How America’s Corrupt Press Are Destroying the Country

Eric Zuesse

Even the best of America’s major mainstream and alternative-news media understate enormously the degree to which America’s government is corrupt; and, as a result, the public end up voting for corrupt politicians such as George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who lied through their teeth while they transferred trillions of dollars from the public to the aristocracy, who pour billions of dollars – chicken-feed for the aristocracy – into political campaigns, and into the ‘non-profit’ foundations of former Presidents. (And, for just one example of aristocratic follow-through from the political promotion of aristocracy: the head of the Clinton Foundation just happens to be their own incompetent daughter, Chelsea Clinton, whose children will then become securely part of the aristocracy, just as is every Bush – regardless of how competent or incompetent an heir might actually happen to be. Aristocracy is anything but ‘the equal-opportunity society.’ But it is bi-partisan, in the sense that all Republican candidates, and all of the top-level nationally leading Democratic candidates, are supported by the aristocracy, so as to keep the public as cooperative wage-slaves instead of rebelling labor-unionists, regardless of which Party is writing and carrying-out the laws on behalf of the aristocrats.)

The documentation of America’s media-rot starts here, with one of the best mainstream journalists (just so as to highlight how pervasive this censorship is), Shahien Nasiripour of Huffington Post, who on January 6th headlined, “The Obama Administration Could Repeat Its Biggest Mistake Of The Financial Crisis,” and he opened:

In the years since it failed to prosecute a single Wall Street executive involved in the global financial crisis, the U.S. Department of Justice has repeatedly promised to hold corporate executives liable for wrongdoing. But on Monday, when it sued Volkswagen over the automaker’s scheme to disguise the illegally high amounts of poisonous gases its cars were spewing into the air, the DOJ brought no criminal charges against the company or its employees.

The German automaker, one of the largest in the world, admitted on Sept. 22 to installing software meant to cheat on emissions tests in 11 million of its diesel vehicles. Prosecutors allege the company attempted to scam the public and deliberately hid this fact from regulators, obstructed investigators, and lied to federal authorities.

By suing Volkswagen but not pursuing criminal cases against the company or its employees, the Justice Department is repeating the mistakes it made in the wake of the financial crisis.

To call the Obama Administration’s refusal to prosecute even a single top bank executive, for the now clearly criminal actions that brought billions to those top financial executives but sucked trillions out of the public, “mistakes,” is simply to lie. A business-plan to deceive millions of home-buyers into signing 15+ page mortgage-documents that have phrases the signer won’t and doesn’t understand, and then to package thousands of these shaky mortgages as AAA safe investments when some of their own employees had tried to tell these CEOs the investments are anything but that, and then to sell these overrated packaged MBS investments to pension plans etc., with inflated fees tacked on, might make these executive criminal masterminds very rich, but the millions of boarded-up homes and stripped pensions etc. that inevitably end up being produced by this process impoverish the public. The money-funnel from the many poor to the extremely few super-rich, is terrific for the aristocracy, but bad for the public. It’s a business-plan that’s designed, and that is being carried out, by the mega-bank’s top executives and their friends, to funnel the public’s wealth to themselves, no matter how much the public inevitably will lose from it – which is far more than the elite crooks gain from it. This operation is no mere “mistake.” To say that “the Justice Department is repeating the mistakes” is false; and the reporter himself knows that. But he also needs to keep his job – and, above all, his future employability.

Nor is Obama’s refusal to prosecute these crimes a mistake. And Obama has consistently refused to prosecute them. These things are no more “mistakes” than are common bank robberies by outsiders to a bank. Outsider heists (“bank robbers”) get vigorously prosecuted. As the great criminologist William K. Black famously said, “The best way to rob a bank is to own one.” Only at the top (and the people who serve the top) in America, is criminality not prosecuted.

The U.S. has the world’s highest incarceration-rate of any country that has more than 100,000 citizens – and not merely the highest number of prisoners, of any nation, including China and all of what the U.S. ‘news’ media commonly refer to as ‘dictatorships.’ Which nations are actually police-states? If you’re rich in America, then this country isn’t one of them. But otherwise, it certainly is, more so than is any other large nation. For everyone but the very wealthiest few Americans, America is a police-state, notwithstanding the media’s calling it some sort of ‘democracy.’ For the very poor, it’s very much a police-state, even though conservatives call it instead a “welfare state,” precisely so as to smear the poor, to add insult to the mere injury of the ugly reality. As if the Sovereignty Clause, which is also the Welfare Clause, of the U.S. Constitution, were meaningless, or should be ignored. The aristocrats have named that clause instead The Preamble, and called the Taxation Clause the ‘Welfare Clause’; but, actually, the Preamble is the Constitution’s overriding statement, the Constitution’s Sovereignty Clause, and it is simultaneously the Constitution’s Welfare Clause, because it raises “the general Welfare,” of “We, the People,” to the very highest level of Constitutional importance – that of sovereignty, in America. This level of importance overrides that of taxes (with which the aristocracy have always been concerned above all else); and, therefore, to call the taxation-clause the ‘Welfare Clause’ is a gross distortion, which is based solely upon the aristocracy’s higher concern about taxes than about the general welfare. But, in any case, the U.S. Constitution opens with its supreme commitment, which includes “the general welfare.” That’s just a Constitutional fact, no matter how much the aristocracy despise “welfare.”

And no matter how skillful a journalist may be, lying in journalism is unforgivable – but it’s so routine in American ‘journalism,’ that one might more appropriately call America’s ‘journalism’ as constituting public relations instead. It’s PR for a governmental-economic system that funnels wealth from the public to the aristocracy.

It is the system that hires and fires journalists; and that, thus, controls what gets reported, and what does not, and what the placement of individual ’news’ stories will be, the prominence of them, and what in these ’news’ stories will be emphasized and de-emphasized. 

All of these things don’t happen by accident. They happen by the reality, that if the employee fails to comply, he or she will lose employment, and then will be blackballed by all of the aristocracy’s other ‘news’ media – which is practically all of the ‘news’ media.

Any journalist who refuses to compromise truth – to compromise it in the ways that the management require – gets fired (or equivalent). That’s done by media-executives in order not only to get rid of resistors but to keep all of the other ‘journalists’ in line. And, once a journalist gets fired, then he or she does become virtually blacklisted by the rest of the paying ‘journalism’ profession – that is, the employers. A fired Republican journalist can become picked up by a Democratic ’news’ medium, and a fired Democratic ‘journalist’ can become picked up by a Republican ’news’ medium; but, in either case, such a continuation of the person’s career can occur only if that ‘journalist’ refuses to report things that the entire aristocracy want the public not to know – such as what you’re now reading, which is, as one aristocrat, Warren Buffett, once publicly admitted and shockingly phrased America’s chief reality: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” That “rich class” isn’t actually the top 1%; it’s the top twenty, or so, of billionaires in America. However: the CEOs of giant banks and oil companies and military weapons-makers, and their lobbying firms and other fixers for those few top aristocrats, buy the laws – and the press-coverage and non-coverage – they want: the public no longer do that, they don’t own the government, via their citizenship and votes and taxes, in today’s America. The elected politicians represent almost only the aristocracy who fund their campaigns. The public get fed the lines that are acceptable to this aristocracy.

Here’s an example of a journalist who refused to comply: Amber Lyon was a rapidly rising star journalist at CNN when her insistence on not covering-up the brutality of the way that Bahrain’s fundamentalist Sunni royal family, and their fundamentalist Sunni royal friends, squashed the peaceful Shiite demonstrators in Bahrain, who were seeking basic democratic rights for the Bahraini public, who are overwhelmingly Shiite, and who are thus labelled as “infidels” by fundamentalist Sunnis (such as the Sauds, who own Saudi Arabia, and their friends the Khalifas, who own Bahrain), and thus are treated like trash by them. Lyon’s refusal to hide what the CNN executives required her to hide, led not only to her being fired, but blackballed, so that her soaring career was suddenly but utterly destroyed, and she now needs to pursue other means of trying to make a living.

It was one of Mr. Obama’s ‘liberal’ supporters and financial backers, who had famously said, on 26 November 2006, “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” As a first-class hypocrite himself, who takes advantage of sophisticated opportunities to transfer his tax-obligations quietly onto others while urging publicly that his nation’s tax-laws should demand more of billionaires and less of the general public, Mr. Buffett was there verbally attacking, instead of (which is far more normal) publicly championing, the Robin-Hood-in-reverse that he sees in his country, and that he here affirmed to be the real “class warfare” in his country. That’s extraordinary, but Buffett said nothing to amplify his comment there, and he wasn’t invited to: no agent of the aristocracy (such as the conservative reporter to whom he had said this) asked him any questions about it – there was no interest whatsoever, among the aristocracy’s press, for him to provide any evidence, or amplification, upon that shocking (and shockingly unhedged and true) remark, from one of America’s top aristocrats. He knows the score. They all do. But saying it publicly like this is virtually unheard-of. Instead, there are numerous statements to the exact contrary, from the aristocracy’s agents, such as, for example, from the top Clinton-Obama economist, Harvard’s Larry Summers.

On 15 June 2012, Bonnie Kouvassi at Huffington Post, bannered “Larry Summers: We Need To Focus On Inequality of Opportunity,” and she presented video of him teaching at Harvard, in which he said, “I think we can accept, I think we should accept inequality of results, recognizing that those who earn more are in a better position to contribute more to support society.” He attacked those who criticized America’s extreme inequality of wealth, and he praised at length “those who are in a better position to contribute more to support society.” Summers’s aristocrat-enhancing view was that, even in a nation of such extreme wealth-inequality as America, inequality of opportunity can be reduced without also reducing inequality of wealth. It’s not just false, but absurdly false: In a country with such extreme wealth-inequality, inequality of opportunity is largely the result of inequality of wealth. Addressing the former without also addressing the latter is doomed to fail. One side of that whole cannot be attacked without simultaneously attacking the other side of it. As a reader at a blog phrased the matter, on 29 September 2013: “The privileges of wealth grow exponentially with each generation in no small part because of the greater educational opportunities the children of the rich have — with less distraction from needing to work their way through school and less debt with which to begin the ‘rat race’.” If anyone should know about that, it’s the former Harvard president Summers. He knows the reality. He simply lies about it.

That type of thing (what he said, but not his having been lying there) can be reported in the mainstream U.S. press, because perhaps as many as 30% of even the aristocracy – including people such as Buffett, but only Democrats, none of the Republicans who are in the aristocracy – disagree with Summers there. Basically, all of the aristocrats feel personally entitled, as aristocrats everywhere do (regardless of Party). They feel that they are superior and have a right to exploit the masses. This philosophy has been stated by the aristocracy’s ‘classics’ ever since at least the time of Plato – the propaganda-profession is ancient.

What America’s aristocrats all agree on are mainly to rape the publics in poorer countries. (The leaked “Summers Memo” from 12 December 1991, when Summers was Chief Economist for the World Bank, said that, “a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a wad of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.” And he’s a ‘Democratic’ economist.) For example, even Huffington Post has never even so much as hinted at the reality in Ukraine, that the 20 February 2014 overthrow of the Russia-friendly leader Viktor Yanukovych and replacement of him as leader by the U.S.-aristocracy-subservient Arseniy Yatsenyuk (by the U.S. State Department itself, 16 days prior to the overthrow) was a very bloody coup, and not any sort of ‘revolution’ as the entire U.S. media misrepresent it as having been. Even the formerly honest British newspaper, the Guardian, was taken over by the aristocracy in recent years and now derives its income from distorting and falsifying the reality about that, instead of by honest reporting. Even the Guardian has become untrustworthy.

The Western press that failed to report that Bush and his sidekick Blair were lying, knowingly fabricating, about ‘Saddam’s WMD’ in 2002, deceiving their countries into an invasion of Iraq, didn’t apologize for their having gone along with those lies and become accessories to mass-murder, but instead became even more uniformly untrustworthy.

Western ‘democracy’ is only in the past tense. Imperfect as it was, it’s gone now. The only remaining vestige of it is a ceaseless ongoing PR campaign. How long will the Western publics continue to believe it?


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.