Sunday, 24 August 2014

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN: THE POLITICISATION OF THE MEDIA IN FERGUSON

In these days – these last days? – of hyperinformation and meganews, it is often tiny, incidental details that are the most telling. The news is often to be found in the marginalia and circumstances of reportage and, as Derrida and Freud teach us, much can be found in apparently extraneous asides. The mainstream media (MSM) are masters of padding and sanitising a story, ensuring that a cordon sanitaire is thrown around their favoured groups and causes, and their language is as policed as anything seen in the Soviet era, but what is increasingly emerging is the blatant politicisation of the media. So it is with Ferguson.

For once, Googling ‘Ferguson’ does not bring up on one’s screen the revolting, florid face of the triumphant Scottish football manager. Ferguson is an American town thrust forward by a fatal shooting. The facts are tedious and unremarkable; as American, nowadays, as Mom and apple pie. What has made a liberal-left cause celebre of the affair is not that the shooter was a law enforcement officer and the victim an unarmed civilian, but that the policeman was white and the dead man black.

The grievance industry has swung into action. Thus, you’ll see Al Sharpton, Spike Lee, Eric Holder, Barack Obama and all the usual suspects informing a weary world that racism is once again, has always been, stalking the land of the free. ‘Protests’ – primarily in the form of looting, bomb-throwing and intimidation - are ongoing. One nugget shines out from the ordure, however. Warner Todd Huston is a freelance writer for, among others, Breitbart, and reports from the scene in Ferguson as follows;

One constant tonight on how the police have been handling the media is that they are asking for ‘real media IDs’ and have been heard on the live feed saying only ‘conventional media’ will be allowed to participate in the media areas. It seems the police are trying to differentiate between old-style, network, cable, radio and print media people any anyone working for Internet-based outlets.”

Perhaps ‘conventional’ or ‘real’ fire-fighters might be a requirement at a fire, not just well-meaning bystanders with buckets of water, but the words used in this context show a strange new media world. Paul Dacre, editor of The Daily Mail, has already suggested at Leveson accreditation for the media, and he’s the man who cost the UK habeas corpus over one dead boy. But what represents the ‘unconventional’ or ‘unreal/false’ journalist?

Put simply, online commentators. Given that western media are irredeemably left-wing, dominated by a progressivist trend that has Gramsci as its totem and brooks no dissent of its politically correct ‘narrative’, and given that online commentary is very often from the opposing community, it is important to keep the latter away from anything as mundane as facts on the ground.

And so, the most pertinent fact to emerge from Ferguson is the separation, by an increasingly militarised police force, of ‘conventional’ or ‘real’ journalists from net-based citizen journalists, often unpaid. The journalist, the ‘real’ journalist, can now be defined as someone who is paid to generate and display, for his employers, an inappropriate level of concern over something which is none of his business, her business. It should surprise no one, in this age of genuine transvaluation of all values, that it should be someone as egregiously deleterious to democracy as Alastair Campbell who reminds us that all journalism now is increasingly op-ed. If this is so, why should the ‘conventional’ journalists be the only voice, given their blatant progressivist agenda?

If you judged the implications of Ferguson by the MSM narrative, you could be forgiven for thinking in the last fortnight that Jim Crow was alive and well and open for business. Try this for size, from The Independent’s Kunal Dutta in the issue of August 20; 

“The race-relations crisis engulfing America in the aftermath of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown intensified on Tuesday after police confirmed the shooting of a second African-American man from St. Louis.”

The race-relations crisis engulfing America exists but is not exemplified by Ferguson. It is exemplified by the Knockout Game, Beat Whitey Night, the events related in Colin Flaherty’s White Girl Bleed a Lot. But not for ‘real’ journalism.

And those real journalists have outriders now. The Ferguson police have shown themselves every bit as determined to protect the narrative concerning real – genuinely real – events as their masters. This sanctity of narrative is directly mandated by the ruling class, the ‘establishment’ of Owen Jones, given the minor adjustment that where Jones sees evil right-wingers, the actual establishment have long been creatures of the far Left. And so only approved commentators can be given access to the facts on the ground. Like a doorman at a nightclub, if your name’s not down, you’re not coming in.

The ruling elites of the West face a mounting problem, and it’s not IS (who have, amusingly, a press officer). It is the partial handing over of opinion to citizens not of the media courtier class via the internet, the greatest democratising invention since Gutenberg’s printing press and moveable type. But the problem with the ‘net is that anyone can use it; it is not the private plaything of the courtiers. The elites, as always, love their courtiers. This is why thousands of IS decapitations produce a deafening silence in the press and it takes the slaughter of a courtier – James Foley – to shock the gauleiters.

The problem for the leaders thus becomes how to muzzle the internet. There have already been tentative attempts with hate-speech laws, the harassment of Tweeters and bloggers, Right to be Forgotten, as well as Obama’s Soviet-style suggestions for internet policing. The overarching problem for the elites, then, is that someone other than their courtiers (who must remain silent about this) has seen that the Emperor has no clothes.

Remember, whenever you read the MSM, that this news was brought to you by people who are conventional and real. And enjoy the internet while you can.

No comments:

Post a Comment