OPINION – Any time the news media starts to hyperventilate about terrorism, that’s the time to make certain your BS detector is calibrated and functioning.
It’s essential to keep this in mind as the story of the Hammond family’s ordeal in Oregon finally begins to reach the public’s consciousness.
Sensational stories are beginning to emerge of heavily armed anti-government terrorists taking over a federal building near Burns, Oregon. Even worse, three of Cliven Bundy’s sons are among them.
Based upon these terrifying revelations, we just know that something truly evil must be afoot. After all, a large segment of the American public has been conditioned to respond to the name Bundy with unquestioning fear and loathing.
But what if those currently regurgitating media talking points were to take a step back and realize that they what they actually know of the situation is very limited?
In fact, what if most of what they know was deliberately misleading? How many would have the courage and intellectual honesty to question what they are being told?
How many would deign to go directly to the source rather than be spoon-fed by liars and propagandists?
My goal here is not to persuade you which side is right and which is wrong but instead to recognize that, for all the “news” we consume, we know very little of what is happening in the world.
A great deal of the press consists of government-dependent corporations whose livelihoods are inseparably connected to maintaining the status quo.
This is not to say that there is no truth in their reporting. The deception more often takes the form of half-truths or incomplete facts that prevent us from being better informed.
Typically, the news media will ignore stories that involve government overreach that harms or threatens innocent people. It’s only after the story becomes unavoidable that most media sources will grudgingly begin to cover the story.
Even then, coverage is generally manipulated to fit the official narrative. This includes smearing those who have been harmed and marginalizing any who come to their defense.
When we start hearing broad-brush talk of domestic terrorism with little to no defining of what exactly that means, it’s a safe bet that someone is yanking our chains.
This kind of misinformation is dangerous in a couple of ways.
First of all, invoking the word “terrorism” is a tactic designed to silence opposition to government action in a clumsy attempt to create guilt by association. After all, who in his right mind would defend terrorists?
This artificially pits the American people against one another rather than allowing us to work together to keep government operating in our interests rather than its own.
Secondly, it invites government to use the extra-Constitutional powers it has assumed in the name of national security to murder, imprison and torture without due process. What exactly this might set in motion, if used against Americans on American soil, could be the start of something as ugly as it is unstoppable.
This is what happens when a society tries to function based on bad information. The key here is to recognize that most news organizations exist to enforce ignorance rather than to keep us informed.
One doesn’t have to be in complete agreement with the Hammonds to acknowledge that their treatment and re-sentencing under a federal anti-terrorism law is creating greater distance between the federal government and the people.
The presence of the Bundys on behalf of another ranching family that has been targeted by the BLM is most likely a product of paying forward the incredible support that they were shown nearly two years ago in Bunkerville, Nevada.
People whose panties bunch up at the mere mention of the Bundy name ought to ask themselves why they have such a visceral reaction over people that in no way have affected them personally. Some may come to realize that their hatred is based solely on what the media has told them.
Robby Soave, writing for Reason, has a point worth considering:
In any case, everyone who opposes government-sanctioned violence should remember that unfounded concerns about terrorism are the health of the state. Lowering the bar for what counts as terrorism is not a winning move for critics of authoritarianism and unconstitutional exercises of police power.
The bottom line here is that if you really want solid information on the Hammond family and their situation in Oregon, you’re going to have to go out of your way to find it.
Few people have the time or personal commitment to truth to do that. However, this is the line that separates the informed from the manipulated.
Bryan Hyde is a radio commentator and opinion writer in Southern Utah. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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