Saturday, 18 June 2011

Fear and Loathing in the Press Pack

An assortment of vids illustrating the stitch-ups and shut-outs of the corporate media, in case you hadn't noticed anything amiss. Got round to posting these as a result of Bensix's coverage of the media's non-coverage of the indoor pachyderm that is the Bilderberg Group's latest meeting.

First, a feature from BBC Radio 4's PM from 25 May 2011. Eddie Mair discusses press subservience with a sample of 4 hacks, the sample suitably diluted by the presence of fashion, sport and gossip correspondents. Ridicule is mentioned as a common means of keeping awkward correspondents in line, but another method, banning them, is also mentioned as what seems a pretty robust back-up plan.

(Quote from Humbert Wolfe.)

Next, a couple of clips of everyone's favourite cartoon neocon John Bolton throwing his weight around, illustrating the US approach to these matters. (He claims not to be a neocon, not sure on what grounds - the moustache perhaps.) Rajesh Mirchandani should be sacked for the very mildly challenging interview shown, apparently - the mind boggles as to what treatment the intrepid correspondent in the second segment merits.

And finally, a reporter daring to ask interesting questions of a politician is firmly rebuffed by members of the US media clique:


  1. Tim,
    I have just discovered your blog and like it very much. I will be passing on the link to others I know who would also be interested.
    Many thanks

  2. Thanks for the reply.

    Now I'd like a treat.
    David Aaronvitch: why not tear him a new one today?

    Surely Aaronovith must have done something you could get your teeth into, like getting out of bed, taking a leak and brushing his teeth this morning?

    Thin gruel I know but for a resourceful writer that should be good enough to be gettinng on with.


  3. Actually I've been meaning (for a ridiculously long time) to post a longish review of Voodoo Histories, which as you might expect is not favourable. Might do it in instalments, but in any case, I'm finally going to try and get something posted some time today.

  4. Tim,
    Aaronovitch's work and others like his could be considered popularising stuff to supplement material like this.

    I suppose you might have already heard of it but in case you haven't here is a link to a paper Obama's Director of Communications, one Cass Sunstein wrote. Seems they are getting worried about it all up there in High Command. In his paper Sunstein actually calls for a campaign of counter misinformation to fight conspiracy theories.
    Funny that. You'd have thought a high government employee would be more concerned with disseminating more widely the truth as an antidote to CTs.

    "Conspiracy Theories"
    Cass R Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule
    Harvard Law School Paper.

  5. Tim Wilkinson said...

    "Actually I've been meaning (for a ridiculously long time) to post a longish review of Voodoo Histories,"

    Losing the will to live when parsing Aaronovitch textual Kapok is a thing one must always guard against.
    Fresh air, plenty of exercise and fluids I find helps to a certain degree.

    We live in a mad world when after all we now know, war supporting fools like Aaronovitch, Johan Hari and Michael Gove still appear on Newsnight Reviews giving their opinions on the latest door stop fashioned by Franzen. A writer and thinker even duller and more wrong about everything than even themselves.

  6. Aye, the Sunstein paper is a beauty, isn't it. I quite agree Aaro is reading from the same songsheet.

    I have a certain amount of time for Hari though - he actually bothers to do basic stuff like research and providing sources, and occasionally makes some good and relevant points. Though support for the Iraq business is unavoidably discrediting, he did at least apologise for it. I wouldn't want to overstate the case though, just that he's better than the other two mentioned.

    Though you might very well say that being a bit better than the dismal standard they set is actually, in objective rather than personal terms, worse, since it gives a false appearance of real diversity and balance in the media.

    Hari at one 'extreme', Kamm or Bolton or someone even more rabid at the other - split the difference and you get Aaronovitch as the sensible, moderate middle ground. Without Hari types, the Overton window would perhaps be too obviously a tiny slit, and the flight of readers away from the MSM and toward the blogs a wider and faster phenomenon. Probably an optimistic view of the general public.

  7. In the column before Hari spoke of how he was grateful to be on some sort of meds produced for a range of hitherto unknown fashionable depressions only experienced by privileged, self preoccupied people who are suckers for Big Pharma products.

    In the very next column he was singing the praises of the idea of shocking & awing Iraq with love bombs just to show we cared.

    One would have thought having only recently revealed himself to be a self absorbed, pill popping big girls blouse and hense not being a fit and proper person he'd have done the decent and recused himself from any discussion as to whether or not we should go to war in Iraq.

    But effected concern trollery for Iraqis wasn't only performed by those who didn't have the guts to face up to the fact that their government was just about to commit a war crime. It had a hatchet face as well.
    And its name was Ann Clwyd.

  8. Clwyd is worth watching as she now and again for careerist profile reasons only involves herself in the Bradley Manning case.

    Manning's mother is Welsh. So Clywd does this in an attempt to curry favour amongst Welsh Labour voters, while burnishing her little woman battling the big forces creds.

    But she also only does it because she knows she is entirely ineffectual and really irrelevant. She wouldn't dream of offending the heirs of Tony Blair's neo con pay masters.

    Clwyd was a past master at clothing her unswerving support for war behind a veneer of care for the interests of Iraqi people when for careerist reasons undying fealty to Blair was all along really her game.