How America’s ‘News’-Media Sell Propaganda Instead of Journalism

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Eric Zuesse (blogs at

This article is about how the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment’s freedoms of speech and of the press are treated by today’s American press — treated with hostility — by them: ignored when possible, and suppressed when not. What’s more important to them is to do the propaganda, and this means for them to serve as stenographers for the Government, in order to serve the billionaires who control the Government by means both of their political donations and their control over the media. It means for the media to work with the Government, and not against the individuals (or “Deep State” — those billionaires) who fund both of its political Parties and who also fund the press. Because America’s press serves the individuals who actually control the U.S. Government, it is an institution of propaganda, instead of being an institution of journalism; and this fact will be exemplified and demonstrated here.

First of all, however, should be pointed out that only the super-rich control the U.S. Government. America has over 700 billionaires, but just the richest 400 of them donate 29.86% of all the donations that are made to America’s political candidates, and America’s richest 1% of America’s richest 1% donate 57.16%, which is more than half of all the political-campaign money. In addition, these few super-rich individuals also control the news-media not only by owning it but also by their other corporations hiring the news-media to advertise the products and services of the other corporations that they also own; and, so, America is an aristocracy, not a democracy. Its system pits one candidate against another, and one political Party against another, but above all of this are the extremely rich few, who make the decisions, the ultimate selections, by controlling the public in this ‘democracy’, so that ‘public officials’ will be chosen who serve the super-rich Democrats and the super-rich Republicans, but not the public, who are instead divided between the Parties, and even within the Parties. This is how the super-rich class control all the rest (all of America), by those ‘public’ officials.

America’s Founders were overwhelmingly opposed to the development of political parties, but had little understanding of the economic-class divisions that would emerge between the owners of corporations, and the workers in their corporations — “management” versus “labor” — in the following centuries, and that would thus shape “conservatism” versus “liberalism,” and develop into today’s Republican versus Democratic Parties that now are at war against each other on almost all domestic issues but united with each other on expanding this Government’s control over all other countries (and so they agree with one-another on virtually all foreign-affairs issues). America’s billionaires are united on foreign affairs; they all are neoconservatives, and that’s to say, supporters of U.S. imperialism — to expand the empire. Only on domestic affairs do they war against each other, and they do this vigorously. But no candidate who is against U.S. imperialism can receive any backing from them. This produces the ideological divide that today’s Republican and Democratic Parties embody in personalities and candidates and offer to the public to vote on, to lead the country. No candidate who has no billionaire backing can win in any federal election. But is this system democracy as America’s Founders had intended? Or is it, instead, rule by America’s billionaires who fund both Parties? America’s Founders couldn’t even have imagined that overthrowing the British aristocracy would ultimately result in the U.S. Government’s becoming taken over by an American aristocracy, and that whatever democracy those Founders created would degenerate ultimately into just another aristocracy; but this is what has happened.

The History Channel has a very good article, “The Founding Fathers Feared Political Factions Would Tear the Nation Apart”, which opens:

Today, it may seem impossible to imagine the U.S. government without its two leading political parties, Democrats and Republicans. But in 1787, when delegates to the Constitutional Convention gathered in Philadelphia to hash out the foundations of their new government, they entirely omitted political parties from the new nation’s founding document.

This was no accident. The framers of the new Constitution desperately wanted to avoid the divisions that had ripped England apart in the bloody civil wars of the 17th century. Many of them saw parties — or “factions,” as they called them — as corrupt relics of the monarchical British system that they wanted to discard in favor of a truly democratic government. …

England’s civil wars were between its Catholic nobility and its Protestant nobility, and so America’s Founders had no idea of the economic-class wars that would come to dominate during the coming centuries. Today’s political Parties are very different from the ones that developed right after America’s founding, except for one thing — political Parties today, like then, represent, and are controlled by, contending factions within the nation’s aristocracy (formerly these were the anointed nobles, but now they’re simply the nation’s billionaires). America’s Founders had removed the aristocratic titles, but ignored the deeper problem, which was the enormous inequality of wealth that has developed since then. America’s Founders didn’t understand how it would happen.

America’s press today are propaganda organizations either for the Republican Party against the Democratic Party, or for the Democratic Party against the Republican Party, and subscribers to them are buying propaganda, not journalism. A good example to show how this is done is the landmark current court case about the First Amendment, Missouri v. Biden, which was initially decided, on 4 July 2023, in favor of the Constitution that America’s Founders collectively wrote, but which has been responded-to by America’s ‘news’-media on the basis of their respective Party-affiliations — i.e., as propaganda, instead of as journalism. Not only are America’s Founders dead, but the country that they had created is gone. It didn’t actually last this long.

That decision stated in its Introduction:

If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history. In their attempts to suppress alleged disinformation, the Federal Government, and particularly the Defendants named here, are alleged to have blatantly ignored the First Amendment’s right to free speech.

Although the censorship alleged in this case almost exclusively targeted conservative speech, the issues raised herein go beyond party lines. The right to free speech is not a member of any political party and does not hold any political ideology.

In its Conclusion at the end, it said, after over a hundred pages documenting the Plaintiffs’ claims against the Government:

The Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the Government has used its power to silence the opposition. Opposition to COVID-19 vaccines; opposition to COVID-19 masking and lockdowns; opposition to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19; opposition to the validity of the 2020 election; opposition to President Biden’s policies; statements that the Hunter Biden laptop story was true; and opposition to policies of the government officials in power. All were suppressed. It is quite telling that each example or category of suppressed speech was conservative in nature. This targeted suppression of conservative ideas is a perfect example of viewpoint discrimination of political speech. American citizens have the right to engage in free debate about the significant issues affecting the country. Although this case is still relatively young, and at this stage the Court is only examining it in terms of Plaintiffs’ likelihood of success on the merits, the evidence produced thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth.” The Plaintiffs have presented substantial evidence in support of their claims that they were the victims of a far-reaching and widespread censorship campaign. This court finds that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their First Amendment free speech claim against the Defendants.

The New York Times headlined its news-article that day about this, not mentioning “First Amendment,” “free speech,” “free press,” or “Constitution,” but instead “Federal Judge Limits Biden Officials’ Contacts With Social Media Sites: The order came in a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana, who claim the administration is trying to silence its critics.” So, people who have any Constitutional interests might not even have noticed this article. It said:

A federal judge in Louisiana on Tuesday restricted the Biden administration from communicating with social media platforms about broad swaths of content online, a ruling that could curtail efforts to combat false and misleading narratives about the coronavirus pandemic and other issues. … It was a victory for Republicans.

They were implying that it wasn’t a victory for the American public, but against the Democratic Party. The article went on to say,

The Republican attorneys general of Texas and Florida are defending first-of-their-kind state laws that bar internet platforms from taking down certain political content, and legal experts believe those cases may eventually reach the Supreme Court. The high court this year declined to limit a law that allows the platforms to escape legal liability for content that users post to the sites. … Its impact could force government officials, including law enforcement agencies, to refrain from notifying the platforms of troublesome content.

By “troublesome content” they might have been hoping that the reader would associate that with expressions by Republicans, but the phrase wasn’t defined, and so the propagandist was expecting the reader to fill in that blank as a normal Democrat would. The article continued:

Missouri’s attorney general, Andrew Bailey, hailed the ruling as a “huge win in the fight to defend our most fundamental freedoms.” Both officials are Republican.

“What a way to celebrate Independence Day,” Mr. Bailey said on Twitter. … The Republican majority in the House has taken up the cause, smothering universities and think tanks that have studied the issue with onerous requests for information and subpoenas. …

The defendants, the social media companies and experts who study disinformation have argued that there is no evidence of a systematic effort by the government to censor individuals in violation of the First Amendment. David Rand, an expert on misinformation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said his understanding was that the government had at most a limited impact on how social media platforms engaged with misinformation. …

Some experts in First Amendment law and misinformation criticized the Tuesday ruling.

“It can’t be that the government violates the First Amendment simply by engaging with the platforms about their content-moderation decisions and policies,” said Jameel Jaffer, the executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. “If that’s what the court is saying here, it’s a pretty radical proposition that isn’t supported by the case law.”

On Friday, July 14th, the Washington Post headlined (yet again without markers for any such thing as “First Amendment”) “5th Circuit pauses order restricting Biden administration’s tech contacts: The stay follows a request from the Justice Department, which warned the sweeping order could chill law enforcement activity”, and opened this article as-if it were instead about such things as “tech” and “law enforcement”:

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday granted a temporary stay of a July 4 order putting sweeping limitations on the Biden administration’s communications with social media companies.

The stay was granted by a panel of 5th Circuit judges, which includes Clinton-appointee Carl E. Stewart, Obama-appointee James E. Graves and Trump-appointee Andrew S. Oldham.

It reported:

Doughty’s order prohibited key Biden administration agencies and officials from meeting and communicating with social media companies about “protected free speech.” The Justice Department has argued this is an overly broad restriction, which could result in the government being unable to warn people about falsehoods on social media in times of emergency, even blocking the president from warning people of falsehoods during a natural disaster. …

The order could upend efforts to secure the 2024 elections, civil rights groups and legal experts say. There were early signs of the chilling effect: The State Department canceled a planned meeting with Facebook parent company Meta, where they were scheduled to discuss information sharing to counter foreign disinformation overseas.

Doughty, a Trump-appointed judge, denied the DOJ’s motion for a stay of his order.

As that newspaper put it, the “chilling effect” wasn’t against free speech and a free press, but was the opposite — for both. To the extent that this landmark First-Amendment case was being reported at all by Democratic Party propaganda-media to the public, it was being reported as-if the personnel, and not the issue, was the subject, and it was Democrats versus Republicans, instead of whether the U.S. Government should be involved with and working with the press at all, and, basically threatening media that report instead of hide public statements that the Government doesn’t like. In other words: this was being propagandized as a political matter, instead of as a First-Amendment free-speech matter. In that personalized, instead of Constitutional, issue, it was basically “us” versus “them.”

The Republican Rupert Murdoch’s N.Y. Post headlined about the July 4th court-decision, “Biden admin thinks it has divine right to nix conservatives’ free speech rights” — likewise casting the issue in a partisan, Democratic-versus-Republican-Party light, instead of in the light of the U.S. Constitution (which it didn’t mention at all) and of its First Amendment (which the article mentioned only once).

A less cheesy, and more academic, article had been published in the news-media trade journal Columbia Journalism Review on July 13th, just prior to the stay being granted, and it headlined “The government talking to the platforms is a First Amendment minefield. A judge just blew it up.”. Mathew Ingram opened:

Over the last few years, officials from a number of federal agencies have met regularly with senior executives from the major social platforms to talk about foreign troll armies, the fight against disinformation, and other areas of mutual interest. Last week, such discussions suddenly became illegal as a result of an injunction imposed by Terry Doughty, a federal judge in Louisiana, who ruled that they likely constitute an attempt by the government to coerce the social platforms and as such a violation of the First Amendment. Doughty ordered officials across large parts of the US government to (at least temporarily) stop talking to tech companies about content moderation and removal. He also prohibited officials from “collaborating, coordinating, partnering, switchboarding, and/or jointly working with” certain academics who focus on social media. …

Unlike the propaganda-media, it provided good links to good sources (and lots of them). For example, one of them was to a cyber lawyer, Jeff Kosseff, who said, in support of the July 4th decision, “I think that the strongest evidence in support of the ruling were the implicit and explicit threats to change/repeal 230 unless the platforms do what the gov wants. This raises huge 1A issues when it comes from the right or the left, when it involves 1A protected speech.” To propaganda media such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, bring it on — Let’s have more of that coercion, not less! But to Republican Party media such as Rupert Murdoch’s, it was about “When did the Biden administration become infallible with a divine right to nullify the free speech of conservatives?” That court-decision on July 4th concerned actually the constitutional rights of every American. None of the billionaires’ media pointed this out.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s new book, AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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John Tiscione
August 25, 2023

good article about the Constitution and yes its’ now in name only

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