Tolik, I may have mentioned it here previously, but in case not, I have the following experience behind me. When I was about 12 or 13, I was given my grandfather’s old tube-type, wooden case shortwave radio. I set it up in the basement, and ran a long wire antenna out the window and up into the back yard. If there was a World Radio and TV Handbook back then, I knew nothing about it. But I happened to find the English language service of Radio Moscow, and got hooked. I wasn’t hooked in the sense of buying into it, hook line and sinker, but hooked by what, even at that age, seemed unbelievable to my young mind. It was incomprehensible that anybody could believe that stuff! I listened to descriptions of what life was like here in the United States, for example, and then what the Soviets were doing in the world, and it was simply amazing. I spent many, many hours listening to people with little and even no accent at all, and imagined that somehow they’d even recruited real live Americans to read their reporting. I could not understand how anyone could defect from here to there, or how people could listen to that stuff and be taken in by it.
That did two important things for me, at minimum (in addition to exercising my critical thinking skills – I had actually been introduced to formal debating around that time in some school class or other, and was learning to take both sides of arguments, even if I didn’t believe one (or either) of them. But what else it did was give me an interest in radio (I later got an amateur radio license with a general class license that I sadly let go in college due to no time (or equipment – I needed money and sold mine) to get on line. It also gave me a deep interest in international relations, which became a significant factor in my major course of study in my undergrad work.
Thus, I became VERY familiar with Radio Moscow, and kept hearing about what Pravda and Izvestia had to say about this or that. In other words, I became quite conversant with what propaganda was.
While I now can look back and assume that probably what we were getting on the news was focused in certain directions, there was still a huge difference. What passes as “news” today is nothing more than entertainment sprinkled with bits and pieces of the stories about various events locally, nationally, and internationally, sprinkled with all kinds of charged words in the “reporting.” In other words, we’ve got pure propaganda that too many people believe is news reporting. But back around 1960 or so, some here remember the old Huntley Brinkley reports, for example. There was news reporting, and then – clearly identified as such – was the commentary. There was a sharp division. And during the “news” portion, there were rarely any emotionally charged words thrown in – it was relatively objective, even if it probably was selectively reported in some regards. Still, I remember hearing a wide variety of stories from around the nation and around the globe. Except when the Kennedys and King were assassinated, the idea of everything on TV being dominated by a single issue or story was simply not yet in play back then.
So fast forward to 2015 (and a number of years prior to that, even well preceding Obama). I’ve said it before, just in different terms than you did – our “news” media today is every bit as “good” (i.e. proficient at what they do) as Pravda, Izvestia, and Radio Moscow were in the early 60s. And yes, it’s just amazing to me that Americans are so eager to buy into this cr@p as much as many Soviets were to theirs back then. And it’s why I have no more hope that the constitutional republic will survive, except in name and paper-thin shell only. Yet people point to their “constitutional rights,” as if they even know what those are (and aren’t!), or that the Constitution truly matters any more when almost every current oath-taker has sold him- or herself out long ago. And with the absolute assistance of our public schools, we’ve now got multiple generations of people (mostly adults now) that truly believe the agenda Obama and his henchmen (and those before him as well) have put on our backs.