Jeffrey A. Tucker
There was an amazing moment last week when the Governor of Texas proclaimed that the chief executive of the United States was facilitating an invasion of the United States and stopping the state of Texas from working to prevent it. The Governor called Biden a “lawless president who does nothing to stop external threats like cartels smuggling millions of illegal immigrants across the border.”
The Supreme Court had given the go-ahead for the U.S. government to interfere with Texas’s rights at the border. Then 25 states joined Texas in active resistance to D.C.’s edicts.
The drama here is epic, and central to the future of the American nation. The union itself is threatened. There is an election coming up and undocumented migrants in many states find methods to vote in federal elections even by absentee ballots. It can come down to simple issues such as: what is the test deployed to confirm citizenship? If it is loose enough, anything is possible, as Elon Musk has pointed out.
While the migrants may be coming here to work, they can also be conscripted as stand-ins for voters, which is why many people believe that the Biden administration has taken such a strong interest.
You would have to be blind not to see what is happening here. By forcing open the border and overriding states’ rights, the Biden administration is acting like an agent of chaos, tossing out border security to recruit voters in an election it fears it will lose, and thus cementing a blue majority for the future.
Regardless of your views, a naive person might expect that this news would be all over the main headlines, regardless of one’s position on this contentious issue. As the week progressed, there was a dearth of reporting outside of alternative channels of information.
The New York Times ignored it completely. The Wall Street Journal did the same. There is nothing on MSNBC or NPR. CNN has run a report a week late and bizarrely rendered the whole dispute as a struggle over whether the federal government can save children from drowning.
A week after the crisis began, other reliable venues such as Business Insider and Vox started reporting, with a strong and determined slant against Texas. Finally Wired Magazine, which Anthony Fauci had deployed as a reliable voice during lockdowns, weighed in with a headline that updated a chapter out of Orwell: “Far-Right Extremists Are Organizing an Armed Convoy to the Texas Border.”
The scenes at the border are bad enough but cities around the country are also seeing the effects as mayors stuff these populations into local hotels and even plead with residents to open their homes.
The whole situation is crazy and unsustainable, certainly not defensible by any ideological perspective. And yet the media blackout persists in the strangest way, broken only by wild propaganda that smears everyone who doubts the wisdom of the practice as a violent racist.
You really don’t have to be of a conspiracy mindset to see what is going on here. It’s impossible to prove but it looks for all the world like some order came down from somewhere that said: don’t report on this. When the reports started to come in, they were wildly distorted and slanted to favor overriding Texas’s right to defend itself.
News outlets have editors and the job entails figuring out what is and isn’t important and the order in which to highlight those. That’s a serious challenge and judgments are inevitably affected by political bias. Any competent journalist needs to bury that bias as deeply as possible.
The trouble in this case is that there is no scenario in which this remarkable standoff is not important to the country. It pits the largest state plus half the other states against a major policy of the Biden administration that will permanently affect the demographics and power center of U.S. policy making. It’s that important, and obviously so.
So why would the major curators and caretakers of the public mind decide to bury the news? Here is where the manipulation becomes overwhelmingly obvious. The facts alone make the Biden administration’s little caper obvious. It looks truly terrible. If Americans understood the fullness of what was taking place, it would be devastating to a president who is already deeply unpopular.
I had read Herman and Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent” after it came out in 1988. My takeaway then was that the hive mind of media—the way careerism and institutionalized prompts to fit in draw editors and reporters toward respectable narratives—cause what we call “the news” to be channeled into paths approved by the regime.
Even with this book in hand, I did not understand this to be deliberate culture planning but rather a trajectory set in motion by the unwillingness to think outside the box in a fundamental way.
This is what has rattled me about our times: the discovery that it is in fact deliberate culture planning, that the manufacturing of consent is not spontaneous but rather has a manufacturer, a real engineer working behind the scenes (such as the Trusted News Initiative). Realizing this has been something of a shock to me. I’ve always resisted this explanation because it seemed too crude. In fact, it seems correct.
We are talking here about something more sinister than bias, and more than the incompetence of this venue or that. It looks highly coordinated. And this unfolds even as we gain ever more information thanks to FOIAs and court discovery, that federal agencies have been involving themselves in the management of news for many years. Elon Musk confirmed it, stating that however bad you think it is, the reality is worse.
When many of us became aware of this was during the COVID crisis. Reading the news, it appeared as if every expert agreed with the policies that were wrecking business life and society in general while holding out no chance of finally ending the virus. We knew many scientists and medical doctors who were not in favor of these policies and yet they were being silenced on social media and never interviewed in the mainstream press.
Then the floods of reality hit with emails and edicts coming directly from government agencies to block this information and that and hit particular accounts with takedown orders. Many of us did not know this sort of thing could happen in the United States because we have a First Amendment that restricts the government from interfering with free speech even if by using third parties to achieve the aim. But it did happen.
As research got deeper, it became clear that the censorship industrial complex was already in place before COVID. It had started being built after Donald Trump won in 2016 and it was deployed through the so-called Russiagate crisis and much more besides. There is ongoing litigation about this now but it is not causing this censorship and manipulation machinery to be deterred.
The contrast between the content of X (formerly Twitter) and the rest of the corporate media, excluding of course The Epoch Times, is now impossible to ignore. It seems more stark by the day, which is why so many dissenting public figures are now using the platform to cut through the fog of propaganda. Indeed, the Texas governor and all supporting states used X to announce their opposition to the Biden administration’s interventions.
Mainstream media is now facing waves of layoffs in response to declining readership and advertising. It appears that when subjected to a market test, censorship and aggressively partisan information filtering is failing. Now that the reality of a captured news media is out in the open for everyone to see—it was not always so—the market is responding. After all, when Rome fell, one supposes that if they had newspapers, some reporter would have bothered to cover it.
Some journalists and reporters, as well as scholars and activists, are covering the descent into madness. Their observations and insights, however, are nearly universally blocked by what we once called “mainstream news.” We are approaching the point where that moniker is no longer descriptive. We would be more accurate in calling it the regime news. We know which side of the border they are on.