- Politics and Social Issues
The Media Supports Terrorism
The MO of terrorism is to terrorize and strike fear. Historically speaking, the objective has been to coerce or otherwise influence a target government. The terrorist resorts to various tactics such as kidnapping, assassination, drive-bys and the most common these days are the bombings. Insurgents seeking popular support from the locals and to wear down the resolve of the opposing force also resort to information operations campaigns and the media offers them a mouthpiece.
Today I’m going to give you something to be afraid of; something that until now, you probably never thought or cared about. Until now, your life was just fine, but after this, it will be forever changed. Yea, so dramatic right?
I like Australia; just about everything there comes with teeth, stickers or stingers and can kill you or at least really hurt you. The duckbill platypus is an animal that can only have come from the Island of Dr Moreau. While posing as the sweet and innocent result of a tryst between Bill the Beaver, an otter and Daisy Duck, it actually swims in the gene pool of vicious reptiles. These carnivores have venomous stingers on their hind legs and the skin on their flipper retract to reveal claws that allow them to run on land in spite of their awkwardly helpless appearance. Their venom, which contains an astounding 19 distinct peptides and includes a D-amino acid, is lethal, resulting in enough pain to incapacitate the victim before he dies. It causes a condition known as hyperalgesia which can be so painful that the human body will not respond to the numbing effects of morphine. This animal is not to be taken lightly and if you come across one, you’d do well to leave it alone and go the other way as quickly as possible.
Ok, so the above is what the media does. It was a bit of anti-platypus propaganda. Don’t take it the wrong way, I like the platypus, it proves God, or whoever has a sense of humor. You’ll notice the compelling language such as the use of the words and phrasing like: “vicious”; “posing as sweet and innocent”; and “stingers.” When something poses as anything, it’s implied that the opposite is true; think of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. So without coming out and saying it, this phrasing leads you to conclude that the platypus is actually neither sweet, nor innocent. In the same sentence, the platypus is further compared to “vicious” reptiles. At this point, most people would think of poisonous snakes and forget that benign animals such as the iguana are also reptiles. Referring to the platypus as a “carnivore” stirs up images of hunters and predators when in fact this animal is a bottom feeder that hunts nothing you can’t trap in a small mason jar. By the way, it seems that the platypus only uses its spurs in self defense. Speaking of which, referring to its spurs as “stingers” provides a more sinister connotation resulting in a negative visual image coming to mind. The venom contains an “astounding” 19 peptides. Granted that’s more peptides than you or I can produce and this is probably the first time you’ve take a second to think about what a peptide is (basically a chemical that performs a specific function, many are actually medicinal if you Google it). But compared to the 19 peptides in a platypus’ venom, I must point out that the 500 species of cone snails each carry about 100-200 peptides per species; not so astounding anymore, huh? And the venom is lethal…to small animals and causes enough pain to incapacitate the victim before he dies (in the case of small animals or of natural causes in the case of humans). The term “victim” personifies the prey, suggesting that it’s actually a human while there have been no human fatalities as of 1992 and none since then that I could find. Oh and the last big, official-sounding word mixed in with all the fire and brimstone of platypus venom is hyperalgesia, it just means pain sensitivity. It sucks and has been reported to last months in some cases. The best part, everything in the previous paragraph was completely true, just not necessarily presented in perspective as it relates to the rest of the world. You shouldn’t take this little guy lightly, and if you move away, he won’t have to defend himself and you won’t get skewered.
This is what the media does to us as a country. They go for that shock value and ratings. In the process, they become locutionaries for those who utilize terror as their primary modus operandi a platform to reach the masses. It’s interesting because most of the radio and television broadcast buildings have pretty good physical security to prevent anyone from taking over and using their station as a mass communication platform. Ironically, they then broadcast nationwide the images that our enemies in terrorism would want to show us themselves. Anytime we see something on YouTube that’s dubbed over or has subtitles in English, it’s been made especially for the American people to see. Take a look at Maulvi Sangin’s YouTube post from Afghanistan were he’s a Taliban commander in Paktika. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are running information operations targeting Americans. For example, the bomb going off in the background was staged to convey that Sangin has "nerves of steel" since he doesn't really flinch; though people who read body language can tell that he's making a concerted effort not to look. The media just wants increase the ratings of its viewers, not the thinking of its viewers. Take a look at Frontline's "Behind Taliban Lines" It's pretty informative but it's played up as a reporter spends 10 days with the Taliban in northern Afghanistan. They advertise the exclusive nature of the documentary and the risk to the journalist's life. The media won’t stop you from thinking, but they sure won’t help you any either. So think about his. When you find information from a source that you don’t normally get it from and it goes contrary to the popular opinion, what would you think about it? Could it be that this source is deliberately misleading you? Maybe they really believe what they’re saying and it may be partially accurate but also partially inaccurate. Or could it be that they are trying to shed light on something that you don’t know or have access to? In any case, they’ll get the attention of enough people the “vocal minority” that ten percent of rabble rousers that can get others to follow them. You the citizen now have information from a source that you find credible your friend or neighbor or simply your fellow American it’s much easier to believe someone that’s been socially validated and shares common ground with you. Oh and by the way, don’t go thinking that America isn’t just as guilty, most people assimilate and regurgitate what they hear without thinking at all. So what are you going to do next time you catch propaganda in action?