If you watch Western news media with a critical eye you eventually notice how their reporting consistently aligns with the interests of the US-centralized empire, in almost the same way you’d expect them to if they were government-run propaganda outlets.
The New York Times has reliably supported every war the US has waged. Western mass media focus overwhelmingly on foreign protests against governments the United States dislikes while paying far less attention to widespread protests against US-aligned governments. The only time Trump was universally showered with praise by the mass media was when he bombed Syria, while the only time Biden has been universally slammed by the mass media was when he withdrew from Afghanistan. US media did such a good job deceitfully marrying Saddam Hussein to the September 11 attacks in the minds of the public in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq that seven in ten Americans still believed he was connected to 9/11 months after the war began.
That this extreme bias occurs is self-evident and indisputable to anyone who pays attention, but why and how it happens is harder to see. The uniformity is so complete and so consistent that when people first begin noticing these patterns it’s common for them to assume the media must be controlled by a small, centralized authority much like the state media of more openly authoritarian governments. But if you actually dig into the reasons why the media act the way they act, that isn’t really what you find.
Instead, what you find is a much larger, much less centralized network of factors which tips the scales of media coverage to the advantage of the US empire and the forces which benefit from it. Some of it is indeed conspiratorial in nature and happens in secret, but most of it is essentially out in the open.
Here are 15 of those factors.
1. Media ownership.
2. “If you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”
3. Journalists learn pro-establishment groupthink without being told.
4. Mass media employees who don’t comply with the groupthink get worn down and pressured out.
5. Mass media employees who step too far out of line get fired.
6. Mass media employees who toe the imperial line see their careers advance.
7. With public and state-funded media, the influence is more overt.
8. Access journalism.
9. Getting fed “scoops” by government agencies looking to advance their information interests.
10. Class interests.
11. Think tanks.
12. The Council on Foreign Relations.
14. Covert infiltration.
15. Overt infiltration.