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Former Sun CEO, John Swinton: “There Is No Such Thing, At This Date of the World’s History, As An Independent Press; You Know It and I know It”

We must understand the mechanics of news operations in order to avoid falling prey to the propaganda being fed us as news. File photo: Pixabay.

BOCA RATON – CNN International (CNNI) rules the world of news casting. CNNI is an international pay television channel that is operated by CNN and carries news-related programming worldwide. They decide what stories to headline, they format and compose the headlines, they determine just where and when we view them and they choose who evaluates the importance and significance of such events. Dangerous, as Richard Salant, the former President of CBS News put it so well:

“Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.”

The people behind the cameras, their directors and reporters are the chefs and waiters while we are the “in seat” consumers. This situation is not an easy one to change but we must understand the mechanics of the operation in order to avoid falling prey to the propaganda being fed us as news.

Whether you’re on a cruise in the middle of the Pacific or on a safari in the heart of Africa, your CNN news channel is with you. News is flashed to you on your TV, computer or laptop screens. You just cannot avoid being inundated by news that CNN decides is what you will watch. Recently, reporting on live video from Gaza, CNN reporter Ian Lee, wearing combat vest, dusty helmet, tearfully described the killing of 40 Palestinian civilian protesters by what he described as Israeli artillery, aircraft and small arms fire.

This was his description without evidence other than what he was told by the Palestinian authorities with whom he was embedded. One wonders just what his fate would be if he described in detail the true goals of these protesters if they were permitted to swarm into Israel. What questions, (never asked) could he pose to Gaza’s Hamas leaders about their plans for the destruction of Israel. We never hear from any of CNN’s Gaza based reporters about the horrors of the Islamic regime which permits them to “report” with strict censorship, from their despotic territory. How different is the attitude of their crews when issuing”news” accounts from within the democracy of Israel without fear of being beheaded? There they speak freely without any fear of retribution from the authorities. They are safe to spout their own views and even to distort the news. Walter Cronkite, the former anchorman for The CBS Evening News told the scary truth about what we get to see and hear from the media.

“We must decide which news items out of hundreds available we are going to expose that day. And those [news stories] available to us already have been culled and re-culled by persons far outside our control.”

Read between the lines and you get it…. the news we get is screened by those who have their own biases. We must become more sophisticated and aware of the powers of the vast media networks that now seem to be leaning far to the extreme Left. What is the future of the First Amendment covering free speech? Is there still such a thing as a Free Press?

Asked to give a toast before the prestigious New York Press Club in 1880, John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff at the New York Sun, made this candid confession:

“There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.

If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell the country for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press. We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes. “

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