiful and pathetic examples of so-called lefists are worse than their chicken hawk counterparts, who at least have the virtue of being explicit in their reactionary beliefs and opinions.