Why do so many people vote against their own interests? Because they are misinformed. Why are they misinformed? Because they get their news—and their views—from the media:
- CLIMATE CHANGE. Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, droughts, heat waves are amply covered in the media, but as natural disasters, usually with no mention of the human activities that are magnifying them. The links between climate change and the wars in Syria and elsewhere are not mentioned. The impending extinction of the human species is not considered newsworthy.
- INEQUALITY. The growing gap between the rich and the poor is rarely mentioned in the media, while Trump’s lopsided tax cuts are normalized.
- U.S. IMPERIALISM. Rarely mentioned as such in the media. U.S. military interventions around the world are presented as humanitarian missions, police actions, treaty obligations, or restorations of “democracy.” Americans continue to insist that their country is not an empire, though it exceeds in power and scope all the empires of history. Meanwhile, the media quote without comment Trump’s complaints that the rest of the world is ripping off the U.S.
- ELECTION FRAUD. How many Americans know that provisional ballots are not counted? How many understand that the 2016 election was stolen? How many understand how it was stolen?
- IMMIGRATION. The refugee caravans are amply covered in the media, but without mention of the U.S. complicity in the conditions that are causing them. Their connection to climate change also is unspoken. Refugees are called migrants or even invaders rather than legitimate refugees from intolerable violence and corruption.
- VACCINES. The media exhort people to get their shots, but rarely mention the risks involved. This is not entirely a fault of the media, as most adverse reactions to vaccines are not reported to authorities. Most are never even linked to vaccines.
- BERNIE SANDERS. The most popular candidate in the 2016 presidential election campaign was—and still is—ignored by the media.
- LATIN AMERICA. The misery in Venezuela is blamed on socialism, without mention of U.S. meddling and sanctions. In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega is blamed for resisting coup attempts against his democratically-elected government. U.S. and IMF involvements in Latin America are rarely mentioned. Socialism is demonized everywhere.
- OVERPOPULATION. Everywhere there are too many people, but you’d never know it from the media. Only an occasional report on advances in fertility treatments. The BBC recently did a program about the “problem” of human infertility.
What a different world it would be if people got the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from their media! But the corporate media dispense propaganda rather than truth.
P.J. Sullivan is the author of three books of historical non-fiction.