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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY RUPERT CORNWELL IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Donald Trump can criticise the ‘mainstream media’ all he likes, the press will continue to do its job brilliantly”

Rupert Cornwell, if that is doing things brilliantly, well, then you must be one of our great political writers.

But your record speaks for itself, actually rather shabby, a life of scribbling propaganda and calling it political analysis.

In fact, the corporate press is suffering its worst time in ages. The industry, a mature one, is plainly in economic decline. In some cases, it plainly doesn’t have the resources to do the job well, as by having numerous foreign correspondents as it once had, even if doing the job well were its aim.

At the same time, new technology and new means of advertising are driving the creation and growth of new models for the distribution of news on the Internet.

In addition, the declining corporate press has been found openly colluding with various special interests, which sure removes the shine that supposedly comes with the word journalism. And even a child can see that it has acted out of immense negative bias against Trump.

There is almost no such thing as journalism and journalistic principles anymore in America or in much of Europe – that’s clear to many, not just Trump supporters.

The days of the Cold War also gave the press a special protective and nurturing environment, an environment of the forces of darkness versus the forces of light, the press being widely regarded as part of the forces of light.

That is gone, although the United States’ establishment – always including the corporate press as an intimate part of that establishment – is trying with its every fiber to re-create it, realizing what it has lost in many spheres, from unquestioned authority and playing the role of good guy – getting the role of Jimmy Stewart opposing Yuri Andropov – to facing new forms of competition. For the power establishment, peace and peaceful competition are not always the same good things most humans being accept them to be.

Who wants, people in Washington ask themselves, people in Europe using Russian natural gas or reading RT? And, so, ipso facto, Obama’s regrettable legacy of re-kindling the Cold War with everything from a shameless coup against a democratic government in Ukraine to tanks rumbling through Europe’s villages and towns to be emplaced threateningly in entrenchments on the Russian border and charming enforcers like Victoria “Fuck Europe!” Nuland being given high posts of influence there.

Well, that wasn’t even true then, as we know from the existence of things like unreported and unquestioned dark operations by a totally unethical CIA, everything from the civilian killings in Western Europe under Operation Gladio to the relentless terror conducted against Cuba or the manipulation of elections in Europe by secret payments to leaders and parties and to the over-throw by coups of even democratic governments not to America’s liking – all went unreported and unquestioned.

And it certainly not true now, perhaps, the only big difference being that now much of the activity has been exposed to the bright light of day. On the domestic front, things like the release of the DNC e-mails provide the kind of investigative reporting we’ve never experienced before from all those self-congratulatory journalists of yesteryear. On the international front, CIA allied dirty operations, like those in Syria, are actually being exposed to the light by news sources from abroad.

The days of the heroic journalistic duo in All the President’s Men are gone, completely gone. The book today almost seems a silly story on a level with “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” yet in its day, it seemed anything but. To my mind nothing better demonstrates some of the underlying and fundamental changes that have taken place.

It wasn’t Trump’s doing, but he is sure putting a high seal of approval on the fact, and lots of people are applauding. His approach, as at press conferences where the old privileged gang is feeling discomfort, will help speed the change underway towards something new, making him a genuine agent of change.

Journalism for the corporate press is a profession in dismal decline, having in most cases reduced itself willingly to paid publicity flacks and propagandists for the state.

Something entirely fresh is emerging using the new technology and forms of advertising. Its complete form is not yet clear, but it will deal the death blow to your industry, just as surely as Amazon ended local bookstores.

I don’t know whether it will be better or not – all great changes come not without drawbacks and flaws as viewed from some perspective – but I applaud its coming because your crowd has been shown to be utterly without principle and are well gone with your false assumptions and unwarranted privileges.

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