Why does anyone rely on reporters to interpret scientific articles? They lack the necessary training, experience and competence to interpret scientific publications and data, a skill which typically requires decades to master.
With few exceptions, corporatized media are not able to comprehend the complexities and ambiguities inherent in scientific discussions, and so repeatedly fall back on the interpretations provided by those who are marketed as fair and accurate arbiters of truth – the US Government, the World Health Organization, the World Economic Forum, and various non-governmental organizations who have an interest in promoting vaccines (Gates’ Foundation, GAVI, CEPI etc.) or other scientific agendas. But these organizations have political and financial objectives of their own, and in the case of the CDC, have clearly become politicized as previously discussed. When combined with the increasing prevalence of “advocacy journalism” (which has been actively promoted and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), the result has been that the corporate media have become willing vehicles for distribution of biased interpretations promoted by authority figures presented to the public as credible sources, but who actually practice the pseudo-priesthood of Scientism masquerading as science. As a consequence, corporate legacy media have largely become distributors and enforcers of government-approved (and composed) narratives and articles rather than objective and impartial investigators and arbiters of truth. This is particularly true of the perverse branch of scientific journalism which has ascended to prominence during the COVIDcrisis, the factchecker organizations (some of which are sponsored by Thompson-Reuters). But how does this propaganda ecosystem work, and what can be done about it?
To a large extent science and scientists are granted an exalted position in western society due to an implied social contract. Western societies provide them support and elevated social status in exchange for valuable services. These services include performing their trade (doing “science”) and teaching others both their craft and findings. Government subsidized (non-corporate) science and scientists are trained and funded by citizens (through their taxes) to practice their craft objectively in a variety of technical domains including medicine and public health on behalf of the citizenry. This arrangement stands in contrast to corporate-funded scientists, who work to advance the interests of their employers, but who have often also been trained at taxpayers expense.
The social contract between scientists and general citizenry assumes that those scientists employed via government funding act in a manner which is free of both political partisanship and external influence from corporations and non-governmental advocacy organizations. This social contract is woven throughout federal government hiring policies concerning the civilian science corps. These policies explicitly forbid these employees from engaging in partisan political activities while serving in an official capacity, and forbid conflicts of interest stemming from influence of non-governmental entities, whether for- or not-for-profit. When these terms and conditions are not upheld, the public justifiably objects to the breach of contract. This is why employees of the civilian scientific corps are protected from employment termination for political purposes by the executive branch, even though the Office of the President is tasked with managing the scientific enterprise. Failure of the civilian scientific corps to maintain personal and scientific integrity and/or political objectivity appears to have become a chronic condition, as evidenced by the politicization of the CDC. When politicization of scientific data and interpretation results in multiple policy decisions which fail to protect the interests of the general public, the public loses faith in both the scientists and the discipline which they purport to practice. This is particularly true when the breach of social contract is seen as advancing corporate or partisan interests.
There is an organizational paradox which enables the immense power amassed by those who have risen to the top of the civilian scientific corps. These bureaucrats have almost unprecedented access to the public purse, are technically employed by the executive, but are also almost completely protected from accountability by the executive branch of government that is tasked with managing them- and therefore these bureaucrats are unaccountable to those who actually pay the bills for their activities (taxpayers). To the extent these administrators are able to be held to task, this accountability flows indirectly from congress. Their organizational budgets can be either enhanced or cut during following fiscal years, but otherwise they are largely protected from corrective action including termination of employment absent some major moral transgression. In a Machiavellian sense, these senior administrators function as The Prince, each federal health institute functions as a semi-autonomous city-state, and the administrators and their respective courtiers act accordingly. To complete this analogy, congress is analogous to the Vatican during the 16th century, with each Prince vying for funding and power by currying favor with influential archbishops. As validation we have the theater observed on C-SPAN each time a minority congressperson or senator queries an indignant scientific administrator, such as has been repeatedly observed with Anthony Fauci’s exchanges during congressional testimony.
Into this dysfunctional and unaccountable organizational structure comes the corporate media, which has become distorted and weaponized into a propaganda machine by multiple factors. The most overt factor has been that the Biden administration, through the CDC, made direct payments to nearly all major corporate media outlets while deploying a $1 billion taxpayer-funded outreach campaign designed to push only positive coverage about COVID-19 vaccines and to censor any negative coverage. With this action, the corporate media behemoth has functionally become a fusion of corporate and state-sponsored media – a public-private partnership meeting the definition of corporatist fascism. According to the Associated Press, despite the 2013 legislation that changed the U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (also known as the Smith-Mundt Act) to allow some materials created by the U.S. Agency for Global Media to be disseminated in the U.S., under the new law it is still unlawful for government-funded media to create programming and market their content to U.S. audiences. Nevertheless, this is precisely what was done in the case of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign.
Secondly, there has long been involvement of the intelligence community in domestic US media. Operation Mockingbird is among the most well-known of the incursions of the CIA into US media, but the extensive and longstanding influence of the spy agency in crafting domestic propaganda has been well documented by journalist Carl Bernstein in his article “The CIA and the Media”. Among the corporate media outlets identified by Bernstein include the New York Times, which is intriguing in light of the precise knowledge of (former) CIA officer Michael Callahan’s CIA employment history inadvertently revealed by NYT reporter Davey Alba while interviewing me. While speaking to me by cell phone early in 2020, Callahan specifically denied that there was any indication that the original SARS-CoV-2 virus sequence showed any evidence of intentional genetic modification, stating “my guys have gone over that sequence and there is no chance that it was genetically modified”. In retrospect, it is now clear that was propaganda- or speaking more plainly, an intentional lie. Disinformation. Many insiders now believe that the five eyes spy alliance has been exploited during the COVIDcrisis to enable reciprocal domestic propaganda activities by participant states against other member states which otherwise forbid their own intelligence agencies from domestic propaganda activities. Consistent with this is the aggressive editing of my own Wikipedia page (discussed by sardonic humorist “whatsherface”) by an unusually prolific editor/pseudonym (Philip Cross) who apparently works for British intelligence services. Based on the totality of evidence, it is reasonable to infer that the US intelligence community has remained actively engaged in crafting and defending the COVIDcrisis narrative, either through direct influence with corporate media and specific reporters, and/or indirectly via reciprocal five eyes relationships.