The entire archive of my show On Contact which aired for six years has been deleted by YouTube.
Source : ScheerPost, Chris Hedges
Translated by the readers of the Les-Crises website
The entire archive of On Contact, the Emmy-nominated show I hosted for six years for Russia Today America and Russia Today International, simply disappeared from YouTube. Missing is the interview with Nathaniel Philbrick on his book about George Washington. Gone is the discussion with Kai Bird about his biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Gone is my analysis of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” with Professor Sam Slote of Trinity College Dublin. Gone is the show with Benjamin Moser about his biography of Susan Sontag. Gone is the show with Stephen Kinzer on his book about John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles. Gone are the interviews with social critics such as Cornel West, Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Gerald Horne, Wendy Brown, Paul Street, Gabriel Rockwell, Naomi Wolff and Slavoj Zizek.
Gone are the interviews with novelists Russell Banks and Salar Abdoh. Exit the interview of Kevin Sharp, former federal judge, concerning the case of Leonard Peltier. Gone are the interviews with economists David Harvey and Richard Wolff. Gone are the interviews with West Point veterans and graduates Danny Sjursen and Eric Edstrom about our wars in the Middle East. Disappeared also the discussions with the journalists Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi. The voices of those who are persecuted and marginalized, including human rights lawyer Steven Donziger and political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal have disappeared. None of the shows I’ve done about mass incarceration, where I interview people released from our prisons, are on YouTube. The shows with cartoonists Joe Sacco and Dwayne Booth have disappeared. They evaporated in the air, without leaving a single trace behind them.
I haven’t received any questions or reviews from YouTube. I simply disappeared. In totalitarian systems, we exist, then we no longer exist. I suppose this was done in the name of censorship against Russian propaganda, although I find it hard to see how a detailed study of “Ulysses” or the biographies of Susan Sontag and J. Robert Oppenheimer may have anything to do with Vladimir Putin in the eyes of Silicon Valley’s most obtuse censors.
Indeed, not a single one of these shows had Russia as its subject. I was on Russia Today because, as an outspoken critic of US imperialism, militarism, corporate control of the two ruling parties, and above all because I support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement ) against Israel, I was blacklisted. I was on RT exactly the same way the dissident Vaclav Havel, whom I knew, was on Voice of America during the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, for the same reasons. It was that or not be heard. Havel had no more affinity with the policies of Washington than I have with those of Moscow.
Are we a better informed and better society thanks to this widespread censorship? Is this the world we want to live in, where those who know everything about us and whom we know nothing about can obliterate us in an instant? If it happens to me, then it can happen to you, it can happen to any critic, anywhere, who challenges the mainstream narrative. And this is where we are heading, because the ruling elites refuse to recognize the disenchantment and the suffering of the working class. They decide to renounce all social and political change and choose not to limit the rapacious power and obscene wealth of our oligarchic rulers, preferring instead to exercise draconian control of information, as if it could help to calm social unrest. growing and deep political and social divisions.
The staunchest defenders of this censorship are found in the liberal class. Terrified by the rabid mobs made up of QAnon conspiracy theorists, Christian fascists, armed militias and Trump supporters who have fed on the drifts of neoliberalism, austerity, deindustrialization and the collapse of social policies, they urge the digital monopolies to wipe it all out. They throw the responsibility on others but do not assume any of it. Congressional Democrats have auditioned CEOs of social media companies, urging them to do more to censor content.
Hunt the troglodytes [[Ensemble de peuplades mentionnés par l’historiographie antique. Il s’agissait là d’une race à peine humaine, velue comme des bêtes et ne communiquant que par cris ; ils vivaient dans des cavernes. On peut y voir le mythe des peuplades primitives, NdT].And then we will have social cohesion. And then life will return to normal. fake news. Modeling of risk reduction. Information pollution. Information disorder. They have all sorts of Orwellian formulas to justify censorship. At the same time, they convey their own fantasy that the election of Donald Trump is the work of Russia. This inability to demonstrate even a modicum of reflection or self-criticism bodes ill as we sink deeper and deeper into political and social dysfunction.
What were my sins? Unlike my former employer, the New York Times, I didn’t sell you the WMD lie in Iraq, I didn’t spread conspiracy theories that see Donald Trump as a Russian agent, I didn’t put out a ten-part podcast called “The Caliphate”, which was a complete hoax, nor did I tell you that the information found in Hunter Biden’s laptop was “disinformation”. Nor did I prophesy that Joe Biden was the next Franklin Delanoe Roosevelt (FDR) or that Hillary Clinton would win the election.
This censorship consists of endorsing a practice that, as IF Stone reminded us, governments always practice: lying. Challenge the official lie, as I have often done, and you will quickly become an intruder on digital media. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden exposed the truth about the criminal workings of power. Look where they are now. This censorship is only a step back from Joseph Stalin’s airbrush which erased from official photographs people who were no longer part of them, like Leon Trotsky. It is a destruction of our collective memory. It removes those moments when, in the media, we have tried to scrutinize our reality from angles not appreciated by the ruling class. The goal is to promote historical amnesia. If we don’t know what happened in the past, then we can’t make sense of the present.
“From the moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen,” warned Hannah Arendt. What allows a totalitarian dictatorship or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everyone lies to you all the time, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything anymore. Indeed, lies, by their very nature, must be changed, and a lying government must constantly rewrite its own history. The recipient is not satisfied with a single lie – a lie that could last for the rest of his life – but he receives a large number of lies, depending on the direction of the political wind. And a people who can no longer believe anything can no longer decide. He is deprived not only of his capacity to act, but also of his capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people, then you can do whatever you want. »
I’m not the only one. YouTube regularly deletes or demonetizes channels, this is what happened to Progressive Soapboxwithout any caveats, usually arguing that the content contains videos that violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Status Hit, who filmed the January 6 Capitol storming, has been suspended from YouTube for “advancing false allegations of voter fraud.” My video content, by the way, consisted mostly of book covers, quotes from books, and author photos, but it was removed anyway.
The exclusion of certain voices from platforms, like mine, when they are already blocked by commercial media and marginalized by algorithms, is coupled with a deleterious campaign to channel people into return to the arms of “establishment” media such as CNNthe New York Times and the washington post. In the United States, in the words of Dorothy Parker about Katharine Hepburn’s range of emotions as an actress, any political discussion goes from A to B. If you step out of those lines, you’re an outcast.
The war in Ukraine, which I denounced as a “war of criminal aggression” when it began, is a prime example. Any attempt to place it in historical context, to suggest that the betrayal of agreements between the West and Moscow, agreements that I covered as a reporter in Eastern Europe during the collapse of the The Soviet Union, as well as the expansion of NATO could have spurred Russia to go to war, is rejected. Shade. Complexity. Ambiguity. Historical context. Self-criticism. All are banned.
My program, devoted mainly to authors and their books, should have been broadcast on PBS Where NPR if our public broadcasting system worked. But public broadcasting is just as captive to corporations and millionaires as commercial media, and in fact PBS and NPR broadcast their advertisements in the form of thanks for sponsorships. The latest public broadcaster to address the issue of power is Moyers & Company. And when Bill Moyers left the air in 2015, no one replaced him.
A few decades ago, independent voices could be heard on public broadcasters, including those of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Howard Zinn, Ralph Nader, Angela Davis, James Baldwin and Noam Chomsky. This is no longer the case. A few decades ago, there was a diversity of weeklies and alternative magazines. A few decades ago, we still had a press which, although deficient, did not make whole sections of the population invisible, in particular the poor and the critics of the system.
It is perhaps telling that our foremost investigative journalist, Sy Hersh, who was the one who exposed the massacre of 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers at My Lai and the torture at Abu Ghraib, has difficulty in publish anything in the United States. I’d like to refer you to the interview I did with Sy about the state of American media decay, but it no longer exists on YouTube.
Chris Hedges is a journalist. A Pulitzer Prize winner, he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years for The New York Times, where he served as Middle East bureau chief and Balkan bureau chief. He previously worked overseas for the Dallas Morning News, Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio. He is the host of The Chris Hedges report.
Source : ScheerPost, Chris Hedges28-03-2022
Translated by the readers of the Les-Crises website
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War in Ukraine: Chris Hedges censored by YouTube