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Divisiveness

“The inappropriate fit between the country's major media and the country's political system has starved voters of relevant information, leaving them at the mercy of paid political propaganda that is close to meaningless and often worse. It has eroded the central requirement of a democracy that those who are governed give not only their consent but their informed consent.”

-Ben Bagdikian

This next category deals with the element of divisiveness. The best and most obvious example of the use of divisiveness is with the manipulation of the two-party political system, leaving us with the "choice" between Republican and Democrat, liberal or conservative. But besides those political/ideological dualities (which I will focus specifically on shortly), there are a great number of additional dualistic, stereotypical corrals that we are herded into. Other examples include gender, race, social standing, age, and religion, all of which are manipulated to serve the agenda. One divisive factor which we are not constantly confronted with in the mainstream media is that of bloodlines, a consequence of the fact that bloodlines are of vital importance to the elite, powerful families that control the media and just about everything else, families like the Astors, DuPonts, Rothschilds, and the Rockefellers, to name a few. They use bloodlines to claim genetic superiority over the rest of us, based upon the facade of past rulerships and centuries of conquest, warfare, tyranny, and bloodshed. Their "us and them" mentality, brought on by a sole dedication to service to self in lieu of service to others, is what ultimately divides us. For the most part though, we don't even realize it; they make sure of that. They hide behind the media, understanding that one cannot readily combat or defend against a force that one cannot see, or even knows exists. From their place in the shadows, they historically have almost always been on both sides of a conflict - manipulating the end results and entire populations in the process. On a great number of divisive fronts, people are coerced into fighting amongst themselves, not realizing that attached to both sides are puppet strings leading to the same source. In this way, these powerful bloodlines and their minions understand and practice well the notion of divide and conquer.

One particular divisive front I would like to focus on is the aforementioned political duality of Republican and Democrat. That, of course, has much to do with the ideological duality of liberalism and conservativism, which will be discussed in tandem. Most people understand that the mainstream media has a Democratic-leaning, liberal bias. On the surface, this is true; and there are many studies which back this up. Indeed, journalism has long been a profession sought after by liberal activists, who believe the media will help raise their voices in a country which is predominantly conservative. People rarely get into journalism with the intent to simply report the facts, while having to bury their beliefs and passions. Rather, they get into journalism with the desire to do no less than change the world. "Liberals" have traditionally been more inclined towards change in general than "conservatives," who tend to like things the way they are. Despite the overall trend I am describing here, understand it reflects what is true for reporters, and therefore makes little to no difference at all. The reason is simple. As Charles Lewis points out, "the gatekeepers of truth are not the reporters, they're the owners, and they're the lackey editors who work for the owners." In a similar quote, Mark Crispin Miller responds to the idea of a liberal bias in the media by saying that "it's based entirely on the stereotypical view of the reporters themselves, many of whom may be liberals, probably they're centrists by now, but the fact is, their own personal views have nothing to do with what gets on TV." This simple fact is overlooked much too often. Once you take it into account, especially in regards to the stories that you don't see on TV (some of which will be revealed here shortly), a clearer picture will emerge that shows not an entirely liberal media, but not necessarily a more conservative media either. The media manipulates both sides to this duality to serve the agenda. They are more liberal when it suits them better, and vice versa. That brings us to the following illustration, which will help explain this interesting dynamic:

At the center of this diagram is a dot with an arrow, representing the American public being faced with the "choice" between the opposing political parties and ideologies. Behind us lies the black curtain of the mainstream media, which hides the common ground upon which the media itself, along with politicians from both sides of the aisle, meet. It is a place where the extremes of the two ideological spectrums fuse, on the grounds of totalitarianism. From the vantage of being able to secretly infiltrate both political parties, and with the help of the media, the entire political process, you can see from the illustration how those aligned with the totalitarian agenda are able to form a ring surrounding and entrapping us. While we are faced with the illusion of choice and democracy, the hidden truth is that the system in place to ensure our freedoms has long been manipulated to serve an overall agenda of a totalitarian world government. The media provides the black curtain to conceal this, engaging in practices that distract and generally dumb down their audiences rather than educating and informing them (us), and of course through their deliberate failure to report the stories which really impact our lives, such as those exposing the overall agenda. Such stories naturally implicate those in the media itself, so their blackout on this subject is, in part, a self-serving agenda as well. Now, it has become pertinent to the discussion to include this mention of totalitarianism, which pinpoints the very essence of the overall agenda. However, it is not my intent to go into detail about that here, and if it were, I could discuss the additional ways in which the overall agenda is implemented, such as what researchers have referred to as the "tip-toe totalitarianism" approach as well as the "problem-reaction-solution" tactic. It will suffice to merely make reference to such methods and tactics, and also to recommend that you do research on them as a follow-up to this article. Understanding the media's role, which provides the most crucial means of implementing the agenda as well as forming the architecture by which any additional means are supported, is a priority and remains my focus here.

There are a few additional points to be made in interpretation of the above illustration. The Bilderberg Group and the CFR are examples of the common ground which forms the basis of this ring, well behind the black curtain of the mainstream media. There is another common ground which can be reached by stepping outside of the ring altogether. You see, the divisive political differences that the media constantly assails us with are, in fact, negligible - superficial in comparison with the core differences 99% of Americans have or would have if they knew of the extremist views held by a select few individuals in the upper echelons of political and corporate circles. The politicians engaging in bipartisan efforts that truly work towards the greater good of all, they are the ones operating outside of the ring. That is, those with wholehearted intentions, not the ones lacing their outward intentions with hidden agendas. To some politicians, bipartisan efforts which advance the greater good of everybody are done merely as a formality, and seen as nothing more than a public relations tactic. This also serves to mask their other efforts which subtract from the greater good of all in order to add to their own personal gains; and to think that these power-mongering, ego-inflated maniacs call themselves our public servants... HA! There's a euphemism for you. They really, mostly, see themselves as our masters, and we their slaves. By "they" I should clarify that I mean specific groups of individuals known especially by their affiliations, such as those I have been describing all along, and not the respectable journalists and politicians who, albeit few and far between, do exist.

There is a greater context to be formed here. Looking again at the illustration, the horizontal line I have metaphorically described as the media's "black curtain" can also be thought of as a scale. We perceive this scale as the balance of power tipping this way or that, or perhaps in regards to the media having a certain bias. However, the media, basically representing the fulcrum of the scale, maintains a relative balance. This is a key strategic position for manipulating both sides - the entire political/ideological spectrum. Centered in this way, and you can picture this by looking at the illustration, there is an alignment which is formed between the fulcrum (which may also represent the tip of the pyramid*) and totalitarianism. That is because those extremists who represent such ideology are in the best position, having the means, motive, basic lack of compassion and selfish disregard for others necessary to skew the great information vehicles as well as the entire political process for their own benefit - and that is exactly what they do. They do so in such a way that no matter which way the scales are tipped, they always tip in their favor. This is done ever so slightly, maintaining the illusion of "fairness" and "balance" while the true agenda goes on behind the scenes - behind the black curtain. Now take a step back and you will see that another scale is formed here, one in which the entire illustration, conveniently circular, is like a pan attached to one side of a scale. They weigh their own needs and desires against the common good of every individual, and we unknowingly add weight to their side of the scale when we play into their agenda, giving up our rights, and giving away our power. Without realizing it, we play right into their hands.

While lately I have been using a lot of metaphors and generalities to aid in the overall understanding of this very complicated issue, I would now like to move on to some concrete examples of how this process of divisiveness I have been describing is carried out. The first example involves a study which utilizes a new research tool called Google Trends. With this tool, one can chart the popularity of internet searches over time (since 2004) as they relate to the total volume of internet searches (for the Google search engine only). In addition, Google Trends also charts the total news reference volume for the same information, allowing a side-by-side comparison. The news media data is compiled via Google News, which is an automated news aggregator. Google News collects stories and articles from a variety of online sources, including CNN, ABC News, CBS News, MSNBC, BBC News, Fox News, The New York Times, the Washington Post, Reuters, and many more. The reporting trends of these organizations as a whole, including their television and print media sectors, are usually well represented by the organizations’ online aspects. Therefore we can postulate that Google News is fairly well representative of the mainstream news media as a whole, especially considering that it covers all of the major Big 5 news agencies. The recent study I came across which uses this new research technology compares two search queries: Ron Paul and John McCain. Since this study can be easily duplicated from anywhere there is internet access, I will be citing only the Google Trends results themselves. Let’s take a look at the graphs which show the results:

Here we can see that Ron Paul (blue line) is clearly surpassing McCain (red line) in popularity based on the internet search volume index (top graph) for most of 2007 and slightly into 2008 as well. Despite this, the reference volume for Ron Paul in the news media stayed consistently below that of John McCain, as you can see from the bottom graph. There are obvious correlations among obvious disparities to be noted from this data. In short, it can be plainly seen that McCain's graphs share a strong correlation while Ron Paul's graphs demonstrate a gross disparity. What this means, in McCain's case, is that one of these graphs is following the other; either his growing popularity caused the surge in news media coverage, or the media coverage itself was what caused his popularity to spike. If we are to suppose that the former is true, that the media actually reports on what is important to us, and not what serves their agenda, then why did they all but ignore Ron Paul when his popularity went spiking up in 2007? Even though the coverage of the candidates never really starts until election year, which the graph clearly shows, we still would expect to see more of a correlation between the popular trend for the time shortly before the election year and the subsequent news media coverage afterwards. In fact, if you look at the very beginning of 2008, you will see that the graphs are almost polar opposites. Ron Paul is about twice as popular on the internet as John McCain, while McCain is garnering nearly three times the news media coverage. Clearly the news media is affecting the popularity of John McCain, causing it to rise, while consequently adversely affecting the popularity of Ron Paul, causing its sharp decline. By popularity, I mean only that which can be measured by internet search data, which does not completely, 100%, reflect the overall popularity of the subjects in question. However, it does reflect a significant portion, due in part to the fact that the internet is now widely popular, and growing more so everyday. Let me also note that even though we're dealing with a limited amount of people, they are the ones who are interested enough in politics to search for information on their candidates, and thus must naturally represent a more informed group of voters. There are even some people of the opinion that informed voters should be granted exclusive rights to vote, while uninformed voters are screened entirely from the voting process. I don't agree that should be done, but it does go to show you the extent to which people trust the opinion of an informed public. All things considered, what we essentially have here is a largely popular, informed source of polling data that is very reliable. The reliability factor has to do with the fact that this is a "poll" that is largely detached and incapable itself of influencing the results. It is not an actual poll where people know that their opinions are being monitored, you see. It has many advantages over traditional polling methods, which are usually unreliable and largely manipulated to serve the agenda (after all, they are usually conducted by the media itself!). That kind of answers the question as to why the media isn't tapping into this great source of polling data; it can't be easily manipulated, and as we can see from the graphs above, it doesn't always match the trends the media wishes to set.

That brings us to how Ron Paul fits into all this, and to understand that there's a few things you need to know about him. Ron Paul was a candidate in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries, and has long appeared on the Republican ticket in Congressional races in his home state of Texas. While Ron Paul agrees with Republicans on certain issues, such as abortion, he has alluded to the fact that he is pretty much a Republican in name only. It serves to help him win elections which would be otherwise difficult or impossible as an Independent or a Libertarian. Paul ran as a Libertarian in the 1988 presidential election, and he holds many stances that are absent from or contrary to those appearing on the Republican and Democratic platforms, such as his opposition to the Federal Reserve System. We can pretty much think of Ron Paul as a Libertarian, or basically just a third option. Therefore, he represents a threat to the media's divisive agenda of promoting the two party political system, and so they ignore him. The data clearly indicates this. Of course, we can partly attribute the data to John McCain's connections to the media elite through the CFR, as previously discussed. We can see how advantageous those connections have been for him, and how basically his popularity and his campaign were born and nurtured by the mainstream media. Ron Paul, on the other hand, whose popularity was not born by the mainstream media, had it eventually suppressed by them. In doing so, the media are helping to ensure that we remain focused on only two political parties, the ones which they just so happen to control. They divide us up, along the lines which they set, and reap the benefits from both sides. Now that, my friends, is divisiveness.

Now let's take a look at another example, and this is a slightly different take on how divisiveness is used to further the agenda. It has to do with the way in which the mainstream press gives precedence to game of politics over the concerns of citizens and communities. This particular example was brought to light by James Fallows in his book, Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy. In a nutshell, Fallows points out that when citizens ask questions of politicians, they usually want to know the specifics as to what the politician is doing for them, in terms of the issues that will directly impact their lives. However, when reporters ask questions of politicians, those questions typically have to do with the game of politics. His case study involved the time period surrounding the State of the Union address given by President Clinton in January of 1995, during which the President took questions from everyday citizens and reporters in a variety of different forums and interviews. Fallows compares questions asked by a group of teenagers to those asked by famous news anchors such as Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, and Tom Brokaw. In comparing the two groups of questions, Fallows first notes that nearly all of the teenagers' questions "concerned the effects of legislation or government programs on their communities and schools". He goes on to say, "there was no overlap whatsoever between the questions the students asked and those raised by the anchors. None of the questions from these news professionals concerned the impact of legislation or politics on people's lives. Nearly all of the questions concerned the pure game of politics - the struggle among candidates interested mainly in their own advancement" (Fallows, 22). This isn't just true in this instance. Fallows had set the stage by writing that the same phenomenon "was widely discussed in journalism reviews and postmortems on campaign coverage" after the 1992 election. By applying the same critical analysis several years later, he was able to gauge whether or not the media had learned their lesson. Obviously, they hadn't, and to this day they still haven't. The media continues to focus on the game of politics much more than the reality of politics. This is really no suprise when you consider the sources. All three of the news anchors whose interviews were examined by Fallows have already been mentioned in this article in regards to their secretive connections. Such connections involve these media representatives themselves with the divisive political struggles they report on, struggles which affect them on a different, more personal level than the rest of us. On the contrary, they are largely unaffected by the struggles which many everyday Americans face. But it isn't just that news anchors are out of touch, this example follows the same pattern I have been outlining here, one of deliberate distraction, disinformation, divisiveness, and an attempt to dumb down the audience. Furthermore, this example also serves to connect the hidden web with its outward manifestation in the agenda.

I would like to follow up on the former example with some very recent evidence of the same trend. On May 8, 2008, Wolf Blitzer interviewed Barack Obama for CNN. For his opening question, Blitzer asks Obama what he thinks about a Time magazine cover which declared Obama the winner of the Democratic primaries -- before they were actually over. Now this is interesting for a couple of reasons, but I'd just like to point out one -- CNN and Time magazine are owned by the same parent company. So this question, right off the bat, has an agenda. It is a self-serving agenda for AOL Time Warner, who get an unpaid placement for Time magazine. Wolf Blitzer's next question gets right into divisive politics, stressing the difference between Obama and McCain, and it also lacks substance because, again, the primaries were not over at this point. Here's the question from the transcript: "It's been intense in the primaries. But you realize it's going to be much more intense in the next chapter, in the next phase, given the differences between you and John McCain. Are you ready for this next phase?" Next, Blitzer confronts Obama with more divisive politics. Here are his next two questions:

"There are major differences between you and John McCain on a whole host of domestic issues and foreign policy issues. And I want to go through those right now. Already, some of his surrogates, some of his supporters, are suggesting you're not ready to be commander in chief, president of the United States. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, said this. Listen to this. 'He has not accomplished anything during his life, in terms of legislation, or leading an enterprise, or making a business work or a city work or a state work. He really has very little experience. And the presidency of the United States is not an internship.' Wow. That's a strong statement."

"I want to get to all of those national security, foreign policy issues in a moment. But let's talk about domestic issues. You know they're going to paint you, the McCain camp, Republicans, as a classic tax-and-spend liberal Democrat, that you're going to raise the taxes for the American people and just spend money like there is no tomorrow when it comes to federal government programs. Are you ready to handle that kind of assault?"

He refers to this line of questioning as pertaining to "domestic issues," but clearly he is just stirring the pot of divisive politics. In regards to foreign policy, it is no different. He keeps everything in the context of politics, as we can see here:

"Let's go through a couple foreign policy issues. McCain says, if you had your way, the U.S. would surrender in Iraq; he wants victory. ... This is going to be a huge difference, the war in Iraq, the fallout, between you and McCain. ... He also is going after you now, today, the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence. He says you're not necessarily endorsing policies that would be good for Israel."

During the primaries, we have a chance to examine the more minute differences between candidates from the same party. It's a chance to go into more detail about policies and plans that will help inform the public to make the best decision about nominating the one most qualified for the position of President of the United States. Instead on focusing on this, which would in this case involve a discussion and comparison between Obama and Hillary Clinton, Wolf Blitzer chooses to focus on the more stereotypical, divisive aspect of Democrat versus Republican. This is the kind of distracting disinformation we have grown to expect from the mainstream news media. At one point in the interview, Blitzer does ask specific questions in regards to what criteria Obama would have for nominating Supreme Court justices. I would like give him some credit for this, however, this is not something that an average citizen will understand in terms of how it will specifically impact them. Secondly, Blitzer brings up John McCain's choices during this line of questioning, thus continuing his focus on politics.

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