Every new revelation about the global reach of the National
Security Agency underscores that the extremism of the surveillance state
has reached gargantuan proportions. The Washington Post just reported that
the NSA “is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts
of cellphones around the world.” Documents provided by whistleblower
Edward Snowden have forced top officials in Washington to admit the
indefensible while defending it. One of the main obstacles to further
expansion of their Orwellian empire is real journalism.
Real journalism is “subversive” of deception that can’t stand the
light of day. This is a huge problem for the Obama administration and
the many surveillance-state flunkies of both parties in Congress. What
they want is fake journalism, deferring to government storylines and
respectful of authority even when it is illegitimate.
In motion now, on both sides of the Atlantic, are top-down efforts to
quash real journalism when and how it matters most. In the two
English-speaking countries that have done the most preaching to the
world about “Western values” like freedom of the press, the governments
led by President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron are overseeing
assaults on real journalism.
They’re striving to further normalize fake journalism—largely
confined to stenographic services for corporate power, war industries
and surveillance agencies. A parallel goal is to harass, intimidate and
destroy real journalism. The quest is to maximize the uninformed consent of the governed.
In direct contrast, those willing to fight for truly independent
journalism—including whistleblowers, political activists and journalists
themselves—are struggling to provide our world with vital light, fueled
by comprehension that real journalism must be willing to challenge