On August 25th, Gallup headlined “Republicans’, Democrats’ Views of Media Accuracy Diverge”, and reported that ever since America’s newsmedia in 2003 tried to postpone and suppress the findings that there had been no WMD (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq after 1998, Republicans’ trust in America’s newsmedia plunged from 35% in 2003 down to 14% today, but Democrats’ trust in America’s newsmedia actually increased from 42% in 2003 to 62% today — 14 years after the press’s deceit of the U.S. public, about that matter.
In other words, whereas Republicans despise America’s newsmedia, after those media had stenographically reported George W. Bush’s (and his Administration’s) lies such as his saying on 7 September 2002 “a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they [Iraq] were six months away from developing a [nuclear] weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need” (in order to invade Iraq as soon as possible), Democrats have even more respect for the newsmedia now, than they did when Bush & company lied this nation into that catastrophic, illegal and unjustifiable, invasion, which destroyed that country.
Another Gallup poll provides interesting context for understanding what might be behind this increasing respect for the newsmedia by Democrats after the newsmedia had aided a U.S. President to deceive this nation into an evil invasion. Apparently, Democrats’ respect for the newsmedia rose because the President who did that was a Republican, not a Democrat — they’re responding as political partisans, and because the seeping truth about that matter during the year following 2003 was accompanied by declining public support for the Republican President, and because Democrats reward that with increased respect for the press, as if Bush’s fall in support were the result of the press’s honesty. Republicans were responding partisanly in the exact opposite way, by punishing the newsmedia for the declining public support for that Republican President. On 28 June 2017, Gallup bannered, “In US, Confidence in Newspapers Still Low but Rising”, and reported that Democrats’ increase in respect for the newsmedia consisted of increasing respect for newspapers and other traditional newsmedia (the very same newsmedia that had stenographically deceived this nation into invading), whereas Republicans were drifting away from those traditional newsmedia into viewing more online news instead. Or, as I commented at the time: “The same mainstream ‘news’ media that the U.S. aristocracy used for deceiving the American people into believing that Saddam Hussein had WMD and was a danger to the U.S. in 2003, and that did the same to Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, and has been trying to do the same to Bashar al-Assad since then — and that wants to do it ultimately to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin — continues on with undiminished prestige and ability, to do the same ad nauseum.” And this rewarding of the stenographic ‘news’media was especially the case with Democrats, because the Republican President now appeared in a less favorable light after than before the 2003 invasion, in those traditional media.
So: can we infer, from Republicans’ declining respect for the newsmedia after those newsmedia had deceived this nation into an invasion, that Republicans learn from experience more than Democrats do? Hardly. Democrats are just as partisan in their response. And this is confirmed also in other polls. For example, back on 20 June 2014, Gallup reported that even so late in the (failed) Presidency of Democrat Barack Obama, 90% of Democrats still approved of his job-performance, almost the same as the 88% of Republicans who still approved of the Presidency of George W. Bush. These were two catastrophically bad Presidents, yet each of them was still supported overwhelmingly by his party’s electorate. George W. Bush invaded Iraq on lies; Barack Obama invaded Libya and Syria on lies; yet both Presidents retained their party’s support, oblivious to reality, and blaming only ‘the opposite party’, instead of blaming the aristocracy that controls both parties and the press and the international corporations — which is one and the same aristocracy, regardless of its factions (none of which represent the public, though all of its factions pretend to).
Whereas Republicans soured on the newsmedia after 2003, Democrats soured on George W. Bush after 2003. That’s what the August 25th Gallup report appears to be showing. Republicans blamed the traditional newsmedia for the lies that produced the invasion of Iraq in 2003, whereas Democrats blamed the Republican President for those lies. Neither response was rational. Both the President and the press were to blame: the President (and his Administration), for lying; and the press, for stenographically spreading their lies to the public, unchallenged. (And the press continued lying to support the invasions by the Democratic President Obama, just as they had done regarding the invasions by Bush. There was no change: only the parties in ‘power’ changed; America’s aristocracy was actually in control throughout, and did not change at all.)
An unbiased person would blame both the lying politician and the stenographic conveyor to the public of his lies (and especially blame the aristocracy that controlled both). Democracy is impossible unless both the politicians and the press are honest. Clearly, George W. Bush lied; but, also clearly, the nation’s ‘news’media hid that fact until we had invaded Iraq. So, America’s ‘democracy’ is dysfunctional on both levels: the politicians, and the press. The deception of the public is a joint operation of both the politicians and the press, working together, to deceive and control the public, in the interest of the aristocracy. Neither the politicians nor the press can do it without the other. And any politician who tries to represent the public interest gets treated the way Bernie Sanders was. Pretending to represent the public’s interest is acceptable to the aristocracy, but representing the public’s interest isn’t.
Intelligent voters are nonpartisan — only political parties themselves should be partisan — and this nonpartisanship requires punishing all of the system’s liars (both the politicians and the press) after a voter has been deceived. A rational American, after the 2003 catastrophe, should distrust the entire system — both the press and the politicians, of both parties — rather than be partisan at all, in assigning the blame for it. This was a huge collapse of the entire American system. For any rational American voter, trust can no longer be placed in either the government or the press, unless and until the existing system of government in the U.S., has been replaced by a functioning, authentic, democracy — which this is not.
A democracy cannot be a mere con-game.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.