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Sunday, August 22, 2010

State vs. Octavia Nasr

This story was interesting. Octavia Nasr used to work for CNN. She wrote a twitter message expressing sympathy, when a Hezbollah leader died. She was fired from her job at CNN.

This is a very common pattern. A State comedian/journalist says something that reflects a forbidden truth. They are publicly humiliated, disgraced, and fired. The truth-speaker issues an apology, but it doesn't matter; they're fired and their career is over. They never will get another job in the State media cartel. The "apology" is an important part of the ritual, because the truth-speaker retracts their statement before being disgraced.

Octavia Nasr's forbidden truth is "Not everyone involved with Hezbollah is a scumbag. Some of them are good guys. They have legitimate grievances, regarding the way the US military treats them."

The State media cartel says "Journalists aren't supposed to express personal political opinions." More precisely, journalists aren't allowed to express opinions that contradict official State propaganda. It's OK for a State journalist to say "Be patriotic! Support our troops!" That's also a personal opinion, albeit a State-sanctioned opinion.

"The State media must be neutral!" is a policy that helps hide the pro-State bias. "Present both sides" usually is false opposites. Right now, some people are saying "The Federal Reserve should raise interest rates." The fake opposite is "The Federal Reserve should keep interest rates low." The correct answer is "The Federal Reserve is a price-fixing cartel. The government should not be setting interest rates." Under the guise of "presenting both sides", the State media cartel seems impartial while suppressing the truth.

A pro-State troll says "So what? It's a free market. CNN executives can do whatever they please!" If it's a free market, then why hasn't Octavia Nasr already been hired by one of CNN's competitors? Hasn't her reputation been increased by this incident?

The mainstream media cartel is controlled by a handful of insiders. These insiders all think practically the same way. Octavia Nasr is effectively blacklisted. She probably will never find a job that pays as much as her CNN job.

A pro-State troll says "Octavia Nasr can self-publish on the Internet!" The problem is that she won't earn as much selling ads as CNN. Executives at a large corporation want to purchase ads from large mainstream media corporations that meet their censorship standards. They don't want to advertise with some fruitcake blogger. There are relatively few small businesses in the USA, so it's harder for an independent blogger to sell ads. You aren't going to earn as much self-publishing on the Internet, as with a State media corporation.

A lot of people are unfairly fired from a mainstream media job, based on something they said. This usually ends their career. There is no explicit written State censorship policy. Every mainstream journalist knows the unwritten State censorship rules.

When someone says a forbidden truth, you don't need to send them to a labor camp. It is sufficient to fire and blacklist them. With the media cartel controlled by a handful of insiders, it's very easy to impose State censorship. The insiders who control the media corporations wield more political influence than most politicians. By hyping some viewpoints and censoring others, the State media cartel enforces censorship more efficiently that China or Russia or other dictatorships. This censorship occurs while telling the slaves "Freedom of speech! Freedom of the Press! It's a free market!"

This is a very predictable pattern. A State insider mentions a forbidden truth. They are shamed and publicly denounced. They are forced to apologize, but they're fired anyway. They're effectively blacklisted. They will never again find another mainstream media job.

State propagandists have a cushy job. They are well paid but have no useful skills. There's always someone else eager to replace them. Therefore, anyone who disobeys is easily fired, discredited, and replaced.

In the USA, there is no real free market in journalism. You can self-publish on the Internet. Even if you have a good blog (like me), it's still very hard to earn a living self-publishing on the Internet.

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