Media Censors the Opinions of 37% of Americans. And Now They’re Gloating About It.

1-3-18Thirty-seven percent of American citizens are socialist or communist. That’s far more people than voted for either Hillary Clinton (28% of eligible voters) or Donald Trump (27%) in 2016.

The majority is voiceless. A privileged minority rules. The United States is a political apartheid state.

If the Left were allowed on the ballot in this fake democracy, given space in newspapers and on television, invited to join political debates, and if it wasn’t brutally suppressed by the police and FBI, the Left wouldn’t need to wage a revolution in order to take over the country. Leftists could easily win at the ballot box if America were a real democracy.

Media censorship plays a major part in the conspiracy to deny the majority Left its rightful role as the nation’s rulers. Socialist and communist Americans read newspaper editorial pages and draw the false conclusion that they’re members of a lunatic fringe. More than 1,000 papers—yet not one single leftist opinion columnist or editorial cartoonist on staff?!?

Leftist Americans exist by the millions but many are isolated from one another. They watch CNN, MSNBC and FoxNews and figure they’re all alone. None of the three major cable news networks employs a single left-wing commentator. They go to the polls but there’s no left party on the ballot. Or if there is, they’ve never heard of it and don’t want to waste their votes.

To be a Leftist in America today is analogous to how black people felt until recently while watching TV: you don’t see anyone like you. The powers that be want you to feel like the Invisible Man, as though you didn’t exist. You know you exist. But you can’t miss the system’s message that you don’t matter.

American politics is a party to which you have not been invited.

This has been the state of affairs for as long as I can remember. Even as more Americans become disgusted by runaway capitalism, censorship of the Left has become increasingly thorough and ferocious.

There used to be a little space. In the 1990s lefties like me were granted occasional mentions in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and NPR. Even FoxNews had us on to serve as punching bags. Shortly after 9/11 we disappeared along with the Twin Towers, relegated to a few blogs and alternative weeklies. Now newspapers and cable TV news and corporate news websites never give space or air to representatives of the Left. (Don’t email me about AOC. She’s a Democrat, not a leftist.)

Censorship of the really-existing Left is impressively thorough. You’ll find exactly as much opposition to the government on the media here in the U.S. as you’ll find in North Korea.

Ashamed and afraid, the gatekeepers used to have the decency to keep secret their suppression of people whose political sin is that they really, truly believe that all humans are equal. They didn’t even think they were biased. They thought they were reasonable. Moderate. Middle of the road.

Censorship with a smile is no longer enough for America’s corrupt news media. Now they’re brazenly contemptuous. The bastards even seek to elevate censorship of the Left to a proud American value!

On May 12th the Times ran another in a string of hit pieces on RT America, a television network it described as the cat’s paw of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.” RT, the Times complained, “amplifies voices of dissent, to sow discord and widen social divides. It gives the marginal a megaphone and traffics in false equivalence.” Imagine that: giving airtime to people we’ve always censored! “Voices of dissent” must never be “amplified.” They must be silenced.

This has become a standard talking point.

“RT America has a modest audience, exploring stories of dissent, injustice and poverty within the U.S. that it says American news outlets ignore,” NPR sneered in 2016, as if dissent, injustice and poverty were standard fare on corporate media outlets. Anyway, if RT’s audience is so small, why is the political establishment so worried about them?

The formerly-liberal Guardian has gotten into the act: Fringe opinion takes centre stage [on RT],” it wrote in 2017. “Reporting is routinely bolstered by testimony from experts you have never heard of, representing institutions you have never heard of.” It is true that RT rarely interviews “experts” like John Bolton and William Kristol, neocon architects of the Iraq War who despite their evil idiocy pop up everywhere from CNN to the Bill Maher show. Far more often, they interview people who have been right year after year about issue after issue—people like me.

I get interviewed by RT often. (Disclosure: I am a frequent guest on RT’s sister radio network Sputnik News and draw cartoons for them too.) Never once have they told me what to say or not say. I wish I could say the same about many “mainstream” U.S. media outlets.

Many attacks against RT originate with the U.S. government’s national security apparatus. The Times piece blithely cites the RAND Corporation, Molly McKew, a right-wing lobbyist for the anti-Russian government of Georgia, and the Director of National Intelligence to support its allegations. A 2017 report issued by the DNI groused: “RT’s reports often characterize the United States as a ‘surveillance state’ and allege widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use. RT has also focused on criticism of the U.S. economic system, U.S. currency policy, alleged Wall Street greed, and the U.S. national debt.”

Notably, the report did not question the accuracy of those assertions.

It certainly didn’t suggest that the U.S. stop doing all those things that make it look so awful.

To U.S. corporate propagandists the solution is clear: censor more and censor better.

Make censorship good.

(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of “Francis: The People’s Pope.” You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)



  • Ted, I fully agree with you with regard to the manner in which RT and Sputnik are treated in the corporate media (includes the Guardian, even though it’s run be a foundation) in North America and Europe, but I must admit I reacted when I read «You’ll find exactly as much opposition to the government on the media here in the U.S. as you’ll find in North Korea». May I suggest that one should abstain from employing the DPRK as an example of all that is evil in the manner in which, e g, Hegel ,used the example of China, where, according to the philosopher (who had never visited the country and knew nothing of its culture), «every change is excluded, and the fixedness of a character which recurs perpetually, takes the place of what we should call the truly historical», as the antithesis to Europe, which alone possessed a true history – at least if one has not done the necessary homework, i e, visited the country and gained a command of the language and its culture. Pointing out places about which one knows little or nothing (over and above the home truths that one reads in, e g, the New York Times) as the Other, utterly distinct (in a negative fashion) from US, may be convenient, but rarely leads to greater understanding of us or them….


    • American media criticizes North Korea for the poverty they impose on their citizens in order to fund their military.

      But US military spending is more than the next eight nations combined, along with the world’s largest prison population.

      It is also the wealthiest nation, along with a great disparity of wealth, with the poor and the homeless (and their excrement) to be found everywhere, but almost invisible in its media.

      The US tortures, wages wars of aggression, and is now prosecuting journalists under the Espionage Act to conceal these facts from its consumerist infotainment culture, there from which its presidential candidates must come.

      Honest comparisons are plentiful, if one cares to see them.

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  • Nixon was certain that the domestic social disruptions over the invasion of Vietnam were due to communist agents.

    As if the moral objections to mass murder were coming from outside agitators in the certainty that all possible sources of moral outrage had been extirpated domestically, and could never arise spontaneously from within US borders.

    Baby Boomers of that time, who were raised on the pablum of American Exceptionalism, of being THE force for good in the world, did not then surrender their sense of America’s exceptional righteousness easily in confrontation with the perceived evil deviance of Nixon in his continuation of Johnson’s genocide, where brutal reality conflicted with the fairy tales of America’s goodness they had once unthinkingly swallowed whole.

  • alex_the_tired
    May 20, 2019 9:01 PM

    The thing that unsettles me the most is the narrowing of the mindset; that is, how people are being conditioned to question less and less and to smaller and smaller degrees.
    Example: Hedge fund billionaire Robert F. Smith says he–correction: his family–is going to pledge $40 million to pay off all the student loans of the graduating class at Morehouse College.

    I want to be clear here: A billionaire (he’s worth $5 billion) is going to produce $40 million. Really, it’s hard to grasp exactly how large a billion is. Let me give you an analogy: A billion seconds is 31 years. A million seconds isn’t even a fortnight (11 days). The $40 million works out to be 4/5ths of 1% of $5 billion. It’s a goddamned rounding error.

    But let me be an ingrate to another degree. Not only will this $40 million, not even a little bit, affect his bottom line (he won’t even need to switch to domestic champagne to flush his servants’ toilets), he’ll get to write it off on his taxes. And let’s not forget all the loopholes and exemptions and tax dodges that the wealthy have access to. Smith has made MULTIPLES of $40 million from a system in which his companies take all they want.

    And he doles out the nickels and everyone practically vomits over themselves in joy. No one realizes that they’re being screwed by the system, no one accepts that this is the equivalent of being told not to come to the wedding and being handed half a slice of wedding cake when the guests come home at the end of the day, full of food and wine and wonderful memories.

    That’s the thing that scares the daylights out of me People licking shoes for being tossed bedcrumbs.

    • But Alex, surely you realise that the solution to the problem of student debt in the United States (cf this New York Times article about choosing whether to eat or to pay tuition fees) is to politely ask «billionaires» to step up to the plate and pay off the student debts of a graduating class at an institution of higher learning dear to their hearts ? Far, far better than taxing them to provide the government with revenue to offer tuition-free undergraduate education, which would just tend to destroy individual initiative on the part of said «billionaires»….


    • And those people who didn’t go into debt, and instead worked jobs that left them too tired to get the grades they could have attained otherwise, get nothing.

      It would have been more fair to this group if they all could have received an amount that would have unburdened them without penalizing those who absolutely had to work to sustain themselves.

      Billionaires get that way by being on the upside of unequal exchange.

      It’s not necessarily an idea that makes one wealthy, but having the money to buy(or successfully steal) the idea that pays the buyer of that idea.

      I know of someone who had a good idea and was promptly fired so his name wouldn’t appear on the resulting patent.

      Another example is Nicola Tesla.

      • yep. I’ve got my name on seven patents, but I don’t “own” any of them.

        But that ain’t what the idea was all about. It was *supposed* to guarantee that the actual inventor profited from his work. Imagine if it worked that way today – if the actual inventor owned the actual patent.

        “So, yeah, I’m a gonna take my patent over to the competitor ‘cuz he’s offering me more money. What’s that you say? How much more are you offering…? My car’s dirty – go lick if off and then we’ll talk.”

        The engineer designs the car, the “Auto Worker” builds the car, and Henry Ford’s descendants pocket the profits. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something seems amiss.

        (Fun fact: I was in middle school before I realized that Henry Ford *didn’t* invent the automobile.)

  • Here’s RT’s official tag line from their website: “RT is the first Russian 24/7 English-language news channel which brings the Russian view on global news.”

    “Russian” not “communist.”

    Many people conflate the two, but the USSR never claimed to be Communist and today’s Russia doesn’t even claim to be Socialist. This is significant because years of propaganda have convinced US citizens that “communist” and “socialist” mean “authoritarian military dictatorship with a crazy supreme leader.”

    Throughout the cold war (and continuing today) Russia supported any country which called itself communist or socialist, regardless of the reality. While the US supported any country which called itself democratic regardless of the reality. They both supported authoritarian military dictatorships with crazy supreme leaders, and often qualified as such themselves.

    If we’re going to have a discussion, we need to realize that authoritarianism ain’t what democracy or communism is all about.

    Just fact checking here, I agree with Ted’s overall point. The media bias is obvious, and open discussions based on actual definitions are rare.

  • In the moumental projection/hypocrisy department, highlighted in a recent comic (Iran),
    I note:

    1) Voice of America (77 years in operation)
    2) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
    (70 years in operation)

    • Your point?

      Is it that American propaganda is bad while Russian propaganda is good? ‘cuz that certainly sounds like hypocrisy to me.

      For the record: I don’t like **ANY** propaganda, regardless of origin.

      • The point:
        The US, with 147 government-station-years of broadcasting into the Soviet Union/Russia has no conceivable basis to complain about, much less criticize, a Russian station now broadcasting into the US.

        Note: no need to deal with the definition of “propaganda” at all but I do suggest you follow your own recent guidelines about providing definitions of critical terms, especially before using those terms to make accusations against others.

      • “no need to deal with the definition of “propaganda” at all but I do suggest you follow your own recent guidelines about providing definition.”

        I’m confused … do I or don’t I provide the definition?

        FYI: I am neither a ‘nation’ nor 147 years old. I am, however, consistent in my beliefs. You might try it some day.

      • To CH:

        Yes, I’ll stipulate that you are confused.

      • Congratulations, falco!

        That’s your funniest rejoinder ever, it actually made me smile.

        But the sentence I quoted is still self-contradictory and your pot is still black.

  • […] there is a potentially winning plurality for a political swing towards socialism in this country, especially the kind of co-op/worker-owned […]

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