As the Mighty Wurlitzer of war cranks into gear yet again, I can’t help but wonder if war itself has become the singular cause upon which all news media agree, and no matter the opinion of those affected by it, they’re naturally going to sell any old war with just this sort of embarrassing fervor.
It’s understandable, I suppose, for the bloated multinationals who control what we see, hear, and read to choose war as a business proposition. Ratings surge, careers are made, and reporting costs are all but negligible when the aggressor is more than happy to provide all the talking points needed to fill time and space between boner pill ads.
And, minus a fresh war to obsess over, some actual world occurrences might intrude that invariably upset either the parent company, advertisers, or both. Real, ongoing threats, like the rampant authoritarianism, environmental collapse, and elite impunity that are making life increasingly intolerable for everyone on earth are so glaringly obvious that some distraction is clearly needed, and that need is all but constant.
But honestly, can’t they find a distraction less costly, immoral, and deadly than war? After all, since the media invariably supports and reports only from the perspective of the better armed, it isn’t as though such wars are all that interesting; even from the rotted standard of “good TV.” Instead, they tend to resemble the South Dakota/Oregon game last weekend, when the stadium all but emptied at halftime.
Did anyone ever doubt that the Israeli massacre in Gaza would produce nothing but lots of dead Palestinians, further land grabs, and global denunciations summarily quashed by a cowed and compromised US government? If so, Nigeria has an email to send you. And is there the slightest possibility that dropping a bunch of bombs in the general direction of ISIS will have any effect other than to further inflame tensions where they seem to be plenty inflamed already?
Of course not. But none of that matters to those who wear pancake at work. Utterly discredited hawks from the last few wars are the only “experts” allowed to appear, and even the mildest skepticism is treated as treason.
Hilariously, POLITICO “reported” today that Glenn Greenwald had, with the Snowden revelations, damaged “America’s brand.” The misguided wars, torture, and spying he and others revealed were curiously exonerated in this undoubtedly ongoing endeavor.
Had they asked the same question to the actual perpetrators, enablers, or cheerleaders, it might have even been interesting, and convenient, too since many of them were already in the green room.
But it would have been awkward, and we can’t have that.