Focus on the network evening news. This is where the staging is done well.
First, we have the image itself, the colors in foreground and background, the blend of restful and charged hues. The anchor and his/her smooth style.
Then we have the shifting of venue from the studio to reporters in the field, demonstrating the reach of coverage: the planet. As if this equals authenticity.
Actually, those reporters in the field rarely dig up information on location. A correspondent standing on a rooftop in Cairo could just as well be positioned in a bathroom in a Las Vegas McDonald’s. His report would be identical.
The managing editor, usually the elite news anchor, chooses the stories to cover and has the final word on their sequence.
The anchor goes on the air: “Our top story tonight, more signs of gridlock today on Capitol Hill, as legislators walked out of a session on federal budget negotiations…”
The viewer fills in the context for the story: “Oh yes, the government. Gridlock is bad. Just like traffic on the I-5. A bad thing. We want the government to get something done, but they’re not. These people are always arguing with each other. They don’t agree. They’re in conflict. Yes, conflict, just like on the cop shows.”
The anchor: “The Chinese government reports the new flu epidemic has spread to three provinces. Forty-two people have already died, and nearly a thousand are hospitalized…”
The viewer again supplies context, such as it is: “Flu. Dangerous. Epidemic. Could it arrive here? Get my flu shot. Do the Chinese doctors know what they’re doing? Crowded cities. Maybe more cases all of a sudden. Ten thousand, a hundred thousand.”
The anchor: “A new university study states that gun owners often stock up on weapons and ammunition, and this trend has jumped quickly since the Newtown, Connecticut, school-shooting tragedy…”
The viewer: “People with guns. Why do they need a dozen weapons? People in small towns. I don’t need a gun. The police have guns. Could I kill somebody if he broke into the house?”
The anchor: “Doctors at Yale University have made a discovery that could lead to new treatments in the battle against Autism…”
Viewer: “That would be good. More research. Laboratory. Germs. The brain.”
If, at the end of the newscast, the viewer bothered to review the stories and his own reactions to them, he would realize he’d learned almost nothing. But reflection is not the game.
In fact, the flow of the news stories has washed over him and created very little except a sense of (false) continuity.
It would never occur to him to wonder: are the squabbling political legislators really two branches of the same Party? Does government have the Constitutional right to incur this much debt? Where is all that money coming from? Taxes? Other sources? Who invents money?
Is the flu dangerous for most people? If not, why not? Do governments overstate case numbers? How do they actually test patients for the flu? Are the tests accurate? Are they just trying to convince us to get vaccines?
What happens when the government has overwhelming force and citizens have no guns?
When the researchers keep saying “may” and “could,” does that mean they’ve actually discovered something useful about Autism, or are they just hyping their own work and trying to get funding for their next project?
These are only a few of the many questions the typical viewer never considers.
Therefore, every story on the news broadcast achieves the goal of keeping the context small and narrow—night after night, year after year. The overall effect of this staging is small viewer, small viewer’s mind, small viewer’s understanding.
Billions of dollars are spent by the networks to build a reality the size of a room in a cheap motel.
Next we come to words over pictures. More and more, news broadcasts are using the rudimentary film technique of a voice narrating what the viewer is seeing on the screen.
People are shouting and running and falling in a street. The anchor or a field reporter says: “The country is in turmoil. Parliament has suspended sessions for the third day in a row, as the government decides what to do about uprisings aimed at forcing democratic elections…”
Well, the voice must be right, because we’re seeing the pictures. If the voice said the riots were due to garbage-pickup cancellations, the viewer would believe that, too.
How about this: two-day-old footage of runners approaching the finish line of the Boston Marathon. A puff of smoke rises at the right of the screen. A runner falls down in the street. The anchor is saying: “The FBI has announced a bomb made in a pressure cooker caused the injuries and deaths.”
Must be a pressure cooker. Ban pressure cookers. We saw the pictures and heard the voice explain.
We see Building #7 of the WTC collapse. Must have been the result of a fire. The anchor tells us so. Words over pictures.
We see footage of Lee Harvey Oswald inside the Dallas police station. The anchor tells he’s about to be transferred, under heavy guard, to another location. Oswald must be guilty, because we’re seeing him in a police station, and the anchor just said “under heavy guard.”
It mirrors what the human mind, in an infantile state, is always doing: looking at the world and seeking a brief summary to explain what that world is, at any given moment.
Since the dawn of time, untold billions of people have been urging a “television anchor” to “explain the pictures.”
The news gives them that precise thing, that precise solution, every night.
“Well, Mr. Jones,” the doctor says, as he pins X-rays to a screen in his office. “See this? Right here? We’ll need to start chemo immediately, and then we may have to remove most of your brain, and as a followup, take out one eye.”
Sure, why not? The patient saw the pictures and the anchor explained them.
After watching and listening to a month or two of news, planted with key words, the population is ready to see the President or one of his minions step up to a microphone and say, “Quantitative easing…sequester…”
Reaction? “Oh, yes, that’s right, I’ve heard those words before, it (whatever “it” is) must be okay.”
A month later, those two terms disappear, as if they’d never existed.
Eventually, people get the idea and do it for themselves. They see things, they invent one-liners to explain them.
They’re their own anchors. They short-cut and undermine their own experience with vapid summaries of what it all means.
At some point in time, the television audience begins to experience an itch. “If reality is the news, then maybe I could become a visible piece of reality. Maybe I could get on the news. What would I have to do? How can I stand out? What outlandish thing could I cook up?”
Anyone’s face could appear on the screen and flicker there and be driven into the minds of millions of people.
If not fortune, then at least fame.
An honest television news anchor, if one existed, would say:
“The battle over the government shutdown and its funding continue as a piece of planned chaos. Events like this are shaped well in advance by men who manipulate the One Political Party With Two Heads, and you, the viewer, are reacting predictably. You’re choosing sides. You’re angry. And I’m sitting here on most nights adding fuel to the fire. The fix is in, and I’m going along with it. Here in the studio, I’m staging the news about staged reality.”
The news is a movie of a movie.
And then, of course, when the news cuts to commercial, the fake products takes over:
“Well, every night they’re showing the same brand names, so those brands must be better than the unnamed alternatives.”
Which devolves into: “I like this commercial better than that commercial. This is a great commercial. Let’s have a contest and vote on the best commercial.”
Which devolves into: reality is an advertisement for itself.
“Hello. I’m staged reality and I’m doing ads to promote me.”
For “intelligent” viewers, there is another sober mainstream choice, a safety valve: PBS. That newscast tends to show more pictures from foreign lands.
“Yes, I watch PBS because they understand the planet is interconnected. It isn’t just about America. That’s good.”
Sure it’s good, if you want the same no-context or false-context reporting on events in other countries. Instead of the two minutes NBC might give you about momentous happenings in Iraq, PBS will give you three minutes, plus congenial experts commenting abstractly, employing longer words.
PBS’ experts seem kinder and gentler. “They’re nice and they’re more relaxed. I like that.”
Yes, the PBS experts are taking Valium, and they’re not drinking as much coffee as the NBC experts.
Brian Williams (NBC), the current champion of network anchors, seems to have downed one cup of coffee and half a Valium. He’s balanced. He’s neutral, he reveals a bit of an edge now and then, but we know he really cares, he just can’t show it because that would imply bias. And somehow (lighting, makeup), he’s forever young. He’s riding his bike down a country road tossing rolled-up newspapers on porches. It’s still morning in America…
Diane Sawyer (ABC) is for the weepers. If she’s not shedding a tear, she’s ready to. It’s there, in reserve. Her next gig should be on General Hospital.
Scott Pelley (CBS) is always ready to put on Dan Rather’s old tan bush jacket with the many pockets. And go out in the field, where it’s really happening. He’s the field surgeon who’ll do operations without an anesthetic if he has to. CBS producers keep beating him about the head and telling him he has to appear more human. They don’t have a drug for that yet.
This is the main cast of actors.
They deliver the long con every night on the tube, between commercials.
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple
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Contributed by Jon Rappoport of No More Fake News.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.