Norman Solomon (born July 7, 1951) is an American journalist, media critic, antiwar activist, and former U.S. congressional candidate. Solomon is a longtime associate of the media watch group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR). In 1997 he founded the Institute for Public Accuracy, which works to provide alternative sources for journalists, and is co-founder and national coordinator of the online organization RootsAction.org.
- We really have to fault the mass media of the United States, not just for the last few days, but the last decades, pretending that somehow, by implication, almost that John McCain was doing the people of North Vietnam a favor as he flew over them and dropped bombs. You would think, in the hagiography that we’ve been getting about his role in a squadron flying over North Vietnam, that he was dropping, you know, flowers or marshmallows or something. He was shot down during his 23rd mission dropping bombs on massive numbers of human beings, in a totally illegal and immoral war.
- Orwell [in]"1984" explained that "the special function of certain Newspeak words … was not so much to express meanings as to destroy them." When terrorists attack, they’re terrorizing. When we attack, we’re retaliating. When they respond to our retaliation with further attacks, they’re terrorizing again... At all times, Americans must be kept fully informed about who to hate and fear...
- "Orwellian Logic 101 — A Few Simple Lessons", in FAIR (27 August 1998)
- During the week after U.S. missiles hit sites in Sudan and Afghanistan, some Americans seemed uncomfortable. A vocal minority even voiced opposition. But approval was routine among those who had learned a few easy Orwellian lessons. No matter how many times they’ve lied in the past, U.S. officials are credible in the present. When they... [say the] bombed pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum was making ingredients for nerve gas, that should be good enough for us... Might doesn’t make right — except in the real world, when it’s American might. Only someone of dubious political orientation would split hairs about international law.
- "Orwellian Logic 101 — A Few Simple Lessons", in FAIR (27 August 1998)
- Surveys show that voters are hungry for genuinely progressive policies that have drawn little interest from mainstream media outlets. For instance, polling of the US public shows:
76 percent support higher taxes on the wealthy.
70 percent support Medicare for All.
59 percent support a $15 minimum wage.
60 percent support expanded tuition-free college.
69 percent oppose overturning Roe v. Wade.
65 percent support progressive criminal justice reform.
59 percent support stricter environmental regulation.
Yet such popular positions are routinely ignored or denigrated by elite political pros who warn that such programs are too far left for electoral success. The same kind of claims assumed that Bernie Sanders would never get beyond single digits in his 2016 presidential campaign.... pandering to the military-industrial complex — enabling and reinforcing endless US warfare now in its 18th year — may well be touted as a sign of “moderate” leadership. But it is far more popular inside the Beltway than it is among working-class voters.
- In the last few days, both Politico and the New York Times have reported that freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has ruffled the feathers of fellow congressional Democrats. Chief among the reasons for the tension? Ocasio-Cortez’s apparent support for progressive primary challenges against centrist Democrats. It’s one of the most significant ideas the young New York congresswoman has brought with her to Washington.
- That’s because turning the Democratic Party into a truly progressive force will require turning “primary” into a verb. The corporate Democrats who dominate the party’s power structure in Congress should fear losing their seats because they’re out of step with constituents. And Democratic voters should understand that if they want to change the party, the only path to do so is to change the people who represent them. Otherwise, the leverage of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex will continue to hold sway.
- Well-informed public discussion is a major hazard for Democratic Party elites now eager to prevent Bernie Sanders from winning the 2020 presidential nomination. A clear focus on key issues can bring to light the big political differences between Sanders and the party’s corporate-friendly candidates. One way to muddy the waters is to condemn people for pointing out facts that make those candidates look bad...
- In recent weeks, Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke has become a lightning rod... largely because of the vast hype about him from mass media and Democratic power brokers. At such times, when spin goes into overdrive, we need incisive factual information. Investigative journalist David Sirota provided it in a deeply researched Dec. 20 article, which The Guardian published under the headline “Beto O’Rourke Frequently Voted for Republican Legislation, Analysis Reveals.” ...it’s better to learn revealing political facts sooner rather than later. Thanks to Sirota’s coverage... we now know “O’Rourke has voted for GOP bills that his fellow Democratic lawmakers said reinforced Republicans’ anti-tax ideology, chipped away at the Affordable Care Act, weakened Wall Street regulations, boosted the fossil fuel industry and bolstered Donald Trump’s immigration policy.”
- With a launch of the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign on the near horizon, efforts to block his trajectory to the Democratic presidential nomination are intensifying... The ferocity of media attacks on him often indicates that corporate power brokers are afraid his strong progressive populism is giving effective voice to majority views of the public... The overarching fear that defenders of oligarchy have about Bernie Sanders is not that he’s out of step with most Americans — it’s that he’s in step with them. For corporate elites determined to retain undemocratic power, a successful Bernie 2020 campaign would be the worst possible outcome of the election.
- When Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell teamed up to invite NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to address a joint session of Congress, they had every reason to expect the April 3 speech to be a big hit with U.S. media and political elites. The establishment is eager to affirm the sanctity of support for the transatlantic military alliance. Huge reverence for NATO is matched by how dangerous NATO has become. NATO’s continual expansion -- all the way to Russia’s borders -- has significantly increased the chances that the world’s two nuclear superpowers will get into direct military conflict. But in the United States, when anyone challenges the continued expansion of NATO, innuendos or outright smears are likely...McCain conveyed the common madness of reverence for NATO — and the common intolerance for anything that might approach a rational debate on whether it’s a good idea to keep expanding an American-led military alliance to, in effect, push Russia into a corner.
"Hostile Propaganda: Contempt for diplomacy with Russia is now extreme (16 July 2018)Edit
- Throughout the day before the summit in Helsinki, the lead story on the New York Times home page stayed the same: “Just by Meeting With Trump, Putin Comes Out Ahead.” ... The Washington Post...editorialized that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is “an implacably hostile foreign adversary.”
- Contempt for diplomacy with Russia is now extreme... No doubt Hillary Clinton thought she was sending out an applause line in her tweet Sunday night: “Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?”
- A bellicose stance toward Russia has become so routine and widespread that we might not give it a second thought... Often the biggest lies involve what remains unsaid. For instance, U.S. media rarely mention such key matters as the promise-breaking huge expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders since the fall of the Berlin Wall... or the more than 800 U.S. military bases overseas -- in contrast to Russia’s nine...
- We need a major shift in the U.S. approach toward Russia...The lives -- and even existence -- of future generations are at stake in the relationship between Washington and Moscow... The incessant drumbeat is in sync with what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism.
"Bernie’s Likely 2020 Bid Could Transform the Political Landscape" (29 Jan 2019)Edit
- The likely Bernie Sanders campaign for president offers a boost and a challenge to progressives.. Much more than the presidency is at stake... More than any other presidential candidate, Sanders has ready access to extensive networks of authentic grassroots support.
- Sanders has been willing and able to use a national stage for public education and agitation about inherently anti-democratic and destructive aspects of corporate capitalism. *That explains why, in political and media realms, so many knives are again being sharpened against him... Attacks on Sanders...largely spring from his detractors’ zeal to defend corporate power as a driving force that...steers the US government as well as the Democratic Party...
- Activists have been encouraged by his ability to listen, learn and change...
- Meanwhile, we should expect an escalating corporate media assault — in tandem with methodical attacks from establishment Democrats — against Sanders... such an assault is actually an ideological war against the vision of government aligned with social justice. Not only Bernie Sanders but, in effect, all genuine progressives will be in the crosshairs.
Here Comes Joe Biden and It's Worse Than You Thought (11 March 2019)Edit
- When the New York Times front-paged its latest anti-left polemic masquerading as a news article, the March 9 piece declared: “Should former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. enter the race, as his top advisers vow he soon will, he would have the best immediate shot at the moderate mantle."
- Joe Biden is poised to come to the rescue of the corporate political establishment... The direct prey of Biden’s five-decade “association with bankers” include millions of current and former college students now struggling under avalanches of debt; they can thank Biden for his prodigious services to the lending industry.
- Andrew Cockburn identifies an array of victims in his devastating profile of Biden in the March issue of Harper’s magazine... Media mythology about “Lunch Bucket Joe” cannot stand up to scrutiny. His bona fides as a pal of working people are about as solid and believable as those of the last Democratic nominee for president.
- Biden’s fealty to corporate power has been only one aspect of his many-faceted record that progressives will widely find repugnant to the extent they learn about it...
- One of the many industries that Biden has a long record of letting “off the hook” is the war business. In that mode, Biden did more than any other Democratic senator to greenlight the March 2003 invasion of Iraq...
- It wasn’t just that Biden voted for the Iraq war on the Senate floor five months before it began. During the lead-up to that vote, in August 2002, as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he presided over sham hearings—refusing to allow experts who opposed an invasion to get any words in edgewise—while a cavalcade of war hawks testified in the national spotlight...
- He smiles well and has a gift of gab. Most political journalists in the mass media like him. He’s an apt frontrunner for the military-industry complex and the corporate power structure that it serves. Whether Biden can win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination will largely depend on how many voters don’t know much about his actual record.