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Mainstream Amnesia

Why Silent on Snowden?
TANIA BRANIGAN / JONATHAN KAIMAN / GUARDIAN

While America was still in the throws of the Trayvon Martin case, Edward Snowden was quietly nominated by a Swedish professor for the Nobel Peace prize. As per usual, mainstream media organizations in the USA – like CNN, FOX and MSNBC – have chosen to ignore the nomination, unable or unwilling to articulate the nuance of the hero they’re paid to skewer on live television.

Stefan Svallfors, the professor who nominated Snowden for the peace prize, believes that the whistleblower’s “heroic efforts” prove that “individuals can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms.” In his letter addressed to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Svallfors wrote:

This example is important because since the Nuremberg trials in 1945 has been clear that the slogan ‘I was just following orders’ is never claimed as an excuse for acts contrary to human rights and freedoms.

In response to the nomination, WikiLeaks tweeted that the Nobel Peace Prize is corrupt, an instrument of foreign policy. But this is exactly what Svallfors is responding to, hoping that this nomination could “help to save the Nobel Peace Prize from the disrepute incurred by the hasty and ill-conceived decision to award US President Barack Obama [with the] 2009 award.”

Despite the silence on Snowden – the smears, the character defamations, the news cycle’s preference for more distracting, down-home-America story lines– the belief that Snowden is a whistleblower and a hero is emerging from all sides of the political spectrum, and gaining greater traction each day. While the mainstream media bangs us on the head again and again with the message that Snowden’s the bad guy, a majority of Americans are just not swallowing the Kool-Aid.

Though corporate-controlled and state-governed media outlets are engineered to keep the masses distracted and forgetful, the majority of Americans, in Glenn Greenwald’s words, have been so riveted and disturbed by the NSA revelations that “they have just disregarded the message they’ve been bombarded with for six straight weeks now.”

Are Americans really starting to think for themselves, or are the puppet strings running from the White House to the media machine just too damn obvious to ignore anymore?

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