AMY GOODMAN: From the events in Honduras, we step back to reflect how the media’s been covering the coup in that country. Last week, award-winning investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger was visiting the United States. He was born in Australia but has lived in London since the 1960’s and began his career as a hard- hitting war reporter covering the Vietnam War. He has written close to a dozen books and made over 50 documentaries on subjects ranging from struggles around the world for a more just and peaceful society and against western military and economic intervention, films on East Timor, Cambodia, Vietnam, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, and the United States.
Well, last week I had a wide- ranging conversation with John Pilger on Honduras, Iran, Gaza, the media, healthcare and Obama’s wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I began by asking John Pilger to comment on the current mainstream media and how it shapes our perceptions and priorities.
JOHN PILGER: I don’t believe anything as changed. If it is one to change in the middle east as other parts of the world, I think one of the really significant and building areas of discussion- and data has been building for the last few years—is just the kind of information we get through the so- called mainstream. We have many alternative sources of information now, not least of all your own program. though I wouldn’t call that alternative.
But for most people, the primary source of their information is the mainstream. It is mainly television. Even the internet for all its subversiveness has still a very large component of the mainstream. And that means we’re getting still either its this singular message about wars, about the economy, about all those things that touch our lives. All we are getting is what I would call is a contrived silence, a censorship by a mission. I think this is almost the principal issue of today because without information, we cannot possibly begin to influence government. We cannot possibly begin to end the wars.
All of this, it seams to me, has come together in the presidency of Barack Obama who is almost a creation of this media world. He promised some things, although most of them were more for us, and has delivered virtually the opposite. He started his own war in Pakistan. We see the events in Iran and Honduras in quiet subtlety, but very directly influenced in the time-honored way by the Obama administration. And yet the Obama administration is still given this extraordinary benefit of the doubt by people, who in my view are influenced by the mainstream media. It is a time when I think, where either we are going to begin to understand how the media really works, or we’re going to let that opportunity pass. Its almost a historic opportunity the we understand that the perception of our world is utterly distorted, most of the time through what are seen as credible sources of information.