I stopped watching TV news decades ago, and quit newspapers shortly after I realized that Obama was a fraud, some time around late 2008. I only gather up impressions, and even though I say so myself, feel as “informed” on this issues of our time as anyone I know.
But as an outsider, I think it worth mentioning here that the United States news media is a state-run outfit with one point of view offered on all outlets from the supposed “right” over at Fox to the “left” over at MSNBC. NPR and Limbaugh are in harmony. They are just packages with outer wrapping designed to appeal to different audiences.
Limbaugh listeners are reactionary, needing the hostility he projects against perceived “liberals” to validate their own views.
Those views, incidentally, are identical to those of NPR listeners, who need to feel intellectually superior to reactionaries for their own validation.
Of course that’s a broad sweeping statement and is not true if analyzed in detail. There are, within our doctrinal confines, disagreements that are constantly being debated. Is abortion OK? Immigration? Gun control? Gay marriage? Marijuana? Taxes too high or low? These are “wedge” matters, used to segment us for advertising and voting purposes, but otherwise of no consequence. We are allowed our debates on those matters for the precise reason that they do not threaten real power.
But on the important issues of our time there is no dissent anywhere in the narrow spectrum. Further, anyone voicing dissent is quickly dispatched. On Bill Maher’s Real Time, for instance, a panelist recently spoke of the painfully obvious fact that there never was any “war” in the Cold War, that it was just a framework that allowed the US to justify its perpetual aggression against resource colonies. He was quickly hushed by all of the panelists, “right” and “left” alike. Such a foolish man, saying something obviously true. He won’t be asked back.
And now, with the EU-forced violent coup d’état in Ukraine and Crimea’s breakaway, I see complete and universal agreement on the lies that are being told. You can judge for yourself, but it’s only a matter of degree. Limbaugh is probably saying that Obama was soft and Putin took advantage of him. I imagine Thom Hartmann is defending Obama, saying he handled the matter correctly. On those shows that do allow some real news, like the Daily Show and Maher, Putin is likely being caricatured as a Hitler-like bare-chested monster.
But that’s how it is done in a state-controlled environment: Agreement about the lies is universal. Details are a matter of dispute. Anyone calling a lie a lie is shown the door.