No, I’m not talking about the flicker of the television picture. I’m talking about an on-off switch that controls information conveyed to the television audience.
The Sandy Hook school murders provide an example.
First of all, elite media coverage of this tragedy has one goal: to provide an expanding narrative of what happened. It’s a story. It has a plot.
In order to tell the story, there has to be a source of information. The top-flight television anchors are getting their information from…where?
Their junior reporters? Not really. Ultimately, the information is coming from the police, and secondarily from local officials.
In other words, very little actual journalism is happening. The media anchors are absorbing, arranging, and broadcasting details given to them by the police investigators.
The anchors are PR people for the cops.
This has nothing to do with journalism. Nothing.
The law-enforcement agencies investigating the Sandy Hook shootings on the scene, in real time, were following up on leads? We don’t know what leads they were following and what leads they were discarding. We don’t know what mistakes they were making. We don’t know what evidence they were overlooking or intentionally ignoring. We don’t know whether there were any corrupt cops who were slanting evidence.
The police were periodically giving out information to the media. The anchors were relaying this information to the audience.
So when the police privately tell reporters, “We chased a suspect into the woods above the school,” that becomes a television fact. Until it isn’t a fact any longer.
The police, for whatever reason, decide to drop the whole “suspect in the woods” angle. Why? No idea.
Therefore, the media anchors no longer mention it.
Instead the police are focused on Adam Lanza, who is found dead in the school. So are the television anchors, who no longer refer to the suspect in the woods.
That old thread is gone down the memory hole.
What does this do to the audience who has been following the narrative on television? It sets up a flicker effect. An hour ago, it was suspect in the woods. Now, that bit of data is gone. On-off switch. It was on, now it’s off.
This is a break in logic. It makes no sense.
Which is the whole point.
The viewer thinks: “Let’s see. There was a suspect in the woods. The cops were chasing him. Now he doesn’t exist. We don’t know his name. We don’t know why he’s off the radar. We don’t know whether he was arrested. We don’t know if he was questioned. Okay, I guess I’ll have to forget all about him. I’ll just track what the anchor is telling me. He’s telling the story. I have to follow his story.”
This was only one flicker. Others occur. The father of Adam’s brother was found dead. No, that’s gone now. The mother of Adam was found dead. Okay. Adam killed all these children with two pistols. No, that’s gone now. He used a rifle. It was a Bushmaster. No, it was a Sig Sauer. One weapon was found in the trunk of a car. No, three weapons.
At each succeeding point, a fact previously reported is jettisoned and forgotten, to be replaced with a new fact. The television viewer has to forget, along with the television anchor. The viewer wants to follow the developing narrative, so he has to forget. He has no choice if he wants to “stay in the loop.”
But this flicker effect does something to the viewer’s mind. His mind is no longer sharp. It’s not generating questions. Logic has been offloaded. Obvious questions and doubts are shelved.
“How could they think it was the dead father in New Jersey when it was actually the dead mother in Connecticut?”
“Why did they say he used two handguns when it was a rifle?”
“Or was it really a rifle?”
“I heard a boy on camera say there was another man the cops caught and they had him proned out on the ground in front of the school. What happened to him? Where did he go? Why isn’t the anchor keeping track of him?”
All these obvious and reasonable questions have to be scratched and forgotten, because the television story is moving into different territory, and the viewer wants to follow the story.
This constant flicker effect eventually produces, in the television viewer…passivity.
He surrenders to the ongoing narrative. Surrenders.
This is mind control.
The television anchor doesn’t have a problem. His job is to move seamlessly, through an ever-increasing series of contradictions and discarded details, to keep the narrative going, to keep it credible.
He knows how to do that. That’s why he is the anchor.
He can make it seem as if the story is a growing discovery of what really happened, even though his narrative is littered with abandoned clues and dead-ends and senseless non-sequiturs.
And the viewer pays the price.
Mired in passive acceptance of whatever the anchor is telling him, the viewer assumes his own grasp on logic and basic judgment is flawed.
Now, understand that this viewer has been watching television news for years. He’s watched many of these breaking events. The cumulative effect is devastating.
The possibility, for example, that Adam Lanza wasn’t the shooter, but was the patsy, is as remote to the viewer as a circus of ants doing Shakespeare on Mars.
The possibility that the cops hid evidence and were ordered to release other suspects is unthinkable.
Considering that there appears to be not one angry outraged parent in Newtown (because the network producers wouldn’t permit such a parent to be interviewed on camera) never occurs to the viewer.
Wondering why the doctor of Adam Lanza hasn’t been found and quizzed about the drugs he prescribed isn’t in the mind of the viewer.
The information flicker effect is powerful. It sweeps away independent thought and measured contemplation. It certainly rules out the possibility of imagining the murders in an alternative narrative.
Because there is only one narrative. It is delivered by Brian Williams and Scott Pelley and Diane Sawyer.
Interesting how they never disagree.
Never, in one of these horrendous events do the three kings and queens of television news end up with different versions of what happened.
What are the odds of that, if the three people are rational and inquisitive?
But these three anchors are not rational or inquisitive. They are synthetic creations of the machine that runs them.
They flicker yes and they flicker no. They edit and cut and discard and tailor as they go along. Yes, no, yes, no. On, off, on, off.
And the viewers follow, in a state of hypnosis.
Because the viewers are addicted to STORY. They are as solidly addicted as a junkie looking for his next shot.
“Tell me a story. I want a story. That was a good story, but now I’m bored. Tell me another story. Please? I need another story. Tell me the beginning and the middle and the end. I’m listening. I’m watching. Tell me a story.”
And the anchors oblige.
They deal the drug.
But to get the drug, the audience has to surrender everything they question. They have to submit to the flicker effect and go under. Actually, surrendering to the flicker effect deepens the addiction.
And the drug deal is consummated.
Welcome to television coverage.
Finally, while under hypnosis, the viewing audience is treated to a segueway that leads to… the guns. Something has to be done about the guns. The mind-control operation that brought the passive audience to this point takes them to the next moment of surrender, as if it were part of the same overall Sandy Hook story:
Give up the guns.
In their entrained and tranced state of mind, viewers don’t ask why law-enforcement agencies are so titanically armed to do police work in America, why those agencies have ordered well over a billion rounds of ammunition in the last six months, why every day the invasive surveillance of the population moves in deeper and deeper.
Viewers, in their trance, simply assume government is benevolent and should be weaponized to the teeth, because those viewers subliminally recognize that the television anchors are actually government allies and spokespeople, and aren’t those anchors good and kind and thoughtful and intelligent and honorable?
Therefore, isn’t the government also kind and honorable?
See more on the hypnotic effect of television below: