”The people will believe what the media tells them they believe.George Orwell
Every American, especially in the last few years, have read headlines and even full articles that we have personally seen as egregious. We’ve read articles that we can’t believe have been published because the’ve seemed so preposterous.
Whole establishments have been painted as one side vs. the other. On the left you have CNN and on the right you have FOX. But just how insane have things gotten, and more importantly, why?
Jocko Willink and Tulsi Gabbard’s episode on JRE had amazing content all throughout that illuminated crucial challenges in America and expanded on some of the actions that are being considered to overcome them.
Wither over three million views, thirty thousand comments and eighty thousand likes, it was one of Joe’s most well received podcasts to date.
The Washington Post Complimented a Terrorist
One of the most compelling arguments and shocking pieces of information that was brought up on Episode #1391 was the Washington Post obituary of Islamic State Leader, Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi.
In the obituary, the head of the Islamic State was originally referred to as an “austere religious scholar.” The man responsible for thousands of deaths, many of which were American, was basically complimented in an American newspaper.
This was far from impartial, and even worse, it leaned towards a political agenda that most Americans would find disrespectful. Remember, this is The Washington Post, supposedly one of the most credible sources of news in this country.
This has since been fixed. The article now more accurately refers to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the “Extremist Leader of Islamic State.” But just how does this happen and what are the repercussions?
Joe, Jocko and Tulsi's Reaction
Joe introduces this concept to Jocko and Tulsi and they have a great conversation about it. They basically come to the consensus that tech companies and media outlets have too much power and should be controlled somehow.
I think most people agree with that, but the argument becomes complicated when you start to consider how the media is controlled and who controls them.
Well, what Joe, Jocko, and Tulsi didn’t talk about was what Eric Weinstein refers to as “strategic silence.”
This concept was brought to light in Eric Weinstein’s podcast with Sam Harris on “The Portal Episode #.011.”
The Media's Lack of Coverage for the Vegas Shooting
Sam and Eric are both frequent JRE guests and have ran in the same circles for a long time. Eric is an interesting new figure because he is a math genius, seems to enjoy the fact he is seen as one and is taking full advantage of his new found fame.
He brought Sam Harris on his newly developed podcast “The Portal” and they discussed many popular JRE topics, one being the media’s influence on American minds.
They started this portion of the conversation with mass shootings and considering how media should cover them. Should media blast out the information so everyone knows about it and risk copy cats being inspired by this, or should they refrain from reporting so this is discouraged?
Sam brought out a shocking point when he said the Las Vegas shooting was the largest mass shooting America has ever experienced and he thought it was one of the least talked about.
This is shocking because the media presence on this event was extremely low in consideration of how other shootings have been covered (think Columbine, or Sandy Hook). The Las Vegas shooting was way bigger and it was covered extremely less.
Eric and Sam's Reaction
Sam argues that in the age of Trump, we simply don’t have the bandwidth to handle all of this. Trump is taking so much of our attention that even the most devastating domestic attacks America has ever seen are being brushed to the wayside.
While it’s a compelling argument and certainly there has to be some degree of truth to it, Eric brings up a far more sinister, far more complex argument- the media is being controlled by a set group of leaders that ordinary Americans don’t know and certainly shouldn’t trust called “Data & Society.”
Eric breaks down a series of journals written by Founder of Data & Society, Danah Boyd, on “strategic silence.” These series of journals lay out the argument for the necessity of information to be controlled and how the media should release information in relation the public’s perception.
They propose to be the ones who make the decisions on what Americans do and don’t see in consideration with the implications that it may cause.
For example, The Guardian wrote an article advocating for strategic silence for reporting on the KKK, calling to “quarantine extremist ideas.” In short, if you don’t report on it, it doesn’t exist, therefore it will not grow.
We Don't Know Who Controls Us
This has been taken to the extreme lately with the Las Vegas shooting and most recently the obituary of the leader of the Islamic State.
How can a credible news outlet write something so egregious? Is it stupidity? Is it a political bias by the reporters? It’s possible they don’t have a choice because they are acting on a set of principles provided to them by a select group of individuals who have all the control.