I used to wonder how some people just swallowed the myths about climate change, the Covid scam or the fiction about the Ukraine war. But they get their news from the Legacy media who are feeding them the same story, every day, in different ways. The newspapers, the television channels, the radio stations. The rendering is so constant, coming from all directions, and there is no equal force to counter it. So the audience believes this one-sided account and concludes that is the truth.
Thus, for example, we have the threat of global warming accompanied by tales about the evil fossil fuels on one hand, and the earth-saving renewable energy sources on the other. The fable flourishes because that is what those holding the megaphones are saying. Unless you want the truth and search for it, you will not find it. Even if you find it you will doubt it, because the power of the brainwashing narrative is so strong.
In this academic paper, Bora Kurum says:
The most basic definition of a narrative is a record and an account of interconnected events, or just defined as a story. People have cognitive wiring that leads them into believing the stories that they hear multiple times. The people living in different societies may be directed to holding different and varied views regarding a standard issue and topic.
The truth will not be served up to anyone in the mainstream arena. If people desire it, they have to search for it. It would help them if they did some research, looked at other sources, changed their peer groups, asked questions and analysed what was being fed to them. Then they would notice the fallacies. There is a devious plan that has been devised by those who pull the strings, and this gets implemented via their underlings in the media. The goal is to influence public opinion to whatever fits the purpose. Thus reality can be moulded so that some parts can be highlighted and some can be ignored.
The details surrounding an event can be modified depending on the angle that the media wants to promote. Does the audience (whether readers, listeners or viewers) blindly accept the media account as the whole truth? Or does it seek further details, query the information provided, analyse the available data and then arrive at a decision or opinion having gained all the necessary facts?
If Legacy media as one entity was not sufficient in the attempt to confuse the truth, social media has turned into another force by adding an additional element to this change of verity. For example, the use of bots or multiple identities can lead readers into an incorrect perception of reality.
From a personal perspective, I realised years ago that if I wanted the real news, I would need to find it myself. With time, I have checked out many media outlets via – newspapers, television, radio, internet – and worked out which ones had leanings in a particular direction along with their biases, and the ones that could be trusted for fairly accurate reporting. So catching up with news has been quite easy knowing which sites to visit for my round-up of news.
No matter the site or it usual leanings, if the truth matters to us, it is always helpful to stay alert to any prejudices that can seep into any material and to be conscious of them while reading, watching or listening to the news that we consume. It is not easy to stay objective in the face of constant information that is being streamed from multiple sources.
Some information may be a bit outdated as this article was published a few years ago.
People continually vote against their own interests. People continually let their behaviour and their speech be controlled by the powerful. And people continue to be completely oblivious of the reality of the world around them.
Nobody trusts the media. And yet everyone continually falls for it’s tricks. Because they underestimate how deep the rabbit hole goes.
The media can spread information about a topic that is not just incorrect but also done in a way that selectively adds or omits details and attempts to control public opinion. This sort of reporting is known as media gaslighting.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a person’s mind, making them question their own reality, memory, or beliefs. A gaslighter aims to gain control over another person, group, or nation by trying to convince them they’re wrong, reinforcing their preferred narrative by repetition, regardless of fact.
“The term is derived from the play Gaslight (1938) which features a husband’s systematic psychological manipulation of his wife,” says Nikki Emerton, a life coach and hypnotherapist. “This eventually leads to her questioning her own sanity.”
So how does this translate to the media? “In media and societal terms, ‘gaslighting’ may be seen as propaganda, indoctrination, or mass brainwashing. Telling people what to think to fit in. Creating a ‘gang culture’ so that if you want to ‘fit in’ and be part of the gang, you must think a certain way, no matter how inaccurate it is,” Nikki explains.
It isn’t just about spreading misinformation, but extends to the deliberate act of attempting to rewrite the narrative to control public opinion, and refusing to acknowledge information that tarnishes said narrative.
Until a year ago, it seemed fairly easy to divide the world into two broad sections:
Right wing vs Left wing or Conservatives vs Socialists. However, those groupings have become blurred during 2023. In the lead up to the US Election primaries, the Right-wing/Conservatives have lost their focus on the end goal and as a result are splintering into sub-groups. I explained this in several comments in the Open Thread, starting here.
Now, over the past week, we have an additional dimension to add to the factions. The simmering Israel-Palestine conflict in the Middle East has exploded with the Hamas massacre of Israelis in Gaza. A complex political situation in one part of the world has brought to the fore related issues of war, terrorism and decades of injustices.
While the Left remains mostly united in its Socialist agenda, the Right has splintered into sub-units. If we are unable to comprehend the real crisis that is unfolding now and are fixated on personality cults rather than foresight, solutions and clear goals, by the time we grasp the seriousness of the situation, it will be too late. As Yuri Bezmenov said in an interview, a person will refuse to believe until he is going to receive a kick in his fat bottom.
We are facing a complexity of challenges right now and they are going to get worse. We can choose to pretend that there is nothing to be concerned about or allow the media to gaslight us and control our opinions and decisions. On the other hand, instead of being passive recipients, we can be wary of the stories that get presented to us, regardless of the source. We can be proactive and seek the truth not just about the news events but the causes and solutions.
The failure of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum is proof that when the narrative of the elite agenda-setters is challenged, the outcome is for the greater good. In this case, what is best for Australia to remain united as a nation.
Rather than assuming that any “news” story is fact, it may be better to ask questions or seek further details before rushing to conclusions. Who is telling the story? Who is controlling the narratives not just on current issues such as Covid, the Ukraine war, Global Warming, the US Election 2024, Gender Ideology, Diversity, Equality and Inclusivity or the Israel-Palestine conflict, but also scheming new methods to subjugate the peasants?
If you go down this route, you could be labelled a “conspiracy theorist”.