The so-called ‘Left’ in America is populated with numerous gatekeepers. In a previous piece, I mentioned three of the most prominent: Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, and Michael Moore. Let’s look at a few more.
1) Rachel Maddow.
She’s young, she’s hip, she’s smart, she’s liberal, and… she’s a lesbian. (cool!) She criticizes the government, especially those in government who are on the Republican team. She is anti-war and anti-imperialism. Not surprisingly, she has attracted a following of young, liberal, urban hipster types with a political bent.
She graduated from Stanford University, the training ground for so many of America’s cold warriors and military-industrial-media-financial elite. From there, she was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and went on to obtain a PhD from Oxford. The people who award Rhodes Scholarships do not like to waste their money, and they bring in young people who are smart and willing to be groomed to be future leaders. If you are fundamentally opposed to the way the world is currently organized and structured, you will not be awarded things like Rhodes Scholarships and Oxford PhDs. Just something to keep in mind when judging people like Maddow.
Most of what she says about government malfeasance stands up well. But, when it comes to the ultimate litmus test for gatekeepers- 9/11- , Maddow shows who she is really working for. Addressing the issue, she practically hyperventilated, and went off on – you guessed it- ‘conspiracy theorists.’ What’s wrong with those people anyway, she asked. Don’t they have anything better to do with their time? Those conspiracy people obviously have some misplaced wiring in their brain. The rant went on and on as she bashed Alex Jones and others. People just shouldn’t question government lies about 9/11. Question government about everything else, but for the major event of the last 20 years… let’s just go along with the story and let it go. Her employer by the way is MSNBC, owned by NBCUniversal, one of the largest media companies in the world. Rachel Maddow is a fraud and a tool for the elite.
2) Bill Maher.
It’s difficult for me to watch this guy for more than a minute or two. I don’t know what bothers me the most: His nasally Jewish voice, his unrelenting sarcasm, his “I’m smarter than you” smirk, or his lack of any defining ideology. He uses his show, “Real Time with Bill Maher” to invite on his celebrity buddies and shoot the shit about politics and religion. He pokes fun at religion, but George Carlin did that much better and long before Maher.
Considering that he has a large platform from which to speak and reach a large audience, and considering that he’s based in New York, and considering that he claims to be highly informed about politics, some folks asked him why he didn’t bring up the issue of 9/11 and the flimsy government story. And what about Building 7, ? Well, Bill wasn’t having any of that ‘conspiracy‘ talk and once again fell into lock- step with the other gatekeepers, bringing out the tried and true insults like ‘conspiracy nuts’ , ‘wackos’, and so on. Bill Maher has never stood for anything, and his job is to be controlled opposition, a harmless release valve for the ever suffering masses.
3) Alexander Cockburn.
The late writer for The Nation magazine, who wrote the popular column ‘Beat the Devil’ , was a talented political writer, fierce critic of the Bush presidency and American imperialism. He was also a shameless gatekeeper and peddler of absurdities such as the Oswald ‘lone nut’ assassination theory, sold to the American public by the Warren Commission (with of course the full and willing complicity of the national news media) When I read his pathetic attempt at a refutation of the 9/11 truth movement, I was shocked that a man who could, and did, write eloquently and persuasively on many political subjects, would stoop to such sloppy, nonsensical and vitriolic arguments. He viciously attacked and mocked anyone who was investigating 9/11 as kooks, not real writers and journalists, like he was. Those crazy folks just see a conspiracy under every rock. Why bother with them? Cockburn was another controlled opposition fraud, meant to keep the Left docile, uninformed, and helpless.
4) Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz.
Another good Jewish boy , working for the ‘Man.’ Oh, Jon Stewart, how many have you deceived with your quick wit, goofy smile, and acerbic intellect? Quite a few, I see. Your adoring fans tune in every night to watch you mock the idiot bureaucrats, political buffoons, and corporate hucksters with your talented team of writers.
There’s something strange going on here, though. What’s up with the guests? Why does Jon bring on so many of the very people that he professes to despise for friendly chats? Ostensibly, he invites them on his show to grill them with hard questions, something he says the MSM never does.
But what these little ‘interviews’ and chats really do is give these monsters a human face, and in the end it’s all just theatre- warm smiles all around, a lot of hand shaking and back slapping and you get the impression that after the show when the cameras are off, they all pile in the limo together to go out to have drinks and watch strippers.
Need I say that Jonathan Leibowitz, (oh, sorry, ‘Jon Stewart’) disses the 9/11 truth movement? Oh yes. Don’t look there, there is nothing to see. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Yes Jon, you can hold up your sign saying “9/11 was an outside job” and your brain- dead sycophantic audience will giggle and laugh stupidly, but not all of us are fooled, Jon. And we’re not laughing. You think we don’t know that Comedy Central is owned by MTV Networks Entertainment Group, which is owned by Viacom, one of the ‘big six’ media conglomerates which control 90% of the media in the U.S.? Those are some serious people signing your paycheck, Jon. We’re talking BIG business. You’re in bed with the devil. According to recent media reports, you make 30 million USD a year to host The Daily Show. I’m sure that’s enough to make you toe the line, eh Jon? You actually get your audience to believe that you’re just like them, one of the 99%. Nice one! And let’s not forget that his brother is the CEO of the New York Stock Exchange. The family seems to be good at making money.
5) Terence McKenna
Philosopher, ethnobotanist, lecturer, and author, Terence Mckenna (1946-2000) was an underground legend for years in the late 1980s and early 1990s in the psychedelic and rave community before he broke (somewhat) into the mainstream with a number of books published by HarperCollins and Bantam. Those books included The Archaic Revival, True Hallucinations, Food of the Gods, and The Invisible Landscape.
I read all of his books in the 1990s with fascination. His theories about psychedelic plants, psilocybin mushrooms, the evolution of language, the ‘return to the archaic’, ufos, elves, rave culture, the IChing, and the year 2012 were fascinating. None of his theories could be proven, not even remotely, yet they were fun to contemplate.
In 1998, a friend gave me a series of audio tapes of his lectures, some 10 hours of talks at informal seminars. I listened to them many times over the next year and became increasingly uncomfortable with what he was saying to his audience.
The ‘lecturer’ McKenna was different from the ‘author’ McKenna. When he spoke, he drew in his audience not only with the captivating nature of the material, but also with his charm, quirky humor, and unique ability to turn a phrase.
There’s an advantage to listening to talks on tape. You can focus on the words and the message, and not be sidetracked with the speaker’s visual appearance, or how the audience around you is reacting. One thing I immediately noticed was how adoring and unquestioning McKenna’s audiences were. There was little to no real give and take, and they were just mesmerized by his seeming vast knowledge of all subjects. More worrisome though, was McKenna’s breezy and offhand dismissal of spiritual disciplines like yoga and meditation. For ‘real’ knowledge, he claimed you must ingest the plants. He once referred to the entire Indian subcontinent as ‘one giant scam.’
Furthermore, he often liked to say, in questions regarding global conspiracies, that in reality, “Nobody is in charge.” The world is too big, too complex and too slippery for any group or cabal to ever get ahold of. He implicitly and explicitly encouraged his fans to not bother searching into conspiracies.
For all his verbal wizardry and ethnobotanic knowledge, most of McKenna’s message just led his followers in circles. Now, years after his death, a recording has surfaced from a talk at Esalen Institute where he admits to working as a CIA agent for years after he was busted for smuggling hashish. Suddenly, much of his writing and lectures take on a new light.