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Can You Imagine the Media in a Communist USA?

Comrade Fred Jerome, who wants to nationalize Fox News, certainly can.

by
Ron Radosh

Bio

January 24, 2014 - 10:55 am
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About one week ago, the left-wing webzine Salon published an article by one Fred Jerome titled “Let’s Nationalize Fox News.” Jerome’s article, it turns out, is excerpted from a new book published by HarperCollins, Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. It is important for what it reveals about the old communist mentality, still alive in Jerome’s mind.

The Salon site does not provide any information about the author. The book says only that he is a journalist and author of a few books, who was subpoenaed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the ’60s.

So it’s left to me to provide a more accurate appraisal of Mr. Jerome. As readers of my memoir might recall, I knew Freddy Jerome as one of the leaders of the NYC young communist movement during my high school years. I recalled the last time I had contact with him. When I was in the city during vacation while in college, Freddy met me to discuss putting together a trip to Cuba. He demanded that I first join the new Marxist-Leninist group he was forming. When I refused, he turned and said, as he went on his way, “I have nothing to do with enemies of the working class.”

Fred Jerome came from major communist stock. He was the son of the late cultural commissar of the CPUSA, V.J. Jerome, the man most well-known for trying to keep the Hollywood Reds in line. Fred Jerome broke with the CPUSA in the ’60s, and was one of the founders of the Maoist “Progressive Labor Party.” If ever the cliché “like father, like son” rings true, it is the case with Fred Jerome. In this brief excerpt, Jerome reveals how news organizations would function in a “socialist” America — except, it is indistinguishable from how they actually functioned in the old Soviet Union, or how they function in communist Cuba today.

Indeed, Jerome’s article could be taken as a model for the old Soviet Pravda [truth] or Izvestia. We all know the old joke, “There’s no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia.” That was an old Russians saying, a response to the masthead which actually said, “Proletarians of the world, unite.” After reading Jerome’s prescriptions for the press, one could put that on the masthead of his would-be newspaper before it is even written.

Jerome writes:

So news (and views) in a socialist society will be brought to you by a plethora of noncommercial sponsors. The government media will report on and discuss, for example, the major government plans for production, how to improve education, and more. But other media—newspapers, TV and radio stations, and Web sites sponsored by workers’ organizations, cultural organizations, youth groups, sports teams, and neighborhood groups will report on issues specific to their interests.

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Top Rated Comments   
Ron, thank you for reminding me my youth.
First, if I may, I would like to correct the trivia. The original of the joke is: "V Pravdye nyet izvestii, V Izvestii nyet pravdy". Sorry about transcribing, I do not have Cyrylic/Kirilik font. Translating literally, it is: "in Pravda there is no news, in Izvestia there is no truth". Pravda (Russian: Truth) was meant to carry commentary and analysis, so of course, news was not expected to be there. Izvestia (Russian: News) was a "regular" newspaper like NYT. Now the punch line is at the very end, and is obvious. It is not very important, but "word fencing" was one of the very few pleasures in bleak Soviet reality.
The biggest surprise after landing in the US in 1991 was how leftist was the media. IMHO, it was to the left to Polish media under Soviet domination, and I have not even touched The Daily Worker. You are not only there, You have been there for at least twenty some years, hat tip to cfb, my favorite, very insightful commentator. I had to exercise full strength of my reading in between the lines to filter out agitprop (officially: narrative, in journo lingo). Reading in between the lines is the basic skill needed to deal with "unbiased" media. Jamming the channel with flood of unimportant trivia e.g. how many miles SOS HRC logged in or how delightful was FLOTUS birthday bash, is very important technique of propagit. Another techniques are omission and repeating (Goebbels) talking point in all permutation. It requires penetrating mind to sift through all this cultursmog. It gives pleasure to find that many PJM columnists and commentators are able to do it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A great thought exercise, Ron. I suppose if I tried to imagine the horror of living with a communist propaganda machine in America, some of the things I would expect to find would include:

1) a news anchor pushing forged documents about the last non-Communist President in our history
2) photoshopping of pictures in magazine that redden the eyes of candidates running against the Communist Party
3) leaking of national secrets to communist countries
4) utter failure to hold communist government accountable for any act, scandal or failure
5) coverups of assaults on political opponents
6) spies for communist foreign dictatorships working at large metropolitan news outlets
7) spousal relationships between administration leaders and the media that pretend to cover them
8) the administration caught in repeated lies, fraud and abuse and not once, is the exposure due to any investigative reporting by the propaganda machine...they only grudgingly give such exposure shorted coverage AFTER it is exposed elsewhere, and usually in a way that minimizes the scandal and then buries it
9) puff pieces about PARTY and hatchet jobs about PARTY opponents
10) breakdown of morale nightly in wartime when a PARTY opponent is at the helm, complete blackout of negative stories in wartime when a PARTY member is in charge

I could go on, but the thought of living in a society that allowed the rape of their information stream without rage is too unbearable to contemplate. It's not my America. My countrymen and the leaders we depend on to keep the freedoms we were bequeathed would never be so meek, tepid and soft to allow that to happen to this land of ours.

It couldn't happen here. Or so I'm told every weekend on these very pages.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Can You Imagine The Media in a Communist USA?"

Yes, Ron, all I have to do is turn on the news, as we speak. It has become a pure form of, "the truth exists only to serve the purposes of the state."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (38)
All Comments   (38)
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Obviously, Jerome has never heard of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The comment system at PJ Media has failed me.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Am I still allowed to comment after I spoke against censorship of bad words on this site? If I still am, I'll just say, the Cold War was won by the Reds. They infected pretty much every municipality north of the Mason Dixon Line. I work with these people. Their baseline is socialism.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Has anyone here ever met a commie who didn't intend on being part of the ruling establishment after their glorious revolution? I've never met a commie yet who wanted to just become another cog in the machine. They all plan to be part of the government in order to "govern because we are the ones who will know how to do it."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
LOL! They do all think they're one of the elites, don't they? smh
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
NYC must have been something back in the day with all the earnest communist youth proselytizing the proletariat.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've often thought that the simplest and the most direct truth-telling exercise would be to:
1) Grab a list of the "Goals of the Communist Party" - making a checklist of the "goals" that have already been accomplished.
2) Grab a list of our elected officials and unelected czars in the administration; together with a list of all our Congress critters and:
Make a list of those that are card-carrying members of the CPUSA.

Publish both lists; and start kicking ass and taking names. How difficult is THAT?!!!!!! There is a corruption in DC/Media that prevents just about ANY serious and truthful discussion; so let's get the ball rolling.
How about it Ron??
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
45 goals of the Communist Party in America were read into the Congressional Record in 1963. Feel free to check them off for yourself.

http://archive.glennbeck.com/news/03212002.shtml
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We already have something like an apology for America rag: it's called the Huffington Post. Now all they have to do is figure out how to strip them of their profits and unionize and pay their for-free bloggers even as they promote the evils of the current minimum wage. Given their contradictory semantic and logical gibberish, I feel sure they are up to the task. By that I mean tax payers will pay to be insulted.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ron - I think you are beating a dead horse. The way I see it - Fox, MSNBC, CNN are all corporately owned and are dependent on the whim of advertisers. For all intents and purposes they all hire media and marketing analysts and come up with stories that appeal to a particular market segment. Even Al Jezera is pretty tame.

If you want to listen to interesting stuff you have to go to Pacifica Radio on the left or some of the really right win stuff on TakiMag.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I always get a big kick out of "Democracy Now!" on PBS.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Can You Imagine the Media in a Communist USA?"

Not only CAN I imagine it, we're pretty much living it right now. Heck, the media and the press itself has been extremely left-wing and pushing agendas with no restraint since at least the leadup to the French Revolution (in fact, Demonic by Ann Coulter argues that the media and the press was one of the major reasons why the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror even occurred).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Can You Imagine the Media in a Communist USA?"

Who needs to imagine it. We're living that aspect of communism right now.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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