Wednesday, November 05, 2014

pathetically distorted judgement of the figurehead of US imperial power...,

medialens |  Sometimes a piece of propaganda is so glaring you almost have to splash cold water on your face to make sure your eyes are not deceiving you. Take a bow John Simpson, the grandly titled 'World Affairs Editor' of BBC News. You don't earn a moniker like that by offending the global power elite. But is it really necessary to genuflect before US President Barack Obama as Simpson did in a recent article masquerading as informed commentary?
Simpson began poetically:
'On a chilly November night in 2008 I stood with my camera crew in Grant Park, in Chicago, and watched the new 44th president of the United States being greeted by his ecstatic supporters.
'It was a magnificent, unforgettable moment.'
He added:
'I had heard several of his speeches and knew what a moving and thoughtful orator he could be.'
Simpson, in other words, like so many corporate journalists, gets that lovely warm feeling in his tummy in the presence of Great Power devoted to the cause of doing Great Good. As a Guardian leader simpered in 2008:
'Today is for celebration, for happiness and for reflected human glory. Savour those words: President Barack Obama, America's hope and, in no small way, ours too.'
Simpson, though, had 'a nagging question' in his mind about Barack Obama. What could this be? That Obama was a fabricated PR puppet? That he would turn out to be like all modern American presidents - a heavily-marketed figurehead for elite US corporate, financial and military interests? That he would maintain, perhaps even intensify, the grip of US imperial power around the globe? Not exactly. Rather, it was that Simpson:
'had a nasty feeling that he wanted me and everyone else he met to like him.'
The veteran BBC journalist 'found that worrying.' After all, Simpson had 'spent much of my career reporting on strong political leaders who didn't care whether you liked them or not.' His finely-attuned journalistic antennae were twitching that Obama might not be up to the job. Indeed now, six years later, 'it's hard to imagine that Barack Obama can possibly be judged a success when he leaves office.' You could almost hear Simpson sigh:
'In a way, it's deeply unfair.'
After all, claimed the BBC man, the 'economic judgement' of Obama is 'clearly positive'. Informed commentators may well beg to differ. Noam Chomsky, for example:
'If you take a look at the [US] economy that is being created, it's one in which real wages for male workers are back to the level of 1968. Over the last decade, about 95% of the growth has gone to 1% of the population. This is not a functioning economy. Just take a look around the country. The infrastructure's collapsing. There's a huge amount of work that has to be done. There are eager hands, tens of millions of people trying to get work, there are plenty of resources, corporate profits are going through the roof, the banks and financial institutions are rich. They don't invest it, but they've got it. [...] If you look at the unpeople (the majority of the population), their economic positions, wages and income have pretty much stagnated or else declined for a generation. Is that an economy that's working?'


BigDonOne said...

Thanksgiving is coming soon....

Naive Tom said...

If you made the breakthrough to seeing both parties holding the axe, I'd mark you up from a 100 to a 108.