Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Understanding the News

When I was a kid, I heard that Nikita Krushchev asked, I think it was Nixon, how it was we in the US were able to ensure that our media reported the news in such loyal fashion. Krushchev explained that back in the USSR they had to work real to make sure their journalists understood and kept to the Party Line. That was some forty odd years ago and that old shoe banger would likely be even more amazed today, if he were alive. However, being a smart cookie, he wouldn’t be as surprised.

Today almost all mainstream media (+95%) is owned by just five mega-corporations. The end result has been that the “news” has become more and more geared to entertainment. The reason being that, entertainment, put forth as news, keeps the listeners glued to the tube and their finger off the zapper while the commercial breaks infuse their minds with desires to acquire and consume the products of the sponsors.

That is to say that what passes for news today is all about the bottom line and if it happens to bring any actual information to the public – it is accidental, an incident of little value, because, without the connections and background, “news” is little more than a collection of “rumors”.

An example you’re hearing now, in the “news”, as if it has suddenly been uncovered, about the massacre in Haditha, last November.

The fact is, Haditha has been known by people who get their information from internet blogs for almost six months, that is, very soon after the crimes were committed.

We will now see a dance where some people will go to jail. Perhaps more people will get burned than just a “few bad apples”. Some people higher up the food chain may well go to the slammer – but don’t hold your breath and don’t put good money on it! More likely it will develop like Abu Ghrib and all responsibility and punishment will be assigned and meted out to people in the lower ranks.

Enough rant – but let me pose these questions.

Do you really think that Haditha is the only time innocent Iraqis have been killed indiscriminately and in cold blood? Or that Abu Ghrib is only place Iraqis have been tortured?

And now yesterday, in Kabul, some humvees slam into the morning traffic jam in Kabul, do you really believe the report that “brakes failed”? Well, hell, maybe the brakes did fail, but still there’s got be more to the story than that!

And there is, but I’ll talk about that later.

I see hours on end of poison dreams
Emanating from glowing screens
I see Banks of Illusion, modified souls
I see garbage exchanged for the purest of gold

-- from my song “UNGLUED!”

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