Scanning the listings on the Google News page this morning, I was surprised to see an article titled “Dispelling the Myths About Iraq:” by the Heritage Foundation. For those who might not know, the Heritage Foundation is a Conservative “think tank” that exists solely to push the Neo-Conservative agenda. They’re shills for the Republican Party and the Bush Administration, and can be relied upon for a steady stream of propaganda and spin.
So why was this article on Google News at all? It is not news. It’s an opinion piece intended to serve as a Neo-Conservative rebuttal to the assertions of many that the Iraq war is a mess of epic proportions. It’s Neo-Con propaganda. It addresses statements made by the same old tired list of “Liberal enemies” of Conservatives. Ted Kennedy. John Kerry. Howard Dean. Etc. And, of course, it starts out by addressing the recent statements made by their newest enemy John Murtha.
The inclusion of this article on the main page of Google News makes me wonder if the Heritage Foundation’s efforts to push farther into the mainstream are being successful. Previously no one really listened to them other than Right-Wingers anyway. Now I’m not so sure. For one thing, they’ve recently established a web site which is cloaked in the standard Neo-Con mis-use of popular phrasing. It’s called My Heritage, and is packaged as the Heritage Foundation’s version of a news web site.
The “articles,” on this web site are not news articles at all, but opinion pieces that push Republican talking points, garnered from Conservative sources such as the National Review. Examples are; De-bunking myths about Wal-Mart. Socialism from the WHO. Will America have borders again? Included as well is a section title Myth Busters, which is used to dispel “Liberal myths.”
My point is that The Heritage Foundation is not a news organization at all, regardless of how they might spin their image with the MyHeritage web site. Their passionate spin has no place being listed alongside genuine news articles. The fact that they have been, and others like them have been, should worry any American who values the notion of impartiality in news reporting. This organization and everything it publishes is intended solely to push the Neo-Conservative agenda in the “culture wars” that the Neo-Cons are waging against the American people and American Democracy.
The Heritage Foundation is the last place that should be listed as a news source on a mainstream web site such as Google News. My contention here is certainly not that Google News has a Conservative agenda. Far from it. What worries me is that the Neo-Cons have been so successful at concealing their over-all agenda from mainstream scrutiny that their opinion pieces are showing up alongside genuine news articles. The Neo-Con agenda is proving so successful that mainstream organizations such as Google News are having a hard time telling what is genuine news and what is spin.
The Neo-Cons have been that successful. They’ve pushed the myth that the average American is a staunch conservative and popularized the notion that anyone who disagrees with them is not just a Liberal but a flower-wielding hippie leftover from the sixties drug culture. The Bush Administration used the same tactic by demonizing anyone who disagrees with them, questioning the critics’ patriotism and dismissing them outright as part of “the Michael Moore camp.”
I suppose in the end the Neo-Cons are right about one thing. America is certainly engaged in a “culture war.” But the primary thing which most Americans don’t understand about that is that this war was started by the Neo-Conservatives, and has been spearheaded by organizations such as The Heritage Foundation. In short, the United States is facing a political invasion. President Bush’s 2000 election was a bloodless coup orchestrated by the Neo-Conservatives. At that point the average American was behind enemy lines. The effectiveness of the Neo-Cons is that they’ve managed to blind the average American from realizing that.
This is one of the things that The Watch was established to warn people about. Way back in the late 1990’s, when so many voices belittled our “paranoia” in our warnings about the Religious Right and the push of the Conservative agenda, we alerted our members of the activities of organizations such as The Heritage Foundation. Now, so many years later, those belittling voices have fallen silent. In fact, the new reality is far worse than anyone imagined.
When I see Heritage Foundation propaganda listed alongside genuine news articles on a mainstream news web site, I fear the battle may be lost.