It sometimes seems the American public is living in a realistic version of the movie “The Matrix.” We go through our everyday lives unaware that an overriding force works to grow and maintain a complex system of control, one that keeps the public distracted, divided, and uninformed.

But this is not a system made up of computer code, digital languages, and a virtual reality created by malicious machines. Instead, it is an intricate web of information carefully woven by an establishment media that seek to influence our thoughts and actions under the guise of keeping the public informed.

To control a population, you must keep its citizens divided and distracted. The news media does both, publishing stories designed to elicit outrage and resentment while diverting attention from the issues about which Americans should be concerned. There are plenty of examples of this style of reportage, and some of the more recent stories demonstrate this reality.

The Covington Distraction

The brouhaha involving the kids from Covington Catholic High School, the Black Hebrew Israelites, and a group of Native Americans at the capital set off a firestorm of debate over racism, religion, and media bias. When the first video was blasted over the internet by the left, Americans on both left and right became enraged at the supposed display of racism by the kids. But after the full video was released, many backtracked and apologized after realizing the original narrative was false.

But the damage was done.

After the facts came out, the debate became even more heated, and coverage of the incident dominated the airwaves and social media. But what happened while this story was front and center in the media?

The Free Thought Project published a piece outlining five important stories that the American public missed because they were focused on the details of the Covington distraction. One of these news items involved a state senator proposing a bill that would require computer owners to install government software on their devices.

Let that sink in. A state government is considering a law that would compel Americans to place government software on their computers, ostensibly to prevent consumers from viewing pornography unless they pay a fee to the state. Sounds harmless, right? But what happens when the government decides to place restrictions on other types of content?

Let’s be frank. What happened in the incident with Covington High School kids, the Black Hebrew Israelites, and the Native American group does not have any bearing on the everyday lives of Americans. But increased government surveillance would be something about which people should be aware, right?

The DC story was a perfect tool for the media; it got Americans to argue over racism while ensuring they paid no attention to more important issues. It divided Americans along racial and party lines and elevated the already-tense political climate. And it is not unreasonable to suggest that the majority of Americans have no idea that Arizona’s Senate is introducing a bill that would allow the state to further intrude into the lives of its residents.

How The Media Divides

Few topics in America are more divisive than race relations. As with the Covington story, the report about the murder of Jazmine Barnes early in January set off a debate over racism. The seven-year-old girl was killed when a gunman opened fire on a vehicle in which she, her mother, and other relatives were sitting in a parking lot.

Originally, the family reported that a white man committed the shooting, and professional race-baiter Shaun King perpetuated the notion that the murder was a hate crime. Of course, despite no evidence that the killing was racially motivated, the media framed it as such. Later, it was revealed that the suspects were black men and the crime was not motivated by race. But again, the damage had been done.

While the investigation was being conducted, the Young Turks covered the story as a hate crime, publishing multiple videos putting forth the idea that racism is still a prevalent force in American society. After the truth came out, they quickly deleted videos that promoted this message and attempted to distance themselves from the manufactured racism narrative they propagated.

The story — and how it was covered — sparked a spirited debate between Americans on the right and the left about racism in America. This was clearly a situation the left was using to stoke fears of racist hate crimes being carried out against people of color.

Even if the shooter had been a white man, there was no evidence that his actions were motivated by racial animus. Nevertheless, this did not stop the left from using it to perpetuate one of their favorite narratives. But a closer look demonstrates that this story, like many others, not only promotes a particular narrative but also widens the already-gaping rift between Americans.

The reality is that if Americans were made aware of the critical issues facing the country, they might not be so keen on the machinations of those who wish to exercise greater control over the public. Perhaps they would be willing to fight together against the ever-growing state.

Many have viewed the Fourth Estate as a political entity driving a political agenda, one that would push the populace toward embracing more government control. This supposition is not inaccurate, but it fails to encompass adequately the fullness of the press’s efforts to shape the opinions of the public and ensure an apathetic population. A divided and uninformed people are much easier to manipulate, allowing the elite to subvert resistance by preventing it in the first place.

 

This article was originally published on Liberty Nation.