Sunday, July 29, 2012

War, Language, and the Media

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New World Notes News
Vol. 5, No. 30 -- July 29, 2012

This week in New World Notes, radio program #230, July 31, 2012

War, Language and the Media

In brief

This week we replay one of the earliest installments of New World Notes: #10, from April 2008. The title connects three of the series' ongoing concerns: war, language, and the media.

Language doesn't just reflect your understanding of reality: it shapes it. The Pentagon (and its pet, the State Department) knows this and creates language to mislead us about what it is actually doing. First I and then Michael Parenti--in a fine talk from the 1990s--expore how it works.

Of particular interest is Parenti's debunking of the "Gaddafi-is-a-menace" rhetoric, which was omnipresent around 1990. Remember?

Decades back, U.S. government propaganda (broadcast by the loyal corporate media) inflated Libya's Gaddafi into a major threat to America. Then, for whatever reasons, the government put its regime-change-in-Libya plans on the back burner, and the "threat" of Gaddafi wasn't mentioned again for the next 20 years. Then, around 2010 or 2011, Gaddafi suddenly became a menace again.

The Airliner bar/restaurant, Iowa City, Iowa. What's that got to do with the late Muammar Gaddafi (top, shown in 1986)? Each exemplifies how different compositions of words create different ways of understanding (and hence of acting). You'll just have to listen. . . .

Notes, credits, & links

Music added: John McCutcheon, "Let's Pretend"; David Rovics, "What If You Knew?"

Thanks to Sally Soriano and People's Video-Audio for the Parenti recording.

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "very noses") of WWUH-FM, a community service of that beacon of light in darkest Connecticut, the University of Hartford.

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio. See the gray sidebar on the right ("CONTENTS [Links]") for a table of contents.

Series overview:
Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want ... and what they're trying to make us settle for.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut date shown)
  • July 24 -- American Sex and Sexuality
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