Time and time again I refer to the Media as that babbling brook of bullshit, if only that was all they were. They are in fact a necessary arm of the powers that be and produce part-information and mis-information shaping and shading the picture of the world that we are handed. They are not innocents, their distortions can bolster a war by painting it justifiable and honourable, when in fact it is no more than a corporate resource grab, Iraq springs to mind. Their selective amnesia and blind-eye vision is nothing less than complicity in some of the most brutal episodes of modern Western imperialism. Without the loyal subservience of the mainstream media the state could not possibly get away with these brutal murders of innocent men, woman and children across the world. If the states of the world are blood stained up to their armpits, the mainstream media is wallowing in that same blood.
There was a report half way through the war of an Italian refugee charity arriving at the border of Kosovo with a camera crew and ambulance, and spiriting away an old woman refugee who’d collapsed – all of it faithfully filmed for Italian TV. It was the first time during the war the charity had done anything. It turned out that the woman had merely fainted – and, as a result of this dramatic intervention she became extremely upset, hardly surprising, since she’d been separated from her family who, in the meantime, had been shoved off to some other refugee camp, and no-one knew where they were. Once you enter this world of TV, of image, of the appearance of goodness, “care”, “charity” & “humanitarianism” are but masks for indifference: everything’s just a photo-opportunity. The more all-pervasive these role-bound relations are the more such functionalising of people appears as ‘natural’. The media is simply an arm of the State, making modern alienated spectacular relations seem reasonable and inevitable.
An article from a former soldier in Bosnia said that when an American TV crew turned up at his base they asked to see a burnt-out village previously inhabited by Bosnian Muslims – which they were duly shown. When the UN soldiers asked if they wanted to take photos of a burnt-out village previously inhabited by Bosnian Serbs the journalists refused, saying it would confuse the issue: their viewers wanted clear ideas about what was going on. The soldier then went on to say that this was a typical American desire for black and white opinions. In fact, this American TV crew were merely being loyal servants of their masters, the US ruling class, loyal servants of dominant ideology, which is not simplisticly a lie, but a half-truth that omits any facts that contradict the official “truth”.
Image by John Hartfield.