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Zack Strong: Fear, Propaganda, and the Mainstream Media

Zack Strong is the Independent American Party’s candidate for U.S. House in Utah’s 3rd district. The following was posted to the party’s website:

Yesterday morning a gunman with a rifle began shooting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, resulting in the death of a Canadian soldier and of the shooter himself. Almost immediately the American news media rolled out its well-oiled propaganda-spewing machine – after all, they can’t let a good crisis go to waste. The media’s lifeblood is crisis and chaos. They love to whip up the public into a frenzy of paranoia and irrational fear. This brief article is meant to point out how the media manipulates public perception and purposefully attempts to make their listeners afraid, thus increasing the ease of prodding them into greater forfeiture of rights in the name of security.

While driving yesterday, I turned on the radio and came across MSNBC’s station. The hosts were discussing the Canada shooting, so I decided to tune in for a moment. I listened for approximately fifteen minutes and was amazed at how over-the-top ludicrous and hyped it all was. I admit that I do not know the hosts’ names because I don’t usually tune into to the government-controlled mainstream news outlets. But whoever he was, he was putting on one heck of a show!

In the short time I listened, the host mentioned “Al-Qaeda” once,”ISIS” at least four times, “terror,” “terrorist,” or “terrorism” about four times, and “Timothy McVeigh” once. At the end of the segment, and almost in passing, the host admitted that the identity of the shooter had not been released, let alone any information which might connect him to a larger group, a terrorist network, ISIS, Al Qaeda, or Islam.* However, by using key words like “terrorist” or “Al Qaeda” the host was attempting to manipulate the emotions of his audience into a knee-jerk response. By targeting these emotions the host was hoping that fear would overpower the audience’s sound judgment and reasoning ability.

Let’s ask ourselves what the regime in Washington, D.C. could gain from having its shills in the media hype this, while tragic, very minor incident. The MSNBC host revealed exactly what the government stands to gain from terror hype. The host was asked by one of his correspondents whether he believed Americans were willing to give up any more of their already lost Liberty for security. The host promptly responded that the “Constitution is not a suicide pact” and that we cannot be stupid enough to let someone kill us simply because we are not willing to violate someone’s rights. It was an amazingly honest response. The media – and the government which pays its salary – wants us to believe that the Constitution doesn’t mean anything, that safety is more important than individual rights, and that we would be foolish, perhaps even reckless, were we to oppose violations of personal Liberty committed in the name of security. Thus we come to the media’s agenda: the discrediting of the U.S. Constitution and the Freedom which it was meant to defend and safeguard.

Before I continue, I want to insert Benjamin Franklin’s famous statement regarding Liberty and security and ask the reader to keep it in mind as he or she finishes reading this article: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

MSNBC was not alone in its fear-mongering and terror hype. Shortly after changing the station I came to Wolf Blitzer’s CNN broadcast which was just beginning. Blitzer came on the air almost breathless and full of emotion. One of the first things out of his mouth was, “City under siege: Fear in Canada.” He proceeded to explain that New York City has been put on alert, as have FBI stations across the country. Even the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery received additional protection. Yes, CNN knows the usefulness of fear.

One of Blitzer’s lady correspondents in Ottawa said, “Some are talking about a loss of innocence here.” A “loss of innocence”? Which rock have these supposedly freshly violated individuals been hiding under? Or was this just another theatrical display for the purpose of manipulating the audience’s emotions? Yet another “well-placed source” in the locked down parliament building spoke of the poor “women and children and babies” who were suffering there. Apparently it is not enough to say “women and children” anymore, “babies” must be thrown into the mix in order to coax an irrational emotional response from the public. And still another analyst discussing things with Blitzer hinted that this is what happens when you have guns laying around a house, clearly a subtle swipe at gun owners and the Second Amendment. The cacophony of frenzied media voices pushing fear and helplessness is almost too pathetic to bear anymore.

In passing, let me add one final observation concerning today’s shooting. It is curious to me that the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) was able to swiftly mobilize its fighters and go on high alert just in case the Ottawa shooting was part of a larger plot involving targets in the United States, yet on September 11, 2001 America could not mobilize a single fighter to contend with four hijacked aircraft over the space of an hour and a half. I would honestly be more inclined to believe that today’s shooting, like 9/11, was a government false flag operation or perhaps even the work of a lone individual. I certainly do not believe, though I reserve full judgement until more information surfaces, that this was some ISIS or Al Qaeda terror plot. And after all, we must keep in mind that the CIA created both Al Qaeda and ISIS and is funding and arming them to this very day. Just food for thought.

Finally, in an unrelated story, yesterday was the second day of the Jodi Arias sentencing retrial in Arizona. Mrs. Arias was previously found guilty of murder, but the original jury could not agree unanimously on a punishment. After being so thoroughly disgusted with MSNBC and CNN that I changed the channel, I happened upon HLN – or Headline News, a CNN spinoff. HLN was fixated on the Arias retrial and was spewing ignorance and hatred in the process. Apart from coming across as bestial and rabid in their desire to see Mrs. Arias executed, the duo of hosts displayed their ignorance of how jury trial is supposed to work – and reinforced their misconceptions in their audience’s mind. I want to devote the remainder of this article to discussing the important institution of jury trial.

The HLN hosts were appalled that one of the jurors was apparently from Mrs. Arias’ town and that they knew the family in some capacity. Indeed, most Americans mistakenly believe that jurors should be complete strangers and should have never had previous contact with or knowledge of the accused. However, the original jury concept called for people intimately acquainted with the accused to be jurors. Why? Wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest? Our HLN broadcasters seem to think so. But let us briefly look at two clear statements explaining why jurors should, ideally, know the accused. The following quotations are taken from pages 16 and 17 of the highly recommended “Citizens Rule Book: A Palladium of Liberty.”

Patrick Henry explained: “By the bill of rights of England, a subject has a right to a trial by his peers. What is meant by his peers? Those who reside near him, his neighbors, and who are well aquatinted with his character and situation in life.” One does not have to struggle to see how such intimate knowledge would be beneficial and, indeed, critical to a jury delivering a correct verdict.

James Wilson, signer of the Declaration of Independence and an original Supreme Court justice, had this to say: “Where jurors can be acquainted with the characters of the parties and the witnesses – where the whole cause can be brought within their knowledge and their view – I know no mode of investigation equal to that by a trial by jury; they not only hear the words, but they see and mark the features of the countenance; they can judge of weight due to such testimony; and moreover, it is a cheap and expeditious manner of distributing justice. There is another advantage annexed to the trial by jury; the jurors may indeed return a mistaken or ill-founded verdict, but their errors cannot be systematical.” What Wilson is saying is that while achieving justice is an imperfect science in this life, we can get closest to it by assigning a jury of those who have personal knowledge of the character, habits, and motives of a defendant.

Yes, a jury trial, when properly conducted, is a powerful tool for dispensing justice and making sound and fair judgement. However, few today understand the importance of a jury or the power a jury possesses to decide both law and fact in a case. Most see the jury as somewhat powerless and subject to overruling by judges. We believe that juries are meant to be comprised of strangers rather than those in the best position to judge a person’s character and motives – namely, one’s neighbors, associates, and acquaintances. And the media’s talking heads drive home and reinforce these and other misconceptions on a daily basis. Truly, as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “There is nothing more terrifying than ignorance in action.”

I encourage you to boldly question everything you hear, read, and are taught. Listen to the quiet voice of conscience which speaks inside you. Use your reason rather than your knee-jerk emotions. Sift information through the common sense principles which are the foundation of Liberty, light, and truth. Never be satisfied with flowery sounding speech, hyped warnings, or allegations from panicked news reporters who parasitically thrive on your fear, but instead zealously seek out and pursue truth no matter where it leads you.

The mainstream media will not lead you to truth – truth is anathema to their agenda to destroy human Freedom and enslave the minds and souls mankind. For the foreseeable future truth will be unpopular, doing what’s right will be scorned, and defending moral principles will put a bullseye on your back, but once you have paid your due by walking undeterred through this man-made hell, you will find that you are on the winning side and will be rewarded accordingly. God bless you, my fellow patriots!

*The media is now reporting that in fact the shooter recently converted to Islam. Be that as it may, it does not prove a link to Al Qaeda, ISIS, or any other supposed terror cell. And, I will point out once more, this information was not know at the time the MSNBC host made the allegations, making them nothing but pure supposition and proving the shoddy reporting and propaganda-pushing employed by the mainstream media.

About Post Author

Jed Ziggler

Jed Ziggler is a Libertarian and alternative party activist from Pennsylvania. Email news tips to

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