David Barsamian a leading Armenian-American radio journalist, believes that as a result of the good performance of alternative press the young Americans don’t pay attention to the propaganda of the corporate, mainstream media anymore.
David Barsamian, who is the founder and director of Alternative Radio broadcast from Boulder, Colorado, tells Fars News Agency that the journalists in the United States don’t need to be censored or monitored by the government, because they are accustomed to a full-fledged self-censorship.
Mr. Barsamian says that the US government orchestrated a large project of media propaganda against its own people to rationalize and justify its illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq: “[o]f course the case of Iraq is very instructive because it’s almost like a textbook example of the uses of propaganda.”
“The population here in the United States was subjected to months and months of propaganda and the great danger that it posed to the United States; that Saddam Hussein was somehow connected to events of September 11, and that he was somehow connected to the Al-Qaeda; all of these things were completely ludicrous and anyone that knew anything about West Asia and the history of Iraq and Saddam regime would have laughed at these assertions,” he noted.
David Barsamian is a radio broadcaster, writer and journalist who has conducted series of extensive, in-depth interviews with prominent progressive intellectuals and thinkers such as Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Howard Zinn, Eqbal Ahmad and Arundhati Roy. His radio program is broadcast on more than 150 radio stations across the United States and in other countries. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named Mr. Barsamian one of its “Top Ten Media Heroes.”
To discuss the workings of the mainstream, corporate media in the United States, the relationship between the White House and the mass media and the growing influence of the alternative media, FNA spoke to David Barsamian on the phone. The interview was conducted long before the US declared removal of the sanctions and normalization of ties with Cuba and, interestingly, Barsamian has a note to make in this regard. The following is the full transcript of the interview.
Q: My first question is on the growth of progressive media in the United States. Why do you think the corporate media that are owned by multinational companies are pushing for an aggressive US foreign policy, advocating for new wars, military expeditions and trying to entangle the US government into new military adventures? How is it possible to counter such an approach taken by these corporate, mainstream media?
A: Well, I wouldn't agree with your premise that it's the media corporations that are the catalysts for the US imperialist foreign policy. It's the other military corporations that have a much more major influence. The media play two roles in the United States. We have two types of media here. One is a Weapon of Mass Destruction to keep people's attention focused on the latest divorce in Hollywood, the marriage or the adoption of a Malawi baby and things like that. Then we have an elite media, which is the New York Times, National Public Radio, PBS, the Washington Post and other journals like that in general which support US interventions based on the feeling that the United States has a unique role to play in the world that no other nation can substitute for what the United States can do internationally. So the military corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, United Technologies, Raytheon and all the others benefit greatly from the US militarism, conflict and war. The Middle East, your part of the world and West Asia are flooded with US arms. Hardly a month doesn’t go by when there is some new arms deal negotiated between these military corporations and United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the other feudal Persian Gulf monarchies.