Renowned Indian writer Arundhati Roy once assured an American audience that the United States might enjoy a collective sigh of relief when it finally gives up on being an empire. But empires die hard. In response to eroding economic predominance, military spending in the U.S. has skyrocketed. Simultaneously, as if in response to legal matters that encircle the U.S. president, we see a more and more bellicose foreign policy. The "winds of war" is a terrible term. As if war were as natural as the wind. In fact, wars are trumped up, sold, hook-line-and-sinker.
Mass media are owned by huge corporations that have a definite ideological agenda. Yet it is a staple verging on dogma that the mass media are independent, objective and liberal. This is repeated like a mantra and never challenged. Detailed studies and documentation refute the liberal label. Nevertheless, the charge of liberal bias persists and has become part of the political culture.
The current period could be dubbed The Age of Anger. To drive ratings up and along with them, ad revenue there’s nothing like rage. People go to their favorite media outlet as if it were comfort food. Where their views are validated and reinforced. And their anger finds a home. Argu-tainment is the order of the day and boy does it pay off. Corporate profits soar. Witness the comments of Leslie Moonves, former head of CBS, who cynically said, Donald Trump and his campaign “may not be good for America but it’s damn good for CBS. Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having now? The money’s rolling in. I’ve never seen anything like this. Bring it on, Donald.”
Abby Martin is an investigative reporter and television host of The Empire Files on TeleSUR.
Michael Parenti is one of this country’s foremost independent political analysts. Cornel West calls him, “a towering prophetic voice.” He has taught at major colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. He is the author of numerous books including the classic Democracy for the Few, Power and the Powerless, The Face of Imperialism, and The Assassination of Julius Caesar.
Matt Taibbi is an award-winning journalist and a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He is the author of Griftopia and Hate, Inc.