Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

Moderator: Moderator

Anthony Ravenscroft
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 4:04 am
Location: Crookston, MN
Contact:

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:03 pm

Frank didn't mention Phoenix:

NOTE: a secure site, https -- your visit MAY be tracked

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol51no2/a-retrospective-on-counterinsurgency-operations.html
Another component of CORDS was the Phoenix Program.2 Although Phoenix was run and ostensibly controlled by the Saigon government, CIA funded and administered it. Phoenix built on the work of the CIA-created network of over 100 provincial and district intelligence operation committees in South Vietnam that collected and disseminated information on the VCI to field police and paramilitary units.

Essentially, these committees created lists of known VCI operatives. Once the name, rank, and location of each individual VCI member became known, CIA paramilitary or South Vietnamese police or military forces interrogated these individuals for further intelligence on the communist structure and its operations.

The lists were sent to various Phoenix field forces, which included the Vietnamese national police, US Navy Seal teams and US Army special operations groups, and Provincial Reconnaissance Units such as the one in Tay Ninh.

These forces went to the villages and hamlets and attempted to identify the named individuals and "neutralize" them. Those on a list were arrested or captured for interrogation, or if they resisted, they were killed. Initially, CIA, with Vietnamese assistance, handled interrogations at the provincial or district levels.

According to my friends in the Special Forces, there was another layer of Phoenix, ready for a command to assassinate all the leaders in a region, near simultaneously. But, heck, they're just a bunch of career soldiers.

Here's a fun conspiracy. My friend Bob is a Vietnam Conflict spook, who spent more time than McCain in a tiny cage & has the scars to suggest veracity. He's a very calm old guy with a great sense of humor, & I wouldn't THINK of pissing him off -- that sort of presence.

In an unguarded (hah!) moment, back around 1990, Bob told me a little about his day-job. "You know how the CIA & such are filled with cowboys?"

"Yeah," I allowed.

"So it just makes sense to have a smaller group, to keep tabs on them so that a bunch don't get together over drinks & decide to overthrow the U.S. government or something."

"I suppose."

"But then you've got a tighter group that need to have access to the sort of power to control those cowboys. Maybe there should be another, smaller group to watch the watchdogs."

"Uh-huh," I said, getting an idea where this was going.

"And again, a small group to watch those watchers."

"Okay..."

"Well," he said with a shrug, "that's what I do."

:mrgreen:

Bob passed away a few years ago, but I promise you that the conversation did actually happen.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:05 am

Tony, don't forget the CIA/Contra, crack cocaine conspiracy.

Then there's the one about Smedley Butler being asked to overthrow Roosevelt. Lots of truth the media just won't touch.

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:29 am

FrankChurch wrote:Tony, don't forget the CIA/Contra, crack cocaine conspiracy.

Then there's the one about Smedley Butler being asked to overthrow Roosevelt. Lots of truth the media just won't touch.


I'm probably going to regret this, but...

Occasionally I get into a row with my dad over some political this-n-that and he'll go on a rant about what the Media won't talk about. He'll go into detail about things that "They just won't cover!" At some point, I wait for a lull, while he catches his breath, and ask, calmly,

"So...where did you hear about it? I mean, if no one will say anything..."

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:18 am

No one in the media most Americans read or watch.

--------

Chomsky at his debating best, having to debate the right wing kook John Silber:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXlS7Lb0PfA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzIW81SWujk

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:21 am

FrankChurch wrote:No one in the media most Americans read or watch.

--------

Chomsky at his debating best, having to debate the right wing kook John Silber:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXlS7Lb0PfA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzIW81SWujk


While I'm inclined to agree with that, it's still a supposition, but everything is Out There for us to find if we but look. I'd get angrier at people for not looking than at the media for following trends with puppy-like zeal.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:44 pm

You are not going to know where to look if you don't know where to look. If Newsweek, Time, The Post, The Times are all lying to us, how are they going to know that?

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:53 pm

FrankChurch wrote:You are not going to know where to look if you don't know where to look. If Newsweek, Time, The Post, The Times are all lying to us, how are they going to know that?



Uh uh. You figured out where to go. So have most of the people here. If it's so impossible, we wouldn't know either. This is one where at least half the blame goes to the lazy brains that are the human race.

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:53 am

Frank you think you have access to news that will blow the lid off if more widely known but everybody who ever watched an episode of X-Files knows about Paperclip/Mongoose/Cointelpro, etc.

Were these "conspiracies" or just top-down intelligence operations? (Just how much actual intelligence was involved I can't say of course. The operation to kill Castro seems to have been run by Maxwell Smart.)

All the media (including the left) caters to its audience. They don't lie so much as tailor their stories so as not to offend the sensibilities of the folks who tune in/subscribe. But that's ok if they are explicit with their agenda. The way forward is not through some imagined "objectivity" but in access to as many different points of view as possible. The worse thing in the world you can do is to only expose yourself to sources that already agree with your point of view. Then you're only reinforcing your own prejudices and assumptions.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Steve Evil » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:09 am

When I went to J-skool (journalism), all the "profs" (retired, and sometimes not retired reporters) all prided themselves on their ability to get the whole story: both sides. They tried to instill this pride in us. THey took bias very seriously. They chided me for mine on more than one occasion. They were very very passionate about gathering news, and spoke most often of the "human side" of every story. Who's affected by this news? What does it mean for people? What do they have to say about things? Granted, this wasn't the set of FOX News (which was spoken of with a mixture or ridicule, bemusement, and alarm), but they came from a wide variety reputable publications - small time, and big corporate media, and I saw no sign of shadowy conspiracies. If anything, the temptation was mild sensationalism.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:12 am

The Propaganda Model pretty much proves that the media tend to bend towards power. As Howard Zinn used to say, "history is written by the winners not the losers."

The media has a false, center/right consensus, because of their shared business interests. Case in point, when NAFTA was being debated their was an almost 100 percent agreement that it was a good idea. Critics were hard to find, even though unions hated it.

Reporters are taught to not think, that's the main issue. They don't shine the light, they let the Pentagon and big business hold the flashlight.

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:36 am

FrankChurch wrote:The Propaganda Model pretty much proves that the media tend to bend towards power. As Howard Zinn used to say, "history is written by the winners not the losers."

The media has a false, center/right consensus, because of their shared business interests. Case in point, when NAFTA was being debated their was an almost 100 percent agreement that it was a good idea. Critics were hard to find, even though unions hated it.

Reporters are taught to not think, that's the main issue. They don't shine the light, they let the Pentagon and big business hold the flashlight.


I'm going to be a bit testy about all this because I think it's too easy to blame The Media for sloppy research. I repeat, you find it all, so can everyone else.

Firstly, pertaining to Zinn's quote---if that were strictly true, we'd have no idea about it since nothing would be left from the losers (who write plenty of history, clearly so since Mr. Zinn managed to write several books from their p.o.v.).

Secondly, what The Media? I know what you mean, Frank, but let's be precise. There is no The Media. That's like saying The American People or The Black Community---as if it were a monolith. Just, for example,take the rather mild distinction between NPR and FOX. However, The Media only means what attracts ratings and draws viewers or listeners in the multi-millions at the same time. It is not a descriptive term for anything else but the size of one aspect. If The Media were actually a monolith, Chomsky would never get any attention, you and I would never know when FOX was wrong, and debates like this could not reasonably take place.

Thirdly, reporters do what they do to meet the requirements of their jobs and that varies from place to place. Don't mistake television anchors for reporters. I will admit to considerable frustration and consternation at some journalists, but then there are others who do fine jobs and get little credit for it---like being generally lumped in with people who don't think.

Finally, unfortunately, there is a market effect. Murrow warned us of it in the 50s. They ought to have decoupled news shows from the ratings machines way back then, but they didn't. The same can't be said for newspapers, though, which did well enough until alternate media (the internet in particular) began to seriously eat into their distribution. In a society like ours, that which attracts the consumer succeeds and that which doesn't...needs a government grant.

Sorry to belabor this, but just the fact that you can present alternative news sources and information disproves your thesis here. It's one thing to say people pay attention to the wrong thing, quite another to say there's nothing else for them to pay attention to.

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Moderator » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:34 pm

FrankChurch wrote:The Propaganda Model pretty much proves that the media tend to bend towards power. As Howard Zinn used to say, "history is written by the winners not the losers."


Like Mark, I'm going to take exception to this. Zinn was not referring to the same thing you are, nor was he stating that media is controlled. You're taking this completely out of context.

FrankChurch wrote:The media has a false, center/right consensus, because of their shared business interests. Case in point, when NAFTA was being debated their was an almost 100 percent agreement that it was a good idea. Critics were hard to find, even though unions hated it.


Not true. There was a vigorous debate, up to and including the Presidential campaign. Many people vocally opposed it.

FrankChurch wrote: Reporters are taught to not think, that's the main issue. They don't shine the light, they let the Pentagon and big business hold the flashlight.


And lastly, just the opposite. As Steve E points out most credible j-schools actively make the effort to teach balance and inquisition. Reporters ARE taught to think, and to question. You're confusing reportage and punditry.

Your core issue, if I may be so bold, is with the stories selected to be told, which is entirely based, in most cases, upon the number of people it will bring to the news source. Blame Americans, not the media, for much of what passes for news today. If more people questioned Fox and tuned them out, they would cease their current political agenda completely.

The government doesn't control the media, economics do.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:51 pm

Barber speaketh wisely.

As you can probably imagine you can't walk half a block up here without stumbling over news media. They have their fare share of hacks but most of them are dedicated and concientious. I've known three reporters in my time up here. A CNN guy and two paper journalists. It's not their fault that Americans would rather read about Kim Kardashian's butt than an incisive series on the growing and unregulated National Security State or the disturbing influence on our politics of China's economic clout.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

User avatar
FinderDoug
Posts: 1530
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: Houston, TX
Contact:

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FinderDoug » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:57 am

Frank you think you have access to news that will blow the lid off if more widely known but everybody who ever watched an episode of X-Files knows about Paperclip/Mongoose/Cointelpro, etc.

Moreso, they were widely reported when they were first brought to light. The War Department itself revealed the existence of Paperclip in 1946. Mongoose and CointelPro were all over the place in 1975. As for this (sez Frank):

Then there's the one about Smedley Butler being asked to overthrow Roosevelt. Lots of truth the media just won't touch.

Uh-huh. I remember how Frank came into the Pavvy and publicly applauded The History Channel in 2000 for their bold breaking of ranks with their media brethren when they devoted an hour to Butler and the Business Plot in 2000 (still available on video), and his trumpeting here in the threads of Jules Archer, who fought against the forces of suppression when his 1973 book on the matter came back into print in 2008 (and remains in print today.)

Oh wait - that's right. Frank didn't do either of those things.

OH MY GOD! Is Frank Church in bed with the conspiratorial media in this obfuscation of the very truth he claims is being ignored??? :twisted:

I guess the better question is why Frank thinks the media is a) beholden to anyone to continually report stories that are and have been matters of record for decades and are EASILY researchable and b) is involved in some sort of huge conspiracy of silence if they don't.

PS: This:
Reporters are taught to not think, that's the main issue. They don't shine the light, they let the Pentagon and big business hold the flashlight.

is the single most ignorant statement I've read in a long time.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:18 pm

(Insult removed by Moderator. Fair warning.)

------

Guys, there have been years of studies on this, the propaganda model is one of the more reliable devices in the humanities. It's rarely wrong.

Bob McChesney, FAIR, Jeff Cohen, Chomsky, Thom Hartmann, Ed Herman, IF Stone, many others, have pretty much proven such. Are they all in on the Frank Church coverup?

Let's go this one at a time: FAIR has done several studies of the Sunday shows, using a large swath of programs, so as not to look like they were being selective. In their survey the majority of guests were right wing, white males, either politicians or members of the cabinet. A minority of guests were democrats--FAIR didn't mention the fact that most democrats who are on television tend to be moderate. Liberal/progressives were a small part of the sunday programs. Grass roots groups were almost null.

The same with their study of Nightline. Most of the guests were right wing, white males. Topics tended to be based on the corporate news ideal of what constitutes news of the day. One debate--if you can call it that--on foreign policy was between James Carville, a democratic party hack and Rush fucking Limbaugh! That was a debate! Sure, Arundhati Roy was on the show, after 9/11, but she was denegrated by Ted Koppel. The top guests on Nightline in the 80s were Elliot Abrams, Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig! Wow, what a stunning act of free speech.

Jeff Greenfield, former producer of Nightline gives us his take why Noam Chomsky was never on. Brother Noam gives us the shiv:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlL2Jj-kCNU


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests