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We Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train

Howard Zinn taught me to question, and then helped to change the way that I see the world. He once famously said that you can’t be neutral on a moving train. He explained that events are already moving in deadly directions, and to be neutral means to accept that. In other words, history is like a moving train, and you can’t ride the train, and then say you have no idea how you arrived at your destination. I also like to think that the quote could mean that once you know the truth, you can’t unknow it. Howard Zinn’s words, for me, have often been a call to action. As per Mr. Zinn, “…the accumulation of knowledge, while fascinating in itself, is not sufficient as long as so many people in the world have no opportunity to experience that fascination.”

The video clip below was posted by the ABC news affiliate WPLG in Miami, Florida (where else?), and is part of a series called “Dirty Dining”. Apparently, the premise of the “news” program is to identify which restaurants in their area have been cited for violations, and to then send a camera crew to the restaurant location to try and stir up trouble. It is just another example of the blindness and obedience of mainstream media (even on a local level). The so-called “news” anchors and the reporter in this piece fail to acknowledge the elephant in the room, which is the harm that Denny’s restaurants’ food causes to people’s health, animal welfare, and our only planet. Exposing those glaring issues would mean punching up, and shining a light on the broken and destructive healthcare, and political systems, as well as Big Ag (which could ultimately cost them their phony baloney jobs). So, what to do? Punch down and try to demonize an employee of a local Denny’s restaurant for having roaches in her kitchen. And once it is clear that the employee is not up for the task that day of defending herself in a meaningful way, the rout is on. The two mannequin-like personalities posing as TV news anchors do what they’re told, and regurgitate to their audience what is written on their teleprompter. They continue punching down, along with their gimmicky field reporter, in their efforts to make the restaurant manager look foolish. If the WPLG TV station was doing its job, then clearly, people would be far more concerned with the harmful toxicity of Denny’s food and all of its implications, rather than a few roaches on a kitchen floor. There are probably hundreds of clips like this on the web, and it is a reminder that there is no such thing as a true TV journalist in the corporate media. Just TV personalities who do what they’re told, and are no doubt, paid well for their compliance. Talk about the emperor having no clothes. True investigative reporting? Muckraking? What on Earth are those concepts? 🙁

Click here for the WPLG ABC “News” clip.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

And speaking of the emperor having no clothes, how often do we have to watch the mainstream media misinform, lie, and be cheerleaders for the next war? Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has a precedent in Iraq. But you would never know that if your only source of information is the mainstream media. According to CODEPINK, the number of deaths due to the illegal invasions and occupations of both Iraq and Afghanistan exceeds 2.5 million people (Brown University estimates that the number of individuals killed is well over 900,000). Where is the outrage? Where are the corporate media news reports? Additionally, seventy six Palestinian children were killed last year by the US backed Israeli military, and most people didn’t blink an eye. In fact, if you dared to criticize Israel, you would likely be labeled an anti-Semite. And although Putin and Biden are both criminals, it is interesting to see all of the online posts brandishing the Ukrainian flag as an apparent display of solidarity. It is funny, but I don’t remember anyone using the Palestinian flag in their posts last spring when 76 Palestinian children were killed by the US backed Israeli military, or the Iraq flag as millions of innocent Iraqis were killed by the US’s illegal invasion and occupation. As Noam Chomsky has said, “he who controls the media, controls the minds of the public.” And clearly, the mainstream media narrative controls the perceptions of the public. 

“The media are a corporate monopoly. They have the same point of view. The two parties are two factions of the business party. Most of the population doesn’t even bother voting because it looks meaningless. They’re marginalized and properly distracted. At least that’s the goal.” – Noam Chomsky

I have seen this type of manipulation and bullying from the corporate media for over 20 years. Whether they are lying about our food system, excitedly promoting the next war, or bullying an employee of a local restaurant, they are a big part of our problems. And what is perhaps the biggest issue? The truth. The US corporate media (state media) is only concerned with money, access, and ratings. The truth isn’t even on their radar. Their loyalties are to the corporations, and the politicians who are owned by the corporations. In the clip that I have shared, the anchors and reporter could have performed a true public service and done a story on the health implications of the Standard American Diet (SAD) and fast food restaurants like Denny’s, and then cited thousands of studies showing that the closer anyone is to a healthy plant based diet, the healthier they will be (the biggest contributing factor to the development of chronic disease is a diet heavy in animal products and processed foods). They could have also reported on the billions of animals living lives of complete misery in animal factories, so that restaurants like Denny’s can pay for their suffering and slaughter, serve up their toxic body parts, and maximize their profits. And what about the climate crisis? Animal agriculture is the most destructive industry facing our planet today, and the corporate media will not even mention it, let alone report on it (never mind climate crisis, they can’t even say the term climate change). In other words, we have been duped, and unless we change, the deception will continue to grow until our species is no more (whether through the climate crisis or nuclear war). 

Incidentally, as I was trying to learn more about WPLG in Florida, I read that the ABC TV station is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway company. If you are unfamiliar, Warren Buffett is, amongst other things, a con artist of epic proportions (despite what you might hear in the press). Mr. Buffett has made billions of dollars by investing in Burger King fast food restaurants, Bill Gates/GMOs, and Chevron Oil (click here to learn more about Chevron Oil’s catastrophic actions and lawlessness, and how Warren Buffett remains unapologetic for Chevron’s continued crimes against humanity and our planet).

So yes, you can’t be neutral on a moving train. So, what’s next? If you are interested in taking action, the first thing that you can do is move away from the corporate media (state media), and start receiving news that is closer to the truth. Please consider watching and supporting independent media like,,,,,, and many others. They may not get everything right, but overall, they do a great job. 🙂

Click here to learn more about Ukraine having to pay the price for NATO expansion.
Click here to learn more about the awfulness of Bill Gates.
Click here for the “Healthy Living is the Best Revenge” study. 
Click here to learn how avoiding meat and dairy products is the biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth.  
Click here to learn more about how animal agriculture is the most destructive industry facing our planet. 
Click here to learn more about how the corporate media let the US off the hook by calling the invasion of Ukraine unprovoked.
Click here to learn more about Howard Zinn.

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