One bad thing about weekends is there's no Democracy Now! to download. This is one hour essential to each of my weekdays. To keep the rhythm going on Saturdays and Sundays I recently started listening again to NPR (American National Public Radio), however I can only handle a brief listen before getting thoroughly fed up with its news programming. I used to listen nonstop to the NPR member station in Ithaca, New York in the late 90's, so I got to hear fantastic programs like Alternative Radio along with what I believed then to be decidedly non-commercial radio programming.
So what a surprise it was to tune in Sunday morning and hear an NPR member station broadcasting a program called "Newsweek On Air". Produced by Newsweek itself, within seconds I felt that I was actually hearing something akin to a video news release, a faked news story produced by a corporation or the government for the purpose of deceiving the listener into believing the segment was actually journalism rather than propoganda.
The very obviously very scripted interview I listened to sounded like nothing more than outright cheering for the empire. (This may be nothing new for some readers, but for my girlfriend and I it's an intrusion; we have constructed a television-free world for ourselves in which corporate pap disguised as fair, accurate, balanced, or true must be actively sought out for criticism.) Newsweek's imbecile guest---one of its magazine commentators---was telling the inane co-hosts that "Muslim culture" was, in fact, amenable to "democracy" because of all the, you know, important facets the two have in common. Like what? asked the inane co-hosts. Says the imbecile guest: like private property.
Earth to planet Earth: private property is not a facet of democracy. People with imperial agendas are always confusing democracy and capitalism. That is why whenever a population makes a democratic choice to reject some aspect of capitalism or empire, the Empire always complains about "threats to democracy."
The Vietnamese want communism? Bomb them. The Palestinians want the right to self-determination? Bomb them. Iran wants to nationalize its oil? Sponsor a coup. Transparent, highly monitored elections have occurred recently in Venezuela, Lebanon, and Palestine, in which opposition to empire has been proclaimed loudly by voters. No wonder there is such hostility among defenders of imperialism to these governments.
But then, what did the imbecile Newsweek commentator have to say about democracy in the Middle East? He talked about "successful" new democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq, and about advances in the Gulf States, Jordan, and Morocco (which I sort of think of as being in northwest Africa, but whatever). Absent in the cheerleading of corrupt governments under American occupation or monarchies for chrissakes was any mention of the open democracies we are actively crushing in Palestine and Lebanon.
Why is an NPR station broadcasting insipid shit from Newsweek? They have their agenda. On mine is a daily dose of Democracy Now!.