Almost daily the title and framing of news articles puts on clear display the internalized bias of propaganda system journalism. A nice illustration is the September 22, 2007 article in the New York Times by Mark Mazzetti and David E. Sanger, “Raid on Syria Fuels Debate on Weapons.” The continuation page headline is “Israeli Raid Renews Debate on Nuclear Arms and Syria.” Then in a box we see this thought: “Washington worries, Is Damascus trying to build or buy an arsenal?” Now if Syria had bombed Israel to knock out some of its threatening weaponry, it is obvious that the Times headline would be much larger and the focus would be on the bombing attack itself, not on any “debate” that might ensue about nuclear arms. This would be considered an act of war and very bad business and deserving of retaliatory action (which would surely ensue). There would be no box that says, “Damascus worries, Is Israel trying to build an arsenal?” And there would be an indignant editorial denouncing Syrian aggression violating the UN charter.
What this reflects is the New York Times’s journalistic principles. That is, Israel has a right to an arsenal, whereas any Syrian arsenal and any Syrian effort that might enable it to defend itself is highly debatable. Furthermore, Israel shares aggression rights with the United States, so that if it attacks Syria that is not in itself bad or even problematic, whereas if Syria or Iran or any non-ally bombs another country, aids dissident or resistance movements like Hezbollah, or intervenes anywhere outside their own territory, this is very bad business. These principles are so well internalized that people like Mazzetti and Sanger probably don’t even realize that they are pretty brazen propagandists.
More Nuggets From A Nut House, Edward S. Herman, novembre 2007