The New York Times would never publish someone like me.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some headline like the one above, given their penchant for accepting whatever stories “intelligence sources” (anonymous) tell them, despite actual facts screaming “Fiction, fiction”.
If you are like most people you probably check Google News for…ummm… “facts” about the world. The headlines which are neatly arranged in categories with the most important at the top, neatly curated. always including CNN, WaPo and the NYT since these “sources” are like the Bible once was, not to be questioned.
Click on the headlines, however, you find that most are not “news” — but “opinions”: interpretations of events with few links that provide validation.
To a critical thinker, Google News is really Google Stories. They are like a lot of movies and TV series, based on events that really happened — but mostly fiction — infotainment. Convenience store news, nicely packaged but full of additives, genetically modified events, and sweeteners to counter the acid taste of atrocity.
MSM “News” has to appeal to the public imagination, in American conditioned it seems by Marvel and DC Comics — with dramatic heroes, and really nasty Adversaries. Pass the popcorn.
As in TV, you need constant turnover. New storylines. Especially when Reality intrudes, as it does with COVID.
And underneath everything is US State Department catechism, a kind of political religion.
A good example recently is the spate of UFO stories, which are based on sightings by individuals, including military and civil aviation pilots of “anomalies’.
Daddy, Tell Me a Story!
We evolved as simple beings, hunting and gathering about 10 hours week, with the rest of the time for song, dance, play…and especially storytelling — a fun way to explain away the unexplainable and bind us a group — — the web and woof of culture
We are no different today.
The universe is still vast and unknowable — and it is almost certain that beings more intelligent than us exist elsewhere — but so far away we will never meet them. Unless of course UFOs are real, which a lot of people believe. Our ancestors did not let every day realities spoil a good story –modern people don’t either. You may live in Tokyo, New York, London or Moscow — and your campfire may be a dinner table but you are no different from people 35,000 years ago.
As children, we asked our parents to make up stories for us so we could sleep better at night. As adults, we ask the media to do the same, resolving cognitive dissonance, and the contradictions of belief vs reality. The national catechism is that “America” is a beacon of freedom, liberty, democracy — yet history teaches it is nation of also slavery, genocide, and war, and not a representative democracy at all.
Willing suspension of disbelief
So it is no surprise that the US government has met public demand with millions of dollars to investigate UFOs.
How this money is actually used is naturally “classified”; it could be just used to collate and curate reports on sightings of anomalies — or it could provide funding for “off the record” or “off the book” ops such as terrorism or drug running. Americans don’t know. And don’t want to know. Ask too many questions and you end up like Assange or Snowden.
National mythologies are built from lies.
George Washington did not cut down a cherry tree. Paul Revere never made that ride in the story. Oh, and Abraham Lincoln did not think black lives matter. As I said, reality is tough meat, it needs to be cooked with the right sauces.
Want to understand American culture? Read the comics.
Super Heroes are mostly ordinary, powerless people until something unexpected happens to them.
And the Big Bads? Obviously, more important to the story than the hero. And requiring a lot of invention.
In reality, ordinary people have no “powers” at all. And the real Big Bads pretend to be heroes.
Media must mediate.
Saddam Hussein and Muammar al-Gaddafi were MSM Big Bads. The American public demanded and got fanciful, if not implausible stories as to their misdeeds — yellowcake, WMD, terrorism, rapes and murder, babies thrown on the floor out of incubators and presumably stamped on.
Not that these people didn’t kill or even torture — but nothing on the scale of the US itself, — which with 4% or the world’s population has 25% of the world’s prison population and has killed more than 20 million men, women and children since 1950.
Iraq and Libya were destroyed: it was their leaders’ fault, of course.
With Hitler and Stalin gone. And Saddam and Gaddafi, there was demand for new Big Bads in Season 2 of the seires. Thank God for Putin and Xi. If they didn’t exist, they would have had to been invented. But what Americans see as Putin and Xi is mostly invented.
Putin is a dictator, a “thug”, a KGB killer, a latter day Hitler. If he doesn’t like you — you die. Like Skripal or Navalny. OK, those “victims: are alive. Unlike the people on MH17.
Hollywood shows Russians as either bloodthirsty, sadistic spies or bloodthirsty, sadistic Mafia. And we all know about fiendish Chinese tortures.
The best thing is the Putin and Xi don’t ask for royalties from the MSM for their roles in this new drama.
The MSM is always hard at work with new ideas.
NeoNazi coup in Ukraine had to reframed as a “democratic” colour revolution. The breakaway and more democratic republics of Donbas and Lugansk as terrorist enclaves, funded by the KGB, — renamed yes, but resurgent as the Russian Gestapo. Putin “invaded” Crimea, somehow persuading over 90% of Crimeans to vote to return to what they had been for centuries — part of Russia.
The American public did not elect Donald Trump in 2016 — that was Putin’s doing, his “dirty tricks” subverting American democracy in his quest to destroy the US. Cyberattacks. Terrorism abroad. Why does he do this? BECAUSE HE IS EVIL.
Putin, clearly has “powers”. Are you frightened yet? Hide under the sheets, little one.
That is why it would not surprise me to see a headline from the NYT saying that “intelligence sources” had decided that Putin was an alien. The Ultimate Illegal Alien.
It comes as no surprise that recently the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid has said that Putin is behind the recent spate of UFO sightings, suggesting indirectly he is an Alien.
Putin’s somehow uses US sanctions to leverage economic and technological independence in Russia. He has advanced hypersonic weapons beyond American capabilities. He defeated Islamic extremists in Chechnya and Syria, without alienating Israel, Iran and the KSA. Powers.
And he actually denied being a alien when asked this question. Denial just proves it.
Of course, he could be something other than your run of the mill ET. A time traveler? A vampire? Or just Lucifer?
No, I insist he is an alien. Will the NYT accept my article, I wonder?