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New World Notes - War, Language, and the Media

07/31/2012 12:00 pm
07/31/2012 12:30 pm


This week on New World Notes: radio program #230, July 31, from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m., host Kenneth Dowst replays one of the earliest installments of New World Notes: #10, from April 2008. The title connects three of the series's ongoing concerns: war, language, and the media.

Language doesn't just reflect our 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. Kenneth Dowst and then Michael Parenti--in a fine talk from the 1990s--explore 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.

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 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 A-Infos Radio Project and (from #90 onwards) the Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chronological listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page; each page has links to the recorded audio; and a handy table of contents will quickly find the installment you want.

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.