It’s difficult to read, it admonishes everyone included in it’s lines and props up only Democracy… sounds like classic propoganda… the joke, it also admonishes propoganda – a sound clue to the deceptive theme.
I’m talking about this article (below this commentary) published in the Guardian that supposedly links Chomsky and Murdoch. The headline makes it seem as if Murdoch were a follower of Chomsky (someone who would support his claims) but the text reveals that the author believes that Mr. Murdoch believed in Chomsky’s ideals and used them subversively, along with the politicians that so readily jumped in bed with them.
It perverts Chomsky’s core message of decentralizing power structures, by showing a) an instance where he was severly off base (Serbia) and, b) that Murdoch and the politicians ‘dedication’ to his principles lead to their deceptive games….
Why does this feel placed? Maybe because no one trusts the media now. It plays on our hopes to find a dissenter, a supporter of justice that we can trust to hold up the truths of our times. That is all that’s left when you can’t trust the news, right?
The problem: it suggests that the system (Democracy) is working. The system is working, don’t get me wrong, but in order for it to work, we must continue to debate the topic, not quickly write up our conclusions and move on as if justice had been served and all is right with the world.
It would seem that it would be in the best interests of everyone caught up in this mess to have it put to rest. It would be in Murdochs best interest to ‘close’ the media fire-storm on the subject. If he appears broken, then justice is served. This is just untrue.
ANOTHER clue as to the authors sympathies with the Murdoch empire which includes not only the organizations in the article but also Hulu, Harper Collins, Fox News, Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal, News of the World, News International (the big umbrella company), etc… etc… etc… To act as if his debts have been paid and the problems have been righted is ridiculous and a betrayal of the reader/writer relationship.
We are not this dim. I would like you to believe that the public is this dim, so that you would continue to act as if we were and then further degrade your relationship with us and thus make yourself look silly… but this would be wrong. We need honest journalists… not paid informants.
This is not over. And we should not act as if it were….
We had an incident in Maryland where the Republican opponent (Robert Erlich) had his team call people hours before the polls were closed and declare that the election had been decided and it was time to celebrate.
The motivation was to keep these people from going out to vote. The targets were poor, black voters… who do you think they would have voted for? Not likely Republicans, so why the victory phone call? To keep them from voting.
Don’t fall for it. This investigation is in the public interest and should not be put to rest. We should all continue to look for clues and voice our opposition to such a subversive power structure if we ever hope to change it and if we can hope for a more equitable system of politics / media / government. One that benefits the people it is supposed to serve…
I don’t think we have that yet, do you?
Decline and fall of the puppetmasters
Nick Cohen The Observer, Sunday 17 July 2011 | The Guardian
(see full article for links, comments, and related content)
Thousands gathered in Srebrenica last Tuesday to mark the 16th anniversary of the massacre by Ratko Mladic’s death squads of 8,000 Bosniak Muslims, the worst war this crime seen in Europe since 1945. Genocide always produces furious debate and the 1995 mass murder was contested not only by the Serbian killers anxious to escape justice, but by what most people call “leftwing” intellectuals – although “occidentalist” or “west-hating” are more precise terms.
Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, the late Harold Pinter and Arundhati Roy defended a cranky writer called Diana Johnstone. She had decided that “massive deception and self-deception by media and politicians” had conned the naive public into believing that the west had intervened in the Balkans to save Bosnian lives rather than to expand the borders of the American empire. Srebrenica did not justify Nato’s decision to increase its air strikes against Serbian targets. “Insofar as Muslims were actually executed” – and Johnstone thought that the Serbs had killed only 199 – “such crimes bear all the signs of spontaneous acts of revenge rather than a project of ‘genocide’.”
After the editor of a leftish Swedish magazine gave Johnstone a platform, its staff and board upheld the best traditions of the left by revolting. In response, in an open letter to the publication, Chomsky et al scolded the Swedish journalists for their impertinence. They did not confine themselves to asserting that Johnstone had a right to express her opinions, but acclaimed her writing as “outstanding work, dissenting from the mainstream view but doing so by an appeal to fact and reason.”
I drag up memories of this shabby affair because Chomsky is the co-author of the “propaganda model” of journalism, a theory endorsed by a surprisingly large and disparate group. Chomsky thought that corrupt journalists follow the agenda of their rich owners and corporate advertisers and brainwash the population into believing the lies of the political and commercial elites. The squalor of the mass graves of Srebrenica ought to have discredited him for good.
Because his idée fixe compelled him to believe that the lackeys of American imperialism were inventing stories of Serb atrocities to justify the expansion of western power, he sided with the apologists for as long as he could. Not directly, but by the sly and unmanly means of puffing up the reputation of an author who put “genocide” in scare quotes and announced that no organised slaughter had taken place.
The belief that the media manipulate the masses appeals to the far left because its supporters must explain why they can never win or come close to winning a democratic election. Rather than accept that electorates reject them because their ideas are false or foolish, they decide that corporate puppetmasters jerk the strings of citizens and induce them to vote against their “real” interests.
Trotskyists are not the only dupes of the fantasy. Conservatives are as convinced that sinister media manipulators frustrate them. The Mail and the Telegraph’s assaults on BBC bias are an equally self-serving attempt to avoid facing their own inadequacies. If it were not for the propaganda of liberal broadcasters, the British would respect the sanctity of marriage, go to church, renounce the welfare state and demand the privatisation of schools and hospitals. Nor are liberals immune from Chomskyan self-delusion. How many times have they maintained that the “tabloids” force governments to be tough on crime and illegal immigration and failed to acknowledge that a majority of the electorate has never supported the lenient treatment of offenders or mass immigration?
Everywhere, the disappointed and the outraged insist that a media conspiracy has turned the heads of stupid voters. Instead of trying to win arguments in open contests, they bleat that the match is fixed.
I am not pretending that media bias does not exist. I am simply saying that the evidence that partisan newspapers and broadcasters do any more than preach to the converted is weak, to put it mildly. Weighted by circulation, 74.8% of the press backed the Tories at the last election, but just 36.1% voted for David Cameron. Only 13.3% of the press supported Brown, but 29% of the electorate voted Labour. Except in dictatorial states, and maybe Berlusconi’s Italy, the internet-connected citizen has too many sources of information for propagandists to control. The only escape for believers in the propaganda model is to say that it does not matter if Labour or the Tories win elections because their policies are identical. After the experience of Cameron and Clegg in power, no serious person can believe that now.
Chomsky’s most dedicated followers are, however, our politicians and police officers. Convinced that Murdoch had the ability to choose the government of this country, they have allowed his News Corporation to subvert the civil law controlling media competition and ownership, and challenge the first principle of the criminal law that the police must treat all suspects equally. Their own actions made Murdoch’s supremacy a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more he used his influence over politicians to expand his conglomerate, the more powerful he seemed. To put the same thought another way, the political class created a god and then dropped to its knees to worship him. The immorality of the News Corp, as much as its control of four newspapers and BSkyB, explains why so many believed it could brainwash the British. An unscrupulous newspaper proprietor has an advantage no other CEO possesses. Murdoch’s News of the World and Sun, and to a lesser extent his Sunday Times, could implicitly threaten to blackmail any politician, civil servant or journalist who crossed their master. If ministers had been with a prostitute or regulators had had affairs, they would think twice about taking on an organisation that may have details of their indiscretion in its files.
Murdoch seemed untouchable. But democracies are tougher than they look. After the Srebrenica massacre, Nato finally found the political will to put an end to Serb aggression. Contrary to the predictions of pessimists, it turned Mladic from a triumphant warlord into the haggard figure we see answering for his crimes in the Hague. After the hacking scandal, Murdoch is no longer the puppetmaster who determines the fate of nations but just a tired old man – who isn’t even a tired old Englishman. Like Mladic, he’s there for the taking.
p.s. If you’ve read this far, let’s just acknowledge here that one of the conservative themes is to devalue liberalsim as an emotionalist appeal to the less fortunate in order to form a dictatorial form of leadership. They claim that liberals have a coup on media… but isn’t it the conservatives that have formed these unholy alliances?
Maybe it should be taken into consideration, that it stands to reason when there are more people in the world facing injustice that there would be more people concerned with equal justice and freedom, and therefore more liberal thinkers available to comment? It’s not a ‘liberal hold on media’ we should be scared of. It’s skillfully crafted propoganda like this, from either side of the debate, that devalues the purpose of the written word to help inform and encourage thoughtful consideration of the issues of our day.