U.S.-Funded Program Teaches About U.S. Media Suppression

July 17th, 2012 2:41 PM

Your tax dollars are paying to teach both domestic and foreign students that the United States suppresses it’s media to the same degree as India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. That’s what was insinuated on a radio program called “Youthpoints” that aired July 2nd on the Talk Station.  

“Youthpoints” is a weekly program that gives young adults the ability to express their political views. The July 2nd show discussed the Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute, a program sponsored by the Youth Programs Division, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State and the Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Embassies.

Both the director of the program, Nike Carstarphen and one of her students appeared on the show.

The main topic discussed was how the program teaches its students about “the role of media.” One caller dialed in and asked “if there is any discussion about the suppression of information in any of these countries [India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan]?” Carstarphen, director of the State Department-funded program responded, “These students come from places where there may be suppression of information and that’s true to varying degrees for all the countries involved, including in the United States.” 

When the host pressed her to show where exactly this suppression is happening in the United States, she responded, “So, there’s subtle forms of outright censorship in the United States,” citing that “we know media is owned by corporations so there is a particular interest there.”

Carstarphen didn’t say which media and corporations she had in mind, but one of her students revealed what the program had actually been teaching. “Our media is not always right” she stated. For example “there was a problem going out in voting area and Fox News presented the problem on air before the problem actually was confirmed to happen. And they showed fake footage, fake pictures.” To which she concluded, “Even the U.S. media depicts things incorrectly and even holds things back.” 

While she gave no more specifics, its clear that Fox News appears in a curriculum that tells foreign students that the U.S. media is manipulated and censored by “corporations.”  

Carstarphen and the students she teaches about media need to get their facts straight. The U.S. media does not suppress information comparable to third world countries, and there is no monopoly on the media, unless it’s the chokehold of liberal ideology.