September 24, 2002

Your Daily Brain Battering

Listening to glorious classical music in the stillness of early morning on WQXR FM ("the radio station of the New York Times") on a tiny radio speaker when a voice breaks in. A glib announcer starts cheerfully giving us headlines from today's news. A report from Britain is telling us that Saddam Hussein "definitely has weapons of mass destruction." Weapons of mass destruction weapons of mass destruction weapons of mass destruction!! Have you had enough yet? We'll keep battering your brain with it until you give in, until you give up your capacity to resist, to even think. Good morning! Welcome to the U.S. propaganda machine. You cannot escape us. We are everywhere.

Several more headlines in the space of a few seconds. A resolution saying that Palestinians will be held responsible for incidents of terrorism. But it's only a resolution, the announcer says, the violence continues. Nine more Palestinians were killed on the West Bank. Those intractable Palestinians. You put forward a resolution threatening to hold them responsible for terrorist acts and still the violence continues. Nine more of them have gotten themselves killed. What's a peace-loving nation to do?

Only a few drug commercials later the vile interruption is over. You've had your hourly dose of propaganda. Back to the music.

-- By David Cogswell

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