Local Media Follies 2014! is here.
National Media Follies 2014! is here.
2014’s Most Over-Hyped International Stories
ISIL Terrorists Gather At Rio Grande: The eager sales job on America’s newest war reached ridiculous heights.
Benghazi!!!!11! The fact that anyone talked about it for any reason at all in 2014 qualifies it as overhyped. For that matter, any story whose premise assumed that Congressional Republicans were reasonable and reality-bsaed qualified as overhyped.
2014’s Most Underreported International Stories:
Israel continues to quietly ensure the impossibility of Palestinian statehood: Palestine can’t have an independent state if it doesn’t have any land. This is why, while the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and (in all but name) Gaza is a legal and human rights atrocity, and Israel launched yet another military “cleansing” of Gaza in 2014 (itself all but ignored by American media), it’s the steady Israeli expansion of its civilian population onto these lands that is far more important long-term, because it guarantees the conflict will be intractable. These land thefts are obediently called “settlements” in American media, as if the land had never belonged to anyone before. Which is exactly what the Israeli government would like you to think – that the additional land it’s continuing to steal is uninhabited, and that Palestinians don’t exist. Palestinians are Asia’s 19th Century Native Americans.
Afghanistan is a total, but forgotten, clusterfuck: The national army of Afghanistan is the Taliban. Green on blue attacks are so frequent now that no one knows who’s a loyal member of the Afghan National Army and who’s a Taliban infiltrator. Meanwhile, aerial drone attacks have alienated most of the countryside, which never supported the corrupt, American-imposed puppet government in Kabul. That government is not likely to last long now that the American military is supposedly in a “non-combat” role.
ISIL Was Created and Armed By the US: This summer, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (alternately referred to as ISIS and the Islamic State) abruptly became America’s latest Designed Worstest Enemy Ever. And, in fact, the fanatically theocratic defacto state formed by ISIL truly is a human rights catastrophe. But somehow omitted from American media scaremongering (ISIL is horrific in its own land, but according to US intelligence there’s zero evidence it has terrorist designs on US territory) is that the US created ISIL – originally Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQII), which functionally didn’t exist until the CIA decided circa 2007 that the American public needed a fresh reason not to bail out on the US occupation of Iraq. Even then, it remained a fringe group until the US decided – covertly in 2012, overtly in 2013 – to arm the Syrian opposition in that country’s civil war. Not surprisingly – since “moderate” Syrian opponents had little support on the ground – many of those weapons fell into the hands of the Islamists who’d coalesced around the CIA-invented AQII, now renamed ISIL. Voila! A new Worstest Enemy Ever, founded and armed by US taxpayers.
The Fukushima nuclear plants are supposed to be subcritical and nearing a state of cold shutdown, but they’re still leaking tens of billions of becquerels of radioactive cesium into nearby rivers and ground water. And in 2014 TEPCO started simply dumping them into the Pacific Ocean, with zero American media attention.
Ebola continues to ravage West Africa: The pandemic got a frenzy of media attention in September and October – largely driven by fear of the pandemic’s spread to the US, Once thar fear subsided, so did media interest – even though death and societal collapse continues to accelerate in the areas that were affected in the first place.
Police States R Us: While the US and its media, with ample justification, demonized the authoritarian governments of Syria and North Korea, it paid almost no attention to the steadily more authoritarian governments of Egypt and South Korea – the bigger nearby regional powers, to which the US continues to give massive amounts of military assistance despite our pro-democratic rhetoric.
Cuba Normalizes Relationship With Country Notorious for Torture and State Surveillance: Sadly, any positive influence was lost by the following day, when that country’s Congress passed and its president signed into law new sanctions against Venezuela. Totalitarian states must always have fresh designed enemies, and ISIL had been out of the headlines (though hardly destroyed) for over two months.
And, on that cheerful note, get out and make your own news in 2015. If this compilation suggests anything, it’s that we can’t rely on corporate media to push for change, or even to tell us when change is desperately needed. We’ll have to do both ourselves.