Venezuela case as an emphatic example of why the mainstream media propaganda in the West was so successful in previous decades
by system failure
When you have the monopoly of information you can literally transform people's minds. You can make them believe whatever you want. You can even reverse reality toward the narrative you have built to promote the desirable agenda for your bosses.
In 1957, BBC conducted a very interesting experiment. The spaghetti-tree hoax was a three-minute hoax report broadcast on April Fools' Day 1957 by the BBC current-affairs programme Panorama, purportedly showing a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the family "spaghetti tree". At the time spaghetti was relatively little known in the UK, so that many Britons were unaware that it is made from wheat flour and water; a number of viewers afterwards contacted the BBC for advice on growing their own spaghetti trees. Decades later CNN called this broadcast "the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled".
This 'innocent' farce showed dramatically the unimaginable power of TV and the mainstream media to shape massively the minds of millions. Earlier, Freud's young nephew, Edward Bernays had set the foundations of modern propaganda.
During the post-WWII era, inside the Cold War, the mainstream media in the West had built a strong propaganda veil from which Western societies would be impossible to escape. Entire generations have grown with the perception of 'evil Communism' as a threat to the Western values and way of life. Dirty wars conducted mainly by the US as the emerged big power in the global scene, based on lies and deception manufactured by the mainstream media, in order to secure the consent of the majority, even after the collapse of Soviet Communism.
Yet, less than two decades ago, the beginning of the rapid expansion of Internet brought eventually the first serious cracks on the Western propaganda monopoly.
Still, there is a lot of hoax and propaganda on the Internet too, but there is also alternative information as counter-propaganda, which is not filtered by any certain hierarchy, as in the currently obsolete function of the mainstream media.
The recent case of Venezuela is very interesting because it shows that a significant part of the alternative media actually aligned behind the mainstream media narratives to unquestionably paint Maduro as a 'dictator' and his government as an 'authoritarian regime'. However, they have literally ignored the atrocities conducted by a part of the supporters of the opposition and the fact that the US empire has obvious reasons to oust Maduro, in order to re-open the road to the US big oil cartel towards Venezuela's rich oil resources.
Non-Western big networks assisted in the counter-propaganda, for their own reasons of course, as being part of the rival bloc emerging to challenge the US global hegemony. But you have to understand that these networks don't need to produce their own narratives. Because the Western propaganda and the real intentions behind it are so obvious today that someone can expose them very easily by just giving the real picture behind the common Western narratives.
Now, imagine if we were back in the 'stone-age' of the Western mainstream media propaganda monopoly without the counter-propaganda global network. Venezuela would be depicted in the minds of the Western audience as the most evil regime in the planet, while one of the most brutal regimes for real, that of Saudi Arabia, would had been literally vanished from the radar of that media, for obvious reasons.
So, briefly, Internet, counter-propaganda networks, WikiLeaks, Whistleblowers, are some key factors due to which Western propaganda rapidly collapses. As we are currently inside that process, we don't know exactly the rate and degree of the collapse, but we can guess that the Western media have already lost much of their credibility.
A quick look in the comments by people in various Internet discussions could give us a first picture. For example, we picked a random comment below the 'Spaghetti-Harvest in Ticino' YouTube video above. The commenter writes: "More truthful than the BBC is now..."
But there are also specific surveys showing that there is a collapse in people's trust in the media. As Gallup reported in 2016, “Americans' trust and confidence in the mass media "to report the news fully, accurately and fairly" has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year. Gallup began asking this question in 1972, and on a yearly basis since 1997. Over the history of the entire trend, Americans' trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72%, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. After staying in the low to mid-50s through the late 1990s and into the early years of the new century, Americans' trust in the media has fallen slowly and steadily. It has consistently been below a majority level since 2007.”
It seems that the Western mainstream media has lost so much credibility that even if they start telling the truth, it would be very hard to re-gain the trust of the Western audiences. But instead of trying to do so, they are choosing the same, now ineffective, tactics in their anxiety to keep securing the consent of the masses. But this, ultimately leads to one thing: the faster demolition of the last remnants of their credibility.