Fred Peabody’s documentary All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone appears at a time when the US's mainstream media is in a state of chaos. This confusion has been caused by president Donald Trump, whose views, lies, and positions on common issues are so extreme that the mainstream is finding great difficulty processing and normalizing him. But the fact is: it really wants to. It has always gone with the flow of political power. Its job has been to report news from the White House with very little or no judgement. The drone strikes killed this or that terrorist, the mission is to find and neutralize the weapons of mass destruction, those missiles had nothing to do with Monica, and so on. Normally, that is what you find in the front pages. The deeper and more critical pieces are always buried in the depths of the paper or website.
The so-so documentary—and 'so-so' because progressives will not be surprised by its revelations—All Governments Lie was made when the mass media world was structured in this way (lies on the surface; truths in the depths), and it interviews journalists (Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone) who operate outside of and challenge this structure. But after the doc was completed in 2016, shit hit the fan and exploded. Trump is now at war with the mass media. And his racist and sexist aide, Steve Bannon, has even gone as far as to call it an "opposition party." Suddenly, CNN, Washington Post, and Democracy Now! are in the same boat. Truths are no longer hiding in the back, but present in the headlines. Even FOX News called Trump's voter fraud claims false. This is damn weird. This is not the same mass media that All Governments Lie examines. Flows* are not going way but in every which way because Trump will not be happy until every news agencies is just like Breitbart.
All Governments Lie opens today at the Grand Illusion.