Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 28, 2014

News Rot: The Black OP Media of 2014

The mainstream media in 2014: No more than a black Op

By Brenda Norrell

TUCSON, Arizona -- No one spins wars better than CNN and no one kills with drones better than the White House. The paid media in the US marched to the tune of their handlers in 2014, continuing the rot and decay of US manufactured news. The news became no more than a black OP, a dark operation of the powers that be.

From the cardboard cutout anchors of CNN mimicking their handlers as caged parrots, to the plagiarism and rewrites of stay-at-home reporters for Indian Country Today, the news became, as my grandmother says, ready for the slop bucket.

The good news is that the alternative press blossomed beyond the fetid mess of the mainstream media in the US. Globally, the UK Guardian continued to lead the world in the news that the others tried to bury. 

The New York Times was swimming for its life in the gush of real truth by Wikileaks, Anonymous and Snowden. The Times, out there somewhere, was carried downstream because it trembled, afraid to make a difference. As usual, the media in Washington DC, was dependable -- if you depend on oil, gas, coal, politics, lobbyists and exploitation for your millions. 

With so much spin, the Wall Street Journal spun into orbit and out of the picture, terrified of the truth about banks and suicided bankers. Was the Los Angeles Times still gasping for breath? It was hard to tell. They were all tip-toeing around US torture.

Most of the US media stayed home in 2014, plagiarizing and rewriting articles written by the few hard working reporters and activists who are still actually out there covering the news. 

Plagiarism and deceit, with stolen photos from the Internet, is the new standard for online print journalism by paid reporters in the US. While many readers may be deceived with the new rot, reporters are not.

There was also the fad that BBC and NPR plunged into. Both featured interviews with whites in the US, after Ferguson protests, attempting to assure the world there is no racism in America.

What is really sad, is the sterilized, censored, co-opted and manipulated view of the world belched up by the media in the US.

Well, you see, I ride the bus with the homeless of Tucson, Arizona, every morning. At the bus stop, a woman struggles with eight garbage bags of wet blankets. She says the tent she just got is real warm. But now all of her blankets are soaked from last night's rain. Her two sons, about ten and fifteen, run up from the storage unit down the road. "They said we can sleep there tonight if it is still raining," the older ones says. The boys are looking forward to sleeping on the cold concrete floor of a storage unit and out of the rain tonight. "It's real big," the young one says. Behind us, a young girl, about fifteen, is pregnant and alone. She is hiding in the bushes next to a strip club. 

This is America. This is the America that the media doesn't want you to think about. Since most of the 'reporters' stay home and plagiarize or rewrite these days, they don't know about the homeless children who sleep on storage unit floors.

On the bus, another day, a man describes the half sandwich he was given the day before. "It tasted real good, but it doesn't do much for my family."

Beyond the bus stop is the barrio, where laughter fills a yard. The balloons and streamers are going up for a child's birthday party. The smell of menudo and corn tortillas fill the air. It is the aroma of Mexico, just a long walk away, and the people here have brought their laughter and the aroma of home cooked food with them. The construction workers were up before four this morning, heading out for a long day's work. At the corner, the woman at the little store waves. An old man walking with a cane nods, as if to say, "It will be OK."

I know this because I didn't stay home today.

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years, beginning as a staff reporter for Navajo Times. During the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation, she was a freelance reporter for AP and USA Today. After serving as a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, she was repeatedly censored, then terminated. She created Censored News to expose what is being censored. Now in its ninth year, Censored News features Indigenous and grassroots writers and has no advertising, sponsors or grants.

1 comment:

Saint Howard (a.k.a. Howard the Great) said...

Brenda, is there any truth to the allegations in this story in the WP, or is this just a MSM 'hit' piece which distorts native culture?