The US Corporate Media---which is rapidly becoming an even greater international laughingstock than it already is---graced us this last week with two more examples of why nobody should ever listen to their expertise on anything. This is especially true of foreign policy in general, and affairs in the Middle East in particular. As we have seen in previous articles, the Media Cartels are not only grossly ignorant of world affairs; their reporting is usually badly compromised by interested parties financially involved in media management.
The first incident came early this week when Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson was interviewed on MSNBC. Johnson, though ostensibly representing a party of limited government, nonetheless supports homosexual persecution of business and favors a national sales tax. His candidacy is heavily financed by the infamous Koch Brothers. As if this weren't enough, when asked about the Battle of Aleppo in the Syrian Civil War, Johnson confessed that didn't know what Aleppo was.
And so, The New York Times, behaving as though Johnson was even a serious candidate, wrote a hit-piece mocking the LP's ignorance. Alan Rappeport, who passes for a journalist in today's media climate, said the following in the Times: "Aleppo is the de facto capital of ISIS." Which also happens not to be true: the capital of (what's left of) the ISIS Caliphate is Raqqa. The embarrassed Times quickly corrected Rappeport's blunder to read: "Aleppo is a major ISIS stronghold." Which is also incorrect. ISIS has never had much presence in Aleppo: the city was controlled by Al-Qaeda and its affiliates. The Times then ran another correction clarifying that Aleppo is the capital of Syria. As it happens, however, the capital of Syria is Damascus.
This is a major US news source supposedly informing Americans of the Syrian crisis. And staffed by pseudo-intellectual media elites like Rappeport who apparently can't find Syria on a map.
The next media blunder came from another character widely regarded as a great intellectual: CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer was interviewing Senator Rand Paul---one of the few US politicians to question arms sales to Saudi Arabia. When Senator Paul brought up the issue of Saudi atrocities in Yemen, Blitzer retorted by pointing out that a $1.1 billion arms sale was being held up by Paul's opposition, saying:
"So for you this is a moral issue. But you must realize there are a lot of jobs at stake. Certainly if a lot of these defense contractors stop selling warplanes and other sophisticated equipment to Saudi Arabia, there's going to be a significant loss of jobs, of revenue in the United States. That, to you, is a secondary issue?"
Well, Blitzer certainly has his own moral issues; which apparently puts the profits of defense contractors above the ethnic cleansing of Yemeni citizens. But this should come as no surprise: CNN is a subsidiary of Time-Warner. The top ten corporate shareholders in Time-Warner are also invested in the defense contracting industry.
Rappeport and Blitzer are certainly not unique in the Media Cartels; they are specimens, though, of the type of people who rise to undeserved prominence in a corrupt corporate system. With no domestic competition and no transparency or accountability to the public, the Corporate Media is under no obligation to hold to high professional standards. Thus any mediocrity on the Rappeport or Blitzer level can fill the position of 'journalist'; provided they have the right connections and the proper politically-correct attitudes.