Home______ Manufacturing Consent, V: What About Terrorists or Arsenal Security Elsewhere?

Of the news that occurs, we can always trust the media to surface important events into the public consciousness. Right? For example, the public can rest assured that they will learn of breaches of security, especially concerning weapon stockpiles in former Soviet states, with implications for increased nuclear or terrorist threat. We would like to think so. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

The gate keepers of media conglomerates determine what we see and hear, and once again the public is unaware of an important story, which I will provide shortly. First, though, think about this. In 1983, media ownership had shrunk to 50 conglomerates. This raised great concern, but nothing was done. In 1989, it had reduced to 29; in 1990, 23; in 1992, 14; in 1997, 10. Today, 6 conglomerates own 94 percent of the media. Soon, one will own them all. *

The important story I mentioned--it occurred just a few days ago. It is scary, and should have received extensive and high profile coverage by the major media outlets. If the gate keepers chose to give it less than that, one would think they would still gave it some attention. It fell through the cracks, remaining only a wire release, and that fact provides a harbinger of things to come.

Think about this in terms of various issues, not only weapons stockpiles. Watergate, for example. The hotel break-in would have remained a curiosity and allowed to die a quiet death without Deep Throat,** a public official, and Woodward and Bernstein, two investigative journalists. Without intense and difficult investigation, even Deep Throat's tips would have been forgotten, and President Nixon's involvement would not have been uncovered. But investigative journalism had its death knell, and today the conglomerates only like news feeds, as they are cheaper. ** (Woodward promises to reveal his identify after Deep Throat dies.)

Anyhow, here is the story, and its omission from public consciousness is an example of what the media has come to. If a former Soviet state is capable of this kind of neglect, what else should we be concerned about?

Ukraine Says Hundreds of Missiles Missing by Anna Melnichuk

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) 03/26/04--Several hundred decommissioned Soviet-built surface-to-air missiles are unaccounted for in Ukraine's military arsenal, the defense minister told a newspaper.

Defense Minister Yevhen Marchuk, in an interview published in the newspaper Den, appeared to suggest the missiles may have been dismantled without proper accounting, rather than stolen or sold.

``We are looking for several hundred missiles,'' Marchuk was quoted as saying in Thursday's edition. ``They have already been decommissioned, but we cannot find them.'' More

* (For other articles on The Manufacture of Consent, see Part Six, 30 March 2004; Part One, 21 February 2004; Part Two, 23 February 2004; Part Three, 6 March 2004; Part Four, 14 March 2004.)


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