Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Empty Barrels


Just as they did before the American invasion of Iraq, most of our media -- particularly television -- are once again fanning the flames of fear. Andrew Mitrovica writes:

In times of free-floating anxiety like these, the corporate media does not act as a brake on the state; quite the opposite. Rather than challenge the extraordinary and expanding security powers of Western states, corporate media outlets routinely urge them to exercise those powers more pervasively and ruthlessly. Rather than the question the rush to declare “war” — especially when the target is a non-state actor which has proved itself stubbornly resistant to the traditional tactics of war — they join the chorus calling for more airstrikes, more ground troops, more action.

Worst of all, the corporate media will never acknowledge — from one episode of panic to the next — that it ever made a mistake, ever took things on faith that it should have verified, ever owed it to the people making life-and-death decisions to shoulder some of the burden of the terrible consequences of errors.

And it's not Fox News or the now defunct Sun News that are beating the drums of war:

And I’m not just talking about rancid right-wing radio and Fox TV commentators. I’m talking about ‘mainstream’ journalism as well. I’m talking about the talking heads who dutifully trot out the usual ‘experts’ — superannuated white, male members of the national-security industrial complex now working as consultants — as they point fingers at everyone but themselves and the state institutions they once served.

These suits are given free rein to say whatever they want, confident that the reporter doing the questioning will nod solemnly and never seriously challenge a word. So they’ll blame the latest ISIS atrocity on American whistleblower Edward Snowden — calling him a traitor, claiming he has “blood on his hands.” These pastured espiocrats will claim that the only way to combat terrorism is to grant to already vastly powerful, secret and unaccountable government agencies even more authority, money and staff. They’ll rush to accuse Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama of weakness, to condemn them for failing to jump into the Syrian quagmire with both feet.

When "experts" start beating their war drums, it's wise to remember that empty barrels make the most noise.


Lorne said...

I was thinking the other day, Owen, that I'd bet the majority of Americans don't understand that much of the trouble with terrorism today is rooted in their country's almost perpetual interference in the governments of the Middle East. And certainly, none of the MSM seem even remotely interested in factoring that truth into their enthusiastic war cries today.

Owen Gray said...

This drama has been going on for a hundred years, Lorne. And the opinion shapers act as if the story started two weeks ago.

ron wilton said...

Off topic but....why is media especially CBC, including alternates online, not all over the harper post election appointments?

To my way of thinking this is the scandal of all scandals, the poison pill if you will.

Why are taxpayers even paying the salaries of NEB harpercrats in the first place let alone for years to come?

Owen Gray said...

There couldn't be a more blatant abuse of power, ron. But the media have short memories. Remember when the Duffy Trial was story number one? Harper's gone and now the focus is on Trudeau.

Steve said...


Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Steve. In the Middle East, it's really hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

Steve said...

Hi Owen another one that will rattle your head.

Owen Gray said...

Given the downed Russian fighter, Steve, we could easily descend into madness.