How Communism Imposes Self-Censorship in the USA — Part 3
Many global news agencies have branches operating inside China. China has an enormous commercial market and it is very rewarding for these media conglomerates to do business with China.
But in order to broadcast to the Chinese people, you must agree to the Chinese communist regime’s censorship rules. This includes restrictions on social media platforms, such as Google and Facebook.
But that has no effect on what these social media platforms and broadcast media companies do in the free world. Or does it?
In Part 3 of The BL’s In Great Minds series Understanding Communism, Doctor John Lenczowski, talks about how communism is imposing self-censorship in the United States.
The policy of detente involved the self-censorship by American presidents about the realities of Soviet communism. It involved not telling the people the truth about Soviet human rights violations, about the vast system of slave labor camps, called the gulag archipelago, about the military buildup, about the activities, the espionage, the disinformation, the covert influence operations of the KGB.
These were all forbidden subjects. I call them the three taboos: Don't talk about the military, the secret police and intelligence services, or human rights violations. Because if you talked about those things, then the Kremlin would be mad at you, and wouldn't give you a visa and you couldn't go visit the country where you are the expert.
And so the scholars censored themselves, the media censored themselves, and American presidents and American Cabinet members censored themselves, the statesmen were doing it in the interest of peace.
I'm making, you know, quotation marks with my fingers. And the scholars and the media were doing it out of their own self-interest.
If you are a correspondent in Moscow, and you write about one of the three taboos, they will eject you from the country.
And if your successor comes and writes about one of the three taboos, then the Soviet authorities just might shut down your newspapers or television stations, or bureau in Moscow.
Everybody was encouraged, essentially, to censor themselves. And the best reporters when they came back to America from their tour of duty in Moscow, would write a book about what they saw that they could not report on the front pages of the elite American press.
But how many people read those books, compared to the front pages of the elite newspapers? And then, of course, the Kremlin played the access game, not just by using visas. This is a closed society. They could restrict the reporters' access to Soviet officials.
How did the reporters get their news? Well, most of them would go to a bar in a luxury hotel where ordinary Soviet citizens could not go. And their so-called semiofficial source would come and visit them in the bar and tell them about what's going on behind the closed doors of the Kremlin.
So that's how they got their stories. And if they wrote this stuff down uncritically, and they wrote what the Kremlin was feeding them, then they would be rewarded by getting more and more access to senior officials within the Soviet government with the highest price being an exclusive interview with the general secretary of the Communist Party, that would be emblazoned across the front pages of The Washington Post.
And I know who some of those reporters who were, who were getting that price. And the more you cooperate with the propaganda system, the more you were rewarded with scoops, exclusive stories that will help you sell more newspapers. This was a complete manipulation of the media.
And then, of course, they recruited agents of influence in our media. Some were witting, and some were unwitting. We learned about this from a KGB defector by the name of Stanislav Levchenko. Levchenko was one of the top experts on East Asian affairs in the Soviet Union. And the KGB pressed him into service and he became head of the KGB's active measures operations. That means disinformation, forgeries, and covert influence operations in Tokyo.
He recruited about a dozen members of the Japanese media to be Soviet agents of influence. He recruited the editor-in-chief of the largest conservative newspaper in Japan. He recruited the righthand man to the publisher of the largest newspaper in Japan. He recruited another ten or so working journalists, reporters. And he recruited about a half dozen members of the Japanese parliament, all to be agents of influence.
If he could do this in Japan, do you think that they could do it in the United States? The answer is yes. And we have also other documented examples of Soviet agents of influence in the media in various different countries in Europe and around the world.
The point is that the effect of the policy of detente was the psychological anesthetization of the American people and the people of the West.
A secondary effect was that the people living behind the Iron Curtain were seeing that the Soviet Union and the Communist Party ruling over them was so powerful that they could induce the peoples of the Soviet Union to censor themselves and not speak the truth. They were so powerful that they could cause Western leaders to censor themselves.
If you play ball with me, I’ll play ball with you. That’s a baseball reference on the surface, but its deeper meaning is far more nefarious in nature. In this context, it spells corruption on a global scale. We know about crony capitalism and backroom deals between lobbyists and politicians.
The rich favor the rich and the politicians get rich by pushing policies that favor their own pockets. But not too many of us know about the backroom deals our public figures and political leaders make with governments from foreign lands.
Often these deals are not in the best interest of either of its peoples.
Don’t miss Part 4 of the BL’s “In Great Minds” series, Understanding Communism. Doctor John Lenczowski talks about the scope of communist infiltration in the US.
For the BL, I’m Rich Crankshaw with “In Great Minds.”