Americans’ trust of the media is at an all-time low.
But most Americans still don’t understand that the U.S. mass media is untrustworthy because it’s completely manipulated to promote propaganda.
Extreme media consolidation has made the problem worse than ever before.
As many have documented, the media presents a very tiny range of opinions, but then pretends that it is giving the full spectrum of opinions on topics … as a way to dumb down the population.
Lawrence Davidson – history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania – notes:
So well does this process work that it is probably the case that many news editors and broadcasters and most of the public taking in their reporting do not understand that their reductionism has rendered the constitutional right of free press ineffectual.
Really meaningful contrary opinion and reporting (particularly of the progressive persuasion) is so infrequent and marginalized that it stands little chance of competing with the orthodox point of view.
President Obama makes speeches critiquing foreign governments, such as that in Egypt, for limiting freedom of the press and speech. There is no doubt that the governments he targets are guilty of gross violations of these rights and many more besides.
But what is equally true is that the vast majority of Americans can listen to the President castigate these governments with no sense of cognitive dissonance. They do not know that they too are victims of propaganda and manipulation.
How could they? They are culturally conditioned to believe that their country is the foundation of freedom and truth. And, beyond their local area, they haven’t the knowledge, or often the interest, to fact-check what their leaders and media agents tell them. That is why it is accurate to describe the U.S. information environment as closed.