Tuesday, August 25, 2015

the establishment created the cathedral and coercively imposed the logic, language, and values of victims/losers...,

medialens |  On Twitter, George Monbiot succinctly made the point that matters about the Robinson-Salmond 'row':
'Establishment unites to crush popular movements. If movements protest, they're accused of bullying'
Robinson made himself look more ridiculous when he replied to Monbiot:
'protests by a governing party outside a media HQ not a good look'
Robinson was claiming, then, that it was not a public protest outside the BBC headquarters in Glasgow. It was a protest by the ruling Scottish National Party.
Monbiot challenged Robinson to back up his allegation with hard evidence:
'Incidentally, do you have evidence that the protest was organised by the SNP? If so, could you provide it? Thanks.'
As far as we can see, Robinson ignored the challenge to provide evidence for his claim. Instead, he appeared to backtrack when he replied:
'Don't know who organised protest.'
adding, in an attempt to justify his earlier unsubstantiated claim:
'Do know Salmond praised as "joyous", talked of BBC being "scarred" & "gains" for @theSNP'
For many years now, Media Lens has scrutinised Robinson's reporting. Notoriously, he was guilty of repeating false government claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, like so many other journalists. When challenged about this, Robinson wrote in a column for The Times:
'It was my job to report what those in power were doing or thinking... That is all someone in my sort of job can do.' (' "Remember the last time you shouted like that?" I asked the spin-doctor', Nick Robinson, The Times, July 16, 2004)
As the US journalist Glenn Greenwald remarked:
'That'd make an excellent epitaph on the tombstone of modern establishment journalism'
But Robinson had also made a solemn promise back then:
'Now, more than ever before, I will pause before relaying what those in power say. Now, more than ever, I will try to examine the contradictory case.' (The Times, op. cit.)
To little or no avail, as we have seen in the intervening years. Robinson hates to be reminded of this. Likewise, he bristles whenever he is told that his professed role is more that of a stenographer - an honourable profession in law courts, of course - than a real journalist. Proper analysis and investigation of government claims and propaganda are systematically missing. Reporting of authoritative alternative viewpoints is minimal or non-existent. But then, as Noam Chomsky once noted of corporate journalism:
'The basic principle, rarely violated, is that what conflicts with the requirements of power and privilege does not exist.' ('Deterring Democracy', Vintage, 1992, p. 79)