Um dos mais reputados e experimentados jornalistas dos USA, Robert Parry, antigo editor da Newsweek e hoje membro-fundador da Consortium News, tira partido de um grande artigo publicado no NY Times sobre a manipulação política nos media USA. Foi uma revelação chocante, pois, não só os jornais e as Network afectas aos Republicanos são dados como comprometidos. Não: o NYT, o Washington Post, a NBC, entre outros títulos de relevo da bem-pensante imprensa de referência yankee, sofreram os efeitos de uma persuasiva máquina de infiltração ideo-programática pró-Guerra, mirabolante sistema de controlo e intoxicação preparado pelo Pentágono, o "ninho" dos Neo-Cons e aliados afectos aos "falcões" Cheney e Rumsfeld, se bem se lembram.
Parry narra o desencanto de Robert Bevelacq, antigo marine, que andou a "vender" a guerra do Iraque na Fox. "O Pentágono ameaçava os veteranos oficiais e tratava-os como marionetas", desabafou. Tom Brokaw, da NBC, rodeado de altas patentes militares, pré-anunciava a conquista do Iraque sem ambiguidade. O próprio NY Times promoveu textos trabalhados e ficcionados sobre os tubos de alumínio que iriam criar as Armas de Destruição Massivas no Iraque. O Washington Post tornou-se desde muito cedo um fanático adepto da guerra contra o Iraque, analisa o jornalista num texto publicado pelo blogue truthout.com, o blogue que até o MR Sousa cita para se mostrar avantguardista, pois claro.
Robert Parry mostra-se muito circunspecto sobre a isenção dos Média nos USA. A corrupção e a manipulação talvez não possam ser vencidos, tem a coragem de o afirmar. O mainstream mediático USA foi invadido pela corrupção que não pára de se estender através de todo o sistema político. Uma reforma juridica do estatuto da Imprensa talvez não seja suficiente para restabelecer os fundamentos constitucionais de uma Imprensa livre e responsável nos EUA, sublinha.
« After prying loose 8,000 pages of Pentagon documents, the New York Times has proven what should have been obvious years ago: the Bush administration manipulated public opinion on the Iraq War, in part, by funneling propaganda through former senior military officers who served as expert analysts on TV news shows.
In 2002-03, these military analysts were ubiquitous on TV justifying the Iraq invasion, and most have remained supportive of the war in the five years since. The Times investigation showed that the analysts were being briefed by the Pentagon on what to say and had undisclosed conflicts of interest via military contracts.
Retired Green Beret Robert S. Bevelacqua, a former Fox News analyst, said the Pentagon treated the retired military officers as puppets: "It was them saying, 'we need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you.'" [NYT, April 20, 2008]
None of that, of course, should come as any surprise. Where do people think generals and admirals go to work after they retire from the government?
If they play ball with the Pentagon, they get fat salaries serving on corporate boards of military contractors, or they get rich running consultancies that trade on quick access to high-ranking administration officials. If they're not team players, they're shut out.
Yet, what may be more troubling, although perhaps no more surprising, is how willingly the U.S. news media let itself be used as a propaganda conduit for the Bush administration regarding the ill-advised invasion of Iraq.
Fox News may have been the prototype of the flag-waving "news" outlet that fawned over pro-war retired military officers and mocked anti-war citizens.
But the same imbalance could be found at the major networks, like NBC where then-anchor Tom Brokaw spoke in the first person plural as he sat among a panel of retired brass on the night of the Iraq invasion - March 19, 2003 - and said: "In a few days, we're going to own that country."
The blame also goes far beyond the TV networks, to the most prestigious print publications. The New York Times famously promoted fictional stories about Iraqi aluminum tubes for building nuclear weapons, and the Washington Post editorial page remains to this day an ardent cheerleader for the war.
So, the real question is not how widespread the ethical lapses of the U.S. news media were - both in palming off self-interested ex-generals as objective observers and for failing to demonstrate even a modicum of skepticism in publishing false articles that paved the way to war.
Rather, the urgent question is what must be done if the United States is to reclaim its status as a functioning constitutional Republic in which a reasonably honest news media keeps the public adequately informed.
Having spent most of my career on the inside at places such as the Associated Press and Newsweek, it's been my view for many years that the mainstream U.S. news media can't be reformed, that it is beyond hope.
Though there are still good journalists working at major news companies - and the better news outlets do produce some useful information, like Sunday's story in the Times - the central reality is that corporate journalism is rotten at the core and won't stop spreading the rot throughout the U.S. political process.
That's why for the past dozen-plus years at Consortiumnews.com, we have called for a major public investment in honest journalism, so information can be produced that it is both professional and independent of the kinds of external pressures that have deformed today's mainstream press.
We must find new ways to tell the news.
US News Media's Latest Disgrace. By Robert Parry. Consortium News. Monday 21 April 2008