Dark Side of the Media

8 Jul

Roger Waters speaks during a protest against the extradition of Julian Assange at Parliament Square, London, February 2020

RT two days ago:

Roger Waters: Assange movement growing, but mainstream media ‘cowed by the ruling class’

Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, long time friend and supporter of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, has hammered “despicable” mainstream media for ignoring the growing movement to free him.1

Assange turned 50 on Friday, in London’s Belmarsh Prison. The US government seeks to extradite and try him on espionage charges, relating to his publication of documents alleging US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, although a British judge ruled in January that he could not be extradited to the United States due to concerns over US prison conditions, he has not been granted bail.

“I’ve run out of expletives for the a**holes who imprisoned Julian”, Waters told RT on Tuesday. A vocal advocate for Assange’s release since the Wiki founder first took refuge in London’s Ecuadorian embassy in 2012, he admits the protests he’s led and spoken at haven’t moved politicians on either side of the Atlantic.

Full piece here

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  1. The movement to free Julian is not the only thing corporate media, which by and large prefer lies of omission to those of commission – though the latter are routine too – have ignored. See my July 3 post, Death of a war criminal … lies on Assange.

3 Replies to “Dark Side of the Media

  1. One example amongst many where the process in play and the playbook being used includes, but is not limited to, a range of similar examples encompassing not just other well known figures such as Salmond, Murray, and Corbyn but also many less high profile cases from Forster and Mark Hirst through to Chris Williamson, Millar and MacLachlan across a range of issues which challenge official and imposed Establishment narratives.

    If it were simply the media it would be bad enough. However, the same points of analysis can equally be applied to other parts of the Estate other than the media. And not just the usual suspects.

    Take the Judiciary as one example. Here’s a recent paper from policy exchange analysing and dissecting the basis and rationale which led to the original decision (now overturned on appeal) in the Forstater case:

    https://policyexchange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Prejudging-the-transgender-controversy-.pdf

    The key document from which this paper draws its conclusions is one I’d guess no one outside a very small select group of the population will ever have heard of never mind contemplated. ‘The Equal Treatment Bench Book.’

    A small tome originally designed to assist and provide guidance for the judiciary to assist minorities through the court process which has grown to an unweidly 500+ pages and which has clearly been produced in its present and recently revised form as a result of institutional and policy capture by vested interests which currently coincide with those of the Establishment. Even FoI requests as to were involved in its production are rejected.

    Why does this matter? Well let’s look at a key observation from the Policy Exchange document which notes the impact of this “guidance”, and it’s prescriptive acceptance as incontestable narratives which are in the real world being contested, from the ETTB on the attitude of the judge in the original Forstater case judgement:

    “22. Irrespective of the Judge’s mistakes as to the meaning of the GRA, it
    is also surprising that the Judge thought that Ms Forstater (who is a
    private individual) was “not entitled to ignore” the GRA.

    23. This seems to suggest that disagreeing with legislation, even
    legislation that takes a firm position on a question relevant to
    human rights, is necessarily outside the protection of discrimination
    law. There is at present vigorous debate on the terms of the
    Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and whether it provides
    sufficient protection for freedom of expression: if the bill passes in
    its current form, would protestors against it be unable to invoke
    their freedom of expression because Parliament has decided what
    the correct balance is and they are “not entitled to ignore” that?
    Such a winner-takes-all approach to legal decisions, where the losing side in a debate becomes semi-outlawed (that is, they are
    not eligible for the law’s protection), sounds more totalitarian than
    rights-based as a legal order.”

    This observation being derived from the judge’s statements and conclusions that Forstater,
    and by definition anyone else, was not entitled to have the protection of law for views which, in effect, went outside of a particular narrative.

    A narrative in this instance which is not only being policed by the usual suspects but by sections of what should be the opposition to such narratives. Whether it’s GC views based on objective class analysis rather than the subjective individually constructed ‘realities of self-id’; anti-Semitism; Syria/Assad/chemical attacks; Russia/Putin/’Russiagate’; China or whatever, it’s now possible to consistently see Establishment neo- liberal, neo-conservative and even neo-feudalist narratives not only being enthusiastically supported and endorsed by the self styled ‘progressive left’ (in lock step with the ‘liberal left’) but also policed.

    Having collectively decided to take the three monkeys stance on Big Tech censorship following the deplatforming of right wingers like Alex Jones and Trump et Al – a stance requiring an incredible level of self deception after being targeted as ‘Fake News’ sources by intiatives such as ‘Propornot’ only a few years back – much of the heavy lifting for the types of narratives which have hung Assange, and others (such as Corbyn, Murray, Salmond, Forstater, Miller and myriad others*) out to dry is not only being found in the corporate media but also within vociferous sections of the ‘left.’. A naive position which ignores the double edged sword nature of what is being supported.

    So, as just one small example: last weekend concerted efforts at SM campaigning for the NHS were undermined by Big Tech censorship preventing the sharing of certain left sites on Facebook.

    Perhaps the most succinct description would be in this recent observation from a news report read this morning:

    “Press freedom and constitutional constraints are quaint relics of the old republic, which has been taken over by something called Our Democracy, gradually and then suddenly over the course of the past year. This new regime cares less about what is being done, and more about who is doing it to whom. Those designated as virtuous can do no wrong, and those designated as villains can do no right. Uneven application of the law in the name of “equity” and social justice is a feature in Our Democracy, not a bug.”

    Taken from a report about the smearing of Fox’s Tucker Carlson via the Security State’s illegal spying on his communications and leaking that information to Deep State Establishment paid media scribes on the RT network.

    Given RT and Tucker Carlson are ‘designated….villains (who can) do no right’ within the framework of this mindset you can already hear the noise being generated by the self-appointed guardians of the sacred narratives across the limited amount of permitted spectrum of acceptable discourse.

    In much the same way that the two stooges from ‘The Young Turks’ – allegedly from the left – went after Aaron Mate and, for the heresy of agreeing with him over his critique of their crass and infantile analysis of a complex issue, Jimmy Dore and Glenn Greenwald.

    The role of Corporate Media in the Assange case, along with that of other examples of the same playbook process is, whilst scandalous in an Upton Sinclair sense, unsurprising. However, a reality based approach needs to recognise and accept not only that the same process is being applied across a range of issues and narratives but also the significant part being played by sections of the so called ‘progressive left’ in supporting, pushing, and policing those narratives on behalf of the neo-liberal and neo- conservative political right.

    A stance and position which is destroying unity as well as severely undermining and damaging the effectiveness of practical based opposition and alternatives.

    * One might also point to the examples which never see the light of day beyond the local level. Like the way in which people with a long standing record of politically left activity are being systematically driven away via a similar process of villification and evidence free assertions/allegations by self righteous Puritans clearly using this process as a political weapon (just like The Young Turks did recently with Dore, Mate and Greenwald) to advance individual pips on shoulders agendas rather than being serious about doing the business.

  2. Quite. It’s about joining the dots.

    Whatever form it takes it often involves a conscious choice of not bothering to think a matter through. In too many cases because it’s expedient for whatever reason.

    Someone I used to work with once got pulled off a job by two managers shortly after arriving on site. Their instructions from the Senior Zone General Manager, which they followed, were to conduct a discipline interview on the basis of an alleged ‘conplaint’ from a member of the public that he’d been observed throwing kittens out of the cab window of his van on his way to the job.

    As his Union Rep. at the time I got to know that some of the words used in this missive from on high included the instruction to “hammer him” over what was only at this stage an unsubstantiated allegation.

    After getting these two local managers to back off a bit and do a bit of dot to dot by actually contacting the alleged ‘complainant’ it turned out that there had been no complaint. The member of the public had been following the works van in heavy stop/start traffic near the railway station in the city centre and had seen feral kittens who had been using the vehicle engine for warmth whilst it was parked overnight in the depot (this was winter, with snow on the ground) escaping from the works van whilst it was stationary in busy traffic on a busy road.

    They had phoned a close relative on their mobile who happened to be some kind of local industrialist who then contacted the company at national level to alert the driver to the situation. They were horrified their good faith and common sense action had been ‘misconstrued’ and almost cost someone their job.

    Having had dealings with that particular Zone GM – he once threatened my job over an issue – I’ve no doubts this was deliberate rather than ‘misconstrued.’

    Whether it’s a commercial organisation, a media one, or even a political one the process and motivation is the same. Whether it’s individuals or Countries the process, wherever it occurs and is located is to ignore evidence and throw as much mud as will stick

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