Friday, July 18, 2008

Turn On The Boob Tube, I'm In The Mood To Obey

I’ve been skeptical of the mass media since my early twenties but not necessarily for all the right reasons. It was clear to me that there was an agenda but as far as I could tell the conspiracy went only as deep as a concerted effort to part you from your hard earned money. From the obvious efforts that come as the form of paid commercials to the more subtle messages that are woven into tv shows and movies, the underlying theme is always the same; happiness is attained through consumption, in whatever form.

That has been the message and ‘we the people’ have been successfully trained to be docile and obedient consumers. The evidence can be seen all around, from our waistlines to our wallets. The fact that we can be persuaded to consistently engage in behavior that is so obviously bad for us is just one small demonstration of the power of the media.

It’s understandable that the mass media would have this effect of turning us into consumerist droids. After all, who keeps them in business? Corporations. Advertising dollars. This makes perfect sense and is easy for me to wrap my head around.

But that was where it stopped with me. Other than the corporate agenda, I actually believed that we had a free and generally uncensored press. I believed that when I saw the news on television I was seeing a basically accurate and unbiased presentation of the facts.

I remember what it was like when 9/11 happened. Who doesn’t? I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing, and how I felt. I remember being glued to the television set every evening for the days and weeks that followed and believing what I was being told, every word of it.

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “9/11 Was An Inside Job”. I remember exactly who said it and the reaction that I had to that statement. Many people right now would have the same reaction I did to hearing such a statement. It was one of utter revulsion, anger, and disbelief. How could anybody say such a thing? I remember expressing my outrage when hearing this and asking myself what would motivate someone to make this kind of an allegation.

All of my conclusions about 9/11 at that time were based on my only source of information about the subject, the mainstream media. We all became scared in a way that many of us had never felt before and the world and this country changed more in that instant than it had in decades. I don’t have any figures but I’d guess that tv watching increased dramatically in the weeks and months following 9/11. I’ve never been one to spend much time in front of a television set but during that time I would watch religiously, anxiously.

An entire nation sat every night in rapt attention. We wanted answers and explanations, but more importantly, we wanted comfort and security. We wanted revenge. We wanted protection. We were spoon fed information and reassurance and the vast majority of us swallowed every ounce of it, willingly and gratefully.

We were a unified nation in a way that I had never witnessed before (I was 24 at the time) and the media made this possible. We were unquestionably behind our government in a way that I had never seen before. There was no need to ask questions. The answers were all right there in front of us in plain sight on our televisions. Our president was there telling us exactly what happened and what our government was going to do about it.

Fast forward seven years.

There is now a large body of evidence that renders the official 9/11 story laughable; utterly laughable. There are people like me, asking themselves how they could have ever believed such a story in the first place. In fact, the 9/11 Truth Movement appears to be growing each day and on the low end there are hundreds of thousands of Americans that question the official story and more likely the number is in the millions. One poll I read had 36% as the percentage of Americans who are doubters.

Whatever the actual number, it is substantial to say the very least, and growing. And…by some amazing and magical act, you don’t hear a whisper about this in the mainstream media. Nothing. Why??? Is it not newsworthy that such a vast number of individuals are questioning the explanation we were given concerning the most significant event to happen in our lifetime? Is it not worth a mention on Nightline or Good Morning America? Not even a five minute spot in between the reviews for Batman and the updates on Lindsay Lohan’s lesbian escapades?

There is still a lot I am grappling with on this subject. Until yesterday I had no idea that Arizona state senator Karen Johnson gave a speech before the Arizona state senate in support of reopening the 9/11 investigation. The contents of the speech can be read online ( or it can be seen on YouTube ( This speech was given on June 10th of this year. Had I not found the story on I wouldn’t have even known it happened. Granted, it’s just the Arizona state senate but this lady is making some very controversial claims and you would think this would show up somewhere in our news. But no. Again, nothing. Why?

It also occurred to me today that most people don’t know (or remember) that World Trade Center 7 also collapsed on 9/11. It wasn’t hit by any aircraft, it just fell at near freefall speed, all by itself. A brief conversation with a peer today made it clear to me that most people don’t even realize that not two, but three buildings collapsed that day.

More and more questions are coming up and the 9/11 Truth Movement continues to grow and we hear nothing about it from the mainstream media. There’s no way I could cover all of the material on this topic - hell, I probably am only aware of a tiny fraction of the material anyway - but I find myself asking more and more why I only see the most trivial, airheaded, and utterly pointless topics covered on television news. I find myself in disbelief about what doesn’t get covered at all. Ever heard of Ron Paul? How is it possible that this man’s name - though he had millions of supporters - NEVER came up in the mainstream media during the presidential nomination campaign? How does that even happen?

Imagine how our worldview is shaped by the media, the power and influence it exerts over an entire population, and what could be accomplished by controlling this medium. There are arguments out there about the media dumbing down the population and, frankly, they make a damn good case. Who would want to dumb us down? For what purpose?


Anonymous said...

Your old band wagon was fine by me mate so long as your promise of bathroom ablution details didn't come into it.

Candycane said...

ok, i skimmed this and when i have an hour to read i'm coming back. you are so freaking informing. i think i'd have a hard time conversing w/ you. i'm ready though, next time i see you, i can't wait to be like "so like have you heard about britney spears!" teehehe

Ben There said...

Hi Tony,

Ok, I guess I'll avoid bathroom related prose. We got through the outdoor urination one okay and I guess I'll quit while I'm ahead.

Ben There said...

Hey Candice,

I think we are all pretty uninformed. There's just alot of things that alot of us don't think we have any need to think about; if that makes sense.