Because of my recent obsession with non-partisan “deep politics”, I watch television (however rarely) with new eyes. I recently finished off Season 2 of The Newsroom, which is great in a lot of ways, but there are some things that really bothered me about it. It sucks to have to wade through the propaganda every single time I turn on the TV, but it does give me something to write about, so here goes…
Occupy Wall Street
The first problem I have with the series is their treatment of Occupy Wall Street in Season 1. The Atlantis Cable News (ACN) show (within the show) that is portrayed as “real news” in pursuit of “truth”, anchored by one Will MacAvoy (brilliantly played by Jeff Daniels) takes the same attitude toward the movement as CNN, Fox and MSNBC did, which is to criticize it both for lacking a “defined message” and its horizontal structure.
MacAvoy uses these arguments to decimate a member of the group on the air, a college professor, and makes up with her by showing up to her class to audit it. She melts, forgives him, and turns out to be a typically shallow starfucker (it is implied that they go out on a date) and that’s the end of that.
My thoughts on The Newsroom’s (and America’s) critique of Occupy Wall Street…
It was (is) a leaderless movement, most importantly (in my opinion), as protection from assassination or being otherwise co-opted (some say it WAS co-opted, but I have yet to read anything that convinces me of that). And given the fact that we now know the FBI covered up a plan from someone, we don’t know who, to assassinate the group’s “leaders” with sniper-fire, it is obvious to anyone with a brain that that particular media critique was a trap.
As a result, the powers that be had no choice but to take them out, literally kicking and screaming, from their encampments. This only served to magnify the true nature of Obama’s regime and his corrupt militarized police forces, which resorted to terrible forms of lawlessness, and even torture in some instances (which did not make the news) to get the job done from coast to coast.
And by torture, I am referring to stories from multiple members of Occupy LA about being forced to sit on a bus for hours, with no bathroom breaks, until people were urinating on the seats. Others were made to painfully kneel on hard pavement long into the night. The stories are heartbreaking. Corporate news showed a peaceful breakup of the encampment at downtown’s City Hall, but the truth can be found if you look for it.
Not to mention that The Newsroom hardly mentioned (if at all) Occupy’s unparalleled viral influence. The fact that encampments sprang up all over the world was not touched on. It only dealt with the initial protests in Zucotti Park, and then the season ended, further substantiating the establishment message of “Nothing to see here…”
The “lack of a focus” criticism is also pretty weak, as it is obvious that Occupy Wall Street was, and is, a reaction to corruption and the co-opting of democracy by the power-elite. The message is the same as MLK’s message of anti-imperialism and highlights truth about the war on the poor that is America’s brand of capitalism. The establishment mutes King by only focusing on civil rights aspects. It erases OWS’s message by putting forth again and again, like a mantra, that there was no focus.
Another aspect of the series that got to me was the fake chemical weapons attack (Genoa). They had to make up a chemical attack to disprove, because there was at least one recent actual chemical attack, in the Iraqi city of Falujah in 2004, where US Marines used white phosphorus on the population (as a result, increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukemia in the city exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945), and it is obvious that the topic is off limits for HBO as it was never mentioned.
And even Genoa turns out to be a fake story. Because America would never do that, NOT EVEN ON TV! I find it interesting that they made it a sarin attack, which is what NATO is accusing Syria’s Assad of doing, sans evidence that he ordered the attack of course.
Last but not least, as much as I am not a libertarian, I was particularly disgusted by how the The Newsroom made a Ron Paul campaign worker out to be the biggest idiot in the entire series. Her character could have been lifted straight out of an SNL skit. Dumb as a box of rocks and telegraphed to be so in a way that didn’t even fit the tone of the show. I tend to agree with Will’s attacks on the Tea Party (he calls them “The American Taliban”), but the one scene they gave to a Paul supporter finished off exposing the show’s true colors as merely a tool of empire (albeit from the Democratic Party’s perspective).
So there you have it. The Newsroom, however well-written and acted, is just another propaganda piece for the good ol’ American Empire. It makes fools of Occupy and Ron Paul, our two most significant anti-imperialist entities with wide grass roots support, and works to erase our worst crimes against humanity from public knowledge.
Thanks HBO. How “cutting edge” of you.
John Dissed, a rock and roll musician from Los Angeles, CA, is an avid reader of what is often called “deep politics”. Download his latest single, “Honeypot”, for free here.