Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Feel Like NPR Is Spewing Corrupt Propaganda? Here’s Why.

NPR posted a story called “Feel like you don’t fit in either political party? Here’s why.” Of course I knew why. Neither party supports anything remotely close to my views on government budgets, climate, environment, taxation, militarism, healthcare, retirement, housing, education, transportation, or any other significant policy area.

But NPR’s story was about a Pew poll that asked 16 questions (some of them with follow ups depending on the answer) that hardly touched on most serious topics, and many of which I could not answer with any of the available choices. Largely, the poll seemed to measure sadism and cultural backwardness. Who hates immigrants? Who hates transgendered people? Who wants a theocracy?

Think I’m joking? This poll is not like the recent one along the same lines in the New York Times that predictably asked about some substantive things but pretended foreign policy didn’t exist. This one touches even on militarism, just in too dumb a way to gauge anything useful. Here are all of the questions asked:

No. I would rather have a government of about the current size but move all the money out of militarism and prisons and highways and fossil fuel subsidies and put that money into radically increasing useful spending on human and environmental needs. But that’s not a choice, so I have to lie and compromise and fit in starting from question 1 if I even want to see what question 2 is. The universal pretense that human needs cost money and wars are free, the refusal of any corporate media outlet to ask what KIND of government rather than what SIZE is, as used here, an example of push-polling. This poll is intended to make you believe things as much as to discover what you believe.

I’m not a nation. I’m a human being. Nations don’t have essences, whatever those are. And, if the United States did, then its “essence” would clearly be a combination of welcoming, accepting, resenting, hating, and despising immigrants and refugees. I don’t want any identity as a nation. I want an identity as a person, a community, a species. I have to pick the first choice because I want the U.S. government to open U.S. borders and stop facilitating coups and arming tyrants and imposing brutal sanctions on people elsewhere. But how do I say any of that to the survey geniuses finely slicing and dicing me into an “outsider leftist” or a “progressive leftist”?

Who are they paid by? Are these Saudi-funded hacks at corporate stink tanks or independent tenured professors at some last remaining uncorrupted institution somewhere? Doesn’t it matter? How can one generalize?

I think it’s actual people who’ve been harmed, not a “nation,” but question 4 is one I can answer with the second choice.

Hard not to pick the first choice, but what is it that Pew is proposing be done? Well, there’s a follow-up:

I strongly disagree with both of those. Completely rebuild most institutions and rewrite most laws? Don’t rebuild or rewrite anything? Well, at least they said “Which comes closer . . . ?”

Which corporations? The monopolies or the tiny little family businesses?

Now, here’s one I can answer: not at all. But WTF? No, seriously, WTF? What public policy does a candidate advocate, and I vote for, that permits or prohibits the speaking of languages? What is being floated here in the way of fascistic policies?

OK, well that was easy, but utterly meaningless. Different people despise these parties for completely different reasons.

Am I a fascist pig? Why, no, but thank you for asking, and framing it all within a total acceptance of nationalism and dumb, vague overgeneralization.

I’d have to say minor and minor, although the polls asking about this shit seem to approach something more major. What the hell does this have to do with whether the United States should join the rest of the wealthy world in providing education and healthcare and retirement, whether it should try to preserve a habitable ecosystem, whether it should support the rule of law in global affairs?

Easy but meaningless.

I don’t object to the are-you-a-racist questions, if there were, in this poll, also some other questions on government policies. Because there aren’t, this just turns politics into divisive cultural disputes.

How could the acceptance of anyone not be very good for a society, unless we’re a bunch of Nazis?

Where’s the choice to abolish the prisons?

I wonder whether the U.S. Bill of Rights is included in those “values and beliefs.”

Oh for fuck’s sake. It is not acceptable for anybody to build weapons and bases and threaten wars. We have climate and nuclear catastrophes starting at us. Why are we dicking around with who hates China any more than who hates black people? We don’t have time for this crap!

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Help support DavidSwanson.org, WarIsACrime.org, and TalkNationRadio.org by clicking here:

http://davidswanson.org/donate

Sign up for these emails at

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/articles-from-david-swanson

https://davidswanson.org/feel-like-npr-is-spewing-corrupt-propaganda-heres-why/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Dunne Speaks: Can ACT's Dream Run Continue?

By most reckonings the ACT Party has had a very successful political year. Not only has its expanded Parliamentary team settled in well to its work, without controversy or scandal, but its leader has gained in community respect, and the party’s support, at least according to the public opinion polls, has increased sharply... More>>

Keith Rankin: Basic Universal Income And Economic Rights
"Broad growth is only going to come when you put money in the hands of people, and that's why we talk about a Universal Basic Income". [Ritu Dewan, Indian Society of Labour Economics]. (From How long before India's economy recovers, 'Context India', Al Jazeera, 31 Oct 2021.) India may be to the 'Revolution of the twenty-first century' that Russia was to the 'Revolution of the twentieth century'... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Foreseeable Risk: Omicron Makes Its Viral Debut
It has been written about more times than any care to remember. Pliny the Elder, that old cheek, told us that Africa always tended to bring forth something new: Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre. The suggestion was directed to hybrid animals, but in the weird pandemic wonderland that is COVID-19, all continents now find themselves bringing forth their types, making their contributions. It just so happens that it’s southern Africa’s turn... More>>



Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>

Globetrotter: Why Julian Assange’s Inhumane Prosecution Imperils Justice For Us All

When I first saw Julian Assange in Belmarsh prison, in 2019, shortly after he had been dragged from his refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, he said, “I think I am losing my mind.”
He was gaunt and emaciated, his eyes hollow and the thinness of his arms was emphasized by a yellow identifying cloth tied around his left arm... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Labour's High Water Mark
If I were still a member of the Labour Party I would be feeling a little concerned after this week’s Colmar Brunton public opinion poll. Not because the poll suggested Labour is going to lose office any time soon – it did not – nor because it showed other parties doing better – they are not... More>>