Reading the mainstream press, it’s striking how what they pass off as “journalism” often leaves one with more questions than answers; worse, it can suggest a narrative that none one actually knows to be true and which there aren’t any actual “facts” to support.  If that’s journalism, somebody should be giving me some kind of award any day now.  Case in point: Cnn.com’s coverage of the discovery of the deadly toxin ricin in a Las Vegas motel room.  The headline itself will probably give away what has me so annoyed: “Anarchist manual, firearms found in Motel Room With Ricin“.  Oh, brother. . .

Not that the headline itself isn’t (at least according to other news coverage) factual.  But the article goes on to conclude that Federal officials aren’t treating the case as having anything to do with “terrorism” and in fact the FBI says they consider the situation “criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism.”  Yet the article’s tone, wording, and even it’s title suggest to the reader exactly the opposite: that this is a case of a man not only in possession of a deadly chemical substance, but of a cache of firearms and a “manual” that ties him to what we must conclude (based on the media’s long-standing general premise of “anarchists”) is a violent, anti-social ideologically and “anti-American” belief.  The specter of fear is once again raised by the so-called press in order to accomplish two simultaneous goals: we’re engrossed in their coverage because we desperately want to know about our safety, and the threats to our safety that we need to be aware of (this boosts their ratings which increases the amount they charge for ads which makes Ted Turner and a few dozen pals much richer than they already are); also, it re-enforces for us the narrative that the world is unfathomably dangerous, filled with evil, crazy, hate-filled lunatics, but that by trusting the State to act as our guardian angel (through giving away some of our own personal freedoms, and leaving it to them to do what’s right for us) the State will in fact protect us and keep us “secure in our belongings”.

See, in the U.S., there’s no need for a “State controlled” media: through privatized, corporate ownership, the media itself has a stake in the government’s narrative, because the government’s narrative is financially supportive of the inherent aims of the media’s owners.  There’s no global conspiracy folks: it’s only the logic of global capitalism.

Never mind that the FBI doesn’t say they consider this to have anything to do with terrorism, never mind that there are no known facts about where the ricin or the firearms came from or why the man had them, and never mind the fact that an “anarchist manual” could mean practically anything about the reading material found in his motel room (notably, if there is such a thing as an “anarchist manual” it would almost certainly be ignored or denounced by any actual anarchists- it sounds to me like the child’s play crap of CrimethInc or angst-y middle class teenagers and their “Anarchist Cookbook”, neither of which have anything to do with anarchism).

While I apriciate CNN’s attempt to get me jumping to conclusions, instead I think I’ll wait for some qualifying facts about what actually happened in Las Vegas- and I think I’ll look somewhere other than CNN for those facts. 

 

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