Beetlejuice's picture

    Are we Manufacturing Consent on Flight 17

     Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992) is a documentary film  with a point of view corporate media is a profit-driven institution which tends to serve and further the agendas of the interests of dominant, elite groups in the society.

    And yet, Chomsky  wasn't too impressed with the documentary.  He said the film simply didn't communicate his message which lead people to assume he was a leader of some movement that they should join. He was also critical of reviews which he believed mistaken his message for being a call for voter organizing rather than media critique.

    I found the documentary to be quite tedious the view simply because it gave the impression Chomsky's personal biases were melded with his critique which muddled the message.
    However, in the early stage of the documentary development, a quote from Walter Lippman was introduced that was the basis for the title. The quote being  ... " manufacture of consent". So a little Wiki review of Lippman revealed quite a wealth of information.


    Lippmann viewed the public as people who make up their minds before they define the facts, instead of gathering and analyzing the facts before reaching conclusions. By seeing first, he argued, it is possible to sanitize polluted information. Lippmann argued that seeing through stereotypes (which he coined in this specific meaning) subjected us to partial truths. Lippmann called the notion of a public competent to direct public affairs a "false ideal." He compared the political savvy of an average man to a theater-goer walking into a play in the middle of the third act and leaving before the last curtain.

    He also called the masses the "bewildered herd," who must be governed by "a specialized class whose interests reach beyond the locality." This class is composed of experts, specialists and bureaucrats. The experts, who often are referred to as "elites," were to be a machinery of knowledge that circumvents the primary defect of democracy, the impossible ideal of the "omnicompetent citizen". Later,  he recognized that the class of experts were also, in most respects, outsiders to any particular problem, and hence, not capable of effective action. 


    As Chomsky points out ... media is a profit-driven institution ... so it should be obvious to the most casual observer the media relies upon advertising revenues to meet Wall Street expectations, so it is very important they create a narrative that draws in enough people to satisfy their advertisers. And that narrative is based on the Lippmann's partial truths stereotypes that many people still hold dearly, one being ... Russians are anti-religious communists ... which still is deeply embedded with the republican base for close to a century.

    Lippmann's use of the word stereotype is a key point ... " The systems of stereotypes may be the core of our personal tradition, the defenses of our position in society. They are an ordered more or less consistent picture of the world, to which our habits, our tastes, our capacities, our comforts and our hopes have adjusted themselves. They may not be a complete picture of the world, but they are a picture of a possible world to which we are adapted. In that world, people and things have their well-known places, and do certain expected things. We feel at home there. We fit in. We are members " 

    There are some "other sources" that isn't making the main.lame-stream-media (M/LSM) news simply because they're not framing their point of view with respect with the direction the M/LSM has already decided to traverse.

    The Truth About Ukraine ...

    Guilt By Insinuation -- How American propaganda works ...


    What I find interesting is how public opinion is being formed and shaped without the necessary facts upon which to lay the foundation so the it doesn't crack and fall apart at a later date when the truth is finally discovered and made public. The damage of false accusations is of no concern to the goals of others who need the public's support. Think back to the  WMD's frenzy the Bu$h Administration created to convince the public why it was necessary to invade Iraq to catch my drift.

    And there's also a cat-and-mouse game being played too. First there was this ...

    The Russian Military Finally Speaks! - The Saker with Comment ...

    Followed by a  WaPo article out today  ... " U.S. discloses intelligence on downing of Malaysian jet " ... which I found to be an extremely weak response. The cat-and-mouse issue that's not discussed is the Russians are only letting out enough info to provoke a response from the US hoping they will inadvertently disclose information that gives Russia an idea just how much the US really knows. In other words, they're baiting the US to see how well Russia is at keeping their stuff undercover and how well the US is able to see thru.

    Sad that a civilian air tragedy that cost close to 300 innocent lives to be lost is being used to manufacture public opinion on partial truths that stimulate and satisfy the public's stereotypical biases to support political agendas.

    Lippmann says it best with this quote from A Preface to Politics  ... 

    “Between ourselves and our real natures we interpose that wax figure of idealizations and selections which we call our character. We extend this into all our thinking. Between us and the realities of social life we build up a mass of generalizations, abstract ideas, ancient glories, and personal wishes. They simplify and soften experience. It is so much easier to talk of poverty than to think of the poor, to argue the rights of capital than to see its results. Pretty soon we come to think of the theories and abstract ideas as things in themselves. We worry about their fate and forget their original content.” 


    Is there an ongoing attempt to manufacture consent? I would say yes to a slight variation. I believe that there is now and always an effort to manufacture a climate of acceptance for any damned thing the government does. On foreign policy matters it seems to almost always work. Sometimes culprits within our government get caught in some nefarious act and they are forgiven because as we all know, "everybody does it". When another government is caught, or we can be convinced that they have been, they can be quickly demonized for exactly the same sort of actions that we have carried out many times in the past and are likely doing so at the very same time. Either way, we accept it and go on to rooting for our team.
     Any analysis of the Ukraine incident that makes sense to me has included the obvious fact that for Russia or the Ukraine rebels to shoot down the airliner would be incredibly damaging to their intentions. Many go from that obvious fact to the conclusion that it was done by one of those entities either mistakenly or accidently but they are still responsible.  Very few even consider the possibility that the current coup-formed and U.S. backed government of Ukraine might have done it. If they did, then the only likely true explanation is that they did it as a false flag operation. Of coarse that government as well as, to a lesser extent, the much bigger government supporting it, would then suffer a great public relations disaster, one much worse I would guess than the one falling on Russia and the rebels even before any evidence conclusive one way or another has been shown.  
     When something this big happens and the available evidence does not support a counter-intuitive conclusion that we are given then I like to theorize a different scenario which includes the known facts and which might explain the incident without requiring a suspension of disbelief. Here is a possibility, not one I am betting on, but like I said, it is interesting to speculate. There is mounting evidence, if reports on the internet can be called evidence, that a Ukrainian fighter jet was trailing the airliner and accelerated towards it while climbing to its altitude. It could have shot down the airliner. It could have, but I strongly doubt it. Not too mean to be believed but too stupid.   But, possibly a rebel operated SAM missile battery was tracking the Jet fighter and fired at it while it was lower in altitude and behind the airliner. The pilot of the jet would know that a missile was after his aircraft and he would need to take defensive action or die. Might he have used the airliner like a basketball player uses a teammate as a pick. Might he have climbed past the airliner passing close by and caused the tracking systems within the missile to lock onto a new target, one that was bigger and giving off more of the signals that these missiles track.
     Suppose now that this was found to be technically feasible and to be what actually happened. To then turn it into a conspiracy theory that it was a deliberate false-flag operation would take only a small leap. If it were a conspiracy it could be one that required very few people to be in on it. Someone who knew the location of a rebel SAM site, a compliant air traffic control operator to shift the flight path slightly, and a Ukrainian fighter pilot willing to dog the airliner, [some of his buddies have recently died from SAM shots and he can expect the Russians to supply more to shoot at him] draw fire, and then lead the missile to the airliner. Rogue elements exist in all militaries as well as all governments. Both the current Ukraine government and its military are stacked triple deep in them. Not sure how deep they go in our own government.
     Okay, idle speculation for sure but most of what we hear from any side with a vested interest is also speculation yet is presented as if it is already verified fact. Just listen to Kerry for many examples. Maybe in a few years we will no who were telling what lies.
     Thanks for posting something on this subject. Another pretty good article on the subject is available here.


    The driving force behind the subject of the next link is the ongoing battle in a different place where different peoples are killing each other, but it speaks of a characteristic which is important to consider in all these conflict situations if they are even worth giving serious thought.

    While you are there, if you go, at least skim the other headlines.

    I have to get to work, but the first 3 paragraphs spoke volumes ! Will read it later tonight.  Thanks for the tip !


    In other words, people have vacated the political center and have taken refuge in either the Right camp or Left camp leaving the area between the two null and void. And it's the middle ground between the two where one is able to see the issues between both sides and recognize what each side must to in order to achieve harmony.


    Unfortunately, our political process has removed the political center because bringing both political party's together in harmony to work for the people would force each party to give up positions in order to gain leverage in other areas that would benefit the public but come at the cost of political power being shared equally.


    And the situation between the Israelis' and Palestinians' is in the same boat too ... no one in the political center to work for a peaceful resolution that everyone can agree with and abide by without anger or remorse.

    What I'm seeing is the M/LSM is attempting to assign guilt using what little evidence is available and fabricating assumptions to restore long forgotten biases hoping to manufacture a hard line against those whom they believe are guiltily using the public forum as judge and jury before all the true facts and evidence has been looked at by experts

    " ... My sense of the situation, especially from the Asian perspective, is that the US is in danger of overplaying its hand ... "


    I couldn't have said it better ... the US has taken the position of using the situation in the Ukraine as an excuse to manufacture facts out of partial info so as to paint Russia as the behind it using social misfits as proxies the further Russia's ambitions to move their borders further west

    Link 1 -Putin is trying to prevent 'the West' from raping Ukraine. His motives are noble. Paul Craig Roberts input - the US wants 'anti-nuclear bases' on the Russian-Ukraine border.

    Link 2 - 'Real information' suggests MH 17 downed in 'US Operation', Russian missile transponders won't let it shoot down a civ airliner. The author Paul Craig Roberts also has a new piece saying there are no tunnels in Gaza and Israel is bent on genocide. Roberts also says the US stole Ukrainian gold because we are almost out of it.  The guy is a fruitcake extraordinaire, and has been for years. Why shoot down a plane full of Dutch when LNG trade with Russia is like 1/2 the very small Dutch economy? Lufthansa was flying exactly the same route to SE Asia.

    Link 3 - The US had satellites over the area at the time of the shootdown, The Saker asks falsely incriminate the Russians, of course. Paradoxically he then claims there were no Russian rebel BUK launchers in the what's the point of the satellite.....I guess he also believes that all the Ukrainian planes the rebels have shot down are also false flags, false flag rebels have impersonated real rebels in touting the downings, along with false flag thugs who kept EU monitors at bay with weapons, while destroying crime scene evidence that would clear the pure and innocent Putin. The truth teller and good guy who wants to save Ukraine.


    Do you always kill the messenger ???


    I'm quite sure the authors have questionable motives, both present and past ... but so too does the M/LSM.


    My point is ... all are guilty of attempting to manufacture consent

    Gatt  is another shill for Putin, like Cohen. Yanukovych was "overthrown by force" after he started massacring unarmed protesters. Russia didn't start it? They invaded Crimea; that qualifies as starting it.

    that's not the point ... seems everyone in the M/LSM is guilty of attempting to manufacture consent over the issue ... they want the public to accept what they say happened and not believe or dismiss what anyone says.

    Reporting the facts isn't "manufacturing consent".  Whatever ambiguity there might be in these events, for Gatt to ignore the slaughter of unarmed protesters and exonerate Russia for invading the Ukraine is the kind of propaganda he(and you) are accusing other people of spreading.

    the fact is ... there are no facts ... and that's the point I'm making.

    And it seems you've drunk the kool-aid ... the slaughter of unarmed protesters and exonerate Russia for invading the Ukraine ... has nothing to do with what happened to Flight 17 ... it seems to me you're assembling associations from your trusted sources, calling them facts and digging your heels in and accusing others of propaganda if they disagree.


    That's what I understood manufacture consent was


    If you just wanted to talk about Flight 17, maybe you shouldn't have linked to Gatt, who peddled distortions about other things i.e. the invasion of Crimea and the killing of the protesters.

     We don't know for sure if the rebels downed the plane, but it may be more plausible than the government doing it.

    As we speak, the US is being forced to back-track on accusations they've made ... seems they were manipulating partial facts and truths and have been caught.


    And the point of  " Gatt " is that he may to you a distortion peddler, but I'll bet some of your trusted sources would be distortion peddlers to others. Oh, and he's not a trusted source of mine ... he was nothing more than a straw dog to illustrate a point


    Point being ... they all distort the truth to peddle their point of view, and some more than others ... that's what manufacturing consent is ... find out what you have to say in order to get people to trust and believe what you're saying is the truth based on what you say are facts ... even though they aren't.

     You mean the sources who say Russia invaded the Crimea and that Yanky slaughtered unarmed protesters?  You think there is doubt about this? Then just about everyone in the world--news agencies, embassies, human rights groups--would have to be part of a conspiracy to fabricate this stuff. Do you have evidence that these things didn't happen?

    That's the point ... there isn't any.


    Everything you're getting all worked up over are partial truths based more on 2nd and 3rd sources, but not verified as accurate by any one with 1st hand knowledge armed with actual facts and evidence to support them.


    my point being everything we're hearing is being written to appease our basic instincts, cherry picking facts that support well-tuned biases so they will be accepted as authentic.


    And yes ... news agencies, embassies, human rights groups ... are the biggest manipulators using their positions to manufacture public acceptance of what they "claim" to be true while holding back actual evidence that would say otherwise. That's what manufactured consent is.

    Journalists,  embassies, and human rights groups are sources with first hand knowledge. Are you denying that Russia invaded Crimea or that Yanky shot unarmed protesters? Because if you are, you need to actually prove that the journalists, embassies, and human rights groups are making it all up.  Just saying that they are is no different from the tactics of Holocaust deniers. When Chomsky came up with the term "manufacturing consent", he didn't mean that all information is unreliable. He cites sources all the time.

    There are two basic ways to rule the masses: consent and coercion. I read this many years ago I think on the whole Nixon resignation thing, and how strange it was, really, in the history of rulers, where one person just steps down and hands over the reigns of power to another, and this is also true of America's, starting with Washington (who some at the time wanted to make him life-long "king"), of transferring power over to another group one was trying to beat.

    Because what the "smart" ones realized that it is easier to rule the masses through consent rather than coercion.  Sure, you can go out there and shot someone every time they say a discouraging word. This is in reality much more time and energy consuming, always looking over your shoulder, so to speak.  It is so much easier if the vast majority of people just consent to your rule, and this lets you to have the few naysayers yell how as loud as they want about how terrible you are because they really don't pose a credible threat.

    But as it turns out, manufacturing that consent is time and energy consuming, just a "non-violent" one - using the media etc.  And those in opposition spend their time and energy trying to manufacture discontent. Chomsky is a good example of this. And actually in terms of effectiveness, he is pretty damn poor at it (but I'm sure he just blames other people for being too stupid or whatever.

    So what would be surprising is if some event happens that could assist this or that side manufacture more consent or discontent, and they don't use it. 

     My complaint against Beetlejuice is that he seems to have decided that no source can be believed, and that wasn't what Chomsky was saying in Manufacturing Consent or his other books. Beetlejuice doesn't even believe human rights groups, while Chomsky usually does.

      Incidentally, I used to admire Chomsky, but he became a douche after 9/11.

    Just because someone is trying to manufacture (dis)content, doesn't equate to them not using the truth to do so. Or mixing truth with opinion, etc.

    I don't think he has been completing off the mark, but he let his fame go to his head from what I have seen, and he comes across as a pompous asshat. The last time I tried to listen to him, he seemed to be trying to purposively talk above people's head so rather than enlighten them they would walk away thinking how brilliant he was.

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