Archive for the ‘COLUMNIST OFFERING NAIVE PRATTLE’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HARD TO IMAGINE A GROWN INTELLIGENT PERSON WHO REGARDS THE PRESS AS IMPARTIAL – AND FOR THE SIMPLE REASON IT IS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY OWEN JONES IN THE GUARDIAN

“We can no longer pretend the British press is impartial”

Well, Mr. Owen Jones, I can’t imagine who it is that you are addressing.

No well-read person, at least one with fully-operating critical faculties, has ever pretended that the press is impartial.

Bias and various kinds of favoritism and propaganda have been with us for as long as the press has existed.

Indeed, in the 18th century, early political parties started their own newspapers, or formed alliances with existing ones, precisely to get across their views of things.

One of the oldest tools of outfits like the old Nazi Party or the Soviet Communist Party was to create newspapers tailored to their propaganda needs.

The apparent level of bias or propaganda may heat up or cool down at various times, as with the Guardian’s on-again, off-again campaign over nonexistent anti-Semitism in Corbyn’s Labour Party, but it is as much an enduring reality as the sun’s rising.

The record of “distinguished” newspapers like The New York Times or The Washington Post is literally riddled with advocacy, propaganda, and even disinformation. Actual CIA people were discovered more than once working for them.

An old CIA hand in the business of “getting stories out there” once told of sitting down to his “mighty Wurlitzer organ” and hitting the keys, by which he was referring to the various publications and columnists who cooperated.

Just why do you think all the old press Moghuls always wanted to own press empires?

It is for the power to influence others, to intimidate or accommodate governments, it is for the entree that influence gives in high places and the ability to gain treatment favorable to your interests or desires. The ability to make a politician look good or bad to millions of readers has proved a very powerful tool in getting what you want.

The press is not, and never has been, about genuine news and journalism, although of course some happens along the way almost by accident as it were.

It really is only in the advertising brochures for journalism schools that we find language which naively speaks of journalistic principles.

You know the last time we had a big heroic public story about journalists, Woodward and Bernstein, it actually proved in the end less than heroic. Woodward had long-established intelligence connections and would later be found doing such wonderful things as writing a phony book praising president George Bush’s ability and character