by Scott Creighton
UPDATE: When you see stuff like this online from wannabe “thought leaders” like Anna North, know where it comes from.
The truth is out there. Just ask a “truther”
Anna North, an “editorial observer” working for the rag that publishes “all the news that’s fit to print”, has penned her insightful observations about the existence of shows like the X-Files “In the Age of Truthers”
I happen to be a fan of the old X-Files and simultaneously a “truther”, as the young Ms. North would call me, so I feel compelled to answer her little sycophantic insulting naive screed… even if it is a waste of time. What is it they say about teaching someone something that they are paid not to know? Or, something like that.
Let me start off by saying, like so many other X-Files fans, in order to watch the reboot of the old series I had to suffer through the late stages of the NFC Championship game last night and the insufferable “Look at MEEEEE!” Cam Newton Show which followed. It was a total waste of time. The show is horrible. Seems like it was written by teenagers… like Anna perhaps.
Style, subtlety, nuance… all the things that made the show interesting and intriguing back in the day are gone. Perhaps they were abducted. The show kicked off treating it’s audience like they’re stupid, repeating the same exposition points over and over again, having Mulder recant the broad strokes of the history of the TV show as if no one’s ever watched the damn things. I understand Ms. North here was probably in diapers when it first aired, but there are such a things as Hulu, Netflix and Blu-ray these days so we probably could have done without the “X-Files for Idiots and Noobs” primer.
So let’s just say right off the bat, I’m not a huge fan of the new “brand” of the show. It seems like Gillian Anderson has either become a worst actor than she was back in the day or she was still pissed off about her pay-scale while filming the pilot. And David Duchovny smirked his way through the whole episode like William Shatner at a Trekie convention (Yeah, it’s that bad) . Nor do I particularly like the direction it’s going… but more on that later.
Ms. North seems less bothered by the final product of the mini-series than she does the idea of having one reinforce “conspiracy theories” in troubling times. I mean, that is the ultimate message of her op-ed.
To watch “The X-Files” in 2016 is a strange thing. The original television show was so much a child of the peaceful ’90s that it’s easy to forget it actually limped along until 2002. Its best seasons aired after the Gulf War and before 9/11, and took place in a version of the United States where the government apparently had so few terrestrial problems to deal with that its highest priority was keeping its citizens in the dark about aliens.
That America was never real, of course, but it feels especially far-off now. The post-“X-Files” era has brought with it not just the invasion of Iraq and the war on terror, but the rise of “truthers” and the politically inflected paranoia they spread. Conspiracy theorists now traffic in the idea that 9/11 was an inside job and that gun massacres like Sandy Hook are “false flags” cooked up so the government can confiscate guns.
The rebooted “X-Files,” which premieres on Sunday, probably couldn’t have ignored this development, and so — spoiler alert — it opts to embrace it, throwing the protagonists, Mulder and Scully, together with a conservative 9/11 truther named Tad O’Malley, who’s investigating a plot so vast that it includes nuclear bombs, alien-human hybridization and a takeover of the entire world using weather manipulation, junk food, the Patriot Act, military and police actions and, somewhat oddly, the Federal Emergency Management Agency…
The real pleasure of “The X-Files” wasn’t having your worst fears about the government confirmed; it was realizing that our world might still contain phenomena that are unexplained, and perhaps unexplainable.
We get flashes of this old spirit in the second and third episodes of the reboot. I hope the rest of the six-episode series continues in this vein, because watching TV heroes embrace conspiracy theories isn’t much fun when presidential candidates foster gun-confiscation paranoia and a 9/11 truther is campaigning for Donald Trump in Iowa.” Anna North
There are so many things wrong with Ms. North’s interpretation of not only the history of the X-Files but also apparently, her perception of the world we live in both post and pre 9/11, that I hardly know where to begin.
Who’s “Trafficking” What Ms. North?
First let’s say this: though the main story of the new, crappy, X-Files centers around a “conservative 9/11 truther” who’s made himself rich peddling conspiracies to the gullible public, the reality is, that doesn’t happen very often. In fact, you have all of one “truther” who’s done that, I call him Di$info Jone$, and he’s made more money selling Walmart pyramid schemes and Super Vitality pills than he has selling his crappy movies because frankly, the real Truth Movement, saw through this guy a decade ago (Bill Cooper did long before that)
For the most part, us independent journalists Ms. North calls “truthers” live on next to nothing and we don’t do what we do for money, we do it because it needs to be done seeing as how American journalism these days is nothing more than a bunch of wannabe ladder-climbers saying and doing whatever shameful things they have to do in order to appease their neocon, war-mongering superiors.
Take for instance the “truthers” out there who were writing back in the days leading up to the illegal Iraq invasion and occupation. They were saying the main stream press was complicit with the Bush administration and Dick Cheney who were lying with every breath they took in an effort to start a war which killed a million Iraqi people, decimated their peaceful country and killed 5,000 US troops who trusted their commander in chief to never put them in harm’s way for nefarious reasons.
Or for that matter, let’s go with the New York Times pushing the conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussain was behind the anthrax attacks that followed 9/11 and motivated the US Congress to sign the Patriot Act. Turns out that wasn’t from Saddam at all and instead it came from a US biological warfare installation sent by folks who wanted the Patriot Act passed to those who didn’t.
Did folks who did the research and pointed out the discrepancies in these stories get paid for their efforts? No. They lost jobs. One was Phil Donahue. Another was Keith Olbermann. Then you can toss in a few congressmen and others who were cast out for not toeing the party line (or their staffers who died from anthrax), and you can easily see how folks who speak out and tell the truth are fully aware there is no financial gain in “trafficking” these stories, as Ms. North puts it.
Of course, on the flip side of that, you have writers working for the New York Times making tons of money pumping out one lie of a story after another. Anyone remember Judith Miller? But why single her out. The New York Times, the publication Ms. North works for, is probably the biggest “trafficker” of lies and propaganda the war industry has working for it. And it’s been that way for a very long time. And as Ms. North undoubtedly understands, if you want to make the big bucks at the Times, you don’t make waves while working your way up that corporate ladder.
“The New York Times has essentially become a “propaganda megaphone” to peddle the establishment’s narrative — especially when it comes to war — charged foreign correspondent Daniel Simpson, who resigned from the paper in disgust.” New American
“The New York Times is pure propaganda” Noam Chomsky
“As the New York Times continues its descent into becoming an outright neocon propaganda sheet, it offered its readers a front-page story on Wednesday alleging – based on no evidence – that the Syrian government is collaborating militarily with the Islamic State as the brutal terror group advances on the city of Aleppo.” Common Dreams
So let’s get this straight: if I were here in order to “traffic” my wares for money, I’m smart enough to know which side the moldy bread is buttered on and I would be working right alongside Anna North over at the New York Times. It’s already clear I’m a better writer than she is and unlike Anna, I can do research to support my argument (I know that’s not fair of me seeing as how when you work in propaganda, facts and supporting evidence of your position are often hard to come by)
So let’s put that to rest shall we? If you want to profit by trafficking lies and disinformation so you can make money to afford a decent life-style while living in pricey, gentrification-centric New York City like Anna does, you don’t work for American Everyman or Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth or Vineyard of the Saker. You work instead for the New York Times, like Anna does, and you specialize in spouting meaningless cliches like “conspiracy theorists” and “politically infected paranoia” in place of doing any real research or investigative journalism.
Also pay attention to her choice to use the word “trafficking” in relation to investigative journalism. We all know the connotations that word brings up. The issue of legality seems to weigh heavy on it, now doesn’t it? Is it that hard to imagine that someone working at the New York Times would like to see independent journalism outlawed?
What’s So Different Between Pre and Post 9/11 X-Files?
Two examples for you, pre and post 9/11.
A spin-off of the X-Files shown on Fox was called “The Lone Gunman” and it was created by the same people who made the X-Files. Here’s the Wiki description of the pilot episode which aired March 4, 2001:
While The Lone Gunmen are thwarted in their attempt to steal a computer chip by Yves Adele Harlow, John Fitzgerald Byers receives news of his father’s death and the trio soon find themselves unravelling a government conspiracy concerning an attempt to fly a commercial aircraft into the Twin Towers, with increased arms sales for the United States as an intended result.
If you go back up there and read Anna’s version of the “truth” of the X-Files, you’ll find the “best” years of the show were pre-9/11 when they didn’t delve into things like government conspiracies or confirming your worst fears about the government.
And let’s unpack that a little. After all, the main conclusion most “conspiracy theorists” have come to regarding 9/11 is that the commercial planes were hijacked by remote in order to produce the “New Pearl Harbor type event” that Dick Cheney and the other neocons were hoping for back in 2000 so they could get their Project for the New American Century off the ground.
Does that sound to anyone like the X-Files producers and the show wasn’t delving into conspiracy theories back then? Seems to me like you might say they were foreshadowing one. But again, that’s just me.
And how about post 9/11?
Let’s turn now to the first X-Files movie, Fight the Future.
That films opens up with a bomb planted in a Dallas federal building and an FBI special agent in charge just sitting in front of it allowing it to blow up, for the greater good. The shadow government which runs the FBI wanted it to go off, so it did. And an FBI agent allowed it. What does that sound like to you?
Say what you will about 9/11 and Oklahoma City (where exactly are all those videos the FBI confiscated at both sites? What ever happened to John Doe #2? What did the 9/11 Commission Report say about the funding of the attack?) the fact is, the X-Files has always dealt with exposing wide ranging conspiracies with black helicopters and secret military operations.
The second episode of the first season was called “Deep Throat” and it dealt with secret military tests of alien aircraft. In fact, the triangular ship in last night’s episode was a Easter egg referencing the one in this episode.
The last episode of season one, “The Erlenmeyer Flask”, features a government assassin killing the Deep Throat informant from the second episode as well as Scully finding out that the government is secretly conducting tests on humans with alien DNA, which is another theme rehashed last night.
So, whether she is just ignorant of the subject she was tasked with writing about or if she’s simply remaking history in the manner the New York Times likes to do, Anna North doesn’t report accurately on the truth of the “truthers” who made the X-Files. Either that or she’s just too dumb to get the references. Which might explain her getting a job at the Times. Like the police these days, they don’t like hiring the best and the brightest. They tend to quit after getting sick of all the lies they traffic.
A life lesson for a journalist: Sometimes Anna, the truth isn’t fun.
And maybe, just maybe, for a real journalist, it never is
Here’s how Anna summed up her little “pandering to the masters of the universe” screed:
“…because watching TV heroes embrace conspiracy theories isn’t much fun when presidential candidates foster gun-confiscation paranoia and a 9/11 truther is campaigning for Donald Trump in Iowa.”
Art sometimes challenges us to change the way we look at the world around us, demanding we reevaluate our priorities and reassess what we consider our heroes. Art is the conscience of society. At least it used to be before it, like the journalism industry, was co-opted by corporatism.
Journalism should never embed itself with the establishment consensus because then it ceases to be journalism and becomes marketing. That’s what Anna does. That’s what the New York Times does. Marketing right-think on behalf of what Chomsky calls the “masters of the universe”
No, it’s not “fun” watching art that makes you think. I know we don’t make much of it anymore. At least, we don’t make much of it that doesn’t make us “think” that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction or Assad runs “ISIS” or the CIA never lied to us about killing some guy in Pakistan and calling him Osama before dumping the proof in the ocean. That kind of thinking is bad, right Anna?
But we need it. We need it now more than ever.
While the new CISPA is passed and Obama’s administration is currently working in California with leaders of Big Business to figure out how best to censor the internet and the TPP and the TTIP are waiting in the wings til they can get that done, we need real journalists to do some real reporting before this whole thing devolves into the reactionary neo-feudal shit-hole these neo-liberal globalists have been dreaming about for decades.
In short, we need the “truthers” because for the most part, they’re the last ones telling us the truth.
Go back a few short years when ‘truthers’ talked about the New World Order. That was a conspiracy theory, right? Ah, no. They openly talk about it now, even in the MSM outlets like the New York Times. It’s called globalization among other things.
How about those “truthers” who said the masters of the universe are a bunch of financial and banking industry billionaires and they run the show telling government puppets what to do? Turns out a couple years ago when the banking scam to destroy the global economy was being talked about, even CNN and various money network shows were asking “Do We All Work for the Bankers Now?” and of course, their answer was “yes. but so what?”
Do I need to mention the “anthrax truthers” or the “WMD truthers” again?
How about those “truthers” who were pointing out the faked “ISIS” beheading videos? I seem to recall a number of MSM outlets finally reporting “Yes. They seem to have been faked but they did it because they didn’t want to scare us too much”
In short, once again, the “truthers” seem to be the ones setting the pace in the convoluted world of American journalism these days. They’re on the cutting edge of getting the real story about what is happening here to the public and I can understand how Ms. North, working for New York Times, might not want to see that continue. After all, if not for the “truthers” no one would know just how much her bosses lie about nearly every single war-mongering event ever planned by the neo-cons and the neo-libs, right?
Sad thing is, Anna probably isn’t aware enough to understand what the hell I’m talking about and she will probably end up running the damn paper.
The X-Files in the age of the “truthers” could have been a great thing. Ultimately, I’m such a fan of the old show, I still cling to the hope that it will be.
But judging from the way the cast and crew seemed to be phoning it in last night, I’m not holding my breath. Looks to me like they’ve seen the light, the same light Anna saw when she took that job at the Times.
Don’t worry though. Us “truthers” out here don’t see so well anymore. It’s all the darkness from writing in our mother’s basements. Trafficking all these conspiracy theories ruins the eyes I suppose. And God knows, you got to see clearly to work for the Times, don’t you? So we’ll stick with it til they turn out the lights.
Sorry to ruin all your fun, Anna. I’m sure you can find something fun to do in New York. You can afford it.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect” Mark Twain
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