Taken from Glenn Greenwald's piece in Salon on January 11, 2010
"No event in recent memory has stimulated the excitment and interest of Washington political reporters like the release of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's new book, Game Change, and that reaction tells you all you need to know about our press corps. By all accounts (including a long, miserable excerpt they released), the book is filled with the type of petty, catty, gossipy, trashy sniping that is the staple of sleazy tabloids and reality TV shows, and it has been assembled through anonymous gossip, accountability-free attributions, and contrived melodramatic dialogue masquerading as "reporting." And yet -- or, really, therefore -- Washington's journalist class is poring over, studying, and analyzing its contents as though it is the Dead Sea Scrolls, lavishing praise on its authors as though they committed some profound act of journalism, and displaying a level of genuine fascination and giddiness that stands in stark contrast to the boredom and above-it-all indifference they project in those rare instances when forced to talk about anything that actually matters.
This reaction has nicely illuminated what our press corps is. The book is little more than royal court gossip, churned out by the leading practitioner of painfully sycophantic, Drudge-mimicking cattiness: Time's Mark Halperin. And all of the courtiers, courtesans, court spokespeople (i.e., "journalists") and hangers-on who populate our decadent little Versailles on the Potomac can barely contain their glee over the opportunity to revel in this self-absorbed sleaze. Virtually every "political news" TV show is hyping it. D.C. reporters are boasting that they obtained early previews and are excitedly touting howintensively they're studying its pages in order to identify the most crucial revelations. Just try to contemplate how things would be if even a fraction of this media energy and interest level were devoted to scrutinizing the non-trivial things political leaders do."
I haven't read "Game Change," but it's worth noting its rank at Amazon: Number 1.
Yep, as of this writing, this book is what the few "readers" left in our country feel they must have. Seeing as that my book (Dishonest Money: Financing the Road to Ruin) actually puts forward information that could free humans from economic bondage, it only makes sense that it SOMETIMES ranks as high as 25,000 at Amazon (right now it's sitting at a rather depressing 316,000...)
This illustrates a nasty little secret about how the "public mind" operates. Edward Bernays (one of the fathers of modern propaganda) summarized it this way in his book titled, logically enough, Propaganda:
"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested...It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world."
Unfortunately, those who "pull the wires of the public mind" (via their control of the consolidated media, the government and education system) will never “guide the world” in a way that weakens their position of power. In fact, they will do everything they can to lure the masses (with shiny objects, scandals, sex, gossip, etc.) away from discovering the meaning of "substantive thought" or truth.
"As civilization has become more complex, and as the need for invisible government has been increasingly demonstrated, the technical means have been invented and developed by which opinion may be regimented...the group mind does not think in the strict sense of the word. In place of thoughts it has impulses, habits, and emotions. In making up its mind, its first impulse is usually to follow the example of a trusted leader. This is one of the most firmly established principles of mass psychology."
With this understanding of the "group mind," social engineers have been scientifically having their way with us for a very long time. A tiny minority controls the VAST majority of trusted channels of information. The "truth" is whatever they say it is, and they back themselves up by simply refusing to report otherwise. Fortunately, the internet has begun to crack the "one-way street" of information. The group mind, slowly but surely, is beginning to realize that it has been intentionally weakened, misdirected and exploited. Let's continue to do whatever we can to hasten its awakening.