In the United States, big media, like all other powerful institutions in the economy, are owned by and operated for the capitalists. Pentagon contractor General Electric owns NBC and MSNBC. Australian media tycoon Rupert Murdoch owns the FOX network. Robert Eiger now owns the ABC-Disney-Pixar media cartel, taking over the role once held by racist, anti-communist Walt Disney.
Despite claims of “freedom” and “democracy,” U.S. television networks and major newspapers are nothing more than Wall Street’s and the Pentagon’s “Ministry of Information.” Just a few months after the Egyptian Revolution deposed President Hosni Mubarak, they are rewriting the entire history of this world-shaking event to suit their previous narrative of world politics.
From the day he took office, Mubarak was a U.S. client ruler.
Mubarak’s regime rigged elections, securing him 29 years of unchallenged rule. The CIA trained his secret police forces. Washington sent his government billions of dollars each year, mostly to the military, second in amount only to Israel.
The U.S. even looked to Mubarak’s secret police for its rendition program, allowing these thugs to conduct torture for the U.S. when technicalities of U.S. law tied its own hands.
Mubarak’s “National Democratic Party” had an official international relationship with the British Labor Party. Mubarak received praise and admiration from the U.S. for his role in repressing “extremists” who favored democracy and less cooperation with Israel and the United States.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made clear he did not believe Mubarak was a dictator, despite obvious reality.
All the major networks and newspapers featured “policy analysts,” including Fox’s soon-to-be-ex-analyst, the rabid Glenn Beck, who voiced fears that the popular revolution was “dangerous” and would create an opening for “Islamic radicals.”
When Mubarak refused to step down as millions took the streets, no cruise missiles were fired at his home. No trade embargo was placed on the country. There was no talk of a no-fly zone. Hillary Rodham Clinton reassured the world that the U.S.-backed dictator’s army was “practicing restraint.” (ABC News, Jan. 30) Clinton also made clear there was no intention of cutting off billions of dollars of aid. There would just be more discussion about reform while the brutal regime continued to be bankrolled by the U.S.
Despite the efforts of Washington to change a few faces at the top without changing the system, Wall Street’s hit man has been removed by a heroic, popular uprising. Workers’ councils have formed in the factories. Students and organized labor continue to resist as the military rules an uneasy, unstable, post-Mubarak Egypt.
After leaving office, Mubarak was not hanged or given a sham trial like Saddam Hussein. He is in no danger of having his relatives killed with NATO surgical air strikes like Moammar Gadhafi.
The new narrative
But despite reality, a new narrative is being constructed about Egypt, even though the same abuses of power continue in many countries throughout the Middle East.
The U.S.-backed autocracy in Bahrain commits brutal crimes against humanity, putting down a similar popular uprising. Though Washington funds Israel and backs the Saudi and Bahraini monarchies, it is still continually called a “defender of democracy” on every major TV channel.
Obama’s speech justifying bombing Libya repeatedly claimed the U.S. was acting for “humanitarian” reasons and “human rights.” Just naming a few of the brutal dictatorships the U.S. supports refutes this lie. But naming these names has never been part of the national image the U.S. media have created.
Even Jon Stewart, the sarcastic television commentator who often views the U.S. government with cynicism, featured a guest who claimed that the U.S. “inspired” the revolution by setting up English-speaking universities throughout Egypt.
Despite the fact that U.S.-made bullets killed protesters, U.S.-trained secret police tortured them, and the U.S. media denounced them as “terrorists” and “radical Islamists,” the U.S. supported the protesters all along? Give me a break.