Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The Difference Between Here And There
It just occurred to me that Bush and Company, when attempting to implement what they think of as 'foreign policy' and then wondering why they can't meet with the same success that they met with inside the US, keep forgetting a key factor: In the rest of the world, they don't out-and-out control the rules of the game. And most especially the media. But the Bush people apparently still think that they do. Here's what I mean by that. In the US, where the cons have had the upper hand in the media since at least the late 1970s (as documented in Mark Hertsgaard's On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency), the corporate press knows who's best for their bottom line, as even "liberal" Sumner Redstone admitted a few years back. They aren't going to stray from the RNC-approved talking points very much, if at all. That's why Republicans like George W. Bush and John McCain now, and Ronald Reagan back in the day, can say and do whatever they damned well want, no matter how nonsensical, without worrying that they're going to be attacked over it with even a tenth of the fervor devoted by our "liberal" media to ginning up non-scandals about a "Dean scream" or a "Kerry joke" or "Gore invented the internet". But outside of America, it's only in places where the Cons run some/most of the key media outlets that Bush's jargon even has a foothold. I'm thinking specifically of Italy and the UK, whose media are dominated by Silvio Berlusconi (who until recently was PM) and Rupert Murdoch (who owns the once-great Times as well as Sky UK and FOX in the US), respectively. And even in those two places, the gaslighting isn't working as it once had: Berlusconi's control of the Italian media didn't stop him from being voted out of office, and in the UK the Con Media are doing all sorts of contortions to try to pretend that they never really backed Bush's invasion of Iraq.
And yes i agree with you 100%.
This phenomenon is very disturbing to me, because I was born in Poland during the communist years. The normal news shows there during that time were obviously skewed towards the communist party viewpoints, and the news anchors bend over backwards to accomodate all the lies and distortions.
"No, there was no protest in the coal mine, says Mr Grabowski, the local janitor. There you have it, Radio Free Europa lied again!" etc etc.
It is half disturbing and half funny to see THE SAME happen here, in the USA.
In Chicago, a shall we say democratic stronghold, the ONLY radio stations have far right, almost fascist points of view. Always. All the time. With ALL the hosts. 24/7.
On TV, the news becomes obsessed with a topic du jour, such as you pointed out, Kerry Scream(tm) or Aruba missing teen(tm) (my God, they milked that for over a year), while ignoring news.
This is by design.
Look at CNN Headline News, it used to be a 24/7 ACTUAL news network. Now, we get an idiot in prime time. It took me a while to figure out who this retard was - Mr Glen Beck. He of the "Senator Moslem, please prove to me you dont intend to blow up America" fame.
What other people in the world would watch something like that? What other people in the world would believe even 50% of what is said on radio or TV these days?
Only in America. At least back in Poland we KNEW the TV and radio lied - that was their job, to sell the communist party to the country.
In the US, people actually watch Glen Beck, and listen to Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O'Reilly, and agree with them. Whatever the topic is, you can be sure that they ARE the experts, whether its politics, or crime, or drug abuse, or religion.
And woe the guest or caller who diagrees, however amicably, with the all knowing all powerful host.
News around the world is a standard format, a half hour or an hour show, which, either local or international, consists of the host reading the FACTS about what is happening NOW or recently. Sometimes a camera man and a reporter are at the scene of an event.
We do get those kinds of news. Local news.
As for international and political news?
I leave you with this. FOX NEWS has a segment called "Around the world in 60 seconds".
Yes. That's how much time the rest of the world is worth to an american news show. Insulting.
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