Friday, March 23, 2012

monopolizing the first draft of history

medialens | Journalists are supposed to tell the truth without fear or favour. In reality, as even the editor of the Independent acknowledges, MPs and reporters are ‘a giant club’.

Together, politics and media combine to provide an astonishingly consistent form of reality management controlling public perception of conflicts in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Alastair Crooke, founder and director of Conflicts Forum, notes how the public is force-fed a ‘simplistic victims-and-aggressor meme, which demands only the toppling of the aggressor’.

The bias is spectacular, outrageous, but universal, and so appears simply to mirror reality. Ahmad Barqawi, a Jordanian freelance columnist and writer based in Amman, said it well:

‘I remember during the “Libyan Revolution”, the tally of casualties resulting from Gaddafi’s crackdown on protesters was being reported by the mainstream media with such a “dramatic” fervor that it hardly left the public with a moment to at least second-guess the ensuing avalanche of unverifiable information and erratic inflow of “eye witnesses’ accounts”.

‘Yet the minute NATO forces militarily intervened and started bombing the country into smithereens, the ceremonial practice of body count on our TV screens suddenly stopped; instead, reporting of Libyan casualties (of whom there were thousands thanks only to the now infamous UNSC resolution 1973) turned into a seemingly endless cycle of technical, daily updates of areas captured by NATO-backed “rebel forces”, then lost back to Gaddafi’s military, and again recaptured by the rebels in their creeping territorial advances towards Tripoli…

‘How is it that the media’s concern for human rights did not extend to the victims of NATO bombing campaigns in the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Sirte? How come the international community’s drive to protect the lives of Libyan civilians in Benghazi lost steam the minute NATO stepped in and actually increased the number of casualties ten-fold?’

It is a remarkable phenomenon – global media attention flitting instantaneously, like a flock of starlings, from one focus desired by state power to another focus also desired by state power.

But the bias goes far beyond even this example. The media’s basic stance in reporting events in Libya and Syria has been one of intense moral outrage. The level of political-media condemnation is such that media consumers are often persuaded to view rational, informed dissent as apologetics for mass murder. Crooke writes:

‘Those with the temerity to get in the way of “this narrative” by arguing that external intervention would be disastrous, are roundly condemned as complicit in President Assad's crimes against humanity.’ They are confronted by the ‘unanswerable riposte of dead babies - literally’.

6 comments:

nomad said...

ATSS. The betrayal and criminal complicity of MSM.

umbrarchist said...

The media makes money on advertising.  But "planned obsolescence" is obvious to anyone that really understands technology.  But even the technology magazines fail to notice it.

The funny thing about computers is that they have gotten so good, hardware wise, is there any reason to even care about objective improvements.   Once you have a terabyte, is 10 terabytes an improvement?

I know a small business with a 750 gigabyte drive.   It contains 40 gigabytes of information and programs.    He needs a two terabyte drive.  ROFL

CNu said...

"Betrayal"?!?!?!?!

ta loco homes....?

As I enjoyed the lovely Rachel Maddow's school-girlish account of the removal of HEU from the failed state south of the border, it was immediately apparent that she has fully and completely allied her formidable intellect, charm, and presentation skills to the interests of General Electric which compensates her very handsomely for her narrative and persuasive services.  

arnach said...

Based on a specific personal expererience, many in the news media are willing to give up objectivity in exchange for ongoing (carefully controlled, of course) "insider" access to the business of local government.  To a certain degree, this is understandable when one considers that city managers, et al. are people:  Who would want to continue to talk with a reporter that seems to be "after you" all the time?  OTOH, it's also why our city manager was been able to request a story be quashed that would have otherwise been front-page news during our 2008 city election.

I seem to recall that similar things happened in the White House during Dub's Middle Eastern Wars:  Go along, or be cut out.  Then lose your job, because your news outlet isn't "in the know."

CNu said...

many in the news media are willing to give up objectivity in exchange
for ongoing (carefully controlled, of course) "insider" access to the
business of local government.


What kind of subordinate poodle-assed pansy only aspires to being given access to the authorized feed?

That thing that I mentioned to you backchannel took three months to
orchestrate. It's basically made a certain journalist a local celebrity bound
to win awards for hard-hitting and detailed investigation. It took weeks
of careful back and forth to negotiate the handshake protocol with him
information interchange. Now that we've established a trust
relationship, we'll work together for as long as we're in the same
geography.

IMOHO - It's a big part of the journalist's job to cultivate well-placed snitches, not simply gain cordial access to the prepackaged feed. Gaining access to the officially prepackaged feed doesn't make you a journalist, that just makes you a complicit media poodle or patsy.

A real journalist goes to the effort of identifying, befriending, and then zealously safeguarding the "iron majors" aka "the slice" in organizations who know and are responsible for making the organization run correctly and who may not always be in full alignment with the administration or other "in-charges".  Mebbe that's a by-gone artifact of conscripted veterans who were thrown together into situations entirely outside their control, and who had to cooperate with one another in novel and inventive ways in order to survive, and who often found themselves rightfully at odds with the "in-charges".

Mebbe the "iron major" is a by-gone artifact of an earlier cultural and organizational era that has been eclipsed by "all volunteer" compliance and orthodoxy. Mebbe "people" have just devolved into lazy, cowardly, gutless wonders completely lacking in testicular fortitude....,

Dale Asberry said...

Goodbye Joe